The government has announced changes to the way MOT Tests are carried out which will come into affect on the 20th May 2018. These changes are required to implement the EU Roadworthiness Directive.

The first major change is to the way information is shown on the pass and failure certificates. Defects will now be categorised as dangerous, major or minor. Vehicles with dangerous or major faults will automatically fail the test and those flagged as dangerous will see the vehicle’s presenter advised not to drive their vehicle away from the garage until these defects are repaired. Minor defects will be handled in much the same was as advisories are today, providing information to the owner of what repairs may be required in the near future.

For diesel-engined vehicles in the Euro5 and Euro6 emissions categories the exhaust emissions smoke limit will be halved and additionally any vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) which emits any colour of visible smoke from the tailpipe during emissions testing will also fail. The visual inspection for the DPF will be improved and now vehicles will fail the test if there’s evidence it has not just been removed as is currently the case but also whether it has been tampered with, with the onus being on the owner to prove any tampering has been done for legitimate reasons.

Some tweaks have been made to other areas of the test. Brake components such as brake discs will fail if there’s evidence they are worn. Checking the operations of reverse lamps has been added to the lighting section. The engine management light (check engine light) must illuminate when the ignition is switched on and must go out when the engine starts.

Cars 40 years old and older will be exempt from MOT testing from May so any car manufactured before 1978 this year, 1979 next year and so on. These vehicles must still be roadworthy but as most are owned by enthusiasts the government believe they will be well maintained and not used often.

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