What you need to know about the MOT Test Changes

21st May 2018
MOT Test Changes

There are big MOT changes due to come into force from the 20th May 2018. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says that these are being introduced in order to improve both road safety and our air quality.

With over 300 million MOTs being carried out in the UK annually, the DVSA is urging drivers to make themselves familiar with these new changes in order to ensure that their vehicles pass their MOTs going forward. Here are some of the changes coming in May that motorists need to be aware of.

There will be some new checks made during MOT testing. These include checking warning lights on brake pads, whether brake pads or discs are missing, if tyres are obviously underinflated, whether the brake fluid has been contaminated and whether there are fluid leaks that could pose a risk to the environment. Reversing lights on vehicles and headlight washers (if they have them) on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009 will also be checked, as well as daytime running lights and front fog lights on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018. (Vehicles over forty years old that haven’t been substantially changed will be exempt from the MOT test.)

MOT Defect categories

Defect categories are going to be divided into the following classes: Dangerous, Major and Minor. These are much tougher defect categories and are intended to protect the public from vehicles that are unsafe.

Minor defects won’t cause a car to fail its MOT, however motorists should get the defects repaired in order to keep their vehicle roadworthy.

Any defects that are identified as Dangerous or Major will mean that the vehicle fails its MOT. If the defect is categorised as Dangerous then the driver won’t be allowed to drive the vehicle away from the MOT testing station. It is therefore important to book a new MOT in with enough time to rectify any issues before expiry.

The changes also mean that the MOT failure documents and certificate will be clearer and show these new defect categories.

MOT Test emissions changes

There are also going to be stricter limits for smoke on diesel vehicles. This is intended to help improve air quality generally. Vehicles fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) will immediately fail their MOT if it has been removed or there is any evidence that the DPF has been tampered with. Testers will need to see proof that any work carried out on the DPF is legitimate (e.g. a receipt for the work from the garage that did it). Diesel vehicles will also fail if there is any smoke coming out of the exhaust.

MOT reminder service

To help the 28% of motorists who turn up late for their MOT test, the DVSA is providing a free service to send reminders to vehicle owners four weeks before the next MOT is due. Over six hundred thousand drivers have signed up for this service since its launch in November last year.

As well as these changes, the DVSA says that drivers should be carrying out simple vehicle checks year round in order to be safe and responsible.