What Car? Q&A - Can my garage refuse to do an MoT?

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Q: Can a garage refuse to carry out an MoT and still charge me full price for the test? I put my car in for the annual test, but the garage refused to do the MoT because of an oil leak.

They gave me a red VT30 (fail) certificate, stating that an examination of the car would risk injury to someone or damage to the vehicle.

They charged me for the test, too, even though they didn't carry it out. Are they within their rights to do so?
Kerry Jarrett


A: A vehicle testing station (VTS) is within its rights to refuse to carry out an MoT.

If they decide they can't reasonably examine your car through no fault of theirs, then 'an appropriate fee may be charged'.

However, this is where things become a bit unclear, because VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) guidelines don't actually indicate what an 'appropriate fee' might be.

It makes sense that if the garage were halfway through the test when they noticed the problem, you would be charged 50% of the full price, but that relies entirely on the garage's discretion.

The only fixed guideline related to the charge is that it must not exceed the maximum listed on the 'fees poster' (available at www.vosa.gov.uk).

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