The MOT test is due for a shake up in 2018. The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is making the changes that will come into force on the 20th May 2018.
An updated inspection manual will be introduced for all MOT testers across the UK. But what changes will it include?
New MOT fault categories
The new fault categories will be minor, major and dangerous. Major and dangerous defects will mean an automatic MOT fail. Major faults will require the vehicle to be fixed and retested and a dangerous defect will mean the car is dangerous, making it a criminal offence to drive on the road. A minor fault would be flagged up on the MOT certificate with other advisory notes about what needs to be done.
The DVSA say these have been put in place to help drivers do right thing, as in not simply drive away from the garage.
Emission testing will get tougher, especially for Diesel cars. If a diesel car’s exhaust emits ‘visible smoke of any colour’ it will be deemed a major fault and fail the test.
Steering locks will be tested.
There will be a check on the reverse lights, and will result in a fail if they aren’t working.
Brake discs will be tested for significant wear and will also be considered a major or even dangerous fault if found to be obviously worn.
The test is changing to bring it into line with an EU Directive called the EU Roadworthiness Package.
What can you, the driver do?
Before taking your car for an MOT it is always worth doing some basic checks. So check your windscreen for cracks or chips, check the wipers are still working well.
Tyre tread is something that often leads to a fail so it is worth checking these before the test. And of course any blown lightbulbs, and replace if necessary.
Check your horn works. This is a very common fail item.
Check for any leaks around the vehicle.
Ensure your fuel is at a decent level before taking it for the test. An MOT can’t be carried out on an empty or nearly empty fuel tank.
Make sure the seatbelts work smoothly and correctly.
For diesel car owners (or if you’re considering buying a diesel) check the DPF (diesel particulate filter) if you have one. If your dash light is flashing orange then it may be becoming blocked, which could cost a lot of money.