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MOT changes for 2019

MOT changes for 2019

Motorists beware! 2019 is the first complete year that a number of recent changes to the MOT test will be in force in each of the 12 months.

So what has changed? And, if your car is due in for its annual check, how might it affect you? The fine for driving without a valid MOT is £1,000, so it’s well worth keeping up to date:


Stricter rules for diesel vehicles

There will be new, more rigorous testing of diesel vehicles. This mainly boils down to any vehicle with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) fitted.

These will now be checked, unlike before, and a car will fail the MOT if the DPF has been removed or changed in some way.

The RAC recommends that drivers who mainly use a diesel vehicle only for short runs should occasionally do longer journeys on faster roads as it helps clear any clogged up particulates from the filter system.


Passing or failing categorisations

Under the previous legislation a vehicle simply either passes or fails the MOT, with advisory notices given for anything that need attention but isn’t urgent.

Now, faults fall into a number of new categories, and a car will pass or fail depending on which it is deemed to be in:

Dangerous – This means a vehicle is a direct risk to road safety and fails the MOT.

Major – A vehicle could affect road safety, so it’s not quite as serious, but the vehicle still fails.

Minor – There is no great effect on safety, but repairs should be carried out as soon as possible. The vehicle passes the MOT.

Advisory – Repairs may be needed in future, but not necessarily, so the vehicle passes.

Pass – The vehicle meets current requirements.


New legal requirements for parts of the MOT

New, higher standards during the test are being introduced for the first time relating to certain areas. Here are the most relevant to everyday drivers with commonly owned cars:

  • Under-inflated tyres
  • Contaminated brake fluid
  • Fluid which poses a risk to the environment
  • Brake pad warning lights and missing pads
  • Reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1/09/2009
  • Headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1/09/2009
  • Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1/03/2018


Exemptions to the new rules

Vehicles over 40 years old no longer require an MOT, so long as they haven’t been ‘substantially altered’.

The idea is that they’re usually owned by car enthusiasts who will maintain them well and only use them for short runs.


Policy Expert

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Published 21 January 2019