DRIVING OFFENCES

Changes to MOT in the UK – May 2018

Anyone who owns a car, van, motorcycle or any other light passenger vehicle will know that the MOT is an important annual test to ensure that the vehicle is suitable for road-use.

It is often a purely administrative check on a vehicle to make sure it doesn’t have any problems, but can sometimes be a lot more serious for older vehicles, as it may highlight a major issue that will be costly to fix. This will also stop the owner being able to drive it until that issue is resolved, and could ultimately lead to the owner looking for a replacement vehicle if the price to fix the issue is too high.

However, the government has recently brought in changes to the MOT test on the 20th May 2018. Anyone thinking of taking their vehicle in for a test after this date should be aware of the changes just in case one of them crops up in their test.

New Tests and Certificate

The biggest change to the new MOT is that there are now new tests to be performed by a qualified mechanic. For vehicle owners, this is something that they should be aware of prior to taking the vehicle in for a test. They include:

  • Tyres are inflated correctly
  • Brake fluid is not contaminated and checking for any leaks
  • Brake pads are still of adequate quality and making sure they aren’t missing
  • Reversing lights working on vehicles used from 1st Sept 2009
  • Headlight Washers working on vehicles used from 1st Sept 2009
  • Daytime running lights working on vehicles used from 1st March 2018

New Categories

In addition, there has been a major change to the MOT test involving the categorising of issues found during the inspection by a qualified mechanic. Essentially they will consist of the following new categories:

  • Dangerous – categorising an issue as dangerous means that it is so severe it poses a direct risk to the driver’s safety and the safety of other road users. Finding a dangerous fault on the vehicle will result in an immediate FAIL on the MOT test.
  • Major – categorising an issue as major means that it has the potential to endanger the driver or other road users. Finding a major fault on the vehicle will result in an immediate FAIL on the MOT test.
  • Minor – categorising an issue as minor means that it will still need to be fixed, but it does not endanger the driver or other road users. Finding a minor fault on the vehicle will result in a PASS on the MOT test, but it is advised the issue is repaired as soon as possible.
  • Advisory – categorising an issue as advisory means that the mechanic has noticed an issue that may become more serious over time, but does not need an immediate repair. Finding an advisory fault on the vehicle will result in a PASS on the MOT test, but it is advised the issue is monitored closely and repaired if necessary.
  • Pass – the particular area of the vehicle has passed the minimum legal standard for road use. No action will need to be taken but it’s worth maintaining the vehicle so no issues develop.

A smaller change to the MOT test includes a new layout for the actual MOT certificate upon completion. This includes the above categories and the action that will need to be taken for the vehicle to pass.

Diesel Emissions

In an increased bid to monitor diesel emissions, the government has made the rules on this aspect of an MOT a lot more stringent. It means that if any smoke can be seen coming from the exhaust or if the mechanic feels that the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) has been tampered with, the vehicle will receive an automatic major fault, as categorised above.

MOT Exemption

There used to be exemptions for vehicles that stated that if they were built before the year 1960 then they no longer needed an annual MOT test. However, this regulation has now been changed to the point where a vehicle needs to have been registered for 40 years with the manufacturer. After 40 years, the vehicle will then be exempt from needing an MOT.

For any legal advice surrounding your vehicle and if you were involved in a road traffic accident of any nature, speak to DPP Law today for help and guidance on how to proceed.