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New MOT Rules 2018: What It Means For Your Next MOT

The new MOT rules are due to come in on 20th May, 2018. With tougher tests and a new set of failure categories, they’re going to affect every motorist.

Even if you haven’t got an MOT test coming up any time soon, you should still take the time to familiarise yourself with these changes. You don’t want to get caught unawares once your MOT does finally come up.

What’s Changing on the New MOT?

In short, MOT tests will no longer be a black and white case of “pass” or “fail”. Instead, every fault found during the test will be categorised as either Dangerous, Major, or Minor. If any Major or Dangerous faults are found during the test, you’re looking at an automatic failure.

If you have any Minor failures, you may still pass the test. But all faults will be recorded on your car’s MOT certificate, and on your online record. This system is to replace the manual advisories that you get today.

What’s Going to be Tested on a New MOT?

A host of new components:

  • Brake discs – to see if they are “significantly or obviously worn”
  • Front fog lamps
  • Daytime running lamps
  • Reversing lamps
  • Steering gear casing
  • Electro-mechanical “fly by wire” steering systems
  • Noise suppression systems
  • Anti-theft devices

Minor faults refer to issues that “have no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle, or impact on the environment.”

Major defects are those that may compromise your safety, or have an impact on the environment. Dangerous faults are those that pose an immediate risk, to you, to other motorists, and to the environment.

New Rules for Diesel Cars

If you drive a diesel, your diesel particulate filter (DPF) will be checked. Testers have been instructed to look for signs of removal and tampering, and they can refuse to test any car whose DPF canister “has clearly been cut open and re-welded”. If your DPF has been removed for a legitimate reason, such as filter cleaning, expect to be asked to provide evidence.

This new rule is much stricter than the one currently in place. At the moment, cars are only rejected if their DPFs are totally missing.

Your car’s visible emissions will also be checked. If your car emits “visible smoke of any colour”, it’ll count as a Major fault, and you’ll fail the test.

New MOT Rules 2018 – Why are the Changes Being Made?

The EU roadworthiness directive covers all manner of motoring issues, from documentation to inspection. These new MOT rules are being introduced to comply with this EU directive.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) made these changes after a lengthy public consultation. They’re designed to improve the structure of the test while making the results easier for all motorists to understand.

How to Prepare for the New MOT Test

If you want to pass your MOT first time, with as few Minors as possible and with no Major or Dangerous faults, pay attention to the following:

  • Test your brakes, and listen for any usual sounds that might indicate wear.
  • Make sure all of your lights are working – front fog, daytime running, reversing.
  • If you drive a diesel fitted with a DPF, you can tell if it’s still working by checking your visible emissions – if your car’s producing visible smoke of any colour, then your DPF is faulty.
  • If your DPF has ever been removed for legitimate reasons, be prepared to provide documentation as proof.

Beyond this, keep on top of all the factors that you’ve always paid attention to: Tyre tread depth, windscreen chips and cracks, the condition of your wiper blades, and the quality of your number plates.

And remember: An MOT is designed to check important parts on your vehicle to ensure that your car meets the legal standards for safety and roadworthiness but does not cover the condition of your engine, clutch or gearbox and cannot be used as a guarantee.

Accidents can still happen, so make sure you’ve got comprehensive car insurance to complement your clean MOT slate.