Thursday 15th February 2018
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new mot changes 2018

Your MOT from May 2018 will change. These changes are as a result under the EU Roadworthiness Package which aims to standardize testing and improve road safety. These changes  relate to  failures for major and minor faults,  in addition diesel cars getting a much more stringent emissions check.

New MOT Categories

The following categories  now apply to the test for any  defects found with a vehicle;

  • Dangerous
  • Major
  • Minor

Up until now, any minor issues  identified  would have been recorded as advisory  if a pass certificate was issued.  But in a few months’ time  the above new failure categories will  come into force.

With the new test, if a vehicle receives a dangerous or major notification  then an automatic failure will be issued for road worthiness. However, if only a minor fault is found then a pass certificate will still go ahead and all Minors will be noted on their certificate.

Examples of the new faults coming into play can be found in the power steering column. If the power steering liquid displays a leak in any of the pipes then this would be noted as a minor fault however, if the leak is found dripping then this would be moved to a major fault and a fail would be issued.

If say the steering wheel was loose, or a tow bar showed signs of ‘likely to become detached ’ then this would be marked as dangerous failing the MOT and marked as urgent attention required on the MOT certificate.

Further example would be checks carried out to the brake discs to see how much they have worn down, how secure they are to the wheel hubs, or if there is any leaking oil.

Dangerous faults mean that the vehicle is not safe to drive away from the garage and could cause an accident.

A lot of research has been carried out by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) across a broad range of motorists to clarify the information on an MOT certificate to make it better and more understandable and forms part of the reason  why these changes are being brought into effect.

Neil Barlow from the DVSA has stated “The new categorisation should help motorists to do the right thing, by not driving away from the garage and get the fault fixed first. So we’ve put a much more robust set of wording around that”.

Diesel Emissions Testing

The new emissions test will get much more stringent with the aim of continuing to protect our environment. Diesel vehicles will become the worst off for the new tests as the limits will be made lower making it much harder to pass.

An example here would be if a vehicle is fitted with a diesel particulate filter and is seen to have any fault or  display any smoke at all then a ‘Major Fault’ would be noted, thus failing the MOT.

More info can be found here:

The DVSA Govt
MOT Testing Guide

Please have your say below on what you think about the new MOT changes due out in May.


Motorists always have to pay. Parking, tolls. Emissions and safety I can understand. We are not in the EU for much longer so Why? Is it to give everyone a job in our government? Why?

the mot shops be about general safety and reasonable emission.
the more the government makes it difficult to comply with the law the higher non compliance and disrespect of the law.
All laws relating to.motoring need to be made reasonable and not obtuse as they are now.

This statement: 'Neil Barlow from the DVSA has stated “The new categorisation should help motorists to do the right thing, by not driving away from the garage and get the fault fixed first. So we’ve put a much more robust set of wording around that”.'

I do not know who Neil Barlow is trying to kid; possibly his boss who may not have the faintest idea. If I remember rightly driving an unroadworthy vehicle has always been an offence. The problem is that the public does not have confidence in the 'system' because garages have been allowed by DVSA to create work for themselves and/or just plain get it wrong. DVSA needs to look to the system and put it right and then there would be no need for this piece of political sticking plaster. First off they have to accept that they have failed to police the current system because the system has ignored the fallibility of human nature. Put bluntly, people make mistakes and if there is an opportunity to make an extra buck then there will always be people weak enough to try it. Until we have: a) a totally independent Test Authority separate from all garages, strictly managed by DVSA; b) An MoT customer complaints system at DVSA which the public can have confidence in; c) An unroadworthy vehicle to be impounded by the MoT Test Station and only removed by 'trailer' by a garage instructed by the vehicle owner to collect and repair the vehicle and re-submit it for re-test; d) Any garage allowing an unroadworthy vehicle to be used either through lack of security or other reason on the public roads would be subject to a swinging penalty e.g. immediate suspension and loss of licence to trade for 10 years on confirmation; e) opportunities for collusion between MoT test staff and repairers needs to be minimised by system design modelled on world benchmark systems which need a very high level of fidelity.

DVSA also needs to be freed of the threat of being sued by the Motor Manufacturers and garages. This has been used by DVSA to me in the past as the reason they have not taken action, if in fact it is true.

Yes, it may cost more, certainly initially, but if the numbers of unroadworthy vehicles on the roads is to be reduced and the total cost to society reduced, we have no option. In principle, for every £1 spent wisely at the front end of a system, £100 - £1000 is saved to society down the line. However, we, the 'prols', I expect will continue to be sucked dry as the previous comment says.

Notwithstanding, DVSA needs to look to their own house first and their refusal to take action on test stations which pass marks of vehicles which go on to fall apart in a matter of weeks.

Let's face it though, in 10 to 20 years, with the rise in the numbers of autonomous vehicles which are already defining a much higher level of fidelity, it is likely to be very small beer one way or another in the future.

Clobber the poor old diesel drivers again. If government job's worths are going to make unfair laws like this there should be a compensation scheme. If they want our perfectly safe and road worthy cars off the road just because they are diesels, then they should help us to replace them with what they want us to drive.

Typical of government to spend years promoting diesel cars and then to slam those owners foolish enough to take any notice. Neil Barlow should take his own advice and "do the right thing" by reducing bureaucracy but that will only ever happen in my dreams. No doubt it will be very good news for MOT garages looking for reasons to extract extra money from customers.

Thank you - this is the first I've heard regarding the new categories etc. A useful article.

Basically we're opening up an opportunity for all the 'not so honest' garages to say there's a major fault and the customer is then obliged to pay whatever the garage demands for the repair as they won't have the option to legally drive the car anywhere until the fault is fixed. It gets worse by the day......

should your car be found to be "dangerous" and it is in an" MOT only Garage" does this mean that you have to have it towed to the repairers even though you drove it for the MOT? there must be a mileage limit surely? Say 1 mile max:

I can't help but notice the amount of poorly adjusted (and failed) headlamps I see. I also note the amount of large vehicles, mostly 4 x 4's, with the newer high power lamps that are very distracting at best as they race up and overtake (thankfully). May be good for them but I can't help but think these are unnecessary if only they drove with a little less abandon !!!

I am very concerned that if you cannot take a car away from a garage after it has failed with a dangerous fault then unscrupulous garages may be encouraged to fail cars with dangerous faults rather than major just to gain more business. In this case will you be able to take a car away from a garage by trailer or will you be forced to have that garage repair the fault.

The current MOT contains a strict enough specification to ensure vehicles meet the required safety standards .The new test especially for diesels is a licence to enforce
the scrapping of a vehicle to enhance sales and increase VAT revenue.
Emissions can be controlled better by encouraging drivers to turn engines off when not in use for propelling a vehicle.

We will see unscrupulous garages placing major failures, so the vehicle stays there and they over charge the motorist.

I cannot see the difference in this and the advisory system, I guess it stops the individuals making this up from sitting on their hands.

Agree the safety for brakes and steering and more exact emissions testing

Contrary to popular belief the MOT test did nothing to reduce accidents. pre MOT 4% of accidents were due to vehicle defects now it is 5%. I read this as no change as there are more vehicles on the road and I don't want to be picky.
As the figures show that 5% are due to vehicle defects and 90 % due to driver error why do we test the car every year but the driver once a lifetime?

That's interesting. Would you have a link to where you got that data from please?

So I have to use the garage that I take it to for my MOT? I can't drive it away and do the brakes myself or at a different garage? seems a bit extreme and unfair. some may fail you just to get the work where now you can take it away and do it elsewhere they don't do that (MUCH)......

Here we go attack the diesel and low earning drivers again, somebody must be skint or needs to justify their job. About time the every day driver got a break from all the money grabbing bureaucrats out there

Why should poor drivers be able to get away with polluting the air that we all have to drive more than rich ones? Come to that, what has income got to do with how much ANYONE should be allowed to pollute? Are there any other crimes or misdemeanours that we should prosecute rich people for but allow poor people to get away with?

At one time the Government was advising us to buy diesel vehicles. I drive diesel 4x4 and am being hammered by road tax, fuel tax and now more stringent emission tests. I bought a diesel as I thought I was doing the right thing but am now being victimised because thoughts have changed. Why should I be the victim when I was trying to do the right thing?

