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U.K. MOT rule changes – 20 May 2018


As you are hopefully aware, the U.K. government introduced number of key changes to the MOT test as of 20 May 2018.

These changes have been loaded with new defect types, introduction of stricter rules for diesel car emissions, and exemptions for vehicles over 40 years old.

The new ruling affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles.

1. Defects Categories

Defects found during the tests are now categorised as follow:

  • Critical
  • Major
  • Minor

The category the test center provides against each item highlights the type of problem and should provide severity of the defect found.

The test center will still give advice about items you need to monitor. These are known as ‘advisories’.

MOT New Categories

2. Stricter rules for diesel car emissions

There is little surprise here, we knew changes were on the horizon, and the U.K. government has now introduced a stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

Your vehicle will get a major fault if the test centre:

• can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust

• There is clear evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

3. New Additions

There are number of new items added:

• Under-inflated tyres.

• Contaminated brake fluid.

• 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 (if available on the vehicle) on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009.

• Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018.

There are other smaller changes to how some items are checked, so do check with the test centre and make sure these are covered.

4. The Certificate will change

The design of the MOT certificate has changed. It lists any defects under the new categories, so they’re clear and easy to understand.

The service to check the MOT history of a vehicle has been updated to reflect the changes.

5. Older Vehicles

New regulation exempts Some vehicles over 40 years old.

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 altered..

The current regulation clearly states, only vehicles first built before 1960 were exempt from needing an MOT.

The new regulation now clarifies, whether a  vehicles is exempt and therefore won’t need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered or manufactured.

You can check the date the vehicle was registered online, and you no longer need to apply to stop getting an MOT for your vehicle.

However, each time you tax your historic vehicle (even if you don’t pay a fee), you’ll have to declare it meets the rules for not needing an MOT.

More information

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