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UK motorists are being warned about putting their cars through early for an MOT before the old certificate expires.
Motorists who choose to put their cars in for an MOT early, and then fail, could be whacked with a £2,500 fine despite their old pass certificate not having expired yet.
As soon as a car fails an MOT it is recorded on a national database - regardless of if it has a previous MOT which is still in date.
So, if your car fails and you think you're still covered by the old one and choose to drive, you could be hit with a maximum of a £2,500 fine, a driving ban and three penalty points.
According to the DVLA: "If your vehicle fails the MOT: you'll get a 'refusal of a MOT test certificate' from the test centre.
"It will be recorded in the MOT database. You can take your vehicle away if your MOT certificate is still valid."
The way MOTs are carried out is due for a massive shake up this year, with changes coming from 20 May.
The new changes will see the introduction of three new defect failure categories: minor, major or dangerous - with 'major' and 'dangerous' faults resulting in an immediate ban. If your car gets a minor fault, it will still be able to pass but it will be noted on your MOT certificate - similar to the 'advisory notices' currently used.
Diesel car owners will face 'tougher tests' than they do currently, it's been reported, with diesels getting an instant fail if it gives out 'visible smoke of any colour' during the test.
Neil Barlow, MOT service manager at the DVSA, told the Manchester Evening News: "The changes to the MOT will help ensure that we'll all benefit from cleaner and safer vehicles on our roads."
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However, Simon Williams, from the RAC, said: "While on the surface this change, which is part of an EU Directive due to come into force in May, seems like a sensible move, we fear many motorists could end up being confused.
"Rather than MOT failures simply being black and white, the new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are 'dangerous', 'major' or 'minor'.
"We understand the government has little choice in the matter, but gut instinct says if the system isn't broken, why mess with it?"
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