New MOT Rules – How Do They Affect Me?

    As of Monday 20th May, your annual MOT now works a little differently. For instance, there are a couple of changes to the grading system and an increased commitment to emissions and the environment.

    But what are these changes and how do they affect you?

    Here are the four main changes you should know about:

    1) Not All Faults Are Created Equal

    For each item on the test, you can now be graded in one of five categories. Three of these categories mean that the item can still pass, while the remaining two are an instant fail.

    Pass Categories

    • Pass – The item meets the minimum legal standard.
    • Advisory – The issue could become more serious in the future. Monitor it and repair if necessary.
    • Minor – There’s no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or its impact on the environment, but repair the item as soon as possible.

    Fail Categories

    • Major – The item must be repaired immediately as it may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk, or have an impact on the environment.
    • Dangerous – The item is a direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. The vehicle must not be driven until it’s repaired.

    The MOT certificate you receive after the test will also change to reflect these new categories.

    2) Diesel Users Beware

    There will now be stricter emissions limits for diesel cars, particularly those with a DPF (diesel particulate filter), which store exhaust soot to reduce emissions.

    You’ll receive a major fault and therefore fail if the MOT tester sees smoke of any colour coming from your exhaust, or if they find evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

    3) New Checks In Place

    Although the new categories could possibly make the test easier to pass, these new checks are where a lot of people are concerned.

    Some of the new items include checking:

    • If the tyres are underinflated.
    • If the brake fluid has been contaminated.
    • If there are any fluid leaks which pose an environmental risk.
    • The brake pad warning lights and if brake pads or discs are missing.
    • Reverse lights and headlight washers (on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009).
    • Daytime running lights (on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018).

    4) Some Vintage Cars Will Be Exempt

    Vehicles that are more than 40 years old and without any substantial changes will not need an annual MOT. The Department for Transport says that this is due to vintage car owners usually taking good care of their vehicles, and the fact that they are not driven regularly enough to require an annual MOT.

    You won’t have to apply to stop getting an MOT, but each time you tax your vehicle (whether you pay a fee or not), you’ll have to declare it meets the rules for not needing an MOT.

    How will these new MOT rules affect you? Is it good news or bad news?

    If you’re always forgetting when your MOT is, you can sign up for an email or text reminder on the gov.uk website.