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Kwik Fit issues MOT advice to fleets

Date: 03 May 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Fleet managers have been warned that communication with drivers will be crucial in relation to upcoming changes to MOT tests. 

The new rules come into force on 20 May, and mean that instead of a pass or fail grade, vehicle defects will be assessed as dangerous, major or minor, with the first two resulting in failure.

There will also be stricter rules for diesel car emissions and additional items included within the test.

Kwik Fit says that there could be confusion as vehicles deemed to have a minor defect will pass the MOT; however, under the Road Traffic Act 1988 vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition - drivers that fail to comply face a maximum fine of £2,500 and three penalty points on their driving licence.

Also, the firm warns that existing fleet policies of owner/operator fleets, contract hire and leasing companies, and fleet management companies may contradict what is deemed to be a dangerous, major or minor defect under the new MOT rules.

Kwik Fit Fleet service, maintenance and repair business manager Dan Joyce said: "We have an obligation to adhere to MOT rules, but we also have an obligation if a known defect is identified during an MOT test to report that to the vehicle owner and adhere to the fleet policy.

"Communication is critical to comply with both the MOT and Road Traffic Act rules as well as individual fleet policies.

"We will make vehicle owners and maintenance decision makers aware of defects whether dangerous, major or minor and empower them to make the decision on authorisation of any repairs."

Joyce said it was worth noting that all faults along with any MOT tester additional advisories would be published immediately following the completion of the MOT test on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency website.

He added: "It is then up to vehicle owners and maintenance decision-makers whether the vehicle is allowed to continue to be driven or a repair is undertaken.

"If a vehicle is driven on the road with a known defect, drivers could be subject to road traffic offences.

"If a vehicle is presented for its MOT early, the Road Traffic Act would be enforced if there is a noted defect.

"If the vehicle is driven on the road and is stopped by the police, or is involved in a crash, then the law will intervene."

Joyce has identified the following four changes to the test as being critical to fleets:

  • Stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). A vehicle will get a 'major' fault and thus an MOT failure if the tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust or finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.
  • A dashboard warning light defect will result in a major defect being flagged up and thus an MOT failure.
  • Changes to braking definitions regarding classification of brake discs.
  • Front and rear vehicle fog lights are now included within the MOT.

Joyce added: "Communication between the MOT test centre and the vehicle owner or fleet maintenance decision-maker is essential because there is scope for fleet operator confusion with the introduction of the new MOT regime and the defect categories, and contradiction with the Road Traffic Act."