A newer and tougher MoT test begins tomorrow.
More vehicles than ever are expected to fail and the worst will be prevented from leaving the test station until they pass. Diesel powered models will face more stringent emissions tests.
GoCompare Car Insurance is warning drivers they could invalidate their insurance if they fail to hold an up-to-date MOT certificate for their vehicle.
The warning comes as a record 2.6m cars will require an MOT for the first time in 2018 and the old style ‘pass or fail’ MOT is replaced by new system with stricter tests for emissions and disc brakes and three defect categories – dangerous, major and minor.
The category applied will depend on the type and seriousness of the problem. The MOT certificate will be updated to reflect the new result categories.
The worry is that more cars could fail the new test. In addition to safety concerns, drivers caught without an up-to-date MOT also risk invalidating their car insurance. As well as facing penalties for uninsured driving (prosecution/fine of at least £300 and 6 penalty points) motorists involved in an accident without a valid MOT would be liable for any costs arising from the accident.
|New MOT category||What this means about the item||Outcome|
|Dangerous||A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired.||Fail
|Major||It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately.||Fail|
|Minor||No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible.||Pass|
|Advisory||It could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair it if necessary.||Pass|
|Pass||It meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standard.||Pass|
Under the new rules, various new checks will be carried out, for example: whether tyres are obviously underinflated; if brake fluid has been contaminated; for fluid leaks posing an environmental risk; brake pad warning lights and if brake pads or discs are missing.
New rules will also be introduced to test emissions which will be much harder to pass, particularly for diesel cars that came with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to clean up its emissions.
In addition to potential safety issues of driving a car which has failed its MOT, if a car deemed ‘Dangerous’ under the new system is driven before being repaired, the driver faces a potential £2,500 fine and 3 points (in each case) for ‘using a vehicle in a dangerous condition’.
According to Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA) figures, in the last financial year, the initial MOT failure rate was 35.4%.
The most common initial failure faults were for: lighting/signalling (18.30%); suspension (12.2%); tyres (7,40%); driver’s view of the road (e.g. rear-view mirrors) (6.80%) and steering (2.60%).
Research carried out by DVSA shows that around 28% of cars, at any one time, are overdue for an MOT, with three-quarters of them being late simply because their owners had forgotten the date. While there’s no universal system of MOT reminders, last November the DVSA launched its ‘Get MOT reminder’service which drivers can sign up to.
Matt Oliver, spokesperson for GoCompare Car Insurance said, “If your car’s MOT has expired, it’s illegal to drive it on the road and you could be prosecuted for doing so.
“The only exception allowed would be if you’d already booked an MOT and were driving to the test, which you would have to prove to the police. The Highway Code penalty for not having a valid MOT is a fine of up to £1,000. We would urge drivers to sign up for the ‘Get MOT reminder’ service. It’s a free service and could well save motorists a lot of time and money.”
He added, “Drivers caught without an up-to-date MOT also risk invalidating their car insurance. This could lead to penalties for driving uninsured, leaving the driver liable for any costs if they were involved in an accident and adversely impact the cost of and their ability to buy insurance in the future.”