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MOT: 2018 Test Changes & What To Do If You Fail

In the last month, we have talked about MOT Tests: the basics and checks to prevent failing your test. May 2018 saw some changes in how MOT Tests are conducted in England, Scotland and Wales. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Categorising faults

Since May 2018, faults noted during your MOT Test will be categorised as either dangerous, major or minor. You will still be given advisories (things you need to keep an eye on over the next 12 months, for example tyres which pass the test this time, but will need to be replaced soon). Under the new rules, if your vehicle has a major or dangerous defect, it will fail its MOT Test and you won’t be able to drive it until it’s been repaired. Minor defects will still mean a pass, but require repair ASAP, and advisories, as before, mean to repair if needed.

2. Emissions

Since May 2018, the emission guidelines for diesel vehicles with a DPF (diesel particulate filter) have been tightened up. If the MOT tester finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with, or if there is smoke of any colour coming our of your exhaust, your vehicle will get a major fault.

3. Additional checks

A few additional checks have been added. These include checking:

  • To see if brake fluid has been contaminated.
  • For fluid leaks which could be a risk to the environment.
  • Reverse lights and headlight washers on vehicles which were first used after 1st September 2009.
  • Brake pad warning lights.

4. Classic vehicle exemption

Until May 2018, vehicles that were built before 1960 were exempt from the MOT Test. With effect from 01.05.2018, any vehicle that was registered more than forty years ago, and which hasn’t been significantly modified, will be exempt from having an MOT Test. So, any car that was manufactured or first registered in 1978 will not need an MOT certificate from January 2019. However, you must still declare that the vehicle meets the MOT rules when you tax it (even if it is exempt from tax).

If you fail your MOT…

If your vehicle doesn’t pass its MOT, you will be given a VT30 by your MOT Test centre. You can either leave your vehicle with the garage to repair and retest it, or, if you have only minor faults, you can take your vehicle away, repair it and bring it back for a partial retest. If you choose the latter option, you will be charged for the partial retest unless you return it within the next 24 hours. Major and dangerous faults will need to be repaired in situ as you won’t be able to drive the vehicle. Provided the repairs and retest are done within ten days of the failed MOT test, the retest itself will be free (but you will have to pay for repairs).

MOTs can be a headache but they are there to protect you, other road users, and the environment. If you are in doubt about the safety of your vehicle, get in touch with a local garage.

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