MOT tests were changed back in May 2018 to help improve vehicle technology and maintenance in response to an EU roadworthiness directive. This directive aims to reduce road fatalities and lessen the impact of vehicle emissions upon the environment.
However, recent data from the RAC has found that over half of UK drivers surveyed were unaware of these changes, leading to confusion for motorists come MOT time.
We’ve provided an overview of the key MOT test changes below:
The most significant MOT change relates to the introduction of new defect categories, requiring more rigorous checks to specific parts of a vehicle:
- Pass – meets the minimum legal standard (PASS)
- Advisory – could become more serious in the future (PASS)
- Minor – no significant effect on vehicle safety or the environment, although repair is recommended as soon as possible (PASS)
- Major – repair should occur immediately as issue may affect vehicle safety, fellow road users or the environment (FAIL)
- Dangerous – it is prohibited to drive the vehicle until the issue is resolved as there is an immediate risk to road safety and/or the environment (FAIL)
Stricter emissions tests have also been introduced for diesel vehicles (fitted with a DPF) to limit the negative impact upon the environment and clamp down on vehicles emitting toxic smoke on UK roads. A major fault will be given by a MOT tester if either / both of the following are evident:
- Smoke of any colour from the vehicle’s exhaust can be seen.
- DPF shows signs of being tampered with or has been removed
In addition, additional elements to the test have been introduced. These new items for testing include:
- 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 driveshafts on all vehicles
- Cab security
- Cab steps
- Floor condition
- Undertray security
- Noise suppression material
- Emission control equipment
- Engine malfunction indicator lamp
- Fluid leaks posing a risk to the environment
(old style - left, new style - right)
In response to test changes the MOT certificate has been updated to highlight defects clearly by each category. This approach should make faults easier to understand.
In addition, the check to undertake when looking for a vehicle’s MOT history has been updated.
Prior to May’s MOT update only vehicles registered before 1960 were exempt from an annual MOT test. However, this has now been widened to vehicles over 40 years old provided the vehicle hasn’t been subject to any major modifications within the last 30 years.
The mere mention of MOT Test Day is enough to instil fear in motorists up and down the country. However, now that you are informed of recent key MOT test changes you will have a greater understanding of what testers will be inspecting on your vehicle.
Like anything in life preparation is key. Follow our handy guide to help avoid failing an MOT test for something as silly as a dirty car or obscured number plate.
If your vehicle fails its MOT don’t despair. After all, the test is in place to ensure roadworthiness and safety. In addition, it’s likely that the fault could only be identified by a trained professional, so you would have been unable to spot it in the first place.
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