Fleet News

Garages are using MOT changes to hold motorists to ransom, says MotorEasy

Fleet news logo

Changes to the way the MOT works are allowing some garages to 'hold motorists to ransom’, says vehicle ownership and maintenance specialist MotorEasy.

The new Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) rules mean that faults found during an MOT are classified as either dangerous, major or minor, with official guidance suggesting that major faults should be repaired immediately and that cars with dangerous faults should not be driven until the problem has been fixed.

MotorEasy says this could mean that some motorists who don’t fully understand their rights may feel trapped into getting repairs done at the workshop where the MOT was carried out. This misconception can also be used as leverage by garages to charge over the odds.

Garages have no power to stop motorists from driving their car away, regardless of the severity of the MOT failure.

Duncan McClure Fisher, founder of MotorEasy, said: "We would, naturally, never condone driving on public roads with a dangerous car and anyone who does so will still be risking a fine and penalty points if they are stopped by police.

“However, we have already seen examples of garages using an interpretation of the wording in the DVSA guidance to bullying motorists to get repairs done before leaving the premises, which they have no right to do.

“Unscrupulous businesses could not only make customers feel they’re unable to take their car away if it fails, but could also hold the customer to ransom over parts and labour prices as a result. After all, if you think you can’t drive the car away, you lose all your negotiation power.”

MotorEasy said that, although the changes to the MOT only came into effect on May 20, it has seen customers who have already been caught out.

Click here for service, maintenance & repair best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • maria.cole_spoortech.com - 05/06/2018 11:42

    This has been a topic of discussion lately! Many businesses with fleets of vehicles are confused and because of the way this has been worded, it leaves a very 'Grey Area' apparent. Even my elderly parents are worrying about it, which is actually a pretty poor show. This needs to be re-issued and clearer guidelines set for garages, businesses and the public. Everyones perception of most garages is that they are ripping them off already, so theres no need to add fuel to fire! Will be interesting to see if they do re-issue this rule with clarification.

  • john4870 - 07/06/2018 09:42

    This underlines how important it is to find a garage that you trust, and to stick with them. Look for trusted independent recommendations from friends, colleagues, neighbours - and not from a website that a garage pays to join.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee