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The changes are being made to comply with the EU roadworthiness directive, a set of rules which cover everything from technical inspection of cars to the registration of vehicle documents.
The DVSA hopes that the new changes will benefit both MoT testers and customers, by improving the structure of the test and making the results easier for drivers to understand.
Below are details of the May 2018 MoT changes and how they could affect motorists in the future.
New failure ratings
From May 2018, new failure ratings will be introduced to MOT testing. It is hoped the changes will make it easier for motorists to identify which areas of their vehicle are in need of attention.
The test will now categorise defects and faults under three new categories, Dangerous, Minor and Major. The categories are designed to grade how severe or dangerous a fault is. Manual advisories will no longer be given.
Minor faults will not affect the test and cars can still pass with these, but the details of the defect will be noted on the MoT certificate alongside other advisory notices. Cars that have a major or dangerous defect will automatically fail the test and the driver will be advised not to drive the vehicle away in its current condition.
An example of the new criteria is a steering box leaking oil – this would receive a minor fault under the new guidelines. However, if the oil was leaking so badly it was dripping, this would be considered a major fault and would cause the car to fail.
Neil Barlow, head of MoT policy for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said the new categories would “help motorists do the right thing – IE not drive away from a garage”.
A diesel loophole involving diesel particulate filters (DFP) will be closed, making it harder for diesel powered vehicles to pass the test. This comes as part of the crackdown on cars producing ‘dirty’ and toxic emissions. DPFs will now be rigorously checked and if they are found to have been removed or tampered with, the car will automatically fail. This last instruction overrules current MoT rules, which stipulate a car should only be rejected if its DPF is totally missing.
If the exhaust on a vehicle fitted with a DPF emits visible smoke of any colour from the exhaust, the car will automatically be issued with a major fault.
Free notification service
Data produced by the DVSA in 2017 found that more than 25% of cars are overdue their MoT in the UK. To combat this issue, the agency launched a free notification service in attempt to make Britain’s roads safer.
Drivers can now receive a free annual text message or email 4 weeks before their car’s MOT is due. This service is free and simple to apply to. For more information or to apply, click here.