Modern MOTs
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Modern MOTs

MOT’s are a fundamental part of being a vehicle owner or driver. Every car over three years old needs an annual MOT to make sure that it is safe, for its driver and passengers, for other road users and, now, for the environment.

You are probably all over the MOT rules and regulations, but there have been a few changes recently so we thought we’d lay it all out.

Just over a year ago, on 20th May 2018, the MOT test changed to include new defect types and stricter rules for diesel car emissions. Cars over 40 years old will be exempt from needing an MOT as long as they haven’t been ‘substantially altered’. Good news for the classic car owners whose pride and joy was never built for emissions regulations, but still deserves to grace our highways!

Defects found in an MOT are now classed as Dangerous, Major or Minor. The MOT tester will also still give Advisories, which are warnings of what may need to be repaired soon.

Dangerous defects are those that have a direct and immediate risk to road safety or can have a serious impact on the environment. You are not allowed to drive the vehicle until the defect has been repaired. Major defects can affect the vehicle’s safety or put other road user at risk and need repairing immediately. Minor defects don’t have a significant impact on safety but do need repairing as soon as possible before they develop into a bigger problem.

Some of the newer items included in the MOT test are checks on tyre pressure, contamination of brake fluid, brake pad and disc checks, reversing lights, headlight washers and daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018.

There was a question for a while over whether the age at which a vehicle starts having MOTs should be increased to four years, but the government decided not to make that change. They also decided that the current maximum fee for an MOT would stay the same. This is currently £54.85, though any work required to pass the vehicle would incur an extra charge.

If you need to book your vehicle in for an MOT, remember that you can get the test done up to a month before the renewal date and still keep the same date for the following year. You can be fined as much as £1,000 if you are found driving without a valid MOT, though. With modern technology allowing people to check your registration number for tax and MOT records within seconds, it’s worth setting a reminder or getting your garage to get in touch a couple of months before the test is due.

The other bit of extremely useful information we can think of regarding your MOT is that you cannot legally drive a vehicle on the road without a valid MOT. The only exception is if you are driving straight to a garage for repair or to an MOT test centre, who are expecting you. That last bit was specified to stop people from driving illegally and then just heading to a test centre if they were caught.

At MBS we can handle your MOT, including any required work, in our garage in Marsh Barton, Exeter.

Get in touch now to book an MOT, or to ask us to call and remind you to book with us in a few month’s time. You can call us on 01392 493222  or email


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