Earlier this year the MOT rules changed, not only were faults recategorised but extra checks were added, one of the most significant new additions were the more stringent emissions tests. If there was smoke of any colour emerging from the exhaust, or if the diesel particulate filter (DPF) had been tampered with, or removed your vehicle would fail straight away.
Since then the increase in the number of polluting vehicles being fixed or taken off our roads has more than doubled to a whopping 744,592 since the changes. During the same time frame in 2017, only 350,472 were failed by testers.
Even more interesting to note is that petrol is, and always has been the biggest MOT failure when it comes to emissions. Last year 292,468 petrol vehicles were refused an MOT due to emissions violations; that compares to just 58,004 for diesel.
Dirty diesel increasing
However, clamping down on emissions has helped to fix or remove 238,971 diesels from our roads from just May 20th to November 19th this year. That’s over four times the amount since last year, and seeing as diesel particulates have been linked to numerous health issues around the world that benefits all of us.
Another diesel figure to note is the increase of 448% in diesel powered vans failing these stricter tests; only 3,585 were caught in 2017, that’s now jumped to 19,648.
Those numbers might seem like a big increase, but failure rates for both petrol and diesel have remained roughly the same. 34.7% for petrol, opposed to 35.7%, and 33.8% for diesel compared with 33.7% in 2017.
This all adds to the Governments ‘road to zero’, a strategy announced in July this year to set out the path to low and then zero emission road transportation. The current aim is to become a world leader when it comes to zero-emission vehicle technology by 2030, they’ve got a lot to do in 12 short years, and air pollution is seemingly an ever increasing pubic concern.
Across the country, many towns face air pollution that is above the World Health Organisations recommended limit, but those numbers have been falling over recent years.
London’s pollution levels are always called into question, however from 2013 to 2015 the level fell from 17 to 11 micrograms. Manchester and Swansea remain some of the worst affected with a level of 13, the WHO’s limit is just 10.
Fine particle pollution may be falling, but the UK’s asthma death rate is on the up, last year 1,320 people died in England and Wales, that’s up 25% on ten years ago. According to the ONS 17 children died from an asthma attack in 2017, an increase of five from the previous year.
Not all of these can be attributed to cars failing their MOT’s on emissions, but small changes across our nation will result in better air quality for all of us.
MOT-less cars on the rise
Sadly, the number of vehicles without an MOT but still on our roads has been rising steadily over the last few years. That can mostly be blamed on the abolishment of the paper tax disc. The majority of people had their car tax and MOT in sync; when your car needed taxing, you required an MOT. It was that simple.
With the digitised system and paying road tax monthly you may not get sent a reminder, which means you’re more likely to forget you need one.
Driving without an MOT can mean a £1,000 fine, but thankfully there is an MOT reminder service that works by entering your vehicle registration and an email address. After that, you can check your car's MOT due date and set up invaluable reminders.
Make sure your car remains legal, or your wallet could end up feeling a lot lighter.