The MOT test as we know it is changing

The way the MOT works in England, Scotland & Wales will be changing from Sunday 20th May 2018.

The changes will take effect immediately on the 20th May and will cover cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles. It is important that you understand these changes before your vehicle has it’s next MOT.

We can split the changes into 5 areas and these are as follows.

 

1. Defects to be categorised differently

The traditional MOT will either be a fail or a pass and may contain one or more advisories. Under the new MOT system the defects will be split into 3 possible categories;

  • Minor
  • Major
  • Dangerous

Like the old system, the category given to a defect will depend on the defect itself and how this impacts on the use of the vehicle (e.g. safety or emissions). MOT testers will determine the seriousness of a defect and assign it the correct category based on testing guidelines and experience. MOT testers will still be able to issue advisories as per the previous system.

Defect Description Result
Dangerous A direct or immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment

Do not drive the vehicle until the problem has been repaired

Fail
Major It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment.

Repair it immediately.

Fail
Minor No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.

Repair as soon as possible.

Pass
Advisory It could become more serious in the future.

Monitor and repair it if necessary.

Pass
Pass It meets the minimum legal standard.Make sure it continues to meet the standard. Pass

 

2. Stricter rules for diesels and their emissions

Modern diesels are fitted with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) that captures and stores soot from the cars exhaust system to reduce emissions.

You will receive a major defect if the MOT tester notices:

  • visible smoke (of any colour) from the vehicle exhaust
  • can see any evidence of the DPF being tampered with

 

3. New items included in the MOT test

There will be some new additions to the MOT test from 20th May, these will include;

  • Obvious under-inflation of tyres
  • Contamination of the brake fluid
  • Any fluid leaks that pose a risk to the environment
  • Brake pad warning lights (inc missing pads &/or discs)
  • Reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009
  • Headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009 (if fitted)
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL’s) on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018 (if fitted)

There are some additional changes and tweaks to existing defect checks, these can be explained by speaking to an MOT tester or representative at the testing station.

 

4. The MOT certificate look and feel

The core design of the MOT certificate will change, this will make it easier to understand the defect and which category it falls within. The online MOT History Check will also change to reflect the new layout.

MOT Certificate

 

5. More vehicles will be exempt from the MOT test

Currently, vehicles built before 1960 are except from the MOT test. As of 20th May, cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles will no longer require an MOT if they are over 40 years old and have not been substantially changed or modified.

From the 20th May on wards, vehicles will no longer need an MOT once they reach their 40th anniversary. For example a car first registered on 24th May 1978 will no longer require an MOT from 24th May 2018.

You do not need to apply to stop getting an MOT but you will need to declare the vehicle meets the MOT exemption when applying for vehicle tax (even if you do not pay for tax)

 

What won’t change

Many other MOT aspects will remain the same, importantly the following

  • A vehicle will not require an MOT for the first 3 years (not the 4 as rumoured)
  • The maximum fee for an MOT will remain unchanged
  • You will be able to get your MOT 1 month before it expires.