Tough new MoT rules – introduced in May this year – have resulted in more than twice as many cars and over four times as many vans failing tests for emissions faults.

The MoT test saw one of its biggest-ever updates on May 20, when Minor, Major and Dangerous fault categories were introduced, and tougher emission checks were brought in.

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Diesel cars fitted with a particulate filter (DPF) that emit visible smoke of any colour, for example, now automatically fail their MoT, while petrol cars that emit dense blue or clearly visible black smoke for more than five seconds when idling also fail.

Some cars would seem to be struggling to meet these new requirements, with data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) showing almost 750,000 cars failed their MoT for emissions between 20 May and 19 November 2018 – up from around 350,000 in the same period last year.

But vans have apparently been more severely impacted by the new test criteria than cars – a shocking 448 per cent more diesel vans failed their emission checks over the same period, up from 3,585 in 2017 to 19,648 in 2018.

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Despite these increases, the overall failure rate across all defect categories has largely remained stable, with 34.7 per cent of petrol cars and 33.2 per cent of diesels failing the test since May 2018. Over the same period in 2017, those rates were 35.7 and 33.8 respectively.

Commenting on the figures, the DVSA’s chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said the organisation was “committed to making a real difference to those in society whose lives and health are blighted by poor air quality.” Llewellyn added that since the new test criteria were introduced in May, “nearly 750,000 vehicles have been taken off the road or fixed.”

Has your car recently failed its MoT? Let us know below…

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