Important Update on the MOT

18 May 2018

On the 20th May 2018 the MOT test will change with new rules, new defect types, exemptions for some vehicles over 40 years old and stricter rules for diesel emission vehicles all coming in to force.

Each item tested during the MOT will now receive one of the following categories:

Dangerous (Fail): 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.

Major (Fail): It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately.

Minor (Pass): No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible.

Advisory (Pass): 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 standard.

There will be stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), and your vehicle will get a major fault if the MOT tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust or finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with

The new rules also state that 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 can help ensure your vehicle stays in tip-top condition and keeps you safe on the road by doing some simple maintenance checks on a regular basis.


F (Fuel): Make sure you have enough for your journey. This may seem like a no brainer but in 2015 traffic officers had to deal with 7000 cases of vehicles running out of fuel.

L (Lights): Clean all the lights and ensure they are working properly. If your lights aren’t working correctly other drivers won’t know what manoeuvres you are planning on making and your visibility will be severely restricted at night or in bad weather.

O (Oil): Check the oil level. The correct level of oil prevents your vehicle’s engine from seizing up so don’t wait until you see the oil pressure light come on before topping up.

W (Water): Check the coolant level and top up the windscreen washer fluid. It’s important to keep your windscreen as clean and free from debris as possible to ensure you have good visibility and can clearly see other road users.

E (Electrics): Problems with the battery are one of the most common reasons for a breakdown so ensure yours is in good working order.

R (Rubber): Check tyres to ensure they have the correct pressures, tread depths and for signs of wear and tear. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm but we recommend getting tyres changed at a minimum tread depth of 3mm.

S (Self): Ask yourself: ‘Am I fit to drive?’ Illness, fatigue, alcohol, illegal drugs and legal medications can all affect your ability to drive safely.

Remember it’s illegal to drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out, and if caught doing so you could be fined up to £1000. It’s worth signing up to receive free MOT reminders by text or email from the official government website: You’ll receive a reminder one month before you’re MOT is due to expire and another two weeks before the due date if the vehicle has not been tested by then.


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