Half of drivers unaware of new MOT rules

Half of drivers unaware of new MOT rules
RAC research suggests many motorists are in the dark about imminent changes to the MOT test – with over half still completely unaware of the reforms.

The rule changes, which come into effect on Sunday May 20, see the introduction of three new fault types.

Two of them – ‘dangerous’ and ‘major’ – will result in a failed test, while the third – ‘minor’ – will result in a pass, with defects that need to be remedied as soon as possible.

Yet 49% of motorists surveyed by the RAC think the ‘minor’ fault category would lead to an MOT fail, and 56% don’t even know about the changes.

READ MORE: New MOT rules - how do they affect you?

The RAC questioned 1,866 motorists about the forthcoming MOT shake-up, which it broadly supports as a “positive step”.

As well as highlighting public confusion about the reforms, the survey makes clear that many motorists have concerns about their impact.

Almost three-quarters of respondents (74%) believe the new ‘minor’ category will encourage drivers to ignore lesser faults in their vehicles.

The same percentage of motorists (74%) think there’s a risk that the new fault categories could be interpreted differently by test centres across the country.

And worryingly, 5% of drivers think that a vehicle with a ‘dangerous’ fault will pass the MOT following the changes.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “It is important everyone quickly gets to grips with the changes to the MOT, and that test centres and garages do a good job of explaining the new fault categories so motorists understand correctly the severity of faults with their vehicles.

“Changes to the MOT that make vehicles using our roads safer are undoubtedly a positive step so we hope that testers everywhere interpret and apply the new rules fairly and consistently. The last thing we want to see is a lowering of MOT standards and an increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles on our roads.”

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Sunday’s MOT reforms also see the introduction of stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The RAC survey found that 48% of respondents currently own or run a diesel car, and just over half of those (53%) say their vehicle has a DPF.

But only 23% of respondents with a diesel car know that new DPFs generally cost over £1,000 – suggesting that many motorists are in for a shock if they are told they need a new one.

Simon Williams of the RAC advises: “Drivers who have a diesel vehicle with a DPF should make sure it is regularly given a good run at motorway or dual carriageway speeds so the filter is automatically cleared of any clogged up soot.

"This is very important if the vehicle is predominantly used for short journeys on local roads.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.