Can I still drive my car with an MOT failure?

14th March 2022

The answer to the question ‘can I still drive my car with an MOT failure?’ isn’t a straightforward no, and the law does give you some leeway, in certain situations. Here’s what you’re allowed to do according to UK law in 2022.

Vehicle Brake

You can drive your vehicle with an MOT failure if:

  • Your MOT certificate is still in date

    This is the key reason, we’d always suggest you get your MOT test at the very least, a week before your current MOT certificate runs out.

  • There are no dangerous faults

    If your MOT test lists any ‘dangerous’ faults, you MUST NOT drive your vehicle away. This rule applies even if you still have time on your MOT certificate, and failure to obey the law could result in a fine of up to £2500, 3 penalty points, and a driving ban.

Can I drive with an invalid MOT certificate?

  • If your car has failed its MOT test, and your current MOT has expired, you can only drive the vehicle (as long as it doesn’t have any dangerous faults and meets the minimum standards of roadworthiness) if it’s:
  • To get the relevant repairs

    If the garage where you got your MOT can’t repair the fault/s immediately after the test, you are still required to get the repairs carried out. In these circumstances, the law allows you to drive the vehicle to the nearest car repair centre.

  • To get to a pre-arranged MOT test

    Once the repairs to your vehicle have been carried out, the law says that you can only drive the vehicle to an MOT retest you’ve already prearranged, as long as the vehicle meets the ‘minimum standards of roadworthiness’.

What are the minimum standards of roadworthiness?

On non-commercial vehicles, the minimum standards of roadworthiness, are defined by the basic checks we should all carry out before driving our vehicles.

The following are the main things to check to get your vehicle to the nearest MOT test centre for its MOT retest:

  • The brakes – This means a basic check to see if the car stops when required, without juddering or making excessive noise, and that the handbrake holds the vehicle, especially on an incline. You could also check the brake fluid level.

  • The steering – This is another basic check, to ensure the steering is responsive, doesn’t have excessive play, and isn’t unnaturally stiff or noisy.

  • The windscreen, windows and mirrors – Ensure each of these are clean and free from any defects which may impair your view.

  • The lights – This check is to make sure all the lights are working correctly, including the brake lights and fog lights.

  • The tyres – It’s essential you regularly check your tyres for defects, such as low or unevenly-worn treads, splits or bulges. If you do notice any of these defects, get advice from a tyre specialist immediately.

Do I have to pay for an MOT retest?

No, you don’t have to pay for an MOT retest, as long as you take the car back the next working day.

Although, if you take the car back within 10 working days, you are still entitled to a free partial retest, but at this point, the garage does have the right to charge a partial retest fee.

Contact us

If you’re looking for local car servicing, or a local MOT test centre in Milton Keynes, get in touch with Quality Car Service today. Located in the centre of Milton Keynes, we have a fully equipped workshop, a team of highly-qualified mechanics, and a range of car servicing offers to suit all budgets.