Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New MOT regulations for vehicles of historic interest

UK applicable only this post, so if you are not using an old vehicle in Britain skip on to the next post!

It is by now common knowledge among the old vehicle fraternity that from May 20 the MOT testing exemption will be extended from pre 1960 vehicles to any that come in under the historic vehicle taxation class - ie essentially any that are more than 40 years old.

The grey area had been with vehicles that were 'substantially changed' - these would still be required to take an MOT test. There was a fair bit of concern about what substantially changed meant and to which vehicles it would apply. You could of course say, well just MOT it anyway to make sure. But what if for example you ran a BSA Bantam and it had a 175 motor fitted in place of the original 125? All well running it with no MOT until you have an accident and then it is all suddenly up for debate if you have 'substantially changed' it or not and will your insurance be valid?

Finally DVLA have produced a document that clears a lot of the confusion up. Quite honestly the guidelines are all fairly sensible and real world. Capacity changes are allowed as long as the motor corresponds to 'alternative original equipment'. Putting in more cylinders or non-period engines are not. I wouldn't like to test it in court but I read the document as even giving Tritons and other period specials the green light for skipping the MOT. Importantly and sensibly modernisation of running gear is acceptable when it improves performance / efficiency, so no problems with fitting a Hyabusa disc and monoshock rear end on your veteran Triumph...

There are still grey areas, it is quite honestly impossible for there not to be unless they were to insist on only OEM parts to be fitted to a vintage vehicle and that is not real world practical. The best bet is to have a read of the document for yourself:
And if you have any doubts left about the status of your machine then it probably is slightly sketchy so MOT it anyway!

1 comment:

  1. It would be great if it put the mockers on the blobber /crapper/ custom crew who put wacking great modern engines into ancient
    moped frames to avoid construction and use regs off the road.