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MOT Update: Guidance for changes to the MOT test

MOT Update: Guidance for changes to the MOT test

30 April 2018

EU Training Environment

DVSA has created an MOT training environment to help testers prepare for the changes coming on 20th May 2018, which will be available until 27th May.

AEs must ensure that their testers are fully aware of the changes, and testers are also responsible for keeping up to date with these changes. They can use the training environment to become familiar with the new defect component categories and defect layout ahead of the changes.

Log into the environment using your normal username and password (2FA is not required). If you change your password in the live service you will have to use your old password until the following day when the system will have been refreshed.

Click on the training button and enter the VRM and VIN of the vehicle you want to use.

One suggested exercise is to use the details from tests you have failed using the current component categories and find the defects within the new categories.

Like the live training feature, the test result will not be saved and no documents will be produced when the test is completed.

Click here to access the training environment


Redesigned test documents

DVSA have announced that the redesigned MOT test certificate and refusal of a MOT test certificate will be released on 19 April 2018.

The current certificates will remain valid until the expiry date printed on them and there is no requirement for them to be replaced with the new version. However, from this date, should a duplicate or replacement certificate of the current version be issued it will be produced in the new format.

Click the links below to see samples of the new versions:

How the MOT defect categories will work

DVSA has issued further clarification about the new defect categorisation on the Matters of Testing blog due to misinterpretation around how they will work, particularly what will be classed as a dangerous defect.

From the Matters of Testing blog:

The legal requirements

For a vehicle to be driven on Great Britain’s roads there are 2 main legal safety requirements for the vehicle. It must be roadworthy and for most vehicles of a certain age, it must have a valid MOT. Whilst they’re connected, they’re not the same thing, and they both have to be met independently.

So, even if a vehicle is roadworthy, it may not necessarily have an MOT (it isn’t automatic – it needs to go to a garage and get one!). And similarly, just because a vehicle has an MOT, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s roadworthy. It may have a defect that has come about after the MOT.

I’d like to remind you that this won’t be changing on 20 May 2018, vehicles will still need to meet these 2 requirements.

‘Major’ and ‘dangerous’ defects

Currently, a vehicle will either pass or fail its MOT. Testers can then mark defects they believe are dangerous, and make the vehicle owner aware.

From 20 May, the implementation of the new directive will pre-define what is considered as ‘dangerous’. Defects that are failure items but aren’t deemed as ‘dangerous’ will be called ‘major’ defects.

So, after 20 May, defects that are dangerous will be set out for you, and the new ‘major’ term introduced for all other failures.

What ‘dangerous’ defects will mean for motorists

Moving to pre-defined dangerous defects will bring consistency to what is recorded as dangerous. So, we’ve taken the opportunity to make the wording on the MOT failure documents clear in reminding motorists that driving a dangerous vehicle is illegal.

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.

An early MOT will still be sensible

Some people have interpreted the changes to mean that a vehicle shouldn’t be brought in for an MOT early. This isn’t true.

We’ll still encourage motorists to not leave their MOT until expiry, as leaving it late increases the risk of the vehicle being used without an MOT or being unroadworthy.

‘Minor’ defects and advisories

The other new category from 20 May is ‘minor’. This is where there’s a defect on the vehicle – but it isn’t serious enough for the vehicle to fail. Like the major and dangerous defects, they are also pre-defined for you.

And, like the current MOT test, we’ll still have advisories. These are very similar to minor defects but rather than a component already being defective, they indicate a component will become defective soon.

Recording defects

We’ve also made changes to the online MOT testing service to try and make it simple for garages to record the new defect types after 20 May.

For most defect areas (for example tyre tread depth) the defect is considered as only one level of severity (major or dangerous). The tester will just pick that the defect is present, and the MOT testing service will automatically include the level (major or dangerous) in the result.

However, for some defect areas (for example, hydraulic brake fluid leaks) there might be defects at more than one level, based on the severity of the defect. Where that’s the case, the wording of the defect describes the difference between major or dangerous.

You should assess which set of words the defect on the vehicle best matches. Then, the MOT testing service will automatically include the level (major or dangerous) in the result.

Additional Guidance

Along with the information above, DVSA has provided detailed guidance online about all the changes taking place this month, including lists of every change being made to the MOT inspection manual and even posters for the workshop to remind your testers about the changes. You can find links to the relevant information below:

If you have any further questions about the changes to the MOT test, please call the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230.