Could your van be held to ransom because of this loophole in the new MOT rules?

In April, we reported on new rules that could lead to a £2,500 fine for driving your van – even if your MOT’s still in date.

These rules were introduced in May, but a loophole’s been uncovered that allows the garage to trap a tradesperson’s vehicle if it ends up needing repairs.

What are the new rules?

Before 20 May, if your van was roadworthy and its previous MOT was in date, you could still drive it after failing a new test. This let drivers get repairs and retests before the existing MOT expired.

But under the new rules, if your vehicle fails its MOT it could be classified as having a ‘dangerous’ defect. If it’s slapped into that category it fails automatically – and you could be hit with a hefty £2,500 fine if you drive it away.

As well as that, if a vehicle fails, its information will also be uploaded to a database that the police can check if they suspect a car or van is dangerous.

Drivers ‘stranded at MOT stations’

We mentioned in April that in this situation, you might have little choice but to leave your van in for repair.

Now, The Express is reporting that some dishonest garages might be forcing drivers to pay inflated fees to get their van fixed and roadworthy.

They quote website, who say: “there are horror stories of motorists being stranded at MOT stations, but your vehicle is your responsibility and not theirs.”

What can tradespeople do?

Garages don’t have the legal ability to prevent your vehicle from being driven away. So, even if you find yourself ‘stranded’, you can still research other garages to see if they have more favourable deals.

While driving your van yourself is illegal, says that other garages could come and tow your vehicle to their premises for repair.

It’s also a good idea to research your options before you need to take your van in for an MOT. Think about what might happen in the event of failure and find out what the garage could charge. This way, you can plan ahead and shop around for the best deal.

Let us know your experiences of the new MOT rules in the comments below.

Are you protecting your trade?

As the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored tradesman insurance quote?

Start your quote