WHAT DEFINES ROADWORTHINESS?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.

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