Rules change for MOT tests

New rules for MOT were implemented on 20 May, including updated defect categorisations, strict limits for diesel emissions, widened test scopes, and exemptions for older vehicles.

Depending on road safety and environmental impacts, faults fall into three types: minor, major, and dangerous. Minor defect vehicles can still be driven but must be repaired as soon as possible. Both major and dangerous faults instantly fail. Major defects must be repaired immediately. Dangerous defects must not be driven with until repaired. All three classifications will be recorded online and on the vehicle’s MOT certificate.

Unlike the previous solely visual test, MOT test centres are required to remove and examine diesel particulate filters (DPF). These stricter policies expect more vehicles to initially fail in the effort to reduce carbon emission pollution.

Tests cover a wider range of vehicle parts such as tyre inflation, fluid leaks, brake pads, and all lights.

Under the imposed guidelines, light passenger vehicles 40 years or older can be exempt from needing an MOT. The latest excused registration date is 31 May 1978.

Since taking effect, there has been concern about a potential loophole in the MOT defect modifications. Motorists worry vehicles labelled with major or dangerous faults could be held by mechanics until the defect is fixed or parts are ransomed. Though garages have no actual power to seize a car, some unscrupulous shops may take advantage of the confusing rule wording.

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