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MOT changes coming in May

Added: 10 April 2018

In just over a month’s time, there will be some major changes to the UK MOT test.

Last month, the DVSA announced its plans to shake up the MOT test. From 20th May 2018, the MOT test will have much stricter rules - making it harder than ever to pass for some cars.

The new MOT changes

Much like the new driving theory test, the changes to the MOT test are being introduced in an effort to increase road safety across the UK. Some rules also aim to reduce air pollution caused by traffic and remove the most polluting cars from our roads.

Whether your car is due for its MOT soon or not, all UK car owners will want to know what changes they can expect in their next MOT test. Here’s a breakdown of the new changes coming into effect next month.

Three new defect categories

One of the biggest changes to the MOT test is how faults are classified. From May 2018, all faults will be classified in one of three categories: dangerous, major and minor.

While dangerous and major faults will mean an immediate fail, minors faults have no significant effect on safety and cars identified as having minor faults will still be able to pass the roadworthiness test. The fault will be marked on the MOT certificate and should be addressed as soon as possible. Drivers must record all dangerous, major and minor defects or risk facing disciplinary action.

Of all the changes to the MOT test, the new minor defect category is possibly the most significant. It means the test will no longer be black and white with clear pass and fail criteria.

New diesel emission tests

The new MOT test will have much stricter rules for diesel owners.

Emissions tests get tougher in an attempt to cut down on pollution. If the car’s DPF (diesel particulate filter) emits any visible smoke, it will automatically be given a major fault - and fail its MOT test - from May 20th.

Diesel cars will also be given a major fault if there is any evidence that the DPF has been tampered with. The only exception to this is if the owner can prove that it was for a legitimate reason, such as after cleaning the filter.

New safety checks

A number of extra safety checks are being introduced as part of the new MOT test. These changes are more about tightening the current safety checks than adding new ones, and include 14 additional checks in total. They will include the inspection of reverse lights and checking brake discs for significant or obvious wear.

What’s not changing?

Although the number of criteria your car will need to pass in the MOT test is increasing, the frequency of the tests won’t. Government plans to move the due date of a car’s first MOT test back a year have been scrapped, meaning it will still take place on the car’s third anniversary.

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