New changes to MOT tests

21 Posted: 21st May 2018
New changes to MOT tests
The MOT test has been updated and has introduced new categories which a vehicle can pass or fail.
  • 1. Defects will be categorised differently

    The new categories include "dangerous", "major" and "minor" which will decide whether avehicle must be taken off the road or can still be driven providing repairs are carried out.

    - Dangerous: Fail. The vehicle is a "direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment". It must not be driven until it has been repaired.

    - Major: Fail. The fault "may affect the vehicle's safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment". The car, van or motorcycle must be repaired immediately.

    - Minor: Pass. A defect has "no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment". It must be repaired as soon as possible

    - Advisory: Pass. A defect could become more serious in the future. "Monitor and repair it if necessary."
    Pass: The vehicle meets the minimum legal standard.

    2. Stricter rules for diesel car emissions

    There are 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.

    Check your car’s handbook if you don’t know if your car has a DPF.
    Your vehicle will get a major fault if the MOT tester:

    - can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust
    - finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with

    3. Some new things are included in the MOT

    Daytime running lights will be checked on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018.
    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.

    4. The MOT certificate will change

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

    It lists any defects under the new categories, so they’re clear and easy to understand.

    The service to check the MOT history of a vehicle has been updated to reflect the changes.

    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.

    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. You can check the date the vehicle was registered online.

    If a car was first registered on 31 May 1978, it won’t need an MOT from 31 May 2018.
    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.


    To find out more, visit