MOT Changes: What does this mean for you?

For over 60 years the Ministry of Transport (MOT) test has ensured vehicles are safely maintained for road use. On the 20thMay 2018 this test was revised and it has seen some significant changes. We have reviewed these and highlighted what the reasoning is and how this might affect you.

There are the five main areas in the MOT that have seen some of the biggest alterations, here is a guide to them and the impacts to you:


  1. Categorising of defects:

The outcome of an MOT has been expanded, moving away from the standard black and white, pass or fail to a sliding scale that assesses the type of the problem and how serious it is, it will help owners focus on what is more important:

Item result What does this mean? What will the result of the MOT be?
Dangerous A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has serious impact on the environment. DO not drive the vehicle until it has been repaired Fail
Major It may affect the vehicles safety, out other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair immediately Fail
Minor No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible. Pass
Advisory It could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair it if necessary. Pass
Pass It meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standards. Pass

What was once, simply, a pass or a fail is now a detailed assessment of the vehicles roadworthiness.

Are you looking after your vehicle as well as you could?

  1. Stricter rules for diesel emissions:

Limits have changed for those that have Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). Simply put…. If the vehicle emits visible smoke of any colour it will fail, likewise if evidence is found of the DPF having been tampered with the vehicle will also fail.

There are three other key areas that have been identified as having the potential to cause serious accidents and will be scrutinised more closely than ever before:

  1. New things to check:

In addition to current checks, there are some new areas that will now checked:

  • Tyres that are obviously underinflated
  • Brake fluid has been contaminated
  • Fluid has leaked, posing an environmental risk
  • Reversing lights on all vehicles are functional
  • Brake pad warning lights are lit, and if brake pads or discs are missing
  • Headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009 (if they are fitted)
  • Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018 (majority of these vehicles will have their first MOT in 2021 when they’re 3 years old)


  1. The MOT certificate is changing too:

The new designed certificate will include a list of any defects under each of the categories, so they are clear and easy to understand. As a consequence, any future buyers of the vehicle will be able to see another element of the vehicle’s history.

  1. Turning 40 isn’t so bad:

Where previously vehicles that were registered before 1960 were exempt from MOT’s, under the new rules it now means vehicles won’t need an MOT from the 40thanniversary of their registration. Exempt to this new rule will be any vehicle that has been “substantially changed” within the last 30 years. This means if the technical characteristics of the main components have changed, it will need to have an MOT.

If your MOT is due or needs booking, or if you have questions about the change and the impacts they might for your MOT result drop us a call, we are here to steer you through the process and keep you motoring!

Happy Motoring The Standlake Vehicle Service Team




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