New MOT Inspection Manual May 2018 – guide to changes

DVSA New MOT Notification service

New MOT Inspection Manual from May 20th 2018

Helpful information for MOT Testers


The new MOT Inspection Manual is totally different from the older version. Here are the key differences:

  • There is no longer a column for ‘Method of Inspection’, the information is imparted in the run of text throughout each section.
  • The layout of the Manual is different with some new Sections, and other Sections in the old Manual being dropped.
  • There are three levels of failures: Minor, Major, and Dangerous.
  • There are 18 new Testable items, (see below), and over 70 additional inspections of current Testable items. (also see below).
  • 6 Testable items have been removed.

Comparison between old and new Manual Sections

Testers will need to familiarise themselves with these section changes so that when they need to check something out, they won’t waste time looking for items in the wrong place.

Old Manual

Section 1     Lamps Reflectors and Electrical Equipment

Section 2     Steering and Suspension

Section 3     Brakes

Section 4     Road wheels and Tyres

Section 5     Seat Belts and Supplementary Restraint Systems (SRS)

Section 6     Body, Structure and General Items

Section 7     Exhaust, Fuel and Emissions

Section 8     Drivers View of the Road

Section 9     Motor Tricycles and Quadricycles

New Manual

Section 0     Identification of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Section 1     Brakes

Section 2     Steering

Section 3     Visibility

Section 4     Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment

Section 5     Axles, wheels, tyres and suspension

Section 6     Body, structure and attachments

Section 7     Other equipment

Section 8     Nuisance (includes emissions)

Section 9     Supplementary tests for buses and coaches

Section 10   Seat belt installation checks.

Revised Introduction

The new Introduction has these changes:

  • Introduction of EU Type Approval categories
  • Clarification of Dual purpose vehicle definition
  • American and Canadian pick-up trucks up to 6500kg now in Class 4
  • Information about Vehicles of Historic Interest added
  • Reason to refuse to test for presence of a load added
  • Reasons for Rejection changed to Defects
  • Minor, Major and Dangerous defect categorisation
  • Definition of insecure added
  • Definition of unsafe modification added
  • Changes to ‘extensively modified vehicles’ to include modifications for disabled use

New MOT failure definitions

‘Reasons for Refusal’ have been dropped, being now called ‘Defects’. The three levels of Defect are:

  • minor – deficiencies having no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment and other minor non-compliances. If only defects of a minor nature are present a test certificate will still be issued
  • major – deficiencies that may prejudice the safety of the vehicle, have an impact on the environment, put other road users at risk or other more significant non-compliances
  • dangerous – deficiencies constituting a direct and immediate risk to road safety or having an impact on the environment

Test Certificates will change. Here are three examples:

Pass certificate

MOT Test changes May 2018 - new Pass certificate
MOT Test changes May 2018 – sample MOT Pass certificate

Pass certificate with defects / advisories


New MOT Test changes sample Pass certificate
MOT changes May 2018 – sample MOT Pass certificate with minor defect and advisory

Fail certificate with major / dangerous defects.

MOT changes May 2018 - MOT Fail certificate with major defects
MOT Test changes May 2018 – sample MOT Fail certificate with dangerous, major and minor defects

New Testable Items

  • Brake fluid
  • Additional braking device performance
  • Daytime running lamps
  • Front fog lamps
  • Reversing lamps
  • Bumpers
  • Prop shafts
  • All rear drive shafts
  • Cab security
  • Cab steps
  • Floors
  • Passenger hand grips (quads and heavy trikes only)
  • Noise suppression material
  • Undertray security
  • Emission control equipment

➢  Oxygen sensor

➢  NOx sensor

➢  Exhaust gas recirculation valve

➢  Other emission control equipment

  • Engine Malfunction indicator lamp
  • DPF tampering
  • Fluid leaks – engine, transmission etc

Removed Testable items:

  • Checks for two different VINs
  • Checks for reserve pressure of full power hydraulic systems
  • Class 5 glazing now only applies to vehicles first used from 1 June 1978 and no longer applies to interior doors or panels
  • Checks for tyre correctly seated on the bead rim removed
  • Checks of tyre valves removed
  • Failure for fitment of a space-saver wheel removed

New Inspections of existing Testable items

Identification of Vehicle

  • Checks for two different VINs removed
  • New failure for VIN obviously falsified


  • New failure for brake lining or pad wear indicator illuminated
  • New failure for brake lining or pad incorrectly mounted
  • New failure for a brake disc or drum missing
  • New failure for incorrectly installed brake slack adjuster
  • New failure for additional braking device insecure or inoperative

New failures for other braking system components damaged or corroded e.g. air dryer, antifreeze pump

