FAQs And Answers About MOT Retests

As you may know, the MOT test (Ministry of Transport) is an annual test required by law in the UK. It tests vehicle safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions for most vehicles older than three years. While many cars don’t pass for various reasons, MOT retests can help.

In this article, we explain what MOT retests are, the cost of MOT retests, some of the governing rules and provide answers to a few commonly asked questions.

What Are MOT Retests?

MOT retests can be defined as partial or full MOT tests that take place in the event of an MOT failure. It is a fast and cost-effective way to help you pass the MOT without completing a full MOT again. During MOT retests, examiners will typically only check the parts of your vehicle that failed the first MOT.

You’d be surprised how common they are as indicated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). According to statistics, between 2018 and 2019, 2.2 million Class 3 and 4 vehicles (cars with up to 12 seats) in the UK passed their MOT after initially failing it, with 7.7 million MOT failures occurring overall (26% of the total).

What Happens If My Car Fails An MOT?

If your car fails its MOT, the examiner will issue a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ (VT30). This indicates items or components with ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ faults that need to be repaired. Remember, it is illegal to drive without an MOT so once you get your car serviced, you can book an MOT retest. Here, the MOT examiner will address the issues in your VT30 and make sure everything has been repaired or replaced to make your vehicle road legal.

Related: 7 Common MOT Failures And How To Avoid Them

How Long Do MOT Retests Take?

Since not all faults are the same, the duration of MOT retests may differ as it depends heavily on the problems listed in the VT30 MOT failure form. To get a partial MOT retest for free, you need to get your vehicle repaired and retested. At Elite Garages, you can book free MOT retests within 10 business days. While a full MOT test often takes between 45 and 60 minutes, MOT retests are usually shorter but, as mentioned earlier, it varies based on the listed issues.

What Happens If You Fail The MOT Retest?

Whilst a highly unlikely scenario, failing MOT retests can happen. The good news is that you can fix the issues and get it tested again. The best advice we can give is to discuss everything with the workshop manager at the service centre that performed the initial set of repairs, especially if your car fails a retest for the same reasons.

What Is The Penalty For Not Having A Valid MOT?

It is a legal requirement to have a valid MOT certificate at all times. You may only drive a vehicle without an MOT if you are on your way to a service of MOT testing centre. Not having a valid MOT could result in a £1,000 fine but you may also get a £2,500 fine and a driving ban. Another consequence of not having an MOT is 3 penalty points on your licence if your vehicle is deemed ‘dangerous’.

How Do MOT Retest Rules Work?

When it comes to MOT retests, there are many rules to consider and here are the most important:

  • You must make the application within 21 days of the original failed MOT test
  • Any retest must be completed within 60 days of the initial test
  • You are not allowed to drive your vehicle if your MOT certificate expires and you haven’t secured one for the coming year
  • You may only have one free partial retest per full MOT examination
  • While you may take your vehicle elsewhere for repairs, you are only allowed to drive it there if your car is roadworthy and with a valid MOT certificate from the last year If you can’t, you will need to have it towed or leave it where it is

Can You Book MOT Retests At A Different Garage?

No, you must go to the same garage that performed the initial MOT retest. While you could take your car away for repairs, another garage will charge you for a full MOT to issue the pass certificate. To benefit from an MOT retest, leave your car at the original service centre for repairs.

How Much Is An MOT Retest?

When taking your vehicle elsewhere for repairs and returning to the original MOT centre within 10 working days, you will be charged a partial MOT retest. This is half the full test fee which can vary from garage to garage. The maximum UK MOT price is £54.85, so the most a test centre can charge is £27.43. Of course, many garages offer MOT specials and reduced prices so it’s always worth comparing deals when making a booking.

Related: What Is Checked During An MOT?

When Are MOT Retests Free?

Some MOT retests are free if you get it done at the same place as the initial test within 1 working day and fix the following issues:

  • Access Panels
  • Battery
  • Bonnet and Bootlid
  • Brake Pedal Antislip
  • Break Glass Hammer (Class 5 Only)
  • Doors (including hinges, catches and pillars)
  • Door Open Warning Device (Class 5 Only)
  • Dropsides
  • Electrical Wiring
  • Emergency Exits and Signs (Class 5 Only)
  • Entrance Door Remote Control (Class 5 Only)
  • Entrance/Exit Steps (Class 5 Only)
  • Fuel Filler Cap
  • Headlamp Cleaning or Levelling Devices (that don’t need a headlamp aim check
  • Horn
  • Lamps (excluding headlamp aim)
  • Loading Door
  • Main Beam “tell-tale”
  • Mirrors
  • Rear Reflectors
  • Registration Plates
  • Seatbelts (but not anchorages) seatbelt load limiter and pre-tensioner
  • Seats
  • Sharp Edges or Projections
  • Stairs (Class 5 Only)
  • Steering Wheel
  • Tailboard
  • Tailgate
  • Trailer Electrical Sockets
  • Towbars (excluding body around anchorage points)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Windscreen Glass, Wipers and Washers
  • Wheels and Tyres (excluding motorcycles and sidecars)

How Do I Book MOT Retests?

There is no real booking process for the MOT retests as the centre will complete the partial MOT once the repairs have been completed. If you get your MOT and service at the same garage, using them for the repairs can help speed up the process. If you’d like to book an MOT, why not compare deals at garages near you and save with Elite Garages.

How Can I Book My Car MOT With Elite Garages?

If your MOT is about to expire, simply book an MOT test online or call your nearest Elite branch. We have service and MOT testing centres across the south and southeast of England providing dealership quality services with greater value and no hidden costs.

Not sure when your MOT is due? You can easily find out by clicking the button below and why not sign up for the Elite Members Club? This will enable you to receive FREE MOT reminders and get early notifications of special offers. For more information, read this guide on MOTs or contact your nearest Elite branch if you have any additional questions about MOT retests.