On 1 January 2012, new rules were added to the current MOT by the Department for Transport (DfT) to comply with European testing procedures.
It's a pretty substantial list, but there's one which could mean big bills for thousands of drivers. If your car has any illuminated warning lamps, whether it is the airbag, seatbelt, ESP, SRS, ABS or others, it will soon fail the MOT.
It's not all bad news. If your car's MOT runs out before the 31 March 2012 and you have a warning light that needs addressing, the testers will treat it as an 'advisory', i.e. advice on what needs to be done for the next MOT.
However, if your MOT is due after 1 April 2012, you better get your skates on and get the warning light (or other faults in the list below) fixed, otherwise you'll receive the dreaded fail sheet.
The AA has kindly published a summary of the new rules. If you think your car needs attention on any of the points below but still has a long MOT left, we recommend getting it seen to sooner rather than later.
The main changes from 2012
Electronic parking brake
Electronic parking brake controls are now included and must be present and not inappropriately repaired or modified - repair obviously likely to adversely affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle or modification that has seriously weakened the component.
(The 'inappropriately repaired or modified' check is to be applied to a wide range of systems and components throughout the vehicle.)
The car will fail if an Electronic Parking Brake warning lamp is illuminated to indicate a malfunction.
Electronic Stability Control
Checks of anti-lock brakes will be extended to include Electronic Stability Control if fitted.
The tester will check for the presence and correct operation of the ESC malfunction warning light together with looking for obviously missing, excessively damaged or inappropriately repaired or modified components and electrical wiring, as well as an ESC switch missing, insecure or faulty.