Expert tips on how to appeal a failed MOT – from complaints to retests

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Luckily for drivers, there are ways to appeal the test result in case of failure. With that in mind, Dorry Potter, an expert at National Scrap Car, has provided drivers with advice on what to do if they think their cars failed an MOT unfairly. 

The expert stressed that there are a couple of instances in which motorists can appeal an MOT result with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). 

These include when motorists believe they should have passed but failed, and when drivers passed but believe they should have failed. 

However, before taking any action and making an appeal with the DVSA, motorists should speak to the garage that carried out the test. 

Ms Potter advised that contacting the MOT test centre first will allow drivers to sort out any miscommunication that might have occurred. 

Nonetheless, if motorists are still unhappy after contacting their garage and choose to file an appeal, there are several things they should do to make sure that the request is successful. 

Keeping the car in the same condition

Drivers should not make any repairs or changes to their vehicles if they wish to make an appeal after a failed MOT. 

Ms Potter stressed that the car must be in precisely the same conditions as when it was undergoing the test. 

The appeal will be rejected if drivers make any modifications to the car’s original MOT condition. 

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Keeping the VT30 refusal certificate 

Every driver whose car fails an MOT will be given a VT30 refusal. The certificate will explain why a car failed the MOT and what needs to be repaired. 

However, to make an appeal or to retest drivers must keep hold of the document. 

Filling out a complaint form 

Anyone who wishes to make an appeal must fill out a VT17 complaint form and send it to the DVSA. 

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Drivers should add as much detail as possible when filling out the form. 

This includes providing photo evidence and adding any technical information that the DVSA must be aware of. 

Ms Potter advised that motorists also “reference any relevant sections of the categorisation of defects documents and the guide to maintaining roadworthiness”.

The completed form must be sent to the DVSA within 14 days of the original MOT date. This can be done via email ([email protected]) or by post (DVSA, The EllipsePadley Road, Swansea, SA1 8AN). 

After sending the form, drivers should receive an invitation to an MOT retest appointment within five days. 

The last thing then left to do is arrange a new date. However, this will only be the case if the DVSA deems a retest necessary. 

Ms Potter also warned that appealing an MOT does come with an extra cost but drivers will receive a full or a partial refund if their appeal is successful. 

The expert also reminded motorists that driving without an MOT is illegal and could result in fines of up to £1,000 and invalidated insurance. 

The only time drivers are permitted to use their cars without a valid MOT is to get to a testing centre to get an MOT.  

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