What happens if your car fails an emissions test

Failing an emissions test

Vehicle emissions testing represents a fundamental component of all MOT tests, and can often be a cause for the failure to secure a certificate. In such an instance, you will be unable to legally operate your vehicle on UK roads, and remedying the issue is of the highest importance. But what is the process for getting your vehicle back in peak performance following a failed emissions test? We take a look at the key steps to getting you back on the road.

1. Identify the issue

The obvious first step to take when your vehicle has failed its car emissions test is to identify the exact nature of the cause. Often , the garage at which you’ve had your car tested will be able to help you pinpoint the precise problem, and can provide an estimate of the associated costs for restoring your emissions to the required standard.

2. Fix the problem or wait?

Depending on the nature of the problem, you may be able to agree to this initial quotation and proceed with the necessary maintenance work. However, there will always be instances where the complexities of the work lead to repair costs that are beyond your budget. You may choose to then delay the work until you’re able to afford it; in such an instance, you should notify the DVLA and apply for a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) certificate. You will be unable to drive the vehicle on public roads and the car should be kept on private land.

3. Consider your options

If you are weighing up whether or not to invest in the repairs for your model - which can run into the hundreds - it’s worth considering your options. More often than not, those vehicles that fail emissions tests are older in age, and thus of lesser value. You may find that investing in a new or used car represents better value for money than costly repairs, so shop around to see whether your money would be better spent elsewhere.

4. Retest

For those looking to simply pay for the repair work, you will need to re-submit your vehicle for a second emissions/MOT test. Often, the second MOT test will be free of charge, but check with your garage for full details.

5. What happens if you fail emissions test twice?

In the unlikely - and unfortunate - event that your vehicle fails a second emissions test, it may well be a case that you need to part with your vehicle and invest in a newer model. Overhauling your engine to identify the issue following a second test may well run into the thousands of pounds for labour, so taking into consideration the associated cost is essential.

At Carwise in Dunstable, Harlow, and Maidstone, our teams of experienced mechanics and vehicle technicians will be able to provide you with competitive quotes for any maintenance work required. Alternatively, if you’re in the market for a quality used vehicles that guarantees performance and exceptional value for money, visit our dealershipstoday to test drive an array of models.