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My car failed its MOT. What should I do?

Failed your MOT? Don't fret. According to the DVSA, 37% of drivers every year fail their MOT test. So, if it's any comfort at all - you're not alone!

Let’s be practical though – failing your MOT can be very disappointing and extremely inconvenient. If you’re stuck for what to do next, this blog post will explain exactly how to go about getting that Pass certificate.


What happens when my car fails its MOT test?

If your car fails its MOT at an Auto Care garage, one of our Government authorised MOT testers will give you a VT30 ‘Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate’. It’ll include the MOT test number, the details of your vehicle and the reasons why your car didn’t pass. Our Service Advisors will talk you through the defects found.


What happens when I take an MOT retest?

Before you can take an MOT retest, you’ll need to sort out the issues our MOT testers flagged up with your car. These will be listed on your certificate as urgent repairs, our service advisors will provide prices to fix the items needed to pass the MOT.

We’ve invested heavily in repair equipment at both of our garages at either Stockton; Teesdale, or Darlington so whatever issue your car is facing, we’ll be able to diagnose and repair it.

If you need an MOT retest, there are a few options available. Some could save you money.

You can…


Leave your car with us to be fixed.

At both Auto Care garages in Stockton; Teesdale, and Darlington, we offer a full repair service for cars that fail the MOT. In cases where repairs are carried out within 10 working days, we can do a partial retest (saving you a few quid). This means we’ll only test the issues flagged up by the failed MOT and listed on the VT30 certificate.

Take your car somewhere else for repairs and bring it back for a retest

If you want, you can take your car elsewhere to have it repaired or carry out the repairs yourself and then bring it back to our MOT test centre for a free partial retest, but only if it fails on certain items found listed on the DVSA website, as long as you come back within one working day.

This only applies if your vehicle does not fail on major or dangerous defects (see below). At both Auto Care centres in Stockton; Teesdale, or Darlington we can quote for repairs – often being able to carry them out on the same day – and we always guarantee to beat any like for like repair quotation.

Bring your car back within 10 days.

If you do choose to go elsewhere for repairs, you can still bring your car back to our MOT testing centres in Stockton; Teesdale, or Darlington for a partial retest as long as you come back within 10 days of the first MOT. Partial retests usually cost half the price of a full MOT.

Come back for a full MOT.

If circumstances prevent you from coming back within 10 days, you can come back to our MOT Testing centre for a full MOT at the time that suits you best.

Can I drive my car with a failed MOT?

No, you cannot drive your car if it has failed its MOT and its old MOT certificate is out of date or it has failed on “Major” or “Dangerous” defects, as these will be shown on your VT30 fail certificate. Driving under these circumstances is illegal.

You can help avoid MOT failures by keeping your car regularly serviced – this can help spread the cost as defects are found and repaired before they can cause further problems.

We carry out car servicing at both Auto Care Group centres in Stockton; Teesdale, and Darlington, including on cars still under manufacturer warranty without invalidating the warranty. We also offer Tyre Fitting, Wheel Alignment, Brakes, Engine Diagnostics and Air Conditioning.

Book your MOT test with us today by booking online at or calling on Stockton 01642 676667 or Darlington 01325 488855.