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Hi, hope someone can help me. My car failed its MOT (last Friday) on numerous things, the garage who carried out the MOT told me it would be £255 to fix the items and award me an MOT certificate:-

  • horns
  • offside front track rod end
  • offside rear brake pipe
  • nearside windscreen wiper
  • offside screen wiper
  • exhaust emits excessive level of metered smoke
  • service brake efficiency below requirements
  • parking brake below efficiency

I took the car home and returned it to the garage yesterday, only to be told that there had been a mistake and it needed more to the track rod end the originally thought and the bill would now be £300. I could not get the car back monday night as promised because they said the wrong part had been sent and that it would be today. I called four times only to be told that the wrong part was sent again. I finally got a call at 4:45pm to say the car is ready. The bill was £421.80. The bill was 2 brake pipes £150, the track rod end £144.50 and the horn £65 + VAT, no mention of the other items being fixed but an MOT awarded. I refused to pay and they have kept my vehicle.

The things that are bothering me is this:

  1. The track rod end is for the front of the car but I had the track rod end replaced in april by a qualified garage and have seen the proof of this.
  2. They replaced two brake pipes even though they said only one was leaking (wasn't leaking before it went into the garage)
  3. they have not did anything with the other faults
  4. They put VAT on the invoice, when I refused to pay, I asked for a copy of the invoice. The mechanic wrote it out again minus the VAT, when I queried this he said I could count it for myself!
  5. There is no VAT registration number on their invoice and by the shifty way they were acting, my guess is they are not VAT registered.
  6. I don't trust them and could pay up and leave the garage with a dangerous car.

What can I do about this ?

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A high quality track rod end would cost about a tenner from someone such as deamon tweeks, so you have been grossly overcharged.


We are looking at a miximum of 30 mins to change so that puts labour in excess of £200 per hour.


Go back and have a look at the car, they can't refuse this, and see if in fact those parts have been changed. Stick you head underneith to check that brake pipes are all shiney and new.


Have the wipers been renewed? probably as that is cheap and easy.


How was the braking efficiency brought up to the standard required?


You must demand an itemised bill listing all that was done including how they cured the excess smoke.


The parts were NOT wrongly supplied as they will have come from a local motor factors.


Get in touch with VOSA -



VOSA monitor the MOT Scheme on behalf of the public, to ensure standards are maintained throughout the UK. The public can report garages who they feel are not offering tests at appropriate standards, or who may be offering certificates which are not authentic (see Checking Certificate Authenticityexternal.gif for further information). If you feel your vehicle has wrongly passed or failed, you are advised to follow the procedure outlined in Appealing against an MOT Test decisionexternal.gif, or ring VOSA's national number (0870 60 60 440) to seek advice on how to proceed.



You have been seriously ripped off here so ring that number above tomorrow.


Vosa wont advise on the price of parts or labour, they are interested in the fairness and legality of the MoT test and do send inspectors in ordinary cars with known faults in for tests. They also sit outside in their cars and can drag a car that has just been tested back into the garage to check on the way the test has been carried out.

Edited by Conniff
Added info and typos
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Conniff is correct, if you believe the vehicle did not need the faults indicated in the MOT failure repaired, and or the repair has not been carried out correctly, you must contact VOSA immediately.


Track-rod ends, generally on the end of the steering rack and are the fixing point for the steering to the hubs (which carry the wheels, brakes etc) and can be used to adjust the tracking, usually two one on the left one on the right, the nearside tends to take more abuse due to pot holes, drains, kerbing, etc.

However the term is often applied to the same sort of joint that is used on many parts of the steering, especially when the vehicle has a steering box, which tends to have many more joints, these are generally found on larger vehicles, 4x4's for example.


You should have received a failure sheet with all the defects marked, some may have been failures, some may have just been notes (often marked as advised), but all should appear on the sheet, also the brake test failure, which should indicate how low, and which axle/s were at fault, and of course the emissions results.


I'm surprised at the horn, did you not know it wasn't working, a great deal of the basic requirements of the MOT can be checked easily by anyone prior to the test, lights, horn, washers, etc, a horn should cost a few quid, as for the track rod, that's the price for a steering rack.

Parts can be replaced but how did they manage to overcome the emission failure, and increase the braking efficiency.


VAT - If there are a couple of guys working in an MOT testing station which also offers repairs, I do not understand why they have not managed to reach the VAT threshold, unless they have just started.


Inform VOSA straight away, they are very easy to talk to, and tell the garage that you are or have.


Keep posting.


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Contacted VOSA and they said they couldn't help as the onus was on me to get the car check over once it comes out the garage and if the garage has not carried out the faults then it was a civil matter and nothing to do with them! I also contacted Trading Standards and they say without written proof - there was nothing I could do about it! The CAB said the garage was in breach of contract and perhaps also breach of law by carrying out work which was not called for. However they also put me back to trading standards who just said their orginal advice still stands - so have got nowhere!

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  • 2 weeks later...



Sorry for the delay in replying, for some reason I lost your thread.


I am really surprised at the response you have received from VOSA, I have always found them extremely helpful in this sort of case.


Have you manged to sort anything out so far.


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  • 4 months later...

Hi - sorry I haven't responded but just to let you know that I got my car back - no thanks to CAB or VOSA ot Trading Standards!! I went up and paid them the money they wanted, couldn't be without car any longer.

the car did not get half the work done to it as they claimed and charged for (go another garage to check their work)

have not done anything else about it as I can't be bothered banging my head off a brick wall.

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