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You’re Not a Failure: Appeal Against MOT Test Results

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Little do the public know that you can actually appeal against MOT tests results. Whether it passed but subsequently you’ve found issues or it failed for an invalid reason, every car owner has the right to disagree if they have good reason to believe otherwise.

It’s basic trading standards and just because the VT20 pass or VT30 refusal certificates are official documents, it certainly doesn’t mean their findings are written in stone. Let’s offer you a prime example: car parking fines. When you receive a car parking fine from the council and you feel you’ve been wrongly accused, what do you do? Naturally appeal. In a roundabout way, this is a similar situation. So, if you have recently had your vehicle tested and you are adamant the results are incorrect, simply do something about it. Today.

All complaints must be reported to VOSA (DVSA as of 1st April 2014) as soon as possible. Also, dependent on whether you are appealing against a pass or a fail, your claim will be handled differently…


My vehicle passed its MOT but I’ve since had issues.

Did your vehicle have new parts fitted by the garage to pass the MOT? But have you since noticed they have started to corrode? Are faulty? Incorrectly fitted? Or even worse, you have noticed a component that shouldn’t have passed the MOT? If you have answered yes to any of these, you’re eligible to appeal and should contact VOSA immediately.

For any corrosion-related issues, each customer has up to 3 months to file the complaint, anything else (e.g. faulty parts) and it is within 28 days.

Providing you are within the 28 day or 3 month notice period, appealing against a pass is free; meaning you have nothing to lose. Once logged, your vehicle will be re-tested within 5 working days and you will again receive a full inspection along with a report on all the defects and advisory items.


My car shouldn’t have failed its MOT.

If your vehicle received a number of fails on the MOT, but upon inspection you feel these have been unfairly judged you can argue against the result by appealing to the governing agency, VOSA, within 14 days.

Unlike appealing against a pass, you will have to pay a fee which usually costs around the same amount as your initial MOT test. However, the fee from all successful appeals will be reimbursed back into the claimant’s pocket.

Be aware that VOSA will not accept an appeal against items which can easily be replaced (i.e. tyres, lights, windscreen wipers). Why? It’s difficult for VOSA to judge whether these particular items have since been switched, resulting in a false claim.

Likewise, do not replace any of the components you’re appealing against. At least not until your appeal has been resolved. If you do have the work carried out beforehand your appeal will be annulled and you therefore cannot take the matter further.


What happens now?

Once all has been resolved, it is now up to VOSA to issue the correct penalties for the test centre. Obviously dependent on the initial accusation, along with any previous records, this could be anything ranging from penalty point (aka. a slap on the wrist!) to their MOT license being revoked.

Finally, it is worth noting VOSA are not able to hand out compensation for the damage an incorrect pass may have caused. This is a separate issue you need to take up with Trading Standards.


All instructions on how to make an appeal and contact VOSA can be found on the back of your VT20 pass or VT30 failure certificate.

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