Failed it’s MOt

My car failed it’s MOT

What is the rule changes for an MOT? My car has failed it’s MOT


We have many clients confused asking what happens when a car has failed it’s MOT. The new MOT grading system that came into effect on May 20th 2018 has new implications for dangerous vehicles. It means motorists are unable to drive their car away from the garage if a dangerous or major defect is found. This is leaving motorists believing they have to have their vehicle fixed there and then. In some cases, motorists are being charged over the odds by mechanics. They know the new rules state that a vehicle shouldn’t be driven again until the major or dangerous fault has been resolved.

Failed it’s MOt

Can I drive it until the old MOT expires ?

No. Your car is not safe to drive on the road if it’s failed on any major or dangerous defects. We get clients who say they have driven cars before until the old test expires.

The truth on this one is it’s always been illegal to drive a defective vehicle. Even with a valid MOT your car must be roadworthy at all times even between MOTs. For more information this article is useful. ’It has an MOT’ is not a proof of roadworthiness

The law for that has never changed. Driving a car that’s failed it’s MOT, is driving a defective vehicle. If you check your insurance it will usually state the car must be in a roadworthy condition.

So what is the risk ? Check your insurance 

While you are waiting for repairs, it’s also worth checking another insurance element. If you plan to drive another car using third party liability you may not be covered. We have clients who have been charged with driving without insurance for this. Check your policy, you may not be covered if your insured car is unroadworthy.

Cars with minor defects are able to pass and the faults will be recorded. However those that fall into the dangerous or major categories will be subject to an automatic fail. This means motorists not being legally allowed to drive away from an MOT centre.

If a dangerous or major defect is found, motorists are still able to have their car towed to a different garage. A garage has no legal right to stop them but it would be illegal to drive the vehicle.

The risk includes being fined for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT. Harsher penalty is that your insurance would be invalid. Driving without insurance can lead to points, large fines or a driving ban.

But, despite the new MOT changes, the law states that garages have NO power to stop motorists from driving their car away. This is regardless of the severity of the MOT failure.

So what should you do if a garage says you can’t remove your car?

Let them know you know your rights.

Contact your preferred garage or shop around. Most garages like ourselves will offer to have your vehicle recovered from where it failed. Do be aware a garage can charge you storage, ask what this charge is in advance. It may be payable if you leave your car overnight or longer so acting quickly is important. Your car can not be held hostage.


Give us a call if we can help 0191 4698740 or email

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