MOT Retest

MOT retests are tests for vehicles which have failed to meet specific requirements for a full MOT test in the United Kingdom.

Retests will focus solely on the areas the car failed on. Therefore they are not as extensive as the original MOT test. This means that retests are either free, or considerably cheaper, than paying for an MOT.

There are however, very strict criteria which must be met when it comes to MOT retesting. Your MOT centre will be able to give you advice on all matters concerning the MOT.


You are eligible for an MOT retest if you meet certain criteria, as defined by the government. If your vehicle fails the MOT test, you can take three courses of action to obtain a free, or reduced cost, MOT retest:

  1. Leave your vehicle at the test centre. If the repairs are made within a 10 day window, the MOT retest will be free of charge.
  2. Take your vehicle from the test centre, but return the vehicle by the end of the following working day. Vehicles must be returned to the same test centre that performed the failed MOT test to be eligible for a free retest.  Only certain failures are eligible including:
    • access panels
    • battery
    • bonnet
    • bootlid
    • brake pedal antislip
    • break glass hammer (Class 5 vehicles only)
    • doors (including hinges, catches and pillars)
    • door open warning device (Class 5 vehicles only)
    • dropsides
    • electrical wiring
    • emergency exits and signs (Class 5 vehicles only)
    • entrance door remote control (Class 5 vehicles only)
    • entrance/exit steps (Class 5 vehicles only)
    • fuel filler cap
    • headlamp cleaning or levelling devices (that doesn’t need a headlamp aim check)
    • horn
    • lamps (excluding headlamp aim)
    • loading doorCar having an MOT retest
    • main beam ‘tell-tale’
    • mirrors
    • rear reflectors
    • registration plates
    • seatbelts (but not anchorages)
    • seatbelt load limiter
    • seatbelt pre-tensioner
    • seats
    • vehicle identification number (VIN)
    • sharp edges or projections
    • stairs (Class 5 vehicles only)
    • steering wheel
    • tailboard
    • tailgate
    • trailer electrical sockets
    • towbars (excluding body around anchorage points)
    • tyre pressure monitoring system
    • windscreen and glass
    • windscreen wipers
    • windscreen washers
    • wheels and tyres (excluding motorbikes and motorbikes with sidecar)
  3. Remove your vehicle from the test centre, but return to the same test centre within 10 working days of the original failed MOT test. In this case, a partial retest fee may be charged by the test centre.


Vehicles which fail to meet one of these three criteria will have to be fully tested again, incurring the full MOT fee. All motorists should be aware of the legal obligations of vehicles that have failed an MOT. All vehicles which do not have a valid MOT test may not be used on the road.  The only exceptions being vehicles returning from, or going to, a test centre for an MOT test or retest.

MOT Retest Process

Vehicle owners should be aware that only one retest may be taken per full MOT.  This means that all repairs must be conducted before a retest is organised with the test centre.

If a vehicle fails a retest, it must undergo a full MOT test again. All fees are mandated by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency.  The DVSA oversee the cost of MOT tests and MOT retests charged by test centres in Britain.

An up to date list of the areas for which no fee is charged for conducting a retest (provided one of the above qualifying three criteria are met), is available on the Government website. It can also be provided by the MOT test centre upon asking. The items cover all aspects of the vehicle from moving parts to the registration plate.

Category: MOT Information