A set of new MOT test failures are to be introduced when the vehicle safety test gets revamped in May 2018.

The main difference in the tests is the way that defects are categorised. Faults will now be listed as ‘Dangerous’, ‘Major’ and ‘Minor’. Emissions testing will also be ramped up, amidst increasing concerns over pollution.

Vehicle’s tested will automatically fail if they have anything categorised as either ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’, although cars can still pass the test with ‘minors’.

It will work in the same way as cars currently either have ‘reasons for failures’, and ‘advisory notices’ on their defects.

One example of the changes would include if a steering box was leaking slightly, it would be categorised as ‘minor’. However, if it was dripping, it would be raised a ‘major’ fault. If the steering then became loose, it would then be classed as ‘dangerous’. Faults listed as ‘dangerous’ will also mean that the car won’t be able to be driven away from the service centre.

Neil Barlow, MOT service manager at the DVSA (The Driving and Vehicle Standards Authority), said: “The DVSA’s priority is helping you keep your vehicle safe to drive. It’s important that vehicle owners make sure their vehicles are properly maintained and safe to drive at all times.

“The changes to the MOT will help ensure that we’ll all benefit from cleaner and safer vehicles on our roads.”

It comes after ministers recently decided not to extend the period that new cars need to wait to have an MOT test to four years, and instead leave it at three years.

Changes to the emissions testing will include checking exhausts thoroughly. For example if an exhaust fitted with a diesel particulate filter emits smoke of any colour, it will be listed as a major fault.

However, the RAC has expressed concern that motorists may not understand the changes.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “We fear many motorists may end up being confused by the new categories.

“Motorists may also struggle to understand the differences between ‘dangerous’ and ‘major’. The current system ensues that any vehicle that doesn’t meet the MOT requirements is repaired appropriately before being allowed on the road.”

Ted Welford


January 25, 2018