After the MOT/ vehicle test

When your vehicle passes an MOT test, the examiner will issue you with a vehicle test certificate.

New-style vehicle test certificate

Information on the new-style vehicle test certificate is available at:

Failing an MOT test

If your vehicle does not pass the MOT test, the examiner will give you a notification of refusal containing details of the faults which will have to be repaired for the re-test.

An application for a re-test must be made within 21 days of the original test. After 21 days a full test fee will be needed.  Re-tests must be completed within 60 days of the original test

If your vehicle fails an MOT test it is treated as not being roadworthy and it should not be on the road, regardless of whether you have time remaining on an existing MOT certificate. Persons using a vehicle on the road or in a public place without a valid test certificate or with defects may be committing an offence.

Disagreeing with the test result

Should you disagree with the test result, ask to discuss it with the centre manager on the day. If the original decision is upheld, you will be offered the opportunity to lodge an appeal or make a formal complaint.

You must lodge an appeal within 14 days of the test by completing an appeal form which is available from any MOT Test Centre or by calling Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) Enquiries on the MOT helpline 0300 200 7861. A full test fee is required with this application.

DVA will then offer an appointment within five working days to re-check your vehicle. Don't have your vehicle repaired before your appeal is considered, as any change to your vehicle may affect the outcome of the appeal.

If your appeal is successful, you may be entitled to a full or partial refund.

Making a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, ask to speak to the centre manager, as they can deal with most complaints quickly and informally.

If your complaint is not resolved informally, you can make a formal complaint. Full details of the DVA's formal complaints procedure is available below:

Complaints help to identify areas where repeated problems are occurring and help DVA take steps to improve their service.

Reasons for MOT failure

The items listed below consistently appear in the top 12 reasons for vehicle test failure. The actual position of a specific failure category can vary both by test centre and over time.

  • brake system
  • suspension system
  • electrical system, including: battery; lights; wiring; horn; wipers; washers
  • brakes performance, including efficiency imbalance
  • wheels, tyres and hubs
  • body and chassis, including attachments
  • steering system
  • headlamp alignment N/S headlamp
  • headlamp alignment O/S headlamp
  • vehicle interior, including: seats; seat belts and anchorage; speedometer; mirrors; windscreen and windows
  • fuel and exhaust system
  • plates, including registration plate VIN plate

Lost or damaged MOT certificates

Information is available at:

Checking the authenticity of a certificate

Information is available at:

More useful links

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