Why are we subject to those un elected rulers of Europe I voted for a free trade area NOT a United States of Europe we need to be out now to run our country our way.
If those countries left in the EU accept the rule of the jumped up un-elected shower in Brussels then let them get on with it and leave us Brits alone.

Because we're still in the EU? Once we leave, you can lobby your MP to repeal it if you like. Then we'll be able to have air quality in our cities like Beijing or Delhi and we won't have to put up with that nasty clean air that the Commission is forcing everyone else in the EU to breathe!

What is the plan regarding stations providing MOT's only and no repair facility. Would I have to have my car trailered away if it fails?

That's a good question. I was wondering the same!

What if you don't want the mot garage to repair your car preferring to take it elsewhere.
What about mot stations that only do the mot test and have no repair facilities.

Too dangerous to drive from the garage....
This seems to me to be in support of many rip off garages who offer 'cheap' MOTs but then charge extortionate prices for labour and parts!!
On 2 of our cars last year, I saved over £800 in total, by taking the car to a mechanic I know, buying premium (not original) parts and returning to the first garage for the re-test.
I will continue to do this whatever exaggerated reasoning for not doing so.

Thank you for this useful information as it is empowering and helpful for planning ahead. As well as knowing what the vechile can fail the MOT on it would also be useful to know are the options that are available if ithe vechile fails the MOT/is rated dangerous, for example if a diesel filter fails the MOT does that mean the car has to be scrapped. If the break disc is deemed dangerous can does that mean you are forced for that the garage to fix the new breaks and you can not take the vechile to a garage of your choice for the new breaks. I look forward to your response. Kind Regards Julie

Whether we are in or out of EU is of no consequence when talking if safety
There are some who never check anything so at least the MOT will get some these dangers of the road.


I think this is a good ‘beefing up’ but if a vehicle is given a ‘dangerous’ fault, say a fault with the brakes and deemed not safe to drive away from the garage, then is involved in an RTC would this automatically make the driver liable?

I have never considered it worth while, as if you read the MOT it states that this is not to be taken literally (my words) as to the cars safety to be on the road. Why do we have to pay for this if they won't take responsibility of the cars road worthiness? They have given a pass or failure certificate!
As to the changes, what is the point as we are leaving the EU and as far as I am concerned it's just another ploy by the DVSA to make more money for them!! As they say "Time is Money".

So you say if the item like a tow bar not fit for purpose is marked as dangerous,why would you not drive it away from the testing station if you are not towing?

Quote "These changes are as a result under the EU Roadworthiness Package which aims to standardize testing and improve road safety. These changes relate to failures for major and minor faults, in addition diesel cars getting a much more stringent emissions check." We voted to leave the EU to stop the dictatorship that has plagued us for so long, so why are we allowing the EU to decide what is in our interest. Let's cut all ties with the EU and let them get on with piling misery on themselves without inflicting it on the UK!!

the new mot is due to the EU then why can't we have the EU mot duration of 2 years.
we British motorists get the worst of both worlds

I suppose all the other Countries in Europe are going to follow suit? Many of the vehicles driven around the holiday resorts have broken and non working lights while the UK are brow beaten once again to comply. But we're all in this together, aren't we?

Having read the information provided it is fair to say that these changes must be for the better any issues may be attributed to safety being compromised .

it has recently been reported that sales of diesel vehicles have fallen quite dramatically but that greenhouse gases have risen, so why the more tests on diesel emissions?.

Another licence to con the motorist and empty their wallets. What yardstick decides severity of fault? every garage/mechanic have their own opinions. Should be straight Pass/Fail with every MOT customer physically shown what the mechanical failure is.

What about people who do their own repairs. how do they get the car home then. example. rusting brake pipe. easy fix for home mechanic with all the correct tools etc.
garage wants £140......he does it for £25 in his diy workshop. takes car back gets pass.

Soon we will not be in the EU so why bring out new tests it will be illegal to say the EU is making changes really get your heads together and stop this.
I bet the price is going up as well

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