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How the new MOT laws affect you

MOT test centre sign and car

From 20th May 2018, it’s going to be a lot tougher to keep your car on the road because a strict set of new MOT laws come into effect.

This week we’re going to guide you through them and find out how likely they are to affect you and your current vehicle.

MOT fault categories

When you receive your new MOT certificate, one of the first things you’ll notice is the change in how faults are categorised. Gone are the old advisories, to be replaced with a new categorisation system consisting of 3 levels:

– Minor
– Major
– Dangerous

Major and dangerous issues will lead to an immediate fail, whereas minor problems will be added to the MOT certificate in the same way that the old advisories were.

The difference is that with the old laws a car could fail its MOT and still be driven from the garage if it had a current MOT certificate. With the new MOT laws a dangerous fail should make it clear that driving the car away from the garage would be a criminal offence because it contravenes the Road Traffic Act.

Tough on diesels

The Department of Transport is also cracking down on diesel drivers this spring. If your car is fitted with a DPF (diesel particulate filter) and it shows any signs of being tampered with or produces smoke of any colour, it’ll lead to an instant major fault fail. This, along with a tougher emissions test, will have many diesel owners worrying, but as long as your car is in good condition you’ll be fine.

Other changes 

The other significant changes are tests to ensure reversing lights are functioning correctly, brake discs are not ‘significantly or obviously worn’, and a test of the steering.

In short, these changes are designed by the EU to make sure that the vehicle is safer for the road user and the environment, while also making it easier for the owner to understand the outcome of the test. It’s unclear yet whether testers will find it more complicated to categorise faults correctly, as it does appear that there’s some room for interpretation during the testing procedure which could lead to variants in the results from different garages.

We hope that this brief introduction to the new MOT laws coming this spring helps you to make an informed decision about your vehicle – after all, we want to see you down at Trafalgar Street in a car you can rely on!