MOT 2018 Rule Changes - Everything You Need To Know
October 31, 2018 at 1:05 PM
The MoT test is due for a major shake up on 20 May this year, when tough new rules for diesel cars and new defect categories come into force.
From that date, faults will be classified as Minor, Major and Dangerous, with Major and Dangerous issues causing an automatic failure. Cars with Minor defects will be allowed to pass the test, but faults will be recorded on their MoT certificate and online MoT record, just as advisories are now.
Diesel cars will also have to meet strict new rules to pass their MoT: any car fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that emits “visible smoke of any colour” during metered tests will get a Major fault, and automatically fail its MoT.
The new Minor, Major and Dangerous categories will be applied to all cars, and are being introduced to meet a new EU directive, dubbed the European Union Roadworthiness Package.
One example of the new criteria, set out in a draft DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) MoT guide, concerns steering: a steering box leaking oil would get a Minor fault; if the oil is leaking so badly as to be dripping, that would constitute a Major defect, causing the car to fail its MoT.
If the steering wheel itself, meanwhile, was so loose as to be “likely to become detached”, that would constitute a Dangerous failure, and the MoT certificate flag this up to the car’s owner with greater urgency. Barlow added that more explicit safety warnings would be included on certificates for cars with serious faults, with the Road Traffic Act and penalties for dangerous vehicles likely to be highlighted.
Eric Smith, MoT scheme manager at Kwik Fit, which carries out almost a million MoTs a year clarified that this would bring the terminology in line with the wording of the Road Traffic Act, “A Dangerous item means that vehicle should not be driven away from the garage,” adding: “Driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition is a criminal offence.”
Other changes to the MoT test include the addition of a check for reverse lights, while brake discs will be inspected to see if they are “significantly or obviously worn”, as well as taking in current checks for oil contamination of the disc, and how securely they are attached to the wheel hubs.
Commenting on the changes, RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “While on the surface this change, which is part of an EU Directive due to come into force in May, seems like a sensible move, we fear many motorists could end up being confused.
“Rather than MOT failures simply being black and white, the new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are ‘Dangerous’, ‘Major’ or ‘Minor’.
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