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The five things you need to know about the changes to the MOT test

View profile for Cristina Parla
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The Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA) will introduce changes to the MOT test on 20 May 2018.  The changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles

Here’s what you need to know:

Categories will evolve from a simple ‘pass’ or ‘fail’


  • Minor – no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or environment
  • Advisory – it could become more serious in the future
  • Pass – meets the minimum legal standard


  • Dangerous – immediate risk to road safety or serious impact on the environment
  • Major – it may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment

This should make it easier for road users to understand the test certificate as defects will be recorded and listed under the correct category.

Stricter rules on diesel emissions

To improve air quality and make roads safer, an instant fail will be given if:

  • smoke of any colour emits from the exhaust;
  • there is evidence that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been tampered with.

Additional safety checks will be carried out during the MOT

The test centre will investigate/check:

  • underinflated tyres
  • contaminated brake fluid
  • fluid leaks
  • brake pad warning lights
  • missing brake pads or brake discs
  • reversing lights (vehicles first used from 01 September 2009)
  • headlight washers (vehicles first used from 01 September 2009)
  • daytime running lights (vehicles first used from 01 March 2018)

The MOT certificate design will change

  • The certificate will be easier to understand
  • Any defects found will be listed under the new categories

Some vehicles over 40 years old will not require an MOT

  • An MOT will not be required if the vehicle is over 40 years old and has not been substantially changed

The above changes will make it harder for vehicles, especially diesel, to pass the test but it is anticipated that tougher regulations will improve air pollution and make roads safer for motorists.

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