Changes to Driving Laws

New MOT rules

If you have put your vehicle through an MOT since the 20th May, you may have noticed a few differences. The first being how vehicles are categorised:

Item Result What it means about the item How it effects your MOT result
Dangerous A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment.

Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired.

Major It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment.

Repair it immediately.


Minor No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.

Repair as soon as possible.

Advisory It could become more serious in the future.

Monitor and repair it if necessary.

Pass It meets the minimum legal standard.

Make sure it continues to meet the standard.


Stricter rules for diesel vehicles

If you own a diesel vehicle featuring a diesel particulate filter (DPF), then you will need to watch out for a couple of things. If any smoke is visibly coming from the exhaust or if the DPF has been tampered with, your vehicle will be categorised as a major fail.

New items that will now be tested

  • Fluids leaks that could cause a risk to the environment
  • Underinflated tyres
  • If the brake fluid has been contaminated
  • Brake pad warning lights and if brake pads or discs are missing
  • Reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009
  • Headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1st September 2009 (if they have them)
  • Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1st March 2018 (Most of these vehicles will have their first MOT in 2021 when they’re 3 years old)

 Other Changes

The design of the MOT certificate has now changed. It lists any defects under the new categories, so they’re clear and easy to understand.

Previously any car registered before 1960 was exempt from an MOT test. The new rules state that any vehicle that turns 40 years old, does not need to take the test.

(Reference –

 Leaner Drivers on the Motorways

For the very first time, learner drivers are allowed on the UK motorways. They must be in a vehicle with dual controls and with an approved driving instructor. It will be the instructor’s decision when the learner driver is ready to take to the motorway.

Misuse of the Motorway

Smart motorways are becoming more common in the UK. They are designed to keep traffic flowing in busy times by closing lanes and applying variable speed limits. The hard shoulder can also be used as an extra lane when overhead signs show that it is open. The overhead signs mark closed lanes with a red X. If anyone is caught using a closed lane, they could face a £100 fine and 3 points on their licence.

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