Sell your MOT failure

As cars get older, there is an increased chance that they will fail their next MOT and, as motorists, this is something we all dread. Nobody looks forward to that terrible sinking feeling when you receive an MOT failure notice proving your car’s unworthiness. Whether it is down to everyday wear and tear or a more substantial issue that has stopped your motor from being a runner, you still have to decide whether to fix the issue – or sell your car and upgrade to a newer model.

Selling a car that has failed its MOT may initially seem daunting, but if you take the time to research the market and choose the optimal selling method for your circumstances, you should be able to secure a fair price for your car.

In this guide, we will explain the various options available when it comes to selling an MOT failure, along with the benefits and drawbacks around selling an MOT-less car. Whether you ultimately decide to sell to a trusted car buyer, a private buyer - or a dealership, our guide will tell you everything you need to know to make an informed choice.

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How do I sell an MOT failure?

When selling an MOT failure car, you can advertise the vehicle on car selling websites, online marketplaces and in automotive magazines, just as you would with a roadworthy vehicle. However, you should be fully transparent about the car’s MOT status in your adverts (and when discussing the vehicle with any interested parties).

Remember, so long as your car does not have a valid MOT, neither you, nor any viewers are legally permitted to drive it on a public road.

  • Selling privately

    You are entitled to sell your MOT failure on the private market – just remember to disclose its MOT status and do not allow viewers to test drive it. The next owner of your car will need to arrange for it to be transported at the point of sale, as it cannot be driven without an MOT.

    If your aim is to get the best possible price for your car, consider having the vehicle professionally cleaned, repaired and MOT certified. For more tips and insights, check out our guide on ‘How to sell your car privately’.

  • Selling to a car dealer

    It is legal for car dealers to buy and sell MOT-less cars. However, many will not, as the costs associated with bringing an MOT failure to roadworthy condition are often unclear. As such, if a car dealer agrees to buy your MOT failure, they will typically make a low offer.

  • Selling to a car buying service

    Many car buying services purchase MOT-less cars. Here at webuyanycar, we will be happy to buy your MOT failure, so long as you are able to provide a few key documents, such as the V5C logbook. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for a comprehensive list of what you’ll need to sell your car with us.

    Please note, as we do not offer a collection service, you will need to arrange for your car to be transported to your local branch in time for your appointment with us.

  • Scrapping an MOT failure

    You can scrap your MOT failure through many car buying services, including webuyanycar. Alternatively, you can arrange for it to be scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to arrange for the car to be transported, as it cannot be driven.

Can you part exchange an MOT failure car?

Yes, it is possible to part exchange a car without a valid MOT. With that said, the trade-in value would likely be significantly reduced compared to that of a similar, roadworthy vehicle.

What are the advantages of selling a car without an MOT?

After selling your MOT-less car, you won’t have to worry about expensive repairs and whether the vehicle will pass its next MOT. Although buyers’ offers will be less than they would if the vehicle was roadworthy, you’ll be able to put the proceeds of the sale towards your next car.

Disadvantages of selling a car without an MOT

It can be difficult to sell an MOT failure on the private market, as buyers will have to arrange transport for the vehicle when it is sold. You should factor in this inconvenience when setting your asking price.

Having your car restored to roadworthy condition and then getting it MOT certified can increase its market value, although it is not always financially viable to do so.

If you have just failed your MOT and are thinking of selling, consider getting an MOT retest before selling.

Frequently asked questions

You can check the history of any UK-registered car with our free car history check tool. Simply enter your vehicle’s registration number and we will provide you with a detailed MOT history. This includes details of all recorded MOT tests and their outcomes, along with any defects, advisory notices – and the expiry date of the latest MOT.

If your car has failed its MOT, you are only permitted to drive it to a pre-booked repair or MOT appointment (providing the vehicle has no serious faults). You cannot drive an MOT failure on the road for any other reason, including taking it to a private buyer, car dealer or trader.

Related: Can I drive my car if it fails its MOT?

If you need to take an MOT-less vehicle anywhere other than to a MOT test or repair garage, you cannot legally drive it. Instead, you should arrange for the vehicle to be secured on a loader trailer for transit.

Yes, it is perfectly legal for a car dealer to sell a car without a valid MOT certificate, but they must be fully transparent about the vehicle’s status. However, it is not technically a requirement for sellers to disclose MOT advisories, so if you’re considering buying a used car, check out its history.