Changes to the MOT test
A new European Directive has introduced a number of new items to be included in the MOT test. These are mainly because manufacturers have introduced new technology to make vehicles safer on the roads but also to further standardise inspection across Europe.
What are the main changes?
The main changes relate to vehicle electronic safety and warning systems and vehicle construction and use. They will affect cars, light goods vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses and trailers.
The new test items will not apply to every vehicle as, depending on age and type, they will not necessarily have the systems fitted. Details are listed below.
You will see little change to the current test system and there will be no increase in MOT test fees.
Remember, the new test items do not all apply to every vehicle.
Electronic safety and warning systems
Dashboard management lights and warning lamps are now relatively common in all makes of vehicles – the following have been added to the list of checkable items:
- headlamp main beam and hazard warning lamps including switches
- electronic power steering and malfunction indicator lamp (MIL)
- steering and brake fluid levels including warning lamps
- electronic parking brake and electronic braking systems malfunction indicator lamp
- electronic stability control system including switch and the malfunction indicator lamp
- tyre pressure monitoring systems including warning lamps (only applicable to cars first used after January 2012)
- supplementary restraint systems including airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters
Vehicle construction and use
With the development of both performance and design components by car manufacturers, the following have now been added to the list of checkable items:
- high intensity discharge headlamps, washing and levelling systems
- an increase of brake efficiency for cars first used on or after 31 December 2011 from 50 per cent to 58 per cent
- steering, suspension, brake and transmission dust covers/gaiters
- steering wheel locking mechanism
- driver’s seat adjustment mechanism
- tow-bar assembly
- emission control systems including catalytic converter
- illumination of speedometers
Additional items for goods vehicles, buses and trailers (where applicable)
Standardised regulations covering all vehicles across Europe make it easier to ensure the safety and maintenance of vehicles. The following have now been added to the list of checkable items:
- tyre sizes compliance with tachograph plaque
- additional braking devices, for example brake retarders
- load sensing valve data plate on certain vehicles
- conspicuity (high visibility) markings on certain goods vehicles
- an increase of brake efficiency for drawbar trailers first used on or after 31 December 2011 from 45 per cent to 50 per cent
Where can I find out more about these changes?
You can download more information about the changes
- Pocket size leaflet ‘The MOT test is changing’ (PDF 132 KB)
- Changes to the MOT - Cars and Light Goods Vehicles (gross weight 3,500kgs or less) (PDF 148 KB)
- Changes to the MOT - Heavy Goods Vehicles, Trailers and Buses (gross weight exceeding 3,500kgs) (PDF 124 KB)
- Help with PDF files
The Vehicle Inspection Manuals have been amended to reflect the changes. These manuals can be viewed online at: