Are you ready for new rules on car tax and MOTs?
New rules for car tax and MOTs are coming into force soon, with particular consequences for drivers of diesel vehicles. What do you need to know to avoid an unwelcome surprise?
MOTs: is the fault minor, major or dangerous?
From 20 May 2018, the MOT test will be stricter in several ways, according to What Car. The changes bring the EU Roadworthiness Package into effect.
Under the new rules, faults will be classed as minor, major or dangerous. Minor faults are similar to ‘advisory’ faults in the current test, and are recorded on the MOT test certificate. Major faults require remedial work and retesting, while dangerous faults mean it is illegal to drive the car on public roads. Major and dangerous faults result in an automatic failure of the MOT test.
For diesel vehicles, new restrictions on modified diesel particulate filters (DPFs) have been introduced. If a DPF has been removed or tampered with, the tester is required to refuse to test the car unless the owner can provide a legitimate reason for its removal.
There will also be more focus on the car faults that cause the most serious accidents: steering systems, reversing lights and brake discs. These areas will be examined in more detail than previously.
Preparing for an MOT
Even if your knowledge of car mechanics is non-existent, you can easily check for some of the most common MOT faults.
Check all the lights are working, look carefully for chips and cracks on the windscreen and take a look at your tyres to ensure there is at least 1.6mm of tread left. Worn shock absorbers are also a common problem – if you press down heavily on your car’s wing it should return to a normal position. If it bounces, there may be a problem with the suspension.
Car tax: will you pay more?
From 1 April 2018 the rules on car tax are changing radically, according to Which. The Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rate for new diesel cars is going up one band, and the company car levy for diesel cars (not commercial vehicles or vans) will rise from 3% to 4%.
For cars registered on or after 1 April 2017, the first year rate will be based on CO2 emissions of the car. After that, both petrol and diesel car drivers pay a standard rate of £140. Low-emission vehicles are no longer exempt from car tax and vehicles that cost more than £40,000 (including low-emission vehicles) will pay a new £310 additional annual charge.
There’s more bad news for diesel drivers. New RDE Act 2 tests for diesel emissions were introduced in September 2017, with all new cars needing to be RDE2-compliant by September 2019. In the meantime, you will pay more in car tax if you buy a non-RDE2 compliant diesel vehicle.
If your car runs on alternative fuel (not diesel or petrol), you will pay £10 less than diesel and petrol car owners in the first year of the car’s registration and £130 for subsequent years.
As well as keeping your car’s MOT and servicing up to date you also need to protect it with quality car insurance. Get a quick and easy quote with Computerquote today.