An update to the MOT inspection could find classic and modern classic car owners failing their MOT over their headlights. Of course, vehicles over 40 years old are exempt from having to take the MOT, but if they opt to have their car checked, they could find themselves failing too.

What are the New MOT Rules?

According to the MOT inspection manual, existing Halogen headlamp units should not be converted to HID or LED lights. LED lights cannot be fitted anywhere else on your classic car either unless they meet ECE standard 128 and ECE standard 148

Very few bulbs available meet these standards.

The inspection manual states that the vehicle must be failed on the headlamps if a conversion has been completed.

The LED light rules were first introduced in 2018 and expanded upon in January this year. The initial changes made in May 2018 banned HID conversions for halogen headlamp reflectors. This was extended to include LED conversions in January 2021.

Classic owners have reported that their vehicles have passed, and it seems that it’s up to the discretion of the MOT tester in some cases. The headlamps seem to be the biggest problem. Other light fittings such as sidelights, brake lights, and indicators may be OK for MOT purposes, but once again, this will come down to the individual examiner’s discretion.

Bulb upgrades are understandably a common conversion as old parts need changing. There have been calls for more clarity on the conformity of LED bulbs as many owners are unaware or confused about the rules.

With Halogen bulbs still widely available for classic cars, owners are being urged to stick with them rather than adding unregulated lights to their vehicles.

Lights and signaling are the most common reasons vehicles fail their MOT. Interestingly specialists have predicted a higher than usual MOT failure rate in 2021 overall. This is down to the pandemic, which left people holding back on repairs, servicing, and maintenance for vehicles they weren’t driving much.

Should Motoring Technology be Included in the MOT Test?

While this won’t affect the majority of classic and modern classic vehicle owners, it’s a question that has been raised by Kwik Fit. They feel systems such as emergency braking, lane assist, parking technology etc., should be tested in the annual MOT also.

The MOT has become more and more complicated over the years, which is why some classic cars are now exempt. The reasoning for this is that they probably couldn’t pass the modern MOT; they are driven less often and are usually lovingly maintained.

Should There be Some Sort of Classic Car Safety Test?

This has prompted some people to question whether there should be some form of classic car safety test for these vehicles which are now exempt from the MOT test.

Arguments for say that all cars should be checked to ensure they are safe to be on the road. Before the changes came in, making these historic vehicles exempt, 56% of survey participants said they opposed the plan.

Insurers state that vehicles must be in a. Roadworthy condition, so if you do own a classic that is exempt, you should ensure that the car is, in fact, roadworthy; otherwise, you could be in for an expensive time if you ever need to claim.

Do you think classics should have to participate in some form of safety test, and if so, how often?