The new MOT in a nutshell
Heard about the new MOT rules that came into force in May? Don’t worry – if your car’s perfectly safe, there’s nothing in there that’ll take it off the road. But it is a bit stricter, especially on cars with dangerous faults. If you’re worried your car might not make the grade, it’s worth planning ahead rather than risking a fail.
The new MOT test is ditching advisory notes for a more in-depth breakdown. This includes three categories:
- Minor: these still pass the MOT, but you should get them fixed.
- Major: these need to be fixed straight away. Then your car will need to be retested before you get your VT20 pass certificate.
- Dangerous: one problem here and the car will automatically fail. That’ll make it illegal to drive.
The new way they’ll look at your steering box is a good example of the changes in action. If it’s leaking oil, that’s a minor fault. If the oil leak’s dripping, that’s major. If the steering wheel’s so loose it could fall off, that’s a dangerous fault. Testers will examine more of your car as well. There are added checks for reverse lights and 'significantly or obviously worn' brake discs.
Diesel dos and don’ts
MOT tests now include the diesel particulate filter (DPF). If it’s been removed or tampered with, you’ll have to give a legitimate reason or testers can refuse to complete the test. Any visible smoke from the exhaust and you’ll get a major fault too. But you don’t have to worry about getting your local garage to clean the DPF – that’s a legitimate reason for removal.
Classic car countdown
Under the old rules, classic cars only counted as a historic vehicle if they were pre-1960. Under the new rules, any unmodified car over 40 years old is a historic vehicle and won’t need an MOT.