• What do the new MOT rule changes mean for you?
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What do the new MOT rule changes mean for you?

As car owners, it's the call that many of us dread - the news from the garage that your car has failed its MOT. It's usually at this point that you then need to make a tough decision - whether to pay out for the repairs it needs to pass, or throw in the towel and start looking for a new car. Either way it's going to cost. In the past, the situation was pretty clear - your car has failed because of x, y and z, or it has passed. With new changes to the law however, that situation has just got a little murkier. Now, any issues will be classed as either Dangerous, Minor or Major - and if your car has a Dangerous or Major fault then your vehicle is going to fail. Minor defects won't be enough to fail the car on their own, but they will appear on the MOT Certificate.

Potential for confusion

On the face of it, it all sounds fairly sensible - but the changes have come in for criticism, with some experts suggesting that the new changes will create confusion, both for mechanics and for drivers. They worry that testers will struggle to decide between 'Dangerous', 'Major' and 'Minor' defects - and that this will help to create areas of uncertainty in a process that previously was much more black and white. The worry is that this lack of clarity will in turn be passed on to car owners, as they may also find it hard to understand the severity of the different classifications. Here at Big Motoring World we'd agree - to the average customer the differences between Major and Dangerous faults might be hard to spot. The RAC thinks so too - and worries that the changes could lead to a drop in standards.

Creating unnecessary uncertainty

“The current system ensures that any vehicle with a fault that doesn’t meet the MOT requirements is repaired appropriately before being allowed back on the road," says their spokesman Simon Williams. “We should be doing all we can to make the vehicles on our roads as safe as possible rather introducing a new system which has the potential to do the opposite. We do not want to see a lowering of MOT standards.” Whether the government's changes to the MOT testing procedures results in a major fail remains to be seen - but we'll be watching developments with interest.