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MOT changes and how they affect you

It’s fair to say that 2018 is seeing a big shake up in motoring laws. From digital driving licences to learner drivers on the motorway, times certainly are changing! With this in mind, May will see in some new MOT regulations which are set to shake up the way the test is carried out and, ultimately, make it harder to pass.

The changes are being implemented to meet the European Union Roadworthiness package, a new directive from the EU. The key changes to the test is the new type of emissions testing as well as how defects are measured.

How will defects be measured?

The changes to the way defects are measured are the biggest impact to the MOT test.Instead of ‘advisory’ or ‘fail’, the new categories are as follows:

• Dangerous

• Major

• Minor

‘Minor’ defects are the same as the current ‘advisory’, essentially these are things that you will inevitably need to fix on your car but will not result in you failing the test.

‘Major’ and ‘dangerous’ faults need to be dealt with immediately and will result in a failed test.

What are the changes to the MOT emissions test?

Not only has the way you pass or fail the test changed, but also the way emissions are tested has been updated too. The previous emissions test - the New European Cycle (NEDC) - was implemented in the 1980s and has been criticised for its use in the 21st century.

The new test - The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) - has been designed to be tougher than its predecessor on measuring both fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Measuring the amount of nitrous oxide (NOx) is the Real Driving Emissions test (RDE) and as a result, diesel cars may struggle with this part of the test as their emissions are higher in NOx than petrol.

The government is working with garages, like ourselves, to ensure equipment is up to date ahead of the changes. From May, any diesel vehicle with a particulate filter will fail the test if it emits any smoke of any colour. Any attempt to tamper with this filter will result in a fail.

Will older cars be exempt from the MOT test?

From May, any vehicle manufactured before 1977 will not need an MOT test. This is because cars that typically fit that criteria are owned by enthusiasts and as a result are statistically less likely to have an accident or fail an MOT.

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary says: “I can assure you that as we plan for a revolutionary future, we are not losing sight of the importance of maintaining the heritage of the motor industry” His comments are supported by Sir Greg Knight MP, who says that the MOT test is “becoming progressively irrelevant for historic vehicles”