How the new 2018 MOT rules will affect you

8 July 2019

New Pass/Fail categories

There are now 5 categories for your MOT test to help you better understand faults with your vehicle.

It meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standard
It could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair it if necessary.
No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible.
It may affect the vehicle's safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately.
A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it's been repaired.

Stricter rules for Diesel cars

If you own a diesel car with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), you could be affected by the new rules. There are now stricter limits for diesel cars with a DPF.

What's a DPF you ask? In short, it's a filter that captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce emissions from diesel cars. Check your car's handbook or a manufacturer's website to find out if your car has a DPF.

Your car will receive a major fault if the MOT tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust or finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

Additional test items

Additional checks have also been added to the MOT test.

  • If tyres are obviously underinflated
  • If the brake fluid has been contaminated
  • For fluid leaks posing an environmental risk
  • Brake pad warning lights and if brake pads or discs are missing
  • Reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
  • Headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009 (if they have them)
  • Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018 (most of these vehicles will have their first MOT in 2021 when they're 3 years old)

New MOT certificate

The new design of the MOT certificate will now list any faults under the new categories, making it easy to understand. You can check your vehicle's MOT history by entering its registration on the search page .

Some vehicles won't need an MOT

If your vehicle is over 40 years old, it may not need an MOT. Cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles won't need to have an MOT if they're over 40 years old and have not been substantially modified.

Previously, vehicles first built before 1960 were exempt from needing an MOT.

Now, according to the new rules, vehicles won't need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered or manufactured. You can check when your vehicle was first registered by going to the search page , entering your vehicle registration, the checking the details section.

You will not have to apply to stop getting an MOT for your vehicle, however, each time you tax your historic vehicle, even if you don't pay a fee, you'll have to declare it meets the rules for not needing an MOT.

It is still your responsibility to keep your car in a roadworthy condition.

What's not changing?

The maximum fees MOT centres can charge won't change. Check our Maximum MOT fees page for the latest maximum fees.

In January 2018, the government decided to keep the age a vehicle needs its first MOT at 3 years, rather than extend it to 4 years.

You can still be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.