With an roughly 2 million MOT failures every 3 months across cars, vans, motorcycles and other vehicles, it’s important to know exactly what you can and can’t do if your car fails its MOT.
A question we get asked every single day is, “Can I still drive my car if it fails the MOT?”. Drivers are often worried about getting into trouble if they’re driving a car without. A lot of people also come to us with horror stories about garages (mainly the extremely large chains) refusing to give their car back because it’s failed.
Why Do Garages Refuse to Return a Car after a Failure?
First off, let us tell you, this is not something we do here. A garage should never refuse to hand your car back! However, it is illegal to drive a car without an MOT or a car with noted dangerous issues. You can be fined, get points on your license or even banned from driving for doing so.
A mechanic may refuse to return your car because they feel it is dangerous to drive. Although this is wrong, you are also in the wrong by driving your car in that condition. The only correct way to move your car at this point, would be to have a recovery truck take you to your own property or another mechanic to have your vehicle rectified and made road worthy.
This only covers issues where your car is dangerous to drive. There are certain parts of your MOT test that are categorised as dangerous. It would be impossible to list every item, however, serious tyre defects and serious suspension issues could be part of this reason.
So Can I Drive My Car If It Fails an MOT?
The answer to this is yes! However, it may be illegal in certain circumstances. So if your car fails an MOT and the previous certificate is valid, it’s perfectly legal to drive providing that there are no dangerous defects noted on the failure. However, if your previous test has expired, and your car fails, then you are breaking the law by driving it on the roads.
The best way to stay legal on the road if you fail a test, is to have it repaired. The garage that tests your car will offer MOT Repairs, they can give you a quote to put the issues right and retest your vehicle. An MOT retest is free, and another garage will have to charge you in full for a test if you choose to go there instead.