Tougher new MOT rules are being introduced by the government and will take affect as from 20th May 2018. These are the first changes to the rules since checks of secondary restraint systems, battery and wiring, ABS/TCS, speedometers and steering locks were added to the test in 2012.

The MOT test was first introduced in the UK in 1960 and was originally a very basic test that included brakes, lights and steering checks. It also only applied to vehicles after they were ten years old, with the test repeated every year after that. However, in 1961, due the high failure rates vehicles became due to take the test when seven years old, later being changed to cars that were three years old in 1967.

So, what are the new 2018 MOT rules?

The first main change is the way the results of the test are classified. Gone is the old style ‘pass or fail’ and in its place is a new system classifying faults as ‘Minor, Major and Dangerous’. With any faults deemed ‘Major or Dangerous’ resulting in an instant fail and ‘Minor’ faults recorded but allowed to pass.

The new categories explained

Dangerous
A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired.
Result: Immediate fail

Major
It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately.
Result: Immediate fail

Minor
No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible.
Result: Pass

Advisory
It could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair it if necessary.
Result: Pass

Pass
It meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standard.
Result: Pass

More stringent emissions tests

Emission tests will be even stricter and brought in-line with the European Union Roadworthiness Package.

Dashboard monitoring

In the past as long as the car was deemed roadworthy it would pass the MOT regardless of lit dashboard warning lights – under the new rules a lit warning light would mean a fail.

Diesel cars facing tougher rules

Diesel cars fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that gives out visible smoke of any colour during the test would be classed as a major fault and therefore a fail. Also, any vehicle that has a DPF that looks as though it has been tampered with or removed will be an automatic fail.

Additional checks

The DVSA has added several items that must be checked as part of the test.
These include:
• 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)

A failed MOT means you can’t drive your vehicle

In the past as long as your car was still classed as safe to drive and your old MOT was still in date (you could book your test up to a month before your old MOT ran out) then even if your car failed the MOT you could still drive it. This won’t be the case under the new rules.

Will my car be exempt?

At present only cars built before 1960 would be exempt from a MOT. But from May 2018, the rolling exemption will apply to any car that is 40 years old. For example, if your car was first registered on 31st May 1978 it doesn’t need a MOT after 31st May 2018.

Open to interpretation

Although the government believe the new rules will “help motorists do the right thing” motoring organisations are worried that the rules are confusing to motorists. Another concern expressed was that certain rules are open to interpretation by testers leading to an inconsistency between test centres.

DCS Bristol are here to help

We have studied the new MOT rules and are completely au fait with them. We can prepare and send your car for its test even it it previously failed its MOT or emissions.

If you want to get your car through its next MOT with the minimum of hassle and expense then you should be talking to us!

– When DCS preps, you pass!

Call us today to book an appointment on 0117 972 4343 or email us info@dcsbristol.co.uk