Diesel car owners could be severely impacted by a raft of changes when the MOT test is overhauled on 20 May.
In a bid to reduce pollution and improve vehicle safety, the new test will target high-polluting diesel cars through stricter emissions tests and inspections of vehicle exhaust systems.
Additionally, faults will be classified into three categories. Cars with only minor defects will be allowed back on to UK roads without a repair.
Stricter tests for diesels
MOT test centres will now be required to closely inspect the diesel particulate filter (DPF) on cars using the fuel. Unlike the old test, in which engineers passed or failed the DPF through a visual inspection, the filters will need to be removed and examined in the new test. Cars that have had their DPFs removed or tampered with will immediately fail the test, The Sun reports. This could affect a significant amount of diesel owners as “a large number” have the DPF modified because it can frequently become clogged.The visible smoke test will also be more strict, the paper adds, which could lead to more diesels failing if any sign of smog can be seen.
More older cars are exempt from an MOT
Drivers with a car aged 40 years or older will no longer be required to have an MOT test to legally drive on UK roads.
The move will affect around 500,000 vehicles, the Daily Express says, which equates to around 1.5% of the 31.7 million cars registered in the UK.
Previously, only cars registered in or prior to 1960 were exempt from a mandatory MOT test, the newspaper says.
Minor MOT faults
A ‘minor’ fault would be considered as one where the problem does not cause an immediate safety risk but should be rectified soon. This is very similar to the existing system whereby an advisory is given to items that the driver should be aware of and may cause a future MOT failure if not addressed. An MOT certificate will still be issued if a vehicle only has minor faults.
Major MOT faults
A ‘major’ fault is more serious, poses a potential safety risk to drivers and others. It could also be a defect that has a damaging impact on the environment. These faults will result in an MOT failure and the owner will not be issued with an MOT pass certificate until the issues have been rectified.
This is the latest in a series of steps by the Government to discourage drivers from buying new or used diesel vehicles. In the Autumn budget, it was announced that anyone buying a new diesel car from April this year will face a tax hike and be charged as if the vehicle was in the next tax band for the first year. This could add anything from £15 to £500 on to your road tax bill in the first year. So, be mindful if you are planning to buy a new or used diesel vehicle in the near future, you may be hit hard in the pocket trying to keep it on the road.