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    Q976: Has the MoT changed and how will this affect me?

    On Sunday 20th May 2018 five changes were made to the way the MoT test is conducted for cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales.

    CHANGE 1
    Defects discovered during the MoT will be categorised as being either dangerous, major or minor. It will depend on the type of defect and its seriousness as to which category the MoT tester places it in. Additionally, the tester will also provide guidance about issues you need to monitor in relation to the vehicle – these are referred to as 'advisories'. The new categories have meanings shown in the table below:

    Item result

    What it means about the item

    How it affects your MOT result


    A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it's been repaired.



    It may affect the vehicle's safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately.



    No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible.



    It could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair it if necessary.



    It meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standard.


    CHANGE 2
    Diesel vehicles with a diesel particulate filter (DPF ) must comply with stricter limits for emissions. If you are uncertain as to whether your vehicle is fitted with a DPF, check your vehicle's handbook or contact an approved dealer. If the MoT tester is able to see smoke of any colour coming from your vehicle's exhaust or if they find evidence that the DPF has been tampered with, your vehicle will receive a major fault defect.

    CHANGE 3
    Additional items added to the MoT test are:

    • Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018. The majority of these vehicles will have their first MoT in 2021 when they are 3 years old
    • Headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009 (if fitted)
    • Reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009
    • Obviously underinflated tyres
    • Contaminated brake fluid
    • Fluid leaks that pose an environmental risk
    • Brake pad warning lights and whether brake pads/discs are missing

    CHANGE 4
    The format of the MoT certificate and the website that allows you to check a vehicle's MoT history (see link below) has changed to include the new types of defects.

    CHANGE 5
    Some cars, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles over 40 years old won't need an MoT providing they haven't been substantially changed. Presently, only vehicles first built before 1960 are exempt from the requirement to have an MoT. When the rules change on 20 May 2018, vehicles won't require an MoT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered e.g. if a car was first registered on 31st May 1978, it won't need an MOT from 31st May 2018. You can check the date when a vehicle was registered via the link above in change 4.


    • The maximum fees that MoT garages can charge are shown in the link below:
    • You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date. You can obtain a free MoT reminder via text or email one month before your MoT is due – see the link below:
    • The government have decided to leave the time at which a vehicle will require its first MoT at 3 years and not extend it to 4.
    • You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

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