Diesel drivers face huge £1,000 fine for having 'dangerous' cars refused from MOT tests

MOT test

Some diesel drivers could see their MOT test rejected

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 13/10/2023

- 10:09

Almost 800 drivers were rejected from having an MOT test because their vehicle was “too dangerous”

Motorists are being warned of alarming reasons of why they could be turned away from taking their vehicle for an MOT test.

Data suggests that more than 7,000 vehicles were designated as having an “MOT refusal”, rather than an MOT “fail”.

Thousands of drivers were rejected from having their cars tested before they could even be checked in the first half of this year.

A staggering 526 vehicles were turned away from testing garages because they were deemed “too dirty to examine”.

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A further 785 drivers were rejected on the grounds that the state of their vehicle was “too dangerous” for a proper test to be carried out.

This is rare and only happens when the vehicle poses a threat to the tester, the garage or the car itself.

In 302 cases, the car was not “fit to be driven” while 57 vehicles were refused entry to the MOT test station because they were too smoky.

The data was recovered from a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) between January and May this year.

Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing, said the data was a “shocking reminder” about the state of cars on UK roads.

He added: “Our research proves that not all vehicles are someone’s ‘pride and joy’ - and hundreds are seemingly neglected to the point of being downright dangerous.

“It’s one thing "for a car, van or motorcycle to fail an MOT, quite another to be in such a sorry state of disrepair and cleanliness that an inspection can’t be granted in the first place.

“The stats highlight the need to present your car to an MOT testing station in a clean and tidy condition.”

He urged motorists to make sure all doors can open and close, as well as to remove any rubbish or litter from their cars as this can be the cause for testers to refuse a test.

Drivers can also be prevented from receiving their MOT test if they cannot prove a solid maintenance history, as well as “suspect history” of a diesel engine.

Graham Conway added: “When a car is put through its MOT, the engine needs to be revved hard so that the tester can check for emissions and general roadworthiness.

“With a diesel engine, the car is often revved right to the redline limit. But if the tester suspects that your car hasn’t been well maintained, he or she will be reluctant to put it through the test in the first place, in case the testing process actually obliterates the engine.

“As well as evidence of service history, a tester might also ask for proof that the timing belt has been changed on time.”

The most common reason for vehicles being refused an MOT check was that the garage could not handle that type of vehicle, such as minibuses and ambulances.


MOT test

Drivers can face a £1,000 fine for not having the car in a roadworthy condition


Drivers who continue to drive without having a valid MOT test can be hit with a massive £1,000 fine.

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