MOT Test May Changes: It's About To Get Tougher

By: James Ruppert
Changes to the MOT Test

The MOT test is being revamped on the 20th May 2018. Changes are coming which have implications for cars celebrating their third birthday. We spoke to the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to find out what's going to happen.

DVSA MOT Service Manager, Neil Barlow, said: “The DVSA’s priority is helping you keep your vehicle safe to drive. The changes to the MOT will help ensure that we’ll all benefit from cleaner and safer vehicles on our roads."

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MOT Testing 2018: What's changing?

Vehicles will now be classified as ‘dangerous’, ‘major’, ‘minor’, 'advisory' or 'pass'. This is designed to help drivers focus on what's important to maintain and keep roadworthy. The DVSA believe that it will help them explain to motorists how to look after their vehicles better.

'Advisory' and 'minor' will not result in a failure but will need to be monitored and repaired either when the fault gets worse for an advisory or as soon as you can for a minor. Minor faults are deemed to not impede the safety of the vehicle or environment. 

From May 2018, vehicles will fail their MOT if they've got defects categorised as dangerous or major, needing repairs. A dangerous defect is defined as something that means your vehicle shouldn't be driven away from the testing station.

Yes, it's that serious, so be prepared to walk or get a taxi home. Minor faults will be noted (similiar to existing MOT advisories), but the vehicle will still pass.

What to do if you car fails its MOT


MOT Changes: Extra Parts Being Checked

The MOT changes on their way will also see an increase in the number of components being checked:

  • Incorrect tyre pressure
  • Brake fluid contamination
  • Fluid leaks that pose and environmental risk
  • Missing brake pads
  • Missing brake discs
  • Brake pad warning light
  • Reversing light (if registered from September 1st 2009)
  • Headlight washers (if registered from September 1st 2009)
  • Daytime running lights (if registered from March 1st 2018)


MOT Changes: Emissions tests

Additionally, the MOT emissions test will be based on lower limits for diesel cars. It'll be a much tougher test and garages will be able to spot if the emissions control equipment (specifically the DPF or diesel particulate filter) has been tampered with. That's because vehicles first used in 2014 will need to meet a stricter smoke limit of 0.7% at the MOT. All vehicles will need to meet the manufacturers emissions limit, or 'plate' value, where this is lower than the default.

The examiner will also fail you if smoke of any colour comes out of the exhaust. 

Are the days of petrol and diesel cars numbered?


The emphasis is now on the car owner to ensure that their vehicle is better maintained then ever. In particular diesel drivers will have to take more care than ever that their vehicles comply with the latest regulations or risk a big bill for repairs. It will become even more important to check the MOT history of a used car (to see the see the major and minor historical faults) that you're thinking of buying, you can do this in your free MotorEasy account

Check your cars MOT failure rate


Preparing for MOT test changes

Get a free MotorEasy account and never forget your MOT date again with our handy reminder service, we'll also let you know when your road fund license (car tax) and service are due. As well as storing all your motoring documents, such as MOT certificates, so they're in a safe place whenever you need them. 

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Further Car Ownership Reading

The DPF Filter Explained

MOT Discrepancies Can Cost You

3 Diesel Car Buying Tips To Keep You On The Road

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