  • ABS system cannot be removed on a post 2010 vehicle
  • New failure for brake fluid contaminated
  • New failures for air brake reservoir drain device
  • Checks for reserve pressure of full power hydraulic systems removed

Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment

  • New failure for light source and lamp not compatible
  • Headlamp washers tested on vehicles first used on or after 1 September 2009
  • Information added about the interaction between position lamps and other lamps
  • Inspection of end-outline marker lamps now applies to Class 4, 5, and 7
  • New failures for daytime running lamps
  • New failures for front fog lamps
  • New failures for reversing lamps


  • New failures for sector shaft condition
  • New failure for steering gear fixing holes elongated
  • New failures for electronic power steering wiring damaged or corroded
  • New failure relating to ‘fly by wire’ steering systems

Axles, Wheels, Tyres and Suspension

  • Failures previously only applicable to large vehicles now apply to any vehicle
  • Checks for tyre structure between axles removed
  • Improved information about assessing tyre damage
  • Reference to stretched tyres included
  • Checks for tyre correctly seated on the bead rim removed
  • Checks of tyre valves removed
  • Failure for fitment of a space-saver wheel removed
  • New failure for tyre obviously under-inflated on TPMS equipped vehicles post 1 Jan 2012
  • New failure for a spring missing
  • Tyre tables now in Appendix B


  • Driver’s field of vision definition updated
  • View of exterior mirrors added
  • New failure for excessively tinted glass
  • Class 5 glazing now only applies to vehicles first used from 1 June 1978 and no longer applies to interior doors or panels

Chassis frame and Attachments

  • Vehicle structure now fails if its rigidity is significantly reduced
  • New checks for strengthening plates and fastening
  • Exhaust fumes entering cabin failure extended to all vehicles
  • Information about fuel tanks holed above the fuel line added
  • New failures for fuel tank and exhaust shields missing
  • New failure for any part of a gas fuel system defective
  • New failures for bumper security
  • New failure for spare wheel carrier condition
  • New failures for towbar safety devices and coupling indicators
  • Inspection of drive shafts extended to all transmission shafts, including prop shafts
  • Inspection now includes drive belts and chains
  • Inspection of body condition now includes unsafe modifications, component security, including undertrays as well as body pillars on goods vehicles
  • New failures for cab security
  • New failures for floor condition
  • New failures for seat structure condition
  • New failures for cab steps
  • New failures for footrests and handgrips where fitted


This new Section includes noise, emissions and fluid leaks

  • New failures for noise suppression material
  • New failures for exhaust emission control equipment
  • New failures for induction leaks
  • New failure for engine malfunction indicator lamp
  • New failure for evidence that a diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been tampered with
  • Metered smoke test date changed to 1 January 1980
  • New smoke limit of 0.7m-1 introduced for vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2014
  • Smoke test limits on vehicles post 1 July 2008 will be carried out to either the default standard or the limit on the manufacturers plate where one is displayed
  • Option to abort the smoke test if levels are significantly in excess of the specified limit values after one acceleration
  • Fast pass no longer exists
  • Test is passed if specific limit achieved after one acceleration, otherwise after three accelerations, otherwise after up to a maximum of 6 accelerations
  • New failure for any visible smoke from a vehicle fitted with a DPF
  • New failures for fluid leaks – engine coolant and Adblue not included

Other Equipment

  • Seat belt fitment information moved to Appendix C
  • Seat belt installation checks moved to Section 10
  • New failure for seat belt not functioning as intended

Appendix A – Structural Integrity and Corrosion

  • Change to failure criteria for defects not within a prescribed area
  • Clarification on acceptable repairs in the case of spot welded panels

Other changes

This includes many items which would currently be a Reason for Refusal, but will only be a Minor Defect after 20th May.

  • ‘Inappropriate repair’ dropped other than for prescribed areas
  • ‘Inappropriate modification’ changed to ‘unsafe modification’
  • Where only ‘Minor’ deficiencies exist, a test certificate will still be issued. Some of these items currently fail the test and include:

➢ Brake fluid level below minimum mark

➢  Master cylinder cap missing

➢ Brake fluid warning lamp illuminated or inoperative

➢ Power steering fluid below minimum mark

➢ Trailer electrical socket insecure

➢ Direction indicator flashing rate

➢ One of two registration plate lamps missing or inoperative

➢ Several audible warning defects

➢ Many items ‘insecure’ but not likely to become detached

Note: This is provided as a guide to MOT Testers to identify key differences in the new and old MOT Manuals to avoid mistakes. It is not necessarily a definitive list, and Testers should always refer to the official Manual when conducting an MOT inspection.

Related posts

Comment on this article