New MoT rules came into force on 20 March which attempt to reflect the growth of in-car electronics.
The changes bring Britain into line with the rest of Europe, but the AA has warned that many drivers will fail to comply with the new rules.
Andy Smith, the AA’s patrolman of the year, said: “If you’ve been happily ignoring a warning light because it’s not part of the MoT, these changes mean your car could now be on the MoT scrap heap or you’ll need to fork out on expensive repairs.
“While it could have expensive consequences for someone running an old car on a tight budget, these changes are long overdue as airbags, for example, have been widely fitted since the mid-nineties. It’s important that these systems remain safe and effective throughout the life of the vehicle.
“A typical modern car has 40 or more computers and a level of technical sophistication a world away from that seen in the early 1990s when the MOT test last underwent a major revision. These changes are important and help bring the MOT test in line with 21st century car technology.”
Other changes will include tests on dashboard lights; tyre pressure monitoring systems; car seats; car doors; airbags; electronic stability controls; the speedometer; and the catalytic convertor.
Alastair Peoples, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VSOA) chief executive, said: “The MOT test is designed to make sure that a vehicle is fit to be on the road and so it needs to be updated to reflect new vehicle technology.
"We at VOSA have worked closely with the industry to make sure they are prepared for the changes; and testers have been letting customers know about the new items at the MOT test for more than a year to make sure they are ready for the changes.”
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