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The first thing you’ll probably hear about a MOT failure is a phone call from the garage listing the faults which have been found with your vehicle.
Your first thought is probably “How much is this going to cost me?”
Then the second one is about getting the work done, and the process for getting the car re-tested and passing its MOT.
There are a couple of possibilities for doing this, depending on the reason your car failed.
Retests after a Major Fault
Failures on MOT tests are classed as either major or dangerous.
A major fault is detected when something on your car isn’t up to standard, and outside the limits set by the government.
However, it’s not something which makes the car unroadworthy, or dangerous to drive.
A major fault could be something like a missing number plate or broken tail light. If your car fails for one of these “major” reasons then you have a few options.
Immediate repair – the least hassle option is to discuss the repair with the garage which did the MOT test and get them to fix the faulty component.
They will make the repair, then do a partial MOT retest, usually for free.
This sort of retest isn’t doing the entire test all over again; the mechanic just retests the component which failed.
The downside is that you don’t have the opportunity to shop around for the best price for the work.
Take the car elsewhere – a major fault doesn’t mean your car is too dangerous to be on the road.
So you’re well within your rights to pay the MOT test fee, drive the car home and the think about what you want to do next.
You could fix it yourself, get another mechanic to do the work, or get a friend to fix it.
If you get the work done within 10 working days, then you can take it back to the same MOT testing station to have a partial re-test.
Leave it longer than a fortnight, and you’ll need to go through the whole MOT process over again.
Avoiding retests whatever the reason for a test failure, it’s added hassle and inconvenience which nobody needs.
Rather than just booking a MOT appointment, turning up with your car and hoping it will sail through, do a little bit of work ahead of time to maximize your chances of passing.
If you’ve been ignoring a warning light on your dashboard, investigate what’s going on before presenting your car for the test.
Check the simple things like levels of windscreen washer fluid, make sure your lights are all working and that your tyre treads depth is deep enough.
The MOT manual is readily available online to allow all drivers to see exactly what will be examined and what the limits of tolerance are.
If you think there might be an issue with your brakes, steering or anything else which you don’t feel confident enough to check out by yourself, mention it when delivering your car to the garage.