MOT test scheme changes May 2018

MOT changes - May 2018On 20 May 2018, new rules will apply to the MOT test, brought about by EU Directive EC 2014/45. While it would be impractical to list every change here, we will try to help you understand some of the changes which may affect your vehicle.*


The new, stricter limits for diesel emissions have caused a lot of discussion. So, what are the new fail criteria? They include:

  • evidence a diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been tampered with
  • visible smoke – of any colour – where a DPF is fitted
  • emissions tests which don’t meet the required limits:
    Vehicle first used Type Limit
    First used before July 2008 Non-turbo 2.5m-1 or plate value if lower
      Turbo 3.0m-1 or plate value if lower
    First used on or after 1 July 2008 All diesels 1.5m-1 or plate value if lower
    First used on or after 1 January 2014 All diesels 0.7m-1 or plate value if lower

    Plate value may be found in the bottom right corner of the manufacturer’s plate, usually in a box.

We’ll also be looking for:

  • insecure noise suppression material
  • induction (air intake) leaks which could affect emissions.


Lights have also been a popular subject of conversation. New reasons for a failure on lights are:

  • where existing halogen headlamp units have been converted for HID bulbs
  • daytime running lamps not working where fitted as standard on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018
  • front fog lights inoperative on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018
  • reverse lights inoperative on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
  • headlamp washers, where fitted, on vehicles with HID headlamps and first used from 1 September 2009. (On non-HID headlamps, it would be an advisory.)

And on the dashboard, we’ll now check that these lights are operating as they should:

  • engine malfunction indicator (engine management) light
  • brake lining or pad wear light
  • tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) lights on vehicles first used from 1 January 2012.

Brakes, wheels and suspension

New fail items in these categories include:

  • incorrectly fitted brake pad, lining or slack adjuster
  • brake disc or drum missing
  • braking system components damaged or corroded
  • air brake drain device inoperative or not working correctly
  • brake fluid contaminated
  • ABS removed or disabled on vehicles first used from 1 January 2012
  • TPMS obviously inoperative
  • a missing spring on a vehicle modified to run on bump stops.

Body, interior and windows

There are a number of new rules relating to corrosion, body structure and steering systems. Additionally, we will now check for:

  • excessively tinted window glass – this could be an advise or a fail, depending on how dark it is
  • tank shield or exhaust shield missing where fitted as original equipment
  • any part of an LPG/CNG/LNG or hydrogen system that is defective
  • an insecure bumper that is likely to become detached
  • an insecure externally-mounted spare wheel carrier
  • insecure or defective seats
  • seatbelts not operating as they should.

* The list above does not detail every aspect of the MOT test changes. Please get in touch with us if you have any specific queries.

If you wish to read more about what’s tested during an MOT, you can find the full test manuals online: for cars and vans or for motorcycles.

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