New MOT standards go live but confusion remains over ‘dangerous’ defects

Not test station's responsibility to stop customers driving 'dangerous' cars but garages should explain implications

New MOT standards go live but confusion remains over ‘dangerous’ defects
MOT changes made as part of the European Union Roadworthiness Package have now been implemented into the MOT testing service.

Test stations across the country are this week adapting to MOT standard changes and a revised inspection manual which came into effect on Sunday 20 May, 2018.

However, some confusion remains over ‘dangerous’ defects and what is expected of test stations when it comes to advising customers.

While the legality of driving a dangerous vehicle has not changed the DVSA has “taken the opportunity to make the wording on the MOT failure documents clear in reminding motorists that driving a dangerous vehicle is illegal”.

The DVSA has confirmed that it is not the responsibility of test stations to stop customers driving the vehicle with a dangerous defect.

“Not everyone will behave responsibly”

Neil Barlow of the DVSA said: “While the majority of your customers would never drive a dangerous vehicle until it’s made safe, we know not everyone will behave responsibly.

“And, while it isn’t your responsibility to try and physically stop them from driving the vehicle, it’s important you provide them with clear advice that they do have dangerous defects.

“This all applies whether the vehicle has a current MOT or not.

“A dangerous vehicle should never be driven on the road.”


Some test stations have said they now ask customers to sign a form to confirm that they understand the legalities of driving a dangerous vehicle.

Writing on Facebook, Lee Heywood said: “I’m going to start informing customers of failed cars that if they decide to drive away, they need to be familiar with the law and leave it at that.”

The DVSA say its new pre-defined defects “will bring consistency” and will remind “motorists that driving a dangerous vehicle is illegal”.

For most defect areas, the defect is considered as only one level of severity.

Testers now pick that the defect is present, and the MOT testing service will automatically apply either a  ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ and ‘minor’ category.

Diesel emissions

There are now stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a DPF and testers must test vehicles to the manufacturer’s plate value or a new lower default limit for newer vehicles.

Major faults can also be recorded if the tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust or find evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

MOT certificates

The design of the MOT certificate has also changed and lists any defects under the new categories.

New ‘contingency testing’ certificates, featuring the MOT centre details, have also been updated and can be downloaded from the MOT testing service.

Historic vehicles

Cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles no longer need to have an MOT if they’re over 40 years old and have not been substantially changed in the previous 30 years.

Previously, only vehicles first built before 1960 were exempt from needing an MOT.

Drivers don’t have to apply to stop getting an MOT for their vehicle but must still keep their vehicle in a roadworthy condition.

They can be fined up to £2,500 and get three penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Have you come across any problems with the updated MOT standards? Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums New MOT standards go live but confusion remains over ‘dangerous’ defects

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #158545 Reply
    Paul Taylor

    It dose not matter how you dress it up, it may be passable now according to the very scetchy guide lines and ((at the MOT’ers discretion but not nessiarally DVSA what a tin of worms that is)) but what about a months time!! Unles you can fail it it will not get repaired see it year in year out, unless you use scare tactics not to mentiion quick fit centres and the likes of. The public’s idea of a dangerous car is do it still drive!! yes, then it’s ok I’ll sort it next year I want to upgrade my phone YEH!! all it has done is created more work for the MOT’er. I’ve seen cars pass that I would not want to drive let alone put my kids in BUT Heh Ho it meet the DVSA criteria. There is an old saying you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Or am I geting old and sinical

    #158546 Reply
    Eddie Bamber

    I’m a former M.o.t tester and a fully qualified mechanic with over 40 years experience. I’ve often had disagreements with other testers about what should pass and what should fail. So if a tester fails my car and I disagree with his opinion, who is correct ?. He would have the upper hand of course, but that could leave me open to a potential prosecution.

    #158555 Reply

    The latest changes to the mot test criteria are in their infancy at the moment, we will need to see after some time and experience what types of defects should really be considered as marked dangerous, some of which DVSA point out as such but the evidence suggests differently at the moment, so provided feedback is given at the meetings I’m sure over time changes will take place and make the standards fair.

