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MOT changes coming in on 20th May 2018

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MOT changes coming in on 20th May 2018

The MOT test will change on 20 May 2018, with new defect types, stricter rules for diesel car emissions, and some vehicles over 40 years old becoming exempt.

  • The way that the MOT test works in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Sunday 20 May 2018.

    The changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles.

    There are 5 main changes you need to know:

    1. Defects will be categorised differently

    Defects found during the MOT will be categorised as either:

    • dangerous
    • major
    • minor

    The category the MOT tester gives each item will depend on the type of problem and how serious it is.

    MOT testers will still give advice about items you need to monitor. These are known as ‘advisories’.

    What the new categories mean:

    Item Result What it means abou the item How it affects your MOT result

    A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment.

    Do not drive the vehicle until it's been repaired


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

    Repair it immediately


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

    Repair as soon as possible


    It could become more serious in the future

    Monitor and repair it if necessary


    It meets the minimum legal standard.

    Make sure it continues to meet the standard


    2. Stricter rules for diesel car emissions

    There will be stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

    A DPF captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce emissions from diesel cars.

    Your vehicle will get a major fault if the MOT tester:

    • can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust
    • finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with

    3. Some new things will be included in the MOT

    Some new items will be tested during the MOT.

    They include checking:

    • if tyres are obviously underinflated
    • if the brake fluid has been contaminated
    • for fluid leaks posing an environmental risk
    • brake pad warning lights and if brake pads or discs are missing
    • reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
    • headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009 (if they have them)
    • daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018 (most of these vehicles will have their first MOT in 2021 when they’re 3 years old)
    • There will be other smaller changes to how some items are checked. Your MOT centre will be able to tell you about these.

    4. The MOT certificate will change

    The design of the MOT certificate will change.

    It will list any defects under the new categories, so they’re clear and easy to understand.

    The service to check the MOT history of a vehicle will be updated to reflect the changes.

    5. Some vehicles over 40 years old won’t need an MOT

    Cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles won’t need to have an MOT if they’re over 40 years old and have not been substantially changed.

    At the moment, only vehicles first built before 1960 are exempt from needing an MOT.

    When the rules change on 20 May 2018, vehicles won’t need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered. You can check the date the vehicle was registered online.

    If a car was first registered on 31 May 1978, it won’t need an MOT from 31 May 2018.  You won’t have to apply to stop getting an MOT for your vehicle.

    However, each time you tax your historic vehicle (even if you don’t pay a fee), you’ll have to declare it meets the rules for not needing an MOT.


    Please note you could be fined up to £1000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

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Article by
Picador PLC
4 years ago