Advice has been issued after drivers are reporting being ‘trapped’ at the car garage after failing an MOT.

The new MOT grading system, which came into force in May, can mean that motorists are unable to drive their car away if a defect is found by the garage.

It has resulted in many motorists thinking they have to have their vehicle fixed there and then, reports Bristol Live .

Faults are now rated in three categories; dangerous, major, and minor.

And while cars with ‘minor’ defects will be allowed to pass, those that fall into the ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ categories are now subject to an automatic fail. The motorist is also not legally allowed to drive away.

Worried this could happen to you? Here’s the guidance.

Garages have no power to stop you driving away

Despite the new MOT changes, the law states that garages have no power to stop motorists from driving their car away, regardless of the severity of the MOT failure.

Motorists don’t have to have their vehicle fixed by the garage that did their MOT, and are fully within their rights to shop around for the best deal.

If a dangerous or major defect is detected, motorists are still able to have their car towed to a different garage if they find a cheaper price and the garage has no legal right to stop them – but it would be illegal to drive the vehicle risking a £2,500 fine, points and a potential ban.

A mechanic at work (Image: PA)

A spokesman for firm Scrapcarcomparison.co.uk said do your homework so you know what to do in the event of an MOT failure.

“Garages are unable to prevent motorists from taking their car away,” he said.

“Do your research before your MOT so that you can plan for a failure and what you will do.

“Good research will find you a good garage that can advise you and look after you. There are horror stories of motorists being stranded at MOT stations but your vehicle is your responsibility and not theirs.

“A different repair garage can even collect your car for you and repair it, so it makes sense to shop around and not be held to ransom.”

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