Mot exemption

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    Alan Hill

    I am at the point of getting my car on the road and am considering whether to get an MOT before Taxing it.

    Having looked at the DVLA exemption clauses, I initially thought that it could not be exempted due the car having had a ‘substantial change ‘ ie ………. conversion to Rack and Pinion steering.

    However, looking at the following DVLA statement:-

    Acceptable changes
    It does not count as a ‘substantial change’ if:

    changes are made to preserve a vehicle because the original type parts are no longer reasonably available
    they are changes of a type which can be demonstrated to have been made when vehicles of the type were in production or within 10 years of the end of production
    axles and running gear have been changed to improve efficiency, safety or environmental performance
    changes were made to vehicles that were previously used as commercial vehicles, and you can prove the changes were made when the vehicle was used commercially

    …….As the two major reasons for this recognised conversion are; a) to improve efficiency and b) to improve safety (from the javelin effect), could it be construed that , being over 40 years old, my car is classed as exempt from MOT?

    I realise that there has been a lot of discussion on this topic but I’m not sure if anyone has arrived at a conclusion.

    Can anyone help please?
    Has anyone already addressed the issue with DVLA and if so, what was the outcome?




    My personal view is that rack and pinion would be an acceptable change, although my SP still gets an annual MOT, so that it gets an objective and independent safety check.


    Radford Jim

    I agree with soaringace and like him, I take my SP for an MOT every year.
    My local test station has three testers and one specialises in older and classic cars.
    I drive my car onto the ramp and operate the controls. He checks lights and headlamp alignment, horn, washer and wipers. Ramp is then raised and he checks underneath for corrosion and play in wheel bearings, suspension and steering components, then exhaust and tyres for damage and tread depth.
    There’s no emissions test and he’s not bothered about minor oil leaks. The brakes aren’t tested on the rolling road and he doesn’t have a Tapley meter so he just checks operation of brake pedal and handbrake.
    TBF I check all of the above before taking the car in but I think it’s sensible to have an independent check.


    I completely agree with the above posts. I think it well worth while having another pair of eyes looking at your car. As to whether a rack and pinion conversion would be considered an acceptable modification on the grounds of safety, I think we will all have to wait for a court ruling. Should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in an insurance claim, holding a current MOT certificate would eliminate one possible excuse for the insurers not honouring it.


    I too would agree with the sentiments of an annual check/MoT. The other pair of eyes at my local MoT station also does a ‘spanner’ check on the underside.

    As an aside rack & Pinion steering was fitted to a small number of SPs at the factory, and here again the fitting of rack & pinion is a safety factor. The steering column/box lies below the chassis frame and is susceptible to raised iron works in the road or speed humps and the downside is a ‘javelin’ aimed at your chest.

    When writing an insurance valuation I always state if a rack is fitted and the safety angle for doing so, as yet no problems with insurance companies.


    Alan Hill

    Thanks for your time taken to respond gentlemen.
    I do not disagree with any of the logic supporting an MOT but having said that, I also have a stable of MOT exempt motorcycles and choose not to have MOT inspection on any of them. This is mainly for reason of convenience and the flexibility of choice of use, supported by an intimate mechanical knowledge of each of them. Interestingly, I haven’t come across any Motorcycle club members having been challenged in an insurance case regarding MOT exemption.
    My main reason for contemplating exemption for the Dart was one of short term convenience (I shan’t bore you with the details) and if someone had already addressed the issue with DVLA, I would have a quick answer.

    I think I’ll go and put the kettle on and “review the situation”.
    I’ll let you know if there are any Epiphany moments.

    Thanks again,



    I guess if you service it yourself you cover off the MOT items but I don’t. Thinking I will continue with the MOTs.
    Mine leaks oil as well Jim.


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