New Rules for MOT Testing in the UK- A Step by Step Guide

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MOT Testing is important for all vehicles. There are certain standards that a vehicle must fulfill and then be certified for being driven on the roads. So before you search for MOT stations near meit is better to understand what MOT testing is.

What is MOT Testing?

MOT testing regulations are one of the primary ways the government ensures that vehicles on the road are well-maintained and unlikely to cause harm to you or other road users, as well as damage to the roads and the environment. The MOT test criteria are updated regularly to ensure that they match changing laws, vehicles, and roadways.

When Should a Car be Brought for MOT Testing?

In the UK, a car that is three years old should be brought to the testing center and be verified for being good enough for the roads or not. 

What is Included in the MOT Test?

Several tests are run on your vehicle during an MOT test. Your whole car is made up of a lot of components. Despite the engine being an Important part, the MOT testing does not involve a check-up of this part of the car. Other than that, an MOT is like a medical check-up for cars and motorcycles. The parts that are checked up on are steering, tires and road wheels, seat belts, exhaust, and emissions, brakes and suspension, lamps, and reflectors. 

If you notice that the parts that are tested in an MOT are mostly those that govern how your vehicle performs on the road. This is because the major aim of MOT is to ensure road safety and meet all environmental standards. 

The New Rules for MOT

MOT continues to come up with new rules now and then. It is because they want to make vehicles meet the changing requirements for roads and the environment.  Since the inception of these tests, time and again new rules have been incorporated and newer criteria suggested for testing cars. For instance, the first MOT test only involved brakes, lights, steering, and tire checks. 

But recently there has been a lot of changes to that criteria. New categories have been announced, and heavy taxes have been levied on those who are careless about these rules. 

Exhaust Systems

The important rule is especially for the exhaust systems. Since we know that pollution has been on the rise, MOT has been trying to make sure that cars come up with efficient exhaust systems. Therefore, limits have been implemented and any exhaust emission system which does exceeds that limit is rendered to have a major defect.

The Defect Categories

Minor, dangerous, and major defects have been redefined. A ‘minor issue’ which was formerly referred to as an “advisory”, such as minor damage to a brake hose, will not necessitate retesting of the vehicle. The owner, on the other hand, will be urged to get the defect fixed at a later date. Major or dangerous flaws, such as a hydraulic brake fluid leak, will result in an automated failure. Any visible colour of smoke from an exhaust system will cause the vehicle to fail the MOT test.

The Test Has Become More Thorough 

If lamps are being checked, this means all types of lamps will be tested. This includes the fog lamps, the daytime lamps, as well as the reversing lights. Some car manufacturers and repairs fit these lamps into the car models if they do not come with these initially. For example, front fog lamps are fitted to vehicles used from 1st March 2018. 

The fitness of the steering is measured through its gear casing and the ‘Fly by Wire’ system is examined too. Moreover, the testers are also supposed to examine the tires, whether they are underinflated or not. Contaminated brake fluid can land your vehicle to a failed one. Similarly, other fluid leaks that are detrimental to the environment can cause you some harm. 

The Criterion for Diesel Cars

The terms and conditions for diesel cars have become stricter than ever. If the tester sees smoke of any color coming from the exhaust or finds proof that the DPF has been tampered with, the vehicle will receive a major fault and fail the MOT. A dashboard warning light defect will result in a major defect and, as a result, an MOT failure. Some modifications to braking criteria concerning the classification of brake discs have been also introduced. 

Classical Cars Are not Subjected to MOT

Any car that is 40 years old, or older than that is not subjected to such criteria. Such cars are deemed important for historical interest and therefore such cars are to be registered with DVLA and be exempted from any such modifications. 


You can book your car’s appointment at any registered station. You have to make an appointment in advance. While you can observe from the outside, you are not supposed to interrupt the examiners in any way. It hardly takes 45 to 60 minutes to run the whole test on your car. 

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