May 2018 MOT Test Changes – what will change? | New MOT rules

DVSA New MOT Notification service

New MOT rules coming into force on 20th May 2018 will affect MOT Test of cars, vans, motorcycles and light passenger vehicles.

Revised and updated list of MOT checks here

There will be new defect types, new items being MOT Tested, stricter diesel emissions rules and some vehicles over 40 years old becoming exempt from the MOT.

New MOT Rules – Defects

At present, a Tested item is either a Pass or a Fail. Testers also have the option to provide advice on any item, mainly on pass items where it has only just met the criteria, this is known as ‘pass and advise’.

Failures will now be divided into three categories:

  • minor
  • major
  • dangerous

In most cases current ‘advisory’ notes will now become a ‘minor’ defect. But other outcomes could apply; under the new MOT rules, some current ‘Reasons for Refusal’ will in future become Minor defects, and some current items where an advisory note applies, could, under the new MOT rules become Major defects.

The MOT Test rules ‘Categories’

ItemDescriptionMOT Result
DangerousA direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment.

Do not drive the vehicle until it has been repaired.

MajorIt may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment.

Repair it immediately.

MinorNo significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.

Repair as soon as possible.

AdvisoryIt could become more serious in the future.

Monitor and repair it if necessary.

PassIt meets the minimum legal standard.

Make sure it continues to meet the standard.


Stricter Diesel emissions rules

The limits under the new MOT rules will be stricter for diesel missions from cars which have a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

A DPF captures and stores soot particle emissions from diesel cars, to reduce their emissions.

It will be a ‘major’ fault if during the MOT the Tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust, or finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

New items will be Tested

These include:

  • if tyres are obviously underinflated
  • if the brake fluid is 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)

A new MOT certificate

The MOT certificate will change to reflect these new items.

New MOT Rules - Old and New MOT Test Certificate
The current MOT test certificate (left) will change to a new style (right) to list the new types of defects.

‘Historic’ vehicles exempt

Cars, vans, motorcycles and light passenger vehicles will not need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were first registered.

Check here to see the date a vehicle was registered.

The maximum fee chargeable remains unchanged for the MOT Test, in spite of the extra work involved and equipment needed by MOT Testing businesses, and the fee being un-reviewed by DfT for eight years at the end of March 2018.

A maximum fine of £1,000 is payable for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

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