Make way for the new MOT

21 June


How MOT test results are recorded, as well as how they are set out, changed on 20th May, 2018.

These six changes to the legislation are all designed to make understanding your vehicles’ MOTs easier.

Introduced as part of the EU Directive 2014/45, which came into force on 20th May, 2018, the directive is intended to favour the customer. As Neil Barlow, Head of MOT Policy at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), explains: “although the basic essence the MOT is staying the same, there will be some changes to content.”

While the UK voted to leave the EU on the 23rd June, 2016, the UK is still currently a part of the EU and as such the Government could be fined substantially if it doesn’t introduce the changes. More importantly, a vehicle that does not conform to the EU MOT Directive could be denied access into other EU countries.

  1. Defect categories

One of the biggest changes in the MOT is how faults and failings are categorised. Intended to make what you need to do to keep your vehicle on the road clearer, the test results will be categorised as the following:

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  1.        MOT Certificates and MOT History

The design of the MOT certificate has changed so that it lists any defects under the new categories, so they’re clear and easy for drivers to understand.

The ‘contingency testing’ certificated has also been updated, and should be downloadable from the MOT testing service. This is because it is automatically filled in with your MOT centre details, minimising admin.

Similarly, the service where you can check the MOT history of a vehicle online will reflect the new defect categories, mirroring the certificates.

You can see sample versions of the MOT test pass certificate (VT20) and MOT refusal of an MOT test certificate (VT30).

  1.        Diesel vehicle emissions

Stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) are coming into force. Vehicles will be tested to the manufacturer’s plate value (when present), or a new lower default limit for newer vehicles.

Vehicles can also be given a major fault with these tests if:

  •          There is smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust
  •          There is evidence that the DPF has been tampered with
  1.        MOT inspection manual

The MOT inspection manual has increased in sections. These sections have also changed around.

The inspection manual has all the details of:

  •          New, changed or removed failures
  •          New, changed or removed checks
  •          Improved or changes information

The new MOT inspection is a browsable website format, which will be easier to use and navigate than previous versions.

  1.        Vehicle classifications

To align with European type-approval categories, vehicle categories will change on the new MOT certificates, although the old classifications will be used for the time being.

All cars will be ‘M1’, all goods vehicles in scope of the MOT test (up to 3,500kg deigns gross weight (DGW)) will be ‘N1’

Information can be found about vehicle classifications.

  1.        Historic vehicles

Vehicles that are over 40 years old and have not been substantially adapted in the previous 30 years no longer need an MOT.

Currently, only vehicles built before 1960 are exempt from needing an MOT, but when the rules change on 20th May, 2018, any vehicle registered before 20th May, 1978 will be exempt.

Each time you tax your historic vehicle (even if you don’t pay a fee), all you will need to do is declare that it meets the rules for not needing an MOT.

However, you will still need to keep your vehicles in a roadworthy condition. Otherwise, you could be fined up to £2,500 and get three penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.


While the MOT changes may take some getting used to, they are there to ensure that we act environmentally consciously and should make faults clearer to understand and act upon, so we stay safe.

One way to make sure you can save money if your MOT highlights vehicle maintenance repair is to book into the Allstar garage network using ServicePoint. Using our ServicePoint portal for all your service maintenance and repair needs means that you can benefit from any savings across any labour and parts prices associated to this work. Plus, the average price of an MOT through ServicePoint is only £46.

You can find out more here about ServicePoint.

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