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The new MOT rules – what do they mean for you?

If you own a car, van or motorbike that’s over three years old, you will be aware that it requires an annual MOT test in order to ensure that it’s roadworthy.

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What you may not know is that from May 2018, the MOT test has undergone some changes. The changes include stricter rules for diesel-engined cars, but there are some other changes too, so exactly what has changed and what does it mean for you?

What’s new?

The major change to the MOT is that there are now three fault categories: Dangerous – which is a fail, Major – which is also a fail, and Minor – where the vehicle can still pass and you can get the problem fixed later. If your car is classed as having a Dangerous fault, you shouldn’t drive it away from the testing station until it’s been fixed. The new certificate will clearly list defects by category. Stricter rules for diesel cars mean that any vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that emits visible smoke during testing will get an automatic fail.

There are some new checks too. Testers now look for tyres that are obviously underinflated, contaminated brake fluid, and leaking fluid that poses an environmental risk. Reversing lights now need to be functional, testers will also look to see if brake pad warnings are lit. Vehicles first used from September 2009 with headlight washers will have to have them working, and vehicles first used from March 2018 with daytime running lights (DRLs) will have to have them working – though these won’t face their first test until 2021.

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Older cars

If you’re looking for a Gloucester MOT tester, such as http://swiftfit.uk.com/gloucester-mot/ and you have an older or classic vehicle, you probably already know that pre-1960 vehicles are exempt from testing.

This exemption changes under the new rules, so that it is brought into line with the rolling exemption from road fund licence for cars over 40 years old. However, this exemption will not apply if there have been ‘substantial changes’ that alter the car’s technical characteristics, such as a bigger engine or altered running gear. Not needing to have your classic car tested doesn’t, of course, mean you don’t have to keep it roadworthy and you should still get safety-related items checked.

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