MOT Changes 2012

The MoT rules have changed for 2012, with the Department for Transport adding in new tests and standards to reflect more modern cars.

From 1 January 2012, new technologies such as Electronic Stability Control are being tested, rules on lighting have been updated to reflect new features, even tests to check exhausts have been brought up to date.

The new MoT rules also help the UK meet new European legislation that’s aimed at standardising vehicle testing rules across the EU.

To help motorists get up to speed with the new rules, the first three months of 2012 will see new failure points marked as advisories only. After this, however, any compliance issues with the new test rules will result in a failure.

Here are 10 key tests that have been added to the new vehicle MoT regulations.

  1. Electronic stability control - Testers will check the correct operation of the electronic stability control dashboard warning light and dashboard switch. They will also now extend checks on ABS brakes to include assessments of any damage to ESC components.
  2. Electronic parking brake - Cars will fail the MoT test if the dashboard panel electronic parking brake failure lamp is illuminated. Testers will also adapt checks carried out on manual handbrakes to assess the condition of electronic parking brakes.  
  3. Electrical wiring - Testers will look for any visibly damaged wiring while assessing a car during the MOT. Unsecured batteries will also result in a failure.
  4. Speedometers - Cars already fail if the speedometer is broken – but will now also fail if it is incomplete, if the dial is broken or if the night-time illumination does not work.
  5. Warning lights - Testers must now check an additional series of warning lights, where fitted, are functioning correctly. These include headlight main beam, brake fluid level, airbag, seatbelt pretensioner and electronic power steering lights
  6. Lighting - Covers or spray-tints that reduce the intensity of light coming from an outside source will result in an MOT failure. The cleaning and self-level functions of Xenon High Intensity Discharge headlights will also now be tested.
  7. Tyre pressure monitoring systems - On cars registered after 1 January 2012, any on-board tyre pressure monitoring systems must function correctly.
  8. Supplementary restraints - If they’re fitted as standard, airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and seatbelt load limiters will be tested and must all work correctly.
  9. Exhaust - Cars fitted with a catalytic convertor as standard equipment will fail if it is not present for the MoT first.
  10. Towbars and sockets - 3-pin trailer sockets will undergo a full electrical test. Towbars themselves will fail if they are poorly repaired or modified inappropriately.