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MOT Rule Changes 20 May 2018

The MOT test will change on 20 May 2018, with new defect types, stricter rules for diesel car emissions, and some vehicles over 40 years old becoming exempt.  The changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales – the MOT Test works differently in Northern Ireland.

There are 5 main changes you need to know.

1.   Defects will be categorised differently

Defects found during the MOT will be categorised as either:

  • dangerous
  • major
  • minor

The category the MOT tester gives each item will depend on the type of problem and how serious it is.  MOT testers will still give advice about items you need to monitor. These are known as ‘advisories’.

2.   Stricter rules for diesel car emissions

There will be 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 will be included in the MOT

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

Some new items will be 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)

4.   The MOT Certificate will change 

The design of the MOT certificate will change.  It will list any defects under the new categories, so they’re clear and easy to understand.

The service to check the MOT history of a vehicle will be updated to reflect the change.

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.  At the moment, only vehicles first built before 1960 are exempt from needing an MOT.

When the rules change on 20 May 2018, vehicles won’t need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered. You can check the date the vehicle was registered online.

More information

The maximum fees MOT centres can charge won’t change.

In January 2018, the government decided to keep the age a vehicle needs its first MOT at 3 years, rather than extend it to 4 years.

You can get a free MOT reminder by text message or email a month before your MOT is due.

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

To read about the changes in full please visit the Gov.UK website