Is the MOT test about to change?

The Ministry of Transport test (MOT) was first introduced in 1960 with the three-year rule for new vehicles introduced in 1967.

The MOT test has been the same for some years now but change is coming.

New legislation comes into force on the 20 May 2018 introducing new testable items.

Diesel engines will face a tougher test since any car fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that gives out “visible smoke of any colour” during testing will automatically fail. Plus, any diesel car that has had its DPF removed or tampered with will instantly fail the test.

Steering will also be looked at, while aftermarket high definition headlamp bulbs will be outlawed.

Reversing lights will be tested for the first time and brake discs will be inspected to see if they are “significantly or obviously worn”. The car will also fail if the brake fluid is visually deteriorated.

Classic cars over 40 years old will now be exempt from testing. This will affect some 293,000 cars and mean that 1.5% of cars on British roads will have no MOT certificate but still be road legal!

Finally, the current system of advisories will be replaced with minor, major and dangerous faults. Minor faults will work the same as the current advisory system and won’t constitute a fail. A vehicle with dangerous faults cannot be driven away from the test until the repairs have been carried out.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams says: “While on the surface this change, which is part of an EU Directive due to come into force in May, seems like a sensible move, we fear many motorists could end up confused.”

Authors: Howard Tilney

Published: 31 Mar 2018


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