MOT Test Rules are Changing – What Garages and Dealerships Need to Know

New MOT Rules

From 20th May 2018, the MOT test will see several changes that garages and dealerships need to be fully prepared for.

With just a few months to go until these changes officially kick in, dealer management system and website provider Dragon2000 are giving you a quick run through on what to expect from the new tests.

According to a draft of the new MOT inspection manual which has been published by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), three new categories are being introduced to grade car defects. Based on the urgency of the fault which requires rectification, the categories are Minor, Major and Dangerous, which escalate in severity.

Passing the test is still achievable with a Minor defect, however this must be recorded on the MOT certificate. Major defects will result in an automatic fail, as would Dangerous defects – but as you would expect, any vehicle with a Dangerous defect should not be driven away from the garage.

Light checks on a vehicle will now include daytime, front fogs and reverse lights, while steering will now be added to the test. Brake discs will also now be inspected to see if they’re “significantly or obviously worn”.

Diesel vehicles will now face tougher tests, as any car fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) will automatically fail should there be any signs of “visible smoke of any colour”. The MOT Tester should also check for signs that the DPF has been removed or otherwise tampered with. Where a DPF canister has clearly been cut open and re-welded, the vehicle will now fail its MOT test unless there is evidence that the canister was cut open for valid reasons, such as cleaning the filter.

Classic car owners may benefit from the new rules, as annual checks will be scrapped for vehicles over 40 years old. However, voluntary MOT tests will be made available to these owners if they believe their vehicle requires the inspection. It is understood that the Government sees a greater risk of MOT failure in modern cars compared to cars over 40 years old.

The MOT testing service helpdesk has also now become part of DVSA’s call centre, which means if you call and have a follow-up question which is a technical matter, they will be able to transfer you directly to the MOT Standards team. Soon, they will merge the two phone numbers to try and make the service as easy as possible for garages and dealerships to use.

The new MOT inspection manual is available on the Government website, but as it is currently still a draft version, some of its content could change before it is introduced on the 20th May.


Dragon2000 have been helping dealers and garages drive their businesses forward since 1995.
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