The new MoT test changes from May 2018

The new MoT test changes from May 2018

Did you know the MoT (Ministry of Transport) test is changing as of 20th May 2018; there will be new defect categories, stricter rules for diesel car emissions and some vehicles over 40 years old will become exempt. Here are some of the changes you should be aware of:

The new categories for an MoT test are as follows:

  1. Dangerous – A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired. FAIL
  2. Major – It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately. FAIL
  3. Minor – No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible. PASS
  4. Advisory – It could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair if necessary. PASS
  5. Pass – It meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standard.

Do Not Drive Your Vehicle Unless it is Roadworthy…

As you know, you aren’t allowed to drive without a valid MoT. This means that if you get an MoT Fail, from that moment on, you are not allowed to drive your vehicle on the roads EVEN if your MoT certificate from the previous year is still in date. Some people have their MoT carried out a few weeks earlier than the previous MoT’s expiry date so they can do any repairs in advance of that expiry date. However, if you get a FAIL, the few weeks left from the expiry of your previous MOT is therefore no longer valid and you CANNOT drive your car until the repairs are complete and a re-test is carried out and a PASS obtained.

Using a vehicle in a dangerous condition is a criminal offence, one that carries a fine of £2,500 and three points on your licence the first time you’re caught and a minimum ban of 6 months if you’re caught twice in three years. Your vehicle needs to meet the minimum standards of roadworthiness at all times. Even if your car has a valid MoT certificate, you are not allowed to drive it if it is not roadworthy. So it’s advisable to get any repair work fixed immediately as a problem arises so your car is fit for the road at all times.

MoT test results are uploaded and stored centrally, so faults recorded via the MOT test (including ‘dangerous faults’) go on the database straight away. This will alert your vehicle to the traffic police and if you were to drive it you would be acting illegally and you may well NOT be covered by your insurers.

If your car does fail its MoT and is not roadworthy you can either ask the MOT station to do the repairs for you or you can arrange to have your vehicle towed / transported to another garage of your choice for the work to be done.

Another important change is the new ‘Minor’ category. You can have a ‘minor’ fault identified during the MoT test and still obtain a PASS but a minor fault is not like the previous MoT ‘advisories’ which you needed to monitor and repair as necessary, instead a ‘minor’ fault must be repaired as soon as you can. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have a PASS and so you need to take no action, you are obliged to put the ‘minor’ fault right as soon as is possible.

New MoT Checks

With the new MoT rules, there are stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). If your car should have a DPF it will need to work properly and you will FAIL an MOT if it has been removed.

There are also some new items that will be tested during the MoT which include checking:

  • if tyres are obviously underinflated
  • if the engine malfunction indicator lamp is on
  • if the brake fluid has been contaminated
  • for 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).

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. You won’t have to apply to stop getting an MoT for your vehicle, however each time you tax your historic vehicle (even if you don’t pay a fee), you’ll have to declare it meets the rules for not needing an MoT. Check the details to make sure your vehicle is exempt.

Checking Your Tyres

To ensure your tyres meet the minimum requirements they must:

  • Have at least the minimum tread
  • Not be underinflated
  • Be in good condition; no bulges, cracks, tears etc
  • If your TPMS indicator lamp is showing on your dashboard – this as before will be an automatic fail on the MoT. So when your indictor shows, there could be a problem with the sensor itself, it’s battery or you could have a problem with a tyre(s). You need to get this checked out and sorted not only for the MoT and to ensure the car is roadworthy but for your safety too.

We at Bespoke are always happy to do a pre MOT tyre check for you for FREE and without obligation, just call in. You don’t have to wait until your MOT is due for us to check your tyres, we’ll do it anytime!

For more information on the changes to the MoT test, please visit the UK Government website at

I hope you found this info useful.

Happy motoring!

Bespoke Wheels Ltd, Warwick

01926 88 77 22