MOT test changes 2018: what are they and how could they affect you?

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. There are 5 main changes coming into force, and here's what you need to know.

MOT test changes 2018: what are they and how could they affect you?

1. Defects will be categorised differently

Defects found during the MOT will be categorised as either: dangerous, major and minor.

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

Major and Dangerous issues will result in an automatic MOT failure. Cars with Minor defects will be allowed to pass the test, but faults will be recorded on the car's MOT certificate and online MOT record, just as advisories are today.

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, and finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

3. New items will be tested in the MOT

The new items that will be tested will 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

MOT test changes 2018: what are they and how could they affect you?

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

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.

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.

The DVSA's chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said

“I’d urge all motorists to familiarise themselves with the new items that will be included in the test so that they can avoid their vehicle failing its MOT. To be safe and responsible motorists should also carry out simple vehicle checks all year round.”

Do you think the new MOT changes will improve road safety?

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