Changes to the MOT test come into force on Sunday 20 May 2018 in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is introducing five main changes that will affect the owners of cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles.

Defects will be categorised differently, with defects classed as either dangerous, major or minor. Vehicles found to have dangerous or major defects will automatically fail the MOT test.

There will be stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). A 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.

Several new checks will be carried out during the MOT test:

    • if tyres are obviously underinflated
    • if the brake fluid has been contaminated
    • for fluid leaks posing an environmental risk
    • brake pad warning lights and if brake pads or discs are missing
    • reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
    • headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009 (if they have them)
    • daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018 (most of these vehicles will have their first MOT in 2021 when they’re 3 years old)

The MOT certificate will change to a new style that lists any defects under the new categories. The service to check the MOT history of a vehicle has been updated to reflect the changes.

While previously, only vehicles first built before 1960 were exempt from needing an MOT, under the new rules some vehicles over 40 years old won’t need an MOT.

“DVSA’s priority is to help you keep your vehicle safe to drive,” said DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn. “With the MOT changing on 20 May you can start to look forward to cleaner, safer vehicles with greater clarity if you own a car on any defects identified by the tester. A properly maintained vehicle should have no problem passing the new MOT.”

Find out more about the MOT test changes.