A Handy Guide For What To Do With A Car That Fails Its MOT


So your trusty steed (read – car) has gone in for its annual check-up. You’re sure everything will be fine as you’ve kept it in great shape, fed it well (with good oil etc.) and gave it a weekly brush down (clean). But then bad news comes…it failed its MOT! What next?

Well that is exactly the question I look to resolve.

Can I Drive My Car On A Failed MOT

First things first, just because your car has failed its MOT doesn’t mean you can’t still drive it. But be cautious, the law states you MUST have an MOT. So as an extreme example, if you booked a test on the same day and it expires, you cannot then continue to drive it.

But, should the car fail its MOT and the MOT certificate still be in date, you may still have a few days to drive it in order to get things fixed. Of course you do run the risk of being pulled over by the police and charged for driving a defective vehicle, so the decision whether to risk it is entirely up to you – be aware though, an extreme example of this could be a charge of dangerous driving and a two year prison sentence!

Maybe it’s better to get the bus to get the bulb!

Take It In To A Garage

What now then? Well your best bet if you want the car for another year is to either keep it in the garage you had the check at, or take it to the dealership or another place you trust – this is assuming the task is not something as simple as replacing a windscreen wiper or light bulb which you may be more than comfortable doing yourself.

Should you decide to leave it at the garage, they will be able to do the necessary changes required at a cost, and then with any luck your trusty steed should sail through the next MOT check.

Serious MOT Failure

If your car fails the MOT for a number of reasons, including anything serious, then you may have to question whether the expense is worth the trouble.

In this instance you should look at potentially selling your MOT failure to a firm which specialises in salvage vehicles or recovering MOT failures. Alternatively, there will also be many scrap car collectors in your region happy to take the vehicle off your hand. The thing you need to balance out is whether getting some money back for your car is better than spending a lot of money getting it sorted.

Obviously if the car is relatively new, the investment in getting everything up to scratch may mean the car breezes through the next few years without a hitch, but if the car is a little older it may be the first signs that it’s on the way out. £400 one year rapidly becoming £500 the next.

In conclusion then, you really have three options, fix it yourself, get a garage to fix it, or sell it on for spare parts or scrap. You can drive the vehicle around if needed, assuming the MOT is in date, but as explained in this blog, that is a risk which many will find simply not worth taking.

Author Bio

Louisa Jenkins is an avid automotive blogger. Here she blogs on how certain online car buyers such as Copart Direct will even buy your car if it has failed its MOT. She also discusses other alternatives to getting your old car either back on the road, or out of your sight!

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