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2018 Changes to the MOT

25th April 2018

20th May 2018 will introduce several changes to the UK’s MOT structure, including various amendments to emissions testing. With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to explain some of these changes and what they mean.

First and foremost, one of the most drastic changes to the test include the way that defects uncovered during the MOT will now be categorised. With this new system, vehicle defects will be classified in one of three ways depending on the severity of the fault (as determined by the tester) as outlined below:

  • Dangerous

    Meaning the problem poses “a direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment” and should not be driven until the problem has been rectified

  • Major

    Meaning the problem “may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road uses at risk or have an impact on the environment” and should be repaired immediately

  • Minor

    There is “no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment” but should still be repaired as soon as possible

Alongside these categories, MOT testers will also continue to issue ‘advisories’ as usual on things which should be monitored by the vehicle owner and repaired if necessary to eliminate the likelihood of them becoming serious faults in the future.

In a nutshell, faults considered to be ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ will result in an automatic MOT failure. Those labelled as minor, alongside advisories, will conclude as a pass for the vehicle. But what does this mean for emissions?

Diesel cars will be impacted by these MOT changes as stricter, lower limits on the acceptable level of emissions emitted from the vehicle’s exhaust will be put in place. Additionally, more stringent checks will be conducted on vehicles which are required to have a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Smoke of any colour seen to be coming from the exhaust and any signs that the DPF has been removed or tampered with will result in a ‘major’ fault, meaning the vehicle automatically fails its MOT. The tester must also refuse to test the car if they suspect the DPF has been tampered with unless the owner can provide a “legitimate” reason for doing so, such as for cleaning. If this is the case then you must be able to provide evidence of this or be prepared to face the fact that your car will be considered illegal to drive on the road in this condition.

These new guidelines differ from the outgoing MOT rules which state a car should only be rejected if its DPF is missing. This change is good news for emissions control as the previous ‘spot-check’ on DPFs during MOT did not account for any sort of tampering, such as the internal brick (or monolith) being removed from the can, thus allowing harmful, unfiltered emissions to enter the atmosphere. These tougher MOT checks pave a good way in helping to tackle the current emissions crisis as it continues to dominate headlines.

For a downloadable poster of this information, click here.