Car Emissions And MOT

Testing exhaust emissions now form part of the MOT test, and examiners have had to study the new rules to ensure that our vehicles are safe not only for the road but for the environment as well.

Changes to the UK’s standard MOT test were made in 2018 and from May that year, when the new regulations kicked in, a staggering increase of 114 per cent was recorded.

Diesel-powered vehicles got the wrong end of the stick with a 63 per cent hike in the MOT fail rate.

Forewarned Is Forearmed

If your MOT is coming up soon, it is helpful to be aware that the emissions testing is now part of the MOT examination.

If your car’s emissions are too high, then it’s an outright fail.

There are a few indicators that warn you your car could be tipping over the emissions’ edge:

  • Exhaust emitting blue smoke for more than five seconds. This is deemed a significant fault and will result in an immediate fail
  • The vehicle cannot exceed the restrictions for emissions set out by the government. This information can be found on your vehicle’s DVA registration document
  • If your car is a diesel and its particulate filter (DPF) has been removed or tampered with. This device, fitted to modern diesel cars from 2009, stop soot from emitting from the exhaust and into the atmosphere
  • If your dashboard displays an engine management light, which is a red flag signalling problems with the emissions system

How Is Part Of This MOT Test Carried out? 

Vehicles that qualify to have their exhaust emissions tested as part of the roadworthy certificate have it done with a special meter.

Petrol vehicles made before August of 1975 are tested by sight and if they emit blue smoke for five seconds or longer will fall into the “major fail” category. The same applies to diesel vehicles that came out before January 1980. The problem has to be rectified before you can get an MOT certificate according to government stipulations.

Your Vehicle Is Exempt From This Part Of The MOT Test if:

  • it has less than four wheels
  • it is a hybrid – a combination of petrol and electric
  • it purely runs on electric
  • it has a two-stroke engine
  • it is a quadricycle
  • it is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

It’s Not Only An MOT You Need To Be Worried About

If it’s still a while before your MOT D-day, then don’t be complacent because police in most counties carry out roadside checks. If your vehicle fails the emissions’ test, you get an immediate “prohibition notice”. This means you’ll only have ten days to fix the problem. If you fail to comply, you will be prosecuted.

Look It Up

Find information about all new cars currently on sale in the UK, and used vehicles that were first registered on or after 1 March 2001 by logging onto the government’s Car Fuel and Co2 Emissions page.

Armed with this information, there is not time like the present to book an MOT test for your car at a reputable and registered service station.