Can I Drive My Car Home After A Failed MOT?

By David Sholicar

Once your car reaches three years old it will need to have an MOT test carried out each year to prove that it remains safe and roadworthy. The test covers various safety features including brakes, horn, seatbelts and lights and also checks that the car is meeting the appropriate emissions standards.

You might think it’s rare for modern cars to fail the test, but DVSA data suggests that around 37 percent of drivers experience their vehicle failing the test each year. When your car fails, you’ll be issued with a VT30 form that lists the reasons for failure. You’ll need to hang onto this to have the car retested or to lodge an appeal.
If your car is over three years old and doesn’t have a valid MOT then it’s illegal to drive it and it also means that your insurance could be invalid. So, what happens if you book an MOT, take your car for the test and it fails; can you still drive it?
The short answer in our experience is no, however, there are two exceptions:
- You can drive your vehicle to an MOT test station for a test provided that it’s been booked in advance.
- You can take your vehicle for repairs after it’s failed its test.
Some confusion still arises, however, because you can have your car tested up to a month before the old certificate expires without affecting the anniversary date. If you have some time on your old MOT, therefore, can you drive the car on the old certificate even though it’s failed the test for a new one?
The answer here is yes, provided that in failing the test, no problems have been listed as ‘dangerous’. If you continue to drive with dangerous faults - even if there is some time left on your old MOT certificate - then you could be facing a £2,500 fine and three points on your driving licence.
However, if your car has failed the test without dangerous issues and you continue to drive on your old certificate, then if you are stopped by the police you could still be prosecuted for driving a vehicle that isn’t roadworthy.
It’s therefore recommended that if your car does fail the test, you don’t drive it and you get any faults identified fixed as soon as possible. You can leave the car at the testing garage to be fixed, in which case you can then get a partial retest that just checks the reasons for failure listed on the VT30 and costs less. Alternatively, you can take the car away to have it fixed but if it takes more than 10 days, you’ll have to pay the full test fee again.
At Protyre, we offer MOT tests as well as servicing, so if your car needs attention, simply book online or call your local Protyre garage and our qualified fitters will be happy to take care of your vehicle. If you need tyres, we supply leading brands including Pirelli and Falken so there’s something to suit all pockets and driving needs and we usually have popular sizes in stock for same-day fitting.

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About the author

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By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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