What is an MOT and What are the New Rules for 2018?
In the UK, automotive vehicles that are three-years-old or older must, by law, pass an annual MOT test to demonstrate their safety and roadworthiness. The name, MOT is derived from the Ministry of Transport, which is a now-defunct government department. Nevertheless, the name has stuck and remains an iconic aspect of driving in the UK.
It is important to note that an MOT is compulsory for any road vehicle. You can’t avoid having it tested annually and if you try, you’ll be slapped on the wrists with a fine. Furthermore, driving without a valid MOT certificate invalidates your car insurance, which means you could be liable for damages in the event of a road accident. If you don’t get the vehicle checked out, you could also be driving with a potentially serious fault that could put you and other road users at risk.
You can get an MOT test booked in up to a month minus a day prior to the expiry of your vehicle’s existing MOT certificate.
What is checked during an MOT test?
The MOT test is an extensive examination of your vehicle, carried out by a qualified technician. You are allowed to watch the test, but you are not allowed to interfere during the examination. The test covers the following areas of your vehicle:
· Vehicle lights
· Vehicle horn
· Vehicle battery
· Electrical wiring
· Brakes, pedals and levers
· Seat belts
· Vehicle chassis
· Registration plates
· Exhaust system
· Fuel system
· Windscreen wipers and mirrors
2018: The year of MOT test changes
From 20th May 2018, the MOT test changed in England, Wales and Scotland to incorporate brand-new defect types, tightened rules for diesel vehicle emissions and new exemptions for vehicles aged 40-years-old and older. There are five key changes to bear in mind:
· Vehicle defect categorisation
Any new defects discovered during an MOT will now be categorised as either: dangerous, major or minor. Dangerous and major defects will result in a failed MOT, while minor and advisory defects will still lead to a passed MOT.
· Diesel car emissions
Diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter will be subject to stricter emissions limits. If smoke of any colour is viewed coming from the exhaust or there is evidence a vehicle’s DPF has been tampered with during a MOT test, these will be instant fails.
· Additions to the MOT examination
A string of new checks have been added to the MOT exam, including: tyre inflation levels, brake fluid contamination checks, fluid leaks, brake pad warning lights, reversing lights (on vehicles built after 1st September 2009), headlight washers (on vehicles built after 1st September 2009) and daytime running lights (on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018).
· New MOT certificate
The traditional MOT certificate has also been given something of a makeover, listing the new types of defects.
· Some 40-year-old vehicles will be MOT-exempt
Cars, vans and motorbikes that are 40-years-old and have not been substantially changed will be exempt from needing an annual MOT.
How to choose the right garage to undertake your MOT
It’s not always easy to find a high-quality local garage that you can trust. That’s why we created the AA Garage Guide – a nationwide network of independent garages with technicians and engineers with recognised industry accreditations that provide excellent levels of service.
Don’t forget, you can also create your free Automyze account where you can find, book and log MOT and servicing work. Think of it as your digital service book, where you can set up MOT, vehicle tax and servicing reminders to help you keep your vehicle in the best shape possible.