In May 2018, new MOT test rules came into force for cars and vans and there were plenty of implications for diesel vehicles. With most minibuses running on diesel, this has naturally affected those who run a fleet of minibuses, or even just the one minibus. Below, we explore the impacts of the changes and how you can prepare for an MOT.

The main changes

Minibuses now need an MOT after 12 months rather than after three years. The other key change is regarding diesel emissions. The rules cracked down on particularly dangerous emissions, with diesel vehicles failing their MOT if smoke of any colour emerges from the exhaust or if there’s evidence that the diesel particulate filter has been tampered with.

Financial

When you buy a minibus, usually it’s with financial benefits in mind. Minibuses make for excellent vehicles to give lifts in: you can either use them as a taxi or rent them out for responsible groups to use. However, the MOT rules mean that it’ll cost more to run a minibus now. With more stringent rules, it increases the likelihood that your minibus will fail its MOT. This could result in more frequent repair bills: firstly because of faults found in the MOT, and secondly with additional preventative care to ensure that you pass the MOT.

Loss of service

In a similar vein, with more vehicles now failing their MOT, there’s a greater chance that your minibus won’t pass the MOT and you’ll lose vital days of service from the vehicle.

Regular maintenance

A knock-on effect is that most minibus owners will now be carrying out regular maintenance to ensure that their fleet or vehicle passes the MOT. This can be time-consuming, expensive but worthwhile work.

MOT preparation

There are plenty of ways you can prepare for the MOT and try to boost your chances of a pass though. Check all your lights plus your windscreen wipers to make sure they’re functioning optimally. It’s also worth checking your tyres to ensure they have the right tread and air pressure to pass. Monitoring your oil and engine coolant levels is important too.

Ultimately, MOT changes have made it more difficult for minibuses to pass the test. But by preparing diligently for the MOT and regularly maintaining your minibus, you should be able to minimise any financial penalties.