New MOT laws. What you need to know.

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As most of you will already be aware the UK MOT will be changing. We have put together a comprehensive guide on what’s changing, when it comes in to force and what it means for you.  

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 is many changes such as new defect types, stricter rules for diesel car emissions, and some vehicles over 40 years old becoming exempt.

Below are 5 of the main changes. 


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

Dangerous - Direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on environment. This would be things such as Decats, DPF Removal, bald tyres ect. The advice would be not to drive the vehicle until it has been repaired.

Major - may affect the vehicles safety and put road users at risk or have an impact on environment. This could include the same as above and a up to the discression of the MOT tester. The car would still fail however and advice would be to repair immediately.

Minor - No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. With a minor the vehicle could still pass but would be advised to repair as soon as possible as it could become more serious in the future. 

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:Check your car’s handbook if you don’t know if your car has a DPF.

  • can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust
  • finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with
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3. Some new things will be included in the MOT

Daytime running lights will be checked on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018.

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.

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4. The MOT certificate will change

The current MOT test certificate (left) will change to a new style (right) to list the new types of defects.

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.

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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 (PDF, 62.8KB).

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 registeredonline.

Example

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.