It’s been over a year since the government overhauled the MOT system. The old way was very simple, with drivers being issued either a pass or fail certificate. The 2018 changes separated the fail category into two classes of fail. Those two classes are major, or dangerous.What happens if my car fails on a major fault?
A major fault is a defect which has to be fixed right away, but which doesn’t make your car unsafe to drive. Usually, you’ll leave a contact number with the garage when you drop your car off for its test, and the first you know about a fail is when the phone rings. There are a few options for what happens next.
Get the test station to fix it – this is the most obvious course of action. Most MOT testing stations offer repairs and other services too. Agree what work needs to be done, discuss the price and arrange a pick up time. The garage will do the work necessary to bring the car up to scratch, retest to make sure everything is fine and issue the pass certificate.
Take it elsewhere – A major fault doesn’t mean your car is dangerous to drive. If your previous MOT still hasn’t expired, you can choose to take it somewhere else to get it fixed.
This is a good option if the garage is particularly busy, or if you need specialist services which the original garage doesn’t offer.Retest
If you take your car back to the original car station within ten working days of a fail for a partial retest. A retest just looks at the issue which the car failed on during the first test. It’s much quicker than an entire MOT as just one of the components is being tested. Within 10 days of the first test, retests are offered free, or at a reduced rate. After that, the possibility of a retest is removed and you’ll have to put your car through the entire process again.What are Major Fails?
The MOT test looks at lots of different aspects of your car, from brakes and steering to windscreen and tyres. A major defect could fall into many categories but some of the most common examples are:
- More than half of your brake lights not working properly or at all
- Missing registration plates, or plates with the letters and numbers spaced incorrectly
- Low levels of window washer fluid
- Warning lights on the dashboard when the mechanic turns the engine on
- Problems with the vehicle’s emission levels
- Windscreen wipers not working properly
The MOT testing guidelines are widely available online. You can check most of these factors yourself, and take steps to fix the problem before presenting your car for its test. If you are aware of an issue which you’re not able to fix yourself, tell the mechanic when they are dropping the car off. They will be able to address this before formal testing.