January 14, 2019How Will New MOT Changes Affect you?
Last year saw some changes to the MOT testing process, bringing the test in-line with the EU roadworthiness directive. Drivers across the UK have had almost a year to prepare for the changes, but if you’re yet to have an MOT test under these new rules, you might be wondering exactly what’s changed and what you can expect. This article will outline exactly that.
Why change the MOT test?
Keeping drivers safe on the road is of paramount importance, and these changes to the MOT test are designed around this. The EU roadworthiness directive – a long term vision to achieve zero fatalities on the road by 2050 – is the driving force behind these changes. Despite the UK’s impending departure from the EU, the UK currently remains a full member of the EU, so the directive was adopted like any other EU law.
In addition to road safety, the changes to the test also focus on harsher punishments for diesel emissions, demonstrating the continued commitment to safeguarding the environment.
Changes to faults
Sweeping changes have been made across the MOT test. Most notable of these is the new categorisation of faults. These now fall under three categories:
- Dangerous – defects which present an immediate risk to road safety, or have a serious impact on the environment. This leads to an automatic fail, and you will not be able to drive your car until the issue has been repaired/resolved.
- Major – affecting the safety of the vehicle and other road users, or has an impact on the environment. This also causes an automatic fail, and the issue will need to be repaired/resolved immediately.
- Minor – no serious or significant damage – your vehicle doesn’t present a road safety risk, or does not have a negative impact on the environment. Minor faults will pass the test, but repairs to minor defects will still need to be made promptly.
Testers will also be able to offer advisories – advice on components or issues that you need to keep an eye on in the future. They may suggest that you make repairs as soon as possible in order to prevent more significant damage later on.
What else is new?
The second biggest change is the strict clampdown on diesel emissions. Under the new test guidelines, vehicles fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) which produce visible smoke ‘of any colour’ from the exhaust will be classed as having a major fault — and thus, a failed MOT test.
A tester will also examine the DPF for signs of tampering. If they find evidence of this, it will also result in a major fault.
In addition to emission tests, new items and components will be tested as part of the process. These more generalised checks are focused on maintenance of your vehicle, examining items which should be kept in top condition for the highest level of road safety. New checks include:
- If tyres are obviously underinflated
- If your brake fluid is contaminated
- If there are any fluid leaks which pose an environmental risk
- If brake pads or discs are missing and checking your brake pad warning lights
- Headlight washers and reversing lights (on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009)
- Daytime running lights (on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018 – most of these vehicles will undergo their first MOT test in 2021)
The MOT certificate
With changes to the test itself comes changes to how your results are presented to you. The new-look certificate has been simplified to list any faults clearly under the new categories, so that any issues are clear and easy to understand and refer back to.
Some cars over 40 years old don’t need to be tested
For some vehicles – including cars, motorcycles and vans – you won’t need to take it in for an MOT from 40 years after the manufacturing date. This is as long as the vehicle hasn’t been ‘substantially changed’.
Maximum fees for MOTs have not changed, and the age at which a vehicle needs its first MOT has remained at three years – rather than change to four years as initially outlined when the changes were first revealed.
At Treadfirst, we provide full MOT tests for class IV and class VII vehicles plus Servicing for all vehicle types. Our experienced engineers carry out a detailed inspection fully compliant with the new guidelines, and are happy to advise on maintenance or repair requirements should your vehicle have any issues – we can also make necessary repairs right there and then for your complete convenience. To arrange your MOT with us, simply get in touch today.