20th May 2018. It’s a date for the diary because that’s when the MOT test changes come into effect.

Every year, although you may dread it, your car has to be put through its roadworthiness test. Nobody looks forward to the bill that could be coming your way because a key component of your car has worn out and needs replacing, but it’s important and has to be done.

All cars, however old or new, need maintenance but it can be very easy to neglect your car’s condition. Whether it’s worn out brakes or a windscreen wiper that doesn’t work, the MOT is in place to keep your car up to scratch and ensure that our roads are used by less vehicles with maintenance issues.

The upcoming changes are a tougher set of rules, making it harder for cars to pass with flying colours. We’ll detail the changes below but if you need to bring yourself up to speed with what an MOT is and how it works, you can find more information here.

It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act to drive a vehicle that is in a dangerous condition and doesn’t have a valid MOT certificate (unless your car is over 40 years old or under 3 years old in which case they don’t require an MOT). So in a bid to raise the bar and improve the condition of the vehicles on our roads these are the main upcoming changes that you can expect to see:

  • Testers will grade problems as dangerous, major or minor. Dangerous and major faults will result in an instant fail.
  • Diesel cars are fitted with a diesel particular filter (DPF). This reduces the amount of soot that comes from a diesel car but can also cause faults, which usually results in it being removed. The new test will deem it an offence if DPF’s have been removed or tampered with
  • The test will now include a check for reverse lights
  • Brake discs will be inspected to see if they are “significantly or obviously worn”
  • The certificate itself will also change to make it easier to understand the faults and defects.

For a more detailed list of changes click here.

It may sound scary but there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s all in the name of safer driving and safer roads (and reducing the number of heavy polluting cars). As long as you keep on top of your car’s maintenance and address the issues as they occur, it should be plain sailing. Remember, it is a condition of your insurance policy to maintain your car in a roadworthy condition and have a valid MOT certificate (if required by law).