While an MOT failure can be stressful, an MOT retest is actually a simple process.

Read on and find out the 7 things you need to know about MOT retesting.


What Is an MOT Retest?

An MOT retest can be a full or partial test that happens after an MOT failure.

It is a quick, cost-effective way to get you the pass certificate you need without completing the full checklist again.

MOT retests provide proof that any major or dangerous faults highlighted during the initial test have been fixed. 

Generally, an MOT retest will only check the parts of your vehicle that failed the initial test.

How long an MOT retest takes can differ depending on how busy the garage is on the day. 


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How Do You Book an MOT Retest?

There is no official process to book an MOT retest.

When the necessary repairs have been carried out, the MOT tester can then do the partial retest.


What Are the MOT Retest Rules?

There are plenty of MOT retest rules to bear in mind. 

The maximum MOT retest fee is half of the original test fee. 

Some garages provide a partial MOT retest free of charge, in which the vehicle can be checked for the fault(s) which it originally failed on. 

The maximum MOT price is £54.85, so the most you can be charged for a partial retest is £27.45

You must make the MOT retest application within 21 days of the original failed test.

Any retest must be completed within 60 days of the initial test.

You cannot drive your vehicle if your MOT certificate expires and you haven't secured one for the coming year.

You can only have one free partial retest per full examination.

While you can take your vehicle elsewhere for repairs, you can only drive it there if your car is roadworthy and last year's certificate is still valid.

If not, you will need to have it towed or leave it where it is.


Can I Book an MOT Retest at a Different Garage?

If your car fails its MOT, you can take it somewhere else.

If the necessary repairs are carried out elsewhere but the MOT retest is performed at the original tester, you will pay a partial fee. 

If you have the repairs and the retest performed at a different garage, you will pay the full MOT fee again. 

To take advantage of the reduced or free MOT retest fee, you should leave your car at the original garage for repairs.


What Is the MOT Retest Fee?

The maximum MOT price is £54.85, meaning the most you can be charged for a partial retest is £27.45

The MOT retest fee will vary depending on the circumstances of your second test.

If you leave your car at the original garage, you will get a free MOT retest.

The only expense will be the bill for any repairs your vehicle needs.

If you fail your MOT on one of the items in the following table, have the issue fixed elsewhere and then return to the same test centre within one working day, your MOT retest will also be free. 

Please note that your vehicle still needs to be roadworthy to take it away or you can be fined. 


Access Panels




Brake Pedal Antislip

Break Glass Hammer (Class 5 Only)

Doors (including hinges, catches and pillars)

Door Open Warning Device (Class 5 Only)


Electrical Wiring

Emergency Exits and Signs (Class 5 Only)

Entrance Door Remote Control (Class 5 Only)

Entrance/Exit Steps (Class 5 Only)

Fuel Filler Cap

Headlamp Cleaning or Levelling Devices (that don't need a headlamp aim check


Lamps (excluding headlamp aim)

Loading Door

Main Beam "tell-tale"


Rear Reflectors

Registration Plates

Seatbelts (but not anchorages) seatbelt load limiter and pre-tensioner


Sharp Edges or Projections

Stairs (Class 5 Only)

Steering Wheel



Trailer Electrical Sockets

Towbars (excluding body around anchorage points)

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Vehicle Identification Number

Windscreen Glass, Wipers and Washers

Wheels and Tyres (excluding motorcycles and sidecars)


If you take your vehicle elsewhere and return to the original garage within 10 working days, you will be charged a partial MOT retest. 

A partial MOT retest is half the full test fee.

However if you take your vehicle to another garage and return to the original test centre after 10 working days, you will need a full MOT retest. 

You will have to pay the full price again. 

In all other cases, you will likewise need to get a full MOT retest and pay the full MOT test fee again. 

Many garages offer reduced MOT prices.


Can I Appeal My MOT Result?

You can appeal your MOT result with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if your vehicle failed the MOT and you think it should have passed, or it passed but you think it should have failed.

You must discuss your test results with the test centre before any repair work is carried out.

You will need to fill out a complaint form and send it to the DVSA within 14 working days of the test.

The DVSA will then contact you within 5 days to discuss the appeal.

If they decide to recheck your vehicle, then you will need to arrange a date and pay the test fee again in full.

You will be sent an inspection report listing any vehicle defects.

If the appeal is successful, you will be refunded the test fee.

If your vehicle passed but you think it should have failed the test, you will need to fill in the same complaint form within the following time limits:

  • 3 months of the MOT for corrosion problems
  • 28 days has passed for other defects


What Happens If You Don't Have an MOT?

You must have a valid MOT certificate at all times.

The penalty for having no MOT is a £1,000 fine.

You can also be fined £2,500, face a driving ban and receive 3 penalty points on your licence if your vehicle is deemed 'dangerous'.

Even though an MOT retest may seem stressful and awkward, you must follow the process to the end.

If you don't have a valid certificate, you can't drive the vehicle.


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