AutoProtect Engage blog page banner

MOT Test Changes

Date: Tue 22nd May 2018   |   Author: L Blake

MOT Test changes

Everything you need to know about the changes to the MOT test

From 20th May 2018, the MOT testing service will change. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has issued the changes to adhere to the EU Roadworthiness package, created by the European Union. The major changes include the creation of three fault categories, instead of the pass and fail categories currently in place, as well as stricter changes to the MOT testing of diesel cars. The new changes will be carried out across all MOT test centres throughout the UK.

The MOT categories explained

The new MOT test will be broken into the three fault categories of minor, major and dangerous. But what do these new categories mean for UK drivers?

The current MOT test has a pass and fail system in place, as well as advisories given if minor faults are shown during an MOT test. However, these advisories are not mandatory, meaning you don’t have to get them fixed on the spot unless they turn into a serious issue, in which case your car will fail its next MOT test.

However, this will not be the case with the new MOT test. When your car is checked it will either receive a pass or a fault rating. However there are different categories of faults, including minor faults, major faults and dangerous faults.

Cars with a major or dangerous fault category will not be able to pass the MOT. However, there has been confusion around the difference between the major and dangerous fault categories. The main difference is that the vehicle will have to be repaired on the spot if it receives a dangerous fault and will not be drivable again until it is fixed.

Neil Barlow, head of MOT policy for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) told Auto Express the new categories would “help motorists do the right thing, i.e. not drive away from a garage. We’re changing the wording on the certificate”, Barlow said; “We’ve done a lot of research with motorists to find out what sort of information helps”.

Minor Faults

If your car passes its MOT within the minor fault category, any faults will be recorded on the MOT certificate but you’ll be able to drive the car away that day. This works in a similar fashion to advisories on the current MOT test where it is up to the driver to get these issues repaired as soon as possible.


A common example of this could be if the vehicle’s steering box is slowly leaking oil. This would be a minor fault because although it could be a serious issue in future, you still have enough oil for the vehicle to operate safely.

Major Faults

Major faults will cause your vehicle to fail their MOT test. These will often be potentially dangerous issues or could have an impact on the environment. These issues will be marked on the MOT certificate and the vehicle will not pass its MOT until they are fixed.


In the steering column example used above, your car would receive a major fault if the steering box is leaking a significant amount of oil to cause a constant drip.

Dangerous Faults

Anything that causes an immediate and serious risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment will be given a dangerous fault rating. In these instances the vehicle must be repaired immediately and the driver will not be able to drive until it is fixed.


If the steering wheel itself was so loose as to be ‘likely to become detached’, that would constitute a dangerous fault.

MOT test changes to diesel cars

The MOT test will become a lot tougher for diesel cars, as the Government aims to cut down on diesel emission rates. According to the draft MOT inspection, an exhaust on a vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter that emits visible smoke of any colour will result in a major fault, meaning it will fail its MOT test.

New tests will also be used to inspect emission control equipment for defects. All diesel cars will be inspected for any fluid leaks that may pose an environmental risk. Vehicles with a 2018 registration will have their daytime running lights and front fog lights inspected.

Visiting an MOT test centre

If you are still confused about the new fault categories, information will be provided to you at your local MOT test centre before your next MOT test is carried out. The new MOT test will not require anything different from you as a driver. So you should expect the same process on your next visit to your local MOT test centre.

The DVSA's chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “I’d urge all motorists to familiarise themselves with the new items that will be included in the test so that they can avoid their vehicle failing its MOT. To be safe and responsible motorists should also carry out simple vehicle checks all year round.

There will also be changes made to the design of the MOT certificate. The new MOT certificate will clearly list any defects under the new categories, so it's easy for drivers to understand. To discover more information on the stricter changes to the MOT test, the design of the MOT certificate, as well as the changes to historic and diesel vehicles, you can visit the Government’s DVSA website.

We hope you found this article on understanding the changes to the MOT test. There are plenty more helpful articles on the AutoProtect Engage page that answer more of your vehicle and driving queries.

engine and phone show MOT list