New MOT testing – how the changes will affect you?

MOT Test Station LogoDid you know that new MOT regulations are coming into force on 20th May? As a result, your vehicle is likely to be put through tougher tests. These changes are part of an EU directive ordering all cars to meet the European Union Roadworthiness Package. Despite the Brexit vote, we will still be an EU member when the directive comes into force. Great, right..?! Well, let’s not panic just yet! Honestly, there are loads of good reasons behind these changes, which will ultimately benefit us all and improve the safety on our roads.


So, who will the new MOT regulations affect?  The changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles. To help guide you through the new rules and how these will affect you, we’ve put together this easy guide.


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.


Cars with “minor” defects will be allowed to pass and the faults will be recorded, but those that fall into the “dangerous” category will be subject to an automatic fail.


2. Stricter rules for diesel car emissions


Vehicles with diesel engines will also face a tougher test as any car that has been fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that give out “visible smoke of any colour” during tests will get a Major fault and also automatically fail. And any vehicle that has a DPF that looks as if it’s been removed or tampered with will not pass – unless it can be proved it has been done so for filter cleaning.


3. Some new things will be included in the MOT


In the new updated MOT test, we will check:

  • if tyres are obviously under inflated;
  • if the brake fluid has been contaminated;
  • 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).


There will also be other smaller changes to how some items are checked – but don’t panic, as your local MOT centre we will be able to tell you about these.


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 changes.


5. Some vehicles over 40 years old won’t need an MOT


Are you a vintage car collector? Lucky you! (For more than one reason, actually…)


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.


This means around 1.5 per cent of cars in Britain will not have an MOT certificate, but will be road legal. The Department for Transport defended the decision from suggestions it was an unsafe move, by saying owners of older cars usually keep them in the good condition and don’t use them regularly enough for an MOT test to be necessary.


How to pass the new MOT test?


That’s the tricky question you want us to answer, right..?! Well, it is now more important than ever to properly maintain your vehicle.


A few test failures are likely to be more common than others – tyre tread depth falling below the 1.6mm limit, worn out brake pads falling to less than 1.5mm thickness and poorly aimed headlamps are among these. You can take simple actions to avoid the most common mistakes.


Like changing your tyres when they are worn out, also changing the brake fluid regularly (ideally every 2 years) is essential not only for passing the new MOT but also for the safety of your vehicle. As brake fluid ages it can absorb water from its surroundings, which heats up when you break, turning to vapour and leaving you with soft pedals and reduced braking power.


Under the new regulations, you can fail the MOT if the washers do not provide enough liquid to clear the windscreen in conjunction with the windscreen wipers. To avoid this, fill your car’s windscreen container with a specific wash solution, which is specifically formulated to achieve max visibility by quickly removing traffic film and dirt, and prevents dangerous sun dazzle.


If you drive a diesel vehicle and are a high mileage motorist, you can keep an eye on you DPF warning lights. They indicate when the diesel particulate filter has naturally filled with soot. Using a specific DPF cleaner when your light comes on or as a regular preventative measure will clean and reactivate the filter, saving you time, money and stress. Simply pour it into your fuel tank to prevent problems from occurring.


At Exminster Garage, we are happy to assist you with any MOT enquiry. We are proud to have served motorists from Exeter and further afield for more than 100 years. Our dedicated MOT testing bay provides customers with a prompt and valuable service. In the event that work will be required in order for your car to pass the MOT test, we’ll always provide you with a quote first.



For more information about the new MOT test visit:

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