New MOT changes (2018)

Warranty Direct looks at some of the most recent changes and how motorists can avoid unnecessary repair costs.

New rules

The new rules for MOT testing categorise defects as either: dangerous, major or minor. In the previous MOT testing system, if your car failed its MOT you had a month to repair the faults before your old MOT certificate expired.

In the latest changes, if your car fails due to a dangerous fault, your vehicle cannot be driven until it has been repaired. However, if your car has failed due to a major fault, you may still be able to drive if your car is roadworthy and your old MOT is still valid.

Penalties

If caught using a vehicle with a dangerous fault you can be fined up to £2500, be banned from driving and get three points on your licence . This is due to your vehicle being automatically recorded as no longer legal to drive on the UK’s digital vehicle database.

That said, if your MOT results show a dangerous fault, this doesn’t necessarily mean the repairs have to take place at the garage that carried out the test.

If you think the price you are given is unreasonable, you can still receive quotes from other garages.

Check, check and check again

According to the DVSA, nearly a third of all MOT failures could have been easily avoided if drivers had checked their tyres, lights and windscreen before the test.

Obviously, you won’t be able to examine your car to the same standard as a professional mechanic, but there are plenty of things you can do to minimise your chances of a MOT fail.

Checking the tread of your tyres is above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm allows you to correct any potential issues in advance. Check your windscreen wipers are functioning properly too.

These are all relatively cheap and easy tasks you can do to help you minimise your chances of failing a MOT and paying over the odds for repairs.

Do your research

If your MOT is due soon it’s worth doing some research into the average repair costs around your area and what problems could arise with your own model.

To reduce costs, it may be worth booking your MOT along with your service. This is because most checks performed on cars during a service are also included in annual MOT tests. This means some drivers may end up paying for the same checks to be done twice on their vehicle!