While an MOT failure can be stressful, an MOT test is actually a very easy process.

This is especially true if your car stays at the same garage that completed the initial test.

By the end of this article, you will understand:

  • What an MOT retest is
  • How much an MOT retest costs
  • Where you can get a retest
  • The penalty for not having an MOT



An MOT retest is a partial test that happens after an initial failed test. It is a cost-effective way to get your vehicle the pass certificate it needs - but only if the original garage completes the process. If they do this within 10 working days, you get a free retest.

Taking your vehicle elsewhere for repairs and returning within 10 working days incurs a retest fee (half the initial price). Returning after 10 working days means you need to pay for the full MOT test again.


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What Is an MOT Retest?

An MOT retest is a partial test that happens after an MOT failure. It's a quick, cost-effective way to get you the pass certificate you need without completing the full checklist again. Generally, an MOT retest will only check the parts of your vehicle that failed the initial test.


The Penalty for Not Having 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. It's as simple as that.


MOT Retest Rules

There are plenty of rules surrounding the MOT retest. Firstly, you must make the application within 21 days of the original failed test. On top of that, any retest must be completed within 60 days of the initial test. Regardless, you should get your retest sorted as soon as possible.

You can't 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. Else, you will need to have it towed or leave it where it is.


How to Book an MOT Retest

There is no official booking process for the MOT retest. Once the repairs are complete, the tester will complete the partial MOT retest. If you leave your car at the garage for the repairs, this process is much easier.

If you need to book an MOT, you can compare deals at garages near you and save up to 70% with BookMyGarage.


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What Is the MOT Retest Fee?

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


Leave Car at Original Garage and They Complete the Retest Within 10 Working Days

If you leave the car where it is, you will get a free MOT retest. The only expense is the bill for any repairs your vehicle needs.


Fix Certain Issues and Return to the Same Garage Within 1 Working Day

Your MOT retest is also free if you fail your MOT on one of the following items, fix the issue elsewhere and then return to the same test centre within 1 working day:  

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)


Take Your Vehicle Elsewhere and Then Return to the Original Garage Within 10 Working Days

You will be charged a partial MOT retest. This is half the full test fee. The maximum UK MOT price is £54.85, so the most a test centre can charge is £27.43.

However, many garages offer reduced MOT prices.

That means that you can save on your retest fee if you compare deals when you make a booking.


Take Your Vehicle Elsewhere and Return to the Original Garage After 10 Working Days

If you bring the vehicle back to the test station after 10 working days, you need a full retest. This means you must pay the full price again because the test centre can't guarantee that other elements are still in the condition they were at the original test.


Any Other Situation

You will need a full retest and have to pay the full fee again.


Can I Book an MOT Retest at a Different Garage?

No, you must have your MOT retest completed by the same garage that did the original test. While you can take your car away for repairs, another garage would charge you the full fee to issue the pass certificate. To take advantage of the reduced or free MOT retest fee, you should leave your car at the original garage for repairs.


When Do I Need an MOT Renewal?

Every UK vehicle registered more than three years ago requires an MOT once a year. You can find your expiry date on last year's MOT certificate or by entering your reg number into our FREE MOT Checker. You must book an MOT test and receive a pass certificate before this date.


MOT Renewal Rules

You can book an MOT test one year in advance of your expiry date. As well as this, you can book up to 1 month, minus a day, in advance to keep the same expiry date for next year. That gives you time to deal with any complications or failures thrown up by the MOT.