Failed your WoF due to rust? Here’s what to do

A warrant of fitness test is a regular check to ensure that vehicles meet a minimum safety standard. A number of things can cause a vehicle to fail, but today we’ll be talking at rust specifically.

What should you do if your vehicle fails a WoF due to rust? 

As a starting point, it all depends on how much rust there is, and where it is. The milder the rust, the more comprehensive your options will be. Let’s use that as a launching point…



Understanding Rust

Rust starts as a blemish on the metal of a car. Whether on the body or the inner workings, light rust is nothing more than an eyesore and does not impact performance. 

The trouble is, if left unchecked, this surface rust can become worse and start eating into the car’s metal, causing parts to become brittle and eventually fail. There’s no telling when rust will go from being unsightly to deadly.

As such, your car may fail its WoF test if it has too much surface rust that threatens a vital component or an incidence of heavy rust. What should you do next?



READ: When To Change Your Tyres – Basic Grooming Tips

Considering the problem 

The first step in any problem-solving process is to identify and fully understand the issue. The WoF inspector will indicate the issue to you, but this isn’t enough. You need to consider the depth of the problem. 

Check the rust and try to determine how bad it is. Surface rust will be the easiest to solve, as it can simply be removed. You could even do this yourself.

If there is deep rust, however, you’ll need to present a panel beater’s report at the next test to say the issue has been taken care of… Plus, the rust may have already damaged a vital mechanism, and if so, that too will need to be taken care of.

Solving the problem

Solving the problem will either require a DIY approach or necessitate you to take your car into a panel beater. While the DIY approach may be alluring, don’t be fooled. It might be cheaper in the short term, but there’s a high chance you’ll miss something and fail yet again, costing you another $250.

It’s also likely a panel beater won’t provide a report if they didn’t do the work themselves. A panel beater can’t be sure of the quality of the work by simply looking at it. 

As such, it’s highly recommended that you take your car to a panel beater when you fail a WoF due to rust. The panel beater will be able to take care of the issue thoroughly and any related issues, provide their report and advise on how to preserve the car going forward.


WoF tests might be troublesome, but they exist for everyone’s safety, so passing them isn’t merely a formality but a responsibility.

Don’t leave anything to chance. If you fail a WoF test, take your vehicle into a panel beater and get the issues sorted out by professionals.