MOT tests are getting tougher from this month and drivers of diesel vehicles in particular will now find it harder to get their car to pass the annual inspection.
Faults will be rated in three new categories and emissions tests will be tougher, with new tests on areas including steering and brakes.
While the new rules mean cars with Minor defects will be allowed to pass, there will also be a category of Major defect and any with Dangerous defects will automatically fail.
Diesel cars will face tougher rules, and a car fitted with a diesel particulate filter that emits any visible smoke of any colour will instantly fail. Also, any vehicle that has a DPF that looks as if it’s been removed or tampered with will not pass, unless it can be proved it has been done so for filter cleaning.
Some examples of how faults will sit in the new categories are:
A steering box leaking oil would get a Minor fault but if the oil was dripping badly it would be pushed up to Major and fail.
Reverse lights will be checked and brake discs also inspected to see if they are “significantly or obviously worn”.
Minor defects refer to those that have no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.
Major defects may see the vehicle being less safe and have an impact on the environment, putting other road users at risk.
Dangerous defects have an immediate risk to road safety and have an impact on the environment.
The new rules will start from 20th May.
An RAC spokesman said they fear the changes could actually end up confusing motorists.
He said: “Rather than MOT failures simply being black and white, the new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are Dangerous, Major or Minor.
“Motorists may also struggle to tell the difference.”