Emma Shepherd’s distinctive VW Golf was stolen from Halfords’ Rochdale Autocentre, while it had its MOT test.

Emma has expected a call to say her £11,000 Golf had passed its MOT late in February.

Instead, the medical worker answered the phone to be told that her personalised car had been stolen from the MOT test centre.

Emma was left in a state of disbelief after she was told that the keys were left in the ignition as the car was stolen.

Emma told the Manchester Evening News: “It was stolen off the MOT test bay whilst in their possession and they have got no CCTV. It is quite shocking.

“I am just really shocked and thought it was all a joke at first. I dropped it off for an MOT and now it’s been stolen. I just cannot believe it.”

She continued: “Apparently the person came into the test centre and into a work yard, pushed a mechanic out of the way then jumped into the car and nearly ran him over as he stole the car. The police have been in touch and I have given them an account. Apparently a mechanic was injured too.

“I have been told it was having its MOT at the time and the keys were in the car because they were testing emissions.”

Emma, who works at Salford Royal, also lost her son’s pram and car seat, as well as an iPod, CDs and prescription sunglasses, all of which were in the car when it was stolen.

Emma has written to Halford’s chief executive after pre-paying £30 for the MOT.

The white Golf, which has the personalised number plate X666 ECS has still not been recovered.

Halfords MOT criticism

Social media users poured scorn on Halfords MOT test centres, and not just because the car was stolen on their watch.

Research shows that independent garages like Duffy Motors are, on average, 18% cheaper than large franchised garages and main dealers. Customers also tend to be happier with the service they get from smaller independents.

Image credit: Halfords Autocentre – Nuthall Road cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Anthony Parkes – geograph.org.uk/p/3725562