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New MOT: what changes for your tyres?

From 20 May in the UK and several European countries, the MOT will change. Find out more about the new law and what it means for your tyres.

Tyres at an MOT

Find out about tyre defects on the new MOT. © Fotolia

3 new defect categories

Changes to the MOT will come into effect from 20 May 2018. The updated test will include three defect categories: minor, major and dangerous.

  • Minor defects: these have no significant impact on vehicle safety or the environment. They must be recorded and repaired but do not entail a re-test. In the meantime, the vehicle can be driven without any problem.
  • Major defects: these could compromise vehicle safety and may have a negative impact on the environment or put other drivers at risk. If a major defect is found, the vehicle can still be used but it must be re-tested within 2 months.
  • Dangerous defects: these constitute a direct danger to road safety or have a serious impact on the environment. If a dangerous defect is identified, the vehicle cannot be driven until it has been repaired and must be re-tested within 2 months.

What are the minor defects for tyres?

The new MOT handbook lists 2 minor defects for tyres:

  • TPMS malfunctioning
  • Tyre is obviously under-inflated

In these cases your vehicle will still pass the MOT and the defects will be recorded as a precautionary measure.

What are the major defects for tyres?

Here are some of the major defects listed for tyres:

  • Load capacity or speed rating not in accordance with the minimum requirements
  • Tyres on the same axle or on twin wheels are different sizes
  • Tyres on the same axle of different structure (e.g. radial and cross-ply)
  • A tyre fouling a part of the vehicle
  • A recut tyre fitted to a vehicle not permitted to be fitted with recut tyres
  • A tyre not fitted in compliance with the manufacturer's sidewall instruction
  • TPMS is obviously inoperative

If one of these defects is found during the vehicle inspection, it must be repaired and your vehicle will have to be re-tested within 2 months. 

What are the dangerous defects for tyres?

There are 4 dangerous defects listed for tyres. To pass the MOT, the following must be avoided at all costs:

  • Load capacity insufficient for axle weight
  • Visible or damaged cords
  • Tyre tread depth not in accordance with requirements (at least 1.6 mm in the main grooves)
  • The tyre touches a fixed part of the vehicle.

In this case, you will not be able to drive your vehicle from the day after the MOT. To be able to use your vehicle again legally, you must first carry out the necessary repairs and re-take the test within two months.

Find out more about the different car parts checked at an MOT

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