Is your car your pride and joy, or are you ready for a change? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

UK MoT Official Tester's Guide

Published 23 May 2018

This Official Testers Guide lists all of the changes to the MoT test from 20th May 2018, including the new requirements and those that have been deleted.

New items

New items that you will test from 20 May 2018 are:

  • brake fluid contamination
  • additional braking device performance
  • daytime running lamps
  • front fog lamps
  • reversing lamps
  • bumpers
  • prop shafts
  • all rear drive shafts
  • cab security
  • cab steps
  • floors
  • passenger hand grips (quads and heavy trikes only)
  • noise suppression material
  • undertray security
  • emission control equipment:
    • oxygen sensor
    • NOx sensor
    • exhaust gas recirculation valve
    • other emission control equipment
  • engine malfunction indicator lamp
  • diesel particulate filter (DPF) tampering
  • fluid leaks - engine, transmission and so on

Check the MOT inspection manual for the full details about these items.

Defects that no longer cause an MOT test fail

Some defects that will be classed as ‘minor’ from 20 May 2018 currently result in a test fail.

They include:

  • brake fluid level below the minimum mark
  • brake fluid warning lamp illuminated or inoperative
  • power steering fluid below the minimum mark
  • trailer electrical socket insecure
  • direction indicator flashing rate
  • one of two registration plate lamps missing or inoperative
  • several audible warning defects
  • many items ‘insecure’ but not likely to become detached

If the vehicle only has minor defects, it will pass its MOT and you’ll need to issue an MOT certificate.

Identification of vehicle (section 0)

New failures

A new failure for vehicle identification number (VIN) obviously falsified has been added


The check for 2 different VINs has been removed

Brakes (section 1)

New failures

There are now failures for:

  • brake lining or pad wear indicator illuminated
  • brake lining or pad incorrectly mounted
  • a brake disc or drum missing
  • an incorrectly installed brake slack adjuster
  • additional braking device insecure or inoperative
  • other braking system components damaged or corroded, for example, air dryer, antifreeze pump
  • brake fluid contaminated
  • air brake reservoir drain device

New or changed inspection

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) can’t be removed from a vehicle made on or after 1 January 2010.


The check for reserve pressure of full power hydraulic systems has been removed.

Steering (section 2)

New failures

There are new failures for:

  • sector shaft condition
  • steering gear fixing holes elongated
  • electronic power steering wiring damaged or corroded
  • ‘fly by wire’ steering systems

Visibility (section 3)

New failures

There is a new failure for excessively tinted glass.

New or changed inspection

There are the following additions or changes:

  • view of exterior mirrors added
  • class 5 glazing now only applies to vehicles first used from 1 June 1978, and no longer applies to interior doors or panels

Improved or changed information

The definition of the driver’s field of vision has been updated.

Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment (section 4)

New failures

There are new failures for:

  • light source and lamp not compatible
  • daytime running lamps
  • front fog lamps
  • reversing lamps

New or changed inspection

There are new or changed inspections for:

  • headlamp washers tested on vehicles first used on or after 1 September 2009
  • inspection of end-outline marker lamps now applies to class 4, 5, and 7

Improved or changed information

Information has been updated about the interaction between position lamps and other lamps.

Axles, wheels, tyres and suspension (section 5)

New failures

There are new failures for:

  • tyre obviously under-inflated on tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) equipped vehicles post 1 January 2012 (mark this as a ‘minor’ defect)
  • a spring missing

Failures previously only applicable to large vehicles now apply to any vehicle

Improved or changed information

This information has changed::

  • assessing tyre damage
  • reference to stretched tyres included
  • tyre tables moved to appendix B


The following have been removed:

  • checks for tyre structure between axles
  • checks for tyre correctly seated on the bead rim
  • checks of tyre valves
  • failure for fitment of a space-saver wheel

Body, structure and attachments (section 6)

New failures

There are new failures for:

  • vehicle structure significantly reduced
  • fuel tank and exhaust shields missing
  • any part of a gas fuel system defective
  • bumper security
  • spare wheel carrier condition
  • towbar safety devices and coupling indicators
  • cab security
  • floor condition
  • seat structure condition
  • cab steps
  • footrests and handgrips (where fitted)

New or changed inspection

There are new or changed inspections for:

  • strengthening plates and fastening
  • exhaust fumes entering cabin failure, which has been extended to all vehicles
  • inspection of drive shafts, which has been extended to all transmission shafts - including prop shafts
  • drive belts and chains
  • body condition, which now includes unsafe modifications, component security, including undertrays as well as body pillars on goods vehicles

Improved or changed information

Information has been added to this section for fuel tanks holed above the fuel line.

Other equipment (section 7)

New failures

A new failure has been added for seat belt not functioning as intended.

Improved or changed information

This information has changed::

  • seat belt fitment information has moved to appendix C
  • seat belt installation checks have moved to section 10

Nuisance (section 8)

New failures

There are new failures for:

  • noise suppression material
  • exhaust emission control equipment
  • induction leaks
  • engine malfunction indicator lamp
  • evidence that a diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been tampered with
  • any visible smoke from a vehicle fitted with a DPF
  • fluid leaks - engine coolant and Adblue not included

New or changed inspection

There are new or changed inspections for:

  • metered smoke test date, which has changed to 1 January 1980
  • new smoke limit of 0.7m-1 introduced for vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2014
  • smoke test limits on vehicles post 1 July 2008 will be carried out to either the default standard or the limit on the manufacturer’s plate (where one is displayed)
  • the option to abort the smoke test if levels are significantly in excess of the specified limit values after one acceleration
  • fast pass no longer exists
  • test is passed if the specific limit is achieved after one acceleration, otherwise after 3 accelerations, otherwise after up to a maximum of 6 accelerations

Appendix A - structural integrity and corrosion

Changes to inspections have been added to this section for:

  • change to failure criteria for defects not within a prescribed area
  • clarification on acceptable repairs in the case of spot welded panels

Other changes

These more general changes have been made:

  • inappropriate repair dropped other than for prescribed areas
  • inappropriate modification changed to unsafe modification


In the introduction to the MoT Testing guide, there are the following additions or changes:

  • introduction of EU type-approval categories
  • clarification of dual-purpose vehicle definition
  • American and Canadian pick-up trucks up to 6,500kg added to class 4
  • information about vehicles of historic interest added
  • reason to refuse to test for the presence of a load added
  • ‘reasons for rejection’ changed to defects
  • minor, major and dangerous defect categorisation added
  • definition of insecure added
  • definition of unsafe modification added
  • changes to ‘extensively modified vehicles to include modifications for disabled use 
  • floors



Engineer Andy    on 24 May 2018

How are they going to test the EGR or the engine fault lamp without DOING SOMETHING to the car, i.e. taking the EGR off or plugging in an OBD tester and deliberately producing fault to test the lamp? What happens if by doing so, e.g. not putting the car exactly or correctly back as before, the car won't work or is unsafe and has an accident?

Taking bits of the car apart on changing its operational parameters just to test a lamp sounds like trouble to me...

Add a comment


Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £8,930.17

Total cost of credit £1,430.17


48 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

Borrowing £7,500 over 4 years with a representative APR of 25.4%, an annual interest rate of 25.4% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £239.77 per month, with a total cost of credit of £4,008.96 and a total amount payable of £11,508.96.

CarFinance 247 Limited is acting as an independent credit broker

Universal Square, Devonshire Street North, Manchester, M12 6JH