Vehicle inspections in France are set to become even tighter in January 2019, with special scrutiny placed on diesel cars, but not necessarily just old bangers.
The focus is largely on cars’ polluting emissions, in particular the fume opacity coming from the vehicles’ silencer (muffler in the US), the part of the exhaust used to reduce the noise made while fuel is being combusted.
Maintenance and control teams will now place an opacimetre (a small box that measures the silencer’s pollution levels) on the silencer to determine whether or not vehicles get the green light in that regard.
In essence France’s emissions threshold is changing for diesel vehicles registered since 2011, so if your diesel car falls into that category here’s a link to the UCAT website which includes a map for you to find your closest test centre.
Previously, these vehicles had to meet the Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards set by the European Union to limit nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).
Instead the changes are an update of France’s NF R10-0 25 diesel vehicle requirements, which were last amended 20 years ago and are no longer in keeping with the car industry or national and global pollution levels.
“The goal of this reform is to get rid of France’s most polluting vehicles, however old and whatever model they are,” Alexis Frèrejean, co-founder of garage price comparison site Vroomly, told BFMTV.
And whilst drivers using petrol vehicles aren’t yet affected by these latest modifications, they can expect to face stricter road tests by 2022.
So how much will these new roadworthiness tests (MOT tests in the UK) for diesel vehicles cost?
According to sources quoted by the French news channel, there won’t necessarily be a price bump up compared to the compulsory car tests rolled out last May, but drivers who are going for repeat contrôle techniques will have to cough up more money (these contre-visites used to be free but aren’t any longer).
The previous changes to French roadworthiness laws saw the bill put up between €10 and €20 more on average than the previous price of €65 to €90.
May’s amendments also resulted in an increase in possible faults to the vehicle from 410 to 610.
If you want to find out everything there is to know about all the car test changes that were rolled out, here’s a comprehensive breakdown.