Three new MOT failure and fault categories that rate the severity of an issue the car is having, were introduced back in May 2018. These new fault categories could result in motorists being faced with a £2,500 fine and up to 6 penalty points.
What is an MOT?
The Ministry of Transport test, or more commonly known as an MOT, is a comprehensive inspection of your vehicle to ensure that it is roadworthy. It will pass the test if it meets the minimum road safety as well as the environmental standards.
For your car to be legally driven on the roads, it must have passed the MOT test and the test must be carried out at an authorised test centre.
Changes to the MOT test
These three failure classes include minor, major and dangerous faults. If a car fails with a dangerous result it is now illegal to drive it on a public road. With the owner facing a £2,500 fine and up to 6 penalty points. It has always been illegal to drive a dangerous vehicle but the new rules make it explicit for motorists to understand.
Stricter testing of diesel vehicles and checks for items including tyres, brake pads and reversing lights. Diesel cars with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) fitted must not produce smoke of any colour out of the exhaust or it will automatically fail the test.
March is the peak time for MOT tests and new guidelines came in during May so many motorists will not have put their car through the test and may be unfamiliar with some of the rules.
Legally, driving an MOT-failed car has always been a grey area. The government website states that you can drive a car with an MOT failure away if your current MOT certificate is still valid and the car has not failed on a dangerous fault. It also adds that it must meet the minimum standards of roadworthiness at all times.
It is also important to check with your insurance provider that your policy will still cover you if you drove your car when it has an MOT failure. Driving without a valid insurance is illegal and can result in a £300 fixed penalty fine and 6 penalty points.
Similarly, the car could have the vehicle scrapped if it wasn’t worth the repair costs.
Under the new rules, motorists who make the decision to scrap their MOT failed car might worry how to get it to the scrap car recycling centre.
Minor, major and dangerous faults
Minor faults are advisory issues that refer to faults that mean the car can still pass the test but will need to be fixed at a later date. Major and dangerous faults result in an instant failure. Drivers may drive to an alternative garage to repair the car with a major fault, whereas those with a dangerous fault on the car must not drive.