Glad to be Mot-free
By the time you read this, my Excelsior will be back on the road – from May 20, to be precise. Why? Because it doesn’t have an MOT test – but from 20/5/2018, it will be exempt, along with any other 40-plus year-old vehicle in the UK.
This has been a contentious issue, but the MOT was never a guarantee of vehicle condition; serious faults can develop at any time and you still face prosecution if caught driving an unroadworthy vehicle, but the Transport Research Laboratory estimates that ‘as little as 3% of road casualties could be associated with vehicle defects’.
The exemption will not apply to ‘substantially changed’ vehicles – worrying news for owners of Tritons (and my Norvin), but apparently you’re OK so long as the modifications were made prior to 1988, and I’m sure they were…
Reading between the lines, the real reason for the change comes from Europe. More stringent Euro Mots are coming that few 40-year-old vehicles could pass even in as-new condition.
Personally, having spent years explaining to testers that the lights are only supposed to work when the engine is running, that you can use a bulb horn on a pre ’73 bike, that a rear reflector is only required by law if ‘an electric sidelight is fitted’, that taper roller bearings are supposed to have 1/16in play at the wheel rim, etc... I’m absolutely delighted!