    I think you will always see testers with personal opinions, and yes I agree they should not have them during the test criteria, and DVSA actually don’t care for a testers personal opinion either, yet many people don’t agree with DVSA and their standards either, so we are not in a perfect world, but at the moment its the best we have, and we’ll just have to make do at this time.

    #158572 Reply
    graham cox

    As an mot tester on all classes for 25 years I am amazed that the dvsa except garages to implement the new mot scheme without first going on a course to get the correct training and guidance,the on line yearly test is a joke and the whole point of the course was to meet and talk to other testers and share info and knowledge.
    the whole scheme is messed up and clueless twits make rules that are wrong.
    the general public are on the whole driven by cost and do not give a stuff if there car is safe all they want is a pass ticket and in most cases they never get the advises done.

    the scheme needs real mot testers input in both rural and city enviroments and the powers that be need to deal with the public themselves to see what we are up against on a daily basis

    #158598 Reply

    I went to the New MOT update course ran by IMI & DVSA. The Spokesperson didn’t even bother to turn up. 70 men all sat in a room & one man did not show to run the course. What a joke & 4 hours of my life wasted also 100 miles of wasted fuel !!

    #158629 Reply

    Totally agree

    #158641 Reply

    1/ It has always been illegal to drive a dangerous vehicle even if it has not been confirmed by an expert. That has not changed.
    2/ It has always been possible for a tester to mark a fault as dangerous, the system now takes responsibility for that decision. I think that is better for the tester.
    3/ Who is going to record when a 40+ vehicle has been significantly modified?
    If it is not recorded how are the police to know if it should or not have an MOT? I find the presumption that all owners of 40+ vehicles are all fine upstanding law abiding citizens a bit odd. That is certainly not my experience.

    #158732 Reply

    Hi I have been testing for 40 years now and agree with the above also I think the person who bought in these changes has long gone. We are looking to make our roads safer but its a contridiction when we can fetch the car out that has been standing for years and drive it on the road. Also I would like to ask testers
    testers out there as anyone failed a car for brake fluid contamination as it says in the manual resavoir tops shouldn’t be removed so how do you test it and with what approved tool. I assume we should be looking for water content mainly but in reason for rejection it says contaminated. I know I am now getting on in year’s but how the hell do we check this by looking through a usually dirty unclear plastic resavoir sometimes difficult to reach. This is where the old refresher courses were good as you met with other like minded people to discuss some of the issues.

    #158734 Reply

    Not much has changed in the eyes of the law. We have already had our first fast fit casualty last week. A lady had a test carried out at a local fast fit centre and ended up with a dangerous fail on corroded brake discs along with a lecture on what could happen if the discs cracked under braking! We were asked to replace the brakes but had to inform the owner there was nothing at all wrong with them and could not justify the costs. We then carried out our own test, replaced a wrongly fitted headlight bulb and gave a pass. The only reason she originally had a fail was for greed and we took photos of the discs to show this was the case.

    #158762 Reply

    Most of you are right about the changes but I feel that the DVSA is disclosing the name of the AE on the test certificate;the trading name is adequate enough. I find it very unreasonable to mention silly items like reversing light (some owners do not drive at during the night) and the self-leveling headlamps adjustment. If the headlamps meet the requirement of the test I see no problem.

    #159027 Reply
    Big A

    I fail to see the reason behind the changes to the
    The whole mot manual what was wrong with how it was done before
    You had special notice telling you what was changing
    And it was addedto the manual in due course
    Now they have changed everything completely
    Whoever thought this was a good idea had never done an mot in their lives

    #159030 Reply

    As usual the powers that be don’t consider responsible workshops that don’t have the facilities or choices of everyone. Not all of us want or have the choice to have an MOT test centre. I assume,rightly or wrongly, that we’ll get tarred with the same brush for driving a vehicle with “dangerous or major” defects to and from a test centre,whilst only doing ours jobs,if we get stopped.
    It’s a joke as usual !
    Yet a few years ago they wanted to leave MOT inspections for Two years ???? A lot of people think an MOT is obtaining road fund licence and not a safety check. Just more red tape,confusion and no common sense !

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)


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