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Can A Garage Refuse to MOT My Car

Can A Garage Refuse to MOT My Car (or Van or Motorcycle)?

A garage is like any business and turning away customers is not great for business. However, by law, there are circumstances when an MOT Testing Station has to refuse to conduct an MOT test on a vehicle. Here are the reasons why (and how to avoid them).

Most of the reasons to refuse to conduct an MOT are for circumstances that are very rare and would not stop 99.999999% of MOT tests going ahead.

How old are you?

For example, if you have a cherished number plate (often referred to as a private number plate) and it is not clear what the original registration date of the vehicle is, then the examiner cannot know what rules to apply. For example, all vehicles from a D-prefix need to have a seatbelt for each seat. There are also different levels of acceptable emissions from vehicles that run on petrol, dependent on the year.

In the highly unlikely scenario where you have a very old (classic) vehicle that is not known in the computerised MOT system, then you will need the V5C registration certificate will prove the age of the vehicle.

The current MOT Testing guide describes the issue as:

 “The registration certificate (V5C) or other evidence of the date of first use is not produced if the information therein is necessary for the test to be properly carried out.

Normally this document will be necessary only if the vehicle has a ‘cherished’ registration mark or if the registration mark’s year letter does not make clear the standard that should be applied - for instance, regarding the seat-belt requirements for D-prefix vehicles.”

Dirty Vehicle

If your vehicle is so dirty that the Examiner cannot carry out a full inspection then they are obliged to refuse to test the vehicle. Usually, this is where the underneath of the vehicle is so dirty that components cannot be examined rather than the body of the car.

A quick use of a car wash before the MOT test will resolve this issue.

No Fuel

This is more common than you might think. If your vehicle doesn’t have enough fuel in the tank to be able to have the engine running throughout the test, then the examination will be refused.

The logic that seems to sometimes be applied is this… a person doesn’t think the vehicle will pass the test, in fact, they are fairly certain it won't. Their thinking is that it will go from the MOT testing station to the scrapyard so they don’t want to waste more money putting in fuel.

Two tips here - if you are fairly certain a vehicle won’t pass its test it probably won’t. Save the cost of the test fee.

If your car is being tested, put some fuel in!

Risk to health

How can a stationary car or van be a risk to health? In terms of an MOT test - a fair few ways.

Firstly, and damage to the bodywork of the vehicle. Now, we are not saying that a car with a few scratches down the side or a dent on the corner of a bumper would be a reason to refuse to test the vehicle, but any parts of the bodywork sticking out or sharp points that could cut someone definitely would.

Secondly, a car with excessive smoke coming from the exhaust (or any other part of the vehicle for that matter). It is likely to fail anyway in regards to emissions, however, the Examiner may refuse to test the vehicle rather than have the workshop filled with toxic fumes.

Thirdly, where a vehicle (usually a light-commercial vehicle) has a load on board that, in the opinion of the Examiner, is either unsafe or if safely loaded would interfere with a proper test being carried out, then an examination will be refused.

In addition to the above, a tester must decline to test a vehicle if it is of such size, weight or configuration that it cannot be properly or safely tested on the approved facilities. (Not a problem at AP Autocare as we are capable of testing class 4 5 & 7 - Cars, Vans and Minibuses.)

Let me have a look at that?

Other reasons for refusal may be from what the examiner can or cannot see around the vehicle.

If the VIN number (or chassis number/frame number) is illegible, missing, or uses letters and numbers not usually found in the English language and/or the number cannot be easily read, a test will be refused.

If the examiner can see that parts of the car are not functioning correctly i.e. a door, boot lid, bonnet or even the fuel cap will not open or any part of the car that should readily open and will not, thus hindering a proper examination - a test will be refused. 

What happens if my vehicle is refused an MOT Test?

A document called a VT30 will be issued and logged with the Ministry of Transport. A VT30 is the ‘MOT refusal document’. This states that an MOT certificate was refused and the reasons why. 

AP Autocare MOT Centre

We are pleased to say at AP Autocare that we very, very rarely have to refuse to carry out an MOT, however, we can advise you on how to pass your MOT before you bring your vehicle to us. If you are not sure, then we are here to help and answer any questions you may have.

We have two MOT bays and so can usually book you a slot at a time convenient to you (even on short notice).

So call us now to book your MOT or for further advice and information on 0117 963 8916

Published: Thursday 24th March 2022