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MOT test changes will affect EVERYONE: How it will affect you and what you NEED to DO


MOT test rules are changing in the UK from Sunday 20th May 2018

Tomorrow the come into force, which will affect every motorist on the road in the UK, in some way.

Firstly, owners of cars that are 40 years old or more will for the annual roadworthiness test, if the vehicle has not been heavily modified. 

From 20th May, owners of cars over 40 years old will simply have to declare on an annual basis that their car meets the rules for not needing an MOT.

Current law states that any car first registered after 1960 would have need to pass an MOT to be taken on the road.

This will mean that around half a million older cars on the road will no longer need to pass the test.

If a car has been significantly changed or modified then it will still require an annual service. 

drivers will be among the motorists to be most affected by the rule changes.

Stricter emissions checks are being introduced to clampdown on the amount of cars producing toxic emissions on the road.

The new rules apply to vehicles which has a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) fitted.

If the car’s exhaust produces smoke of any colour then the car will immediately fail the test will need to be fixed before it is driven again.

In addition to this, the MOT tester is also now required to find out if the DPF has been tampered with or removed.

If the tester does see signs of this then they will have to refuse testing the car until a legitimate reason, such as cleaning, and proof is produced.

In the UK it is illegal to drive a vehicle that has had its DPF removed and drivers caught without one could

One of the biggest changes is the introduction of three new categories which deem the severity of a fault.

These are Minor, Major and Dangerous.

Minor faults are similar to current advisory notices drivers receive under the current test rules. They refer to issues that mean the car can still pass its test, but will need to be fixed at a later date.

Both Major and Dangerous faults will result in an immediate failure.

car brake lightGETTY

Faulty lighting or blown brake lights are among some of the most common reasons for failure

Major faults will need to be fixed before the car can pass its test but the driver is permitted to drive the car away to another garage to have the work done.

Dangerous faults on the other hand must have the fault fixed at the garage it was tested and must not be driven on public roads until it is.

Drivers who flout this rule could land a £2,500 fine and three penalty points on their licence.

There will also be closer attention paid to steering systems, reversing lights and brake discs.

If the steering box appears to have a heavy leak or the reversing lights have blown bulbs or don’t work or the brake discs are “significantly and obviously worn” then the car will automatically fail.

Drivers of all cars should make checks to their brakes and lights ahead of the test as these are some of the most common faults that can lead to failure.

Car mechanic repairs brake discGETTY

Faulty brakes or suspension are also among the top reasons cars fail the MOT

Here is a list of the most common fails, according to the DVSA, which you should check ahead of the annual roadworthiness test:

The top ten reasons for car MOT fails are:

1. Lighting and signalling – 18.3 per cent

2. Suspension – 12.2 per cent

3. Brakes – 10 per cent

4. Tyres – 7.4 per cent

5. Driver’s View of the Road – 6.8 per cent

6. Fuel and Exhaust – 4 per cent

7. Steering – 2.6 per cent

8. Seat Belts – 1.9 per cent

9. Body and Structure – 1.3 per cent

10. Registration plates and VIN – 0.7 per cent


The full list of new checks is:​

– Reversing lights on vehicles first used from September 2009

– Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from March 2018

– Front fog lights on vehicles first used from March 2018

– Prop shafts

– Bumper security and condition

– Rear drive shafts on all vehicles

– Cab security

– Cab steps

– Floor condition

– Undertray security

– Noise suppression material

– Emission control equipment

– Engine malfunction indicator lamp

– Fluid leaks posing an environmental risk

Euro 6 vehicles must be fitted with diesel particulate filters but they may also be fitted on Euro 5 and Euro 4 vehicles if the manufacturer considered it necessary to meet emissions standards

Motorists should make sure that:

– Brakes work smoothly and that the vehicle doesn’t pull to one side

– Tyres are correctly inflated, have no cuts or bulges, and have at least the minimum amount of tread (1.6mm for cars and 1.0mm for motorcycles and vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats)

– Headlights and other lights work – give them a tap to check they’re not loose or damaged and show light of the correct colour

– Windscreen wipers and washers work

– The driver’s view of the road is clear of any obstruction, such as stickers, toys or air fresheners

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