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Changes to the MOT Test

The MOT test is changing from May 2018. Make sure you are aware of the changes that are coming in to practise and how they will affect you!

The changes coming in to effect on 20th May 2018 will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles.

Changes to the MOT Test

New Defect Categories

The changes include new categorisations of defects which are classified as dangerous, major and minor. The category depends upon the type of problem your vehicle has and MOT testers will still provide advice on anything which needs to be repaired or monitored.

This is what the new categories mean:


If your vehicle is categorised as dangerous it means that there is a direct and immediate risk to road safety or that it has a serious impact on the environment. Not only will this cause your vehicle to fail the MOT test, but you will not be allowed to drive the vehicle until it has been repaired.


The major categorisation also translates as a fail, however, you are still allowed to drive your vehicle. The fault will have been found to affect the safety of the vehicle or other road users or have an impact on the environment and must be repaired immediately.


If your vehicle is categorised with a minor then it will pass its MOT test but you should repair the fault as soon as possible. Minor faults are issues, however, they have no significant effect on safety or impact on the environment.


As before, an advisory is a warning about a small fault which could develop in to something more serious. You will pass your MOT test with advisories although you will need to monitor and repair if necessary.


A pass indicates that your vehicle meets the minimum legal standard required by the MOT test.

The MOT certificate will change to list any defects under the new categories so they are easy to understand.


The new MOT test changes also mean that there will be stricter limits imposed on diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

If you do have a DPF and it has been removed or tampered with, you must prove that this was done for a legitimate reason, such as cleaning. Otherwise, the MOT tester will refuse to test your vehicle.

In addition, your vehicle will be given a major fault if there is smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust.

Classic Cars

Currently only vehicles built before 1960 are exempt from requiring an MOT. The new rules mean that vehicles won’t need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered, regarding that they have not been substantially changed.

Other Changes

There are also new items which will now be checked during the MOT test. These include:

For a full list of what gets inspected during the MOT test take a look at our helpful MOT Checklist.