posted 11 months ago

New MOT Rules Make It Harder to Pass from May 2018

New MOT fault categories explained, which extra components have to be inspected plus tougher diesel emission checks

New MOT summary changes

New MOT rules introduce a new way to categorise your vehicle’s faults, further parts to evaluate and tougher emission standards from May 20th 2018 throughout England, Scotland and Wales, The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency confirmed. Such rules apply if you own a car, van, motorbike or any other light passenger vehicle.

Fault categorisation

New MOT rules require the examiner to categorise faults more precisely. The table below reveals the new categories, the implications of having associated faults, what has to be done and any impact on whether your vehicle passes or fails its test. The paper/electric certificate has evolved to include these categories. 

Category Implication
 Required Action
 Impact  On Test


 Direct and immediate risk to  road safety or a serious impact   on the environment

 Repair the fault  before driving   the vehicle


 Might impede vehicle safety,   put others at risk or have an   impact on the environment
 Repair the fault   immediately 



 Does not significantly impede   the safety of the vehicle or the   environment

 Repair the fault  as soon as   possible



 Could become more  serious in   the future

 Monitor, then  repair the fault if   necessary



 Meets minimum standard

 Make sure the  part continues to   meet the  required  standard


Extra parts checked

New, 2018, MOT rule changes also increase the number of components that have to be inspected. The additional considerations relate to:

  • Incorrect tyre pressure (obviously low)
  • Brake fluid contamination
  • Fluid leaks that pose an environmental risk
  • Missing brake pads
  • Missing brake discs
  • Brake pad warning light
  • Reversing lights (if registered from September 1st 2009)
  • Headlight washers (if registered from September 1st 2009)
  • Daytime running lights (if registered from March 1st 2018)

Stricter rules for diesels

New MOT Rules Make It Harder to Pass from May 2018 Image 0

MOT changes impose stricter rules if your vehicle has a diesel particulate filter. The purpose of the filter is to trap the soot that is bad for the environment. Expect, therefore, stricter emission standards. Your examiner lists a major, failing, fault if:

  • Smoke of any colour emerges from the exhaust
  • Diesel particulate filter has been tampered with

Further points

There are further points to note. In January 2018, the government chose to keep the age most vehicles first require inspection at three years rather than extend it. Furthermore, the maximum garages can charge has not been changed. It remains £54.85 for cars, for example. Finally, the penalty for not having a test remains £1,000.

What the MOT covers

The MOT continues to incorporate a wide range of familiar, long established, checks. The table below reveals some key examples.


                 Example Check


                   No excessive corrosion, no sharp                           edges

Tow bar

                   Secure, electrics work properly

Fuel system
                   No Leaks, fuel cap fastens

                   Secure, not too noisy


                   Present, operate properly


                   Secure, driver’s seat can be adjusted

                   Secure when shut, fronts open from                        inside
                   Present, secure
Load security
                   Tailgate closes securely
Brakes        Stops vehicle safely, anti-lock works
        Correct type, legal tread depth
Registration plates
        Secure, correct format
        Headlamp aim, main beam warning              light
        Closes securely
Wipers and washers
        Effectively remove debris
        Driver can see clearly
        Operates, suitable for the vehicle

Steering and suspension

        Condition, no inappropriate                            modification

                  Battery secure, visible wiring safe

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