If you’ve had a recent MOT test or just been watching the news, you might be aware that since May, the way MOT tests are carried out has changed. You might get lots of different information about what to know or look out for when you now get your cars MOT done, so we have explained everything you need to know here!

The New Categories

You may be aware of the old MOT test results, but the new changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and any other light passenger vehicle by categorising your vehicle based on its defects.

Of course now, if your car meets the minimum legal standards you will get a PASS and pass your MOT. Similarly, if you get ADVISORY your car may have a defect that should be monitored and repaired in the future, but you will still pass the test, and likewise with a MINOR then your defect will need repair.

There are, however, two categories that will mean you fail your MOT. With a MAJOR result, the issues raised may affect the safety of your car and so will need immediate repair. The worst categorisation you can receive after an MOT is DANGEROUS – this means that your vehicle has an immediate risk to road safety and will seriously impact the environment so should not be driven until it is repaired, for example an essential part of the car is likely to become detached.

Inspection Manual Changes

Along with changes to the test, there has been changes to the inspection manual, so now there are more organised sections. This manual has clear and easy to read information on all new and changed checks which your vehicle need. An update of this means that you can find information easily and have updated documentation for your vehicle, making things a little bit easier!

MOT Certificate Design

Your next MOT Certificate will definitely seem different to you! Whilst the old certificate has boxes and simple details, your new one will be much clearer with different font showing defects under classifications and all information you need to understand the result of the MOT test.

Similar changes have been made to contingency testing which is used when an MOT test is unavailable. Now, you will have to download the updated certificate as your MOT centre details will be automatically filled in. For all replacement certificates, the new-style will be introduced, and whilst all centres in Wales used to contain both English and Welsh, you will now have the option of having you certificate printed in English-only or Welsh-only.

New Emissions Limits

Due to the stricter limits of vehicle emissions for diesel cars, an MOT test will now test the place value or default limit, with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). This part of the test may cause your vehicle to have a major fault if you can see smoke coming from the exhaust, or if there is evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

New Vehicle Classifications

The new MOT certificate will reflect the new vehicle categories which now align with the European type-approvals. Although the old classes will be used for now, you can start to see the new ones being used when you get your MOT. If you own a goods vehicle you’ll be labelled as N1, and if you have a car, then it will be M1 rather than Class 4.

ome aspects of the classifications will stay the same though, such as dual-purpose vehicles, however, large Class 4 vehicles will be classed as either M1 or N1, will need additional checks to ensure it is roadworthy.

Older Cars

If you have a historic car that is over 40 years old, you won’t have to get it to the MOT centre if it hasn’t drastically changed over the last 30 years. However, whilst previously the MOT was not necessary if built before 1960, the new rules dictate that only after a vehicle has reached 40 years since being registered, so they no longer need to have an MOT.

If your vehicle qualifies, you simply need to declare it meets the rules for not needing an MOT when you tax it, as long as you keep it in a roadworthy condition that is – otherwise you could face a £2,500 fine!


Although the UK is leaving the European Union, it is still an EU member, so as part of the EU Directive 2014/45 that came into effect on the 20th May 2018, the UK had to remain EU MOT compliant. These changes are to ensure vehicle on the roads are in the best condition and that drivers are aware of how to run care for their vehicles, and keep them in good health.

Book In

Does your car need a bit of TLC before its MOT? We have the answer! Book your car in for a service with us and ensure you’re running efficiently. Or view our special servicing offers here!