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New MOT Rules for 2018: How are they changing?

The Government is set to make a change that will affect most motorists. From 20th May 2018, MOT rules will become stricter and possibly cost motorists more money to ensure their car gets a pass. The changes are being introduced to adhere to the European Union Roadworthiness Package.

Many people ask, “If my car failed its MOT, can I still drive it?” If your previous MOT has ran out, then the answer is no, because the MOT is a legal requirement to ensure cars are safe to drive. The current MOT only has the categories advisory and fail, with little room for the professionals to make their own judgement on the car’s condition. The new rules will improve the efficiency of the MOT to ensure that our roads are safer.

What changes are being made to the MOT?

The main change that is being introduced to the MOT is the system which passes or fails a car. A new category structure will be put in place to mark how severe a fault is; the categories are minor, major and dangerous.

Minor faults are faults that need to be fixed as soon as possible, but they are not severe enough for your car to fail its MOT and will still pass. Major and dangerous faults are an automatic fail. Major faults are classed as having a possible chance of affecting road safety, which could put other drivers at risk, and must be repaired immediately. Whereas dangerous faults are an immediate risk to road safety and the car cannot be driven until it has been fixed. Drivers could face a fine if they drive the car away, resulting in extra costs to have the car towed to another garage.

There are also MOT advisory faults. These issues are currently causing no harm but need to be monitored as they could become more serious in the future.

The MOT certificate will also be changing to become easier to understand. For example, the faults will be clearly recorded on the certificate along with the category status.

Many other added checks will become mandatory too. These include any damage to the bumper, leaking oil from the steering box and issues with the reversing lights. The chief executive of the DVSA, Gareth Llewelyn, advises “all motorists to familiarise themselves with the new items that will be included in the test so they can avoid their vehicle failing its MOT.”

Who will the MOT changes affect?

Cars in a traffic jam

The updated rules will be put in place to protect road users and make our roads a safer place. Therefore, the tougher MOT rules will affect nearly every motorist. Below are a few situations where you may be exempt from the new MOT rules.

New MOT rules for classic cars

When it comes to classic cars, the change in MOT rules will depend on how old the car is. All kinds of vehicles will be subject to the new rules, except for some that are more than 40 years old. Currently, cars that were manufactured before 1960 are exempt from having to renew their MOT each year. However, this will change to cars that are manufactured before 1978.

MOT rules for new cars

Cars that are less than three years old do not need an MOT. New cars are due to have their MOT exactly three years after the date the vehicle was registered. If you are unsure about when this is, this date can be found in the vehicles log book.

How will the MOT changes affect diesel drivers?

Exhaust of diesel car having an MOT

The changes to the MOT rules could possibly affect diesel drivers the most. Those more likely to be at risk are cars that are produced after 2006 with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). The new rules will be clamping down on the acceptable level of emissions of cars fitted with a DPF. A fail could cost thousands of pounds in repairs that could be more expensive than the car's value.

Removed or tampered filters will instantly result in a fail, as well as those that produce any visible smoke of any colour. This now creates another feature to check when buying a second-hand car to prevent any surprises at the next MOT. However, those made before 2006, before DPFs were installed, will not be affected and will still be checked as they are now.

You can quickly check the MOT history of your car using our free online tool

There are fears that the new changes could cause confusion for some motorists. It is advisable to make yourself aware of the new MOT checks that will be introduced to improve your chance of passing your MOT.

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