Tough new MOT rules arrive on Sunday 20th May, but RAC research shows that 50% of drivers are still confused about the shake-up.  

It’s the most significant change to the MOT test since it was introduced in 1960, introducing tougher emissions rules for diesel cars, new failure categories and some new checks and exemptions.

With a range of tough new checks, Duffy Motors is reminding customers that we offer free re-tests with all repair work, if your car fails its MOT. Most garages offer a free or half price re-test on very minor jobs, but we offer a free re-test on anything.

Here’s everything you need to know about the changes and how it might affect your next test.

Diesel emissions

Lee Atkinson of Duffy Motors said: “One of the biggest changes is with emissions on diesel vehicles. If a car has a diesel particulate filter and we see any smoke coming out of it, that’s an automatic fail.”

Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) will also fail if they have been removed or tampered with. Some drivers remove their DPF because they get clogged up, but this is illegal and carries a £1,000 fine.

“If you get your car service properly then you shouldn’t have a problem,” Lee said. “Use a good garage, make sure you put the right oil in your car and drive sensibly and you shouldn’t have a problem passing the new diesel emissions tests.”

Minors and majors

Bring your car in for an MOT from Sunday and it will be judged against new minor, major and dangerous fault categories – a bit like a driving test.

If your car has a major defect, then it’s an automatic fail. But if you get a minor fault with ‘no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment’ then you will still pass your test with a warning to get it repaired as soon as possible.

Too dangerous to drive

If your car has a serious fault, then it will be classified as ‘dangerous’.

If a fault is ‘a direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment’, then you will not be allowed to drive the car away from the test centre until it’s fixed. Or else you’ll have to arrange for vehicle transport.

New checks and exemptions

“MOT testers have been trying to get to grips with all the new checks for weeks now. There’s lots more been added and some that have disappeared,” Lee said.

Reversing lights, daytime running lights and front fog lights will be checked on newer vehicles.

There will be additional checks on previously unchecked items like noise suppression materials, the vehicle undertray and the engine malfunction indicator light inside your car.

MOT testers will be checking if your tyres are obviously underinflated, if brake fluid has been contaminated and if fluid leaks pose an environmental risk. Brake pads or discs and brake pad warning lights will also be checked.

Vehicles that are more than 40 years old are now exempt from MOT testing, as well as cars that are less than three years old.

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