MOT test changes 2018 – What you need to know

MOT Test
Posted Posted on Categories Days Fleet

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

The changes to the MOT test applies to those undertaken in England, Scotland and Wales.

Changes in Defect Categories

Defects found during the MOT of cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles are now categorised. These categories are Dangerous, Major and Minor.

Major and Dangerous defects will cause the vehicle to automatically fail the test with Minor faults being shown on the MOT certificates as passed “with defects” this category being created to urge owners to affect a “repair as soon as possible”.

Category Table

Item Result  What it means How it will affect your MOT
Dangerous 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. Fail
Major It may affect vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment.  Repair it immediately Fail
Minor No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.  Repair as soon as possible. Pass
Advisory It could become more serious in the future.  Monitor and repair if necessary Pass
Pass It meets the minimum legal standard.  Make sure it continues to meet the standard. Pass

Stricter rules for diesel car emissions

Diesel vehicles will face stricter limits on emissions with vehicles with a diesel particulate filter.  A diesel particulate filter (or DPF) is a device designed to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine.

Vehicles will receive a “major” fault and fail their MOT if the MOT tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust or finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with, under the new rules, MOT testers must refuse to test any car where the “DPF canister has clearly been cut open and re-welded” unless the owner “can show evidence that there was a valid reason to cut it open, such as for filter cleaning.

Some new things are included in the MOT

Some new items are 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 are other smaller changes to how some items are checked. Your MOT centre will be able to tell you about these.

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.

Until now, only vehicles first built before 1960 were exempt from needing an MOT.

Now the rules have changed, vehicles won’t need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered or manufactured.