More Polluting Cars to be Banished from the UK's Roads

From May 2018 if your car emits ‘visible smoke of any colour' it will fail the new-look MOT

More than a third of drivers unsure they will pass new-look MOT

  • 58% of drivers are unaware of the changes to the MOT rules in May
  • 31% are unsure if they will pass the new-look MOT
  • 12% say their car emits a ‘visible smoke of any colour’, an automatic fail
  • 10% are unsure if their car emits ‘visible smoke of any colour’
  • 27% are “very concerned” over rising transport emissions
  • 17% are unclear on the facts about transport emissions
  • 27% say lowering emissions is most important consideration for their vehicle
  • 61% say saving money is most important consideration for their vehicle

Nearly 60 percent of UK motorists are unaware that the MOT rules are changing in May, while over 30 percent are unsure they will pass the new-look test, a survey has found. According to an independent poll, commissioned by Halfords Autocentre and Cataclean, manufacturer of engine and fuel system cleaning products, 12 percent of motorists also say their exhaust emits ‘visible smoke of any colour’, which will be an automatic fail. The survey of 1,000 car owners was conducted to establish whether motorists are ready for the changes, particularly in relation to the tougher emissions test being brought in. As part of the new rules, which will introduce dangerous, major and minor categories with new checks on brake fluid, tyres and headlight washers, testers will be checking that cars do not emit smoke and diesel particulate filters have not been tampered with. This will be considered a major fault, a defect that ‘may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment’, and drivers will fail the test and have to repair the fault immediately. Aaron Edwards from Halfords Autocentre said: “We understand not all drivers will be aware of the changes, as the poll shows. However, motorists can trust that our technicians do, and will be happy to advise customers who may be concerned about their emissions in light of the upcoming changes.” According to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy figures, UK emissions of carbon dioxide fell six percent from 2015 to 2016, but transport emissions rose by two percent. William Jones from Cataclean said: “The government’s motivation for cracking down on vehicles that are emitting toxic gases is, irrefutably, a valid one. However, the problem is that, on top of the fact that many motorists aren’t even aware that the MOT rules are changing, over 12 percent say their exhaust emits visible smoke of any colour, an automatic fail. Another 10 percent are unsure whether their car emits smoke or not. The fact is, deposits do build up in the engine over time.” For more information on Cataclean, which has been shown in an independent trial to bring down emissions by 24 percent, visit For more on Halfords Autocentre, visit For more on the new MOT, visit the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency website.