WHAT DEFINES ROADWORTHINESS?
While an MoT test is a basic compulsory inspection for post-1960 classics, many clubs acknowledge that it is not a comprehensive safety sanction and a car can gain a pass certificate, while being unroadworthy.
According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), its members look at the MoT test as an indicator of roadworthiness. However, the Department of Transport (via the Road Traffic Act) states that Type Approval sets the standard, via formal legislation. A National Police Chief’s Council spokeswoman adds: ‘It is the role of the police to enforce the legislation passed by Parliament.’
Unlike modern cars, an historic vehicle does not have to comply with Whole Vehicle Type Approval, but certain newly-manufactured replacement parts (such as tyres, bulbs and glazing) are required to satisfy Type Approval requirements, regardless of the age of vehicle to which they are fitted. However, even specialists get things wrong. We found that, in 2015, one classic insurer was endorsing tuning boxes, which would not cause a car thus fitted to fail an MoT test, but we were told by the DVSA that it would fail a Type Approval examination, therefore making the modified vehicle illegal to use on the road, despite being insured and carrying a valid MoT.