MOT Exemption and "substantially altered" vehicles

Discussion in 'Modified Shizzle' started by baygeekster, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. You might have picked up on this completed consultation from the government about MOT exemption - the consultation documents are here:

    Essentially they are going to introduce a rolling exemption for all vehicles over 40 years old from having to have an annual MOT. (Personally I think this is a stupid idea and I'll still be submitting my bus for an MOT every year as you can do so voluntarily.)

    Anyway, there is something that caught my eye regarding the issue of modified vehicles. The MOT exemption does not apply to vehicles over 40 years old if they are considered to be "substantially altered", and these vehicles will need to continue with a compulsory MOT test. The DVLA doesn't have a definition of "substantially altered", but it does define "radically altered", which are those vehicles that require re-registration, IVA test and a Q-plate, based on the '8 point test':

    However, the consultation I mentioned above includes a document that defines "substantially altered" for the purposes of MOT exemption, here:

    Interestingly there are 2 criteria, and it's the first criterion that I think affects many of us with Subaru conversions, or in fact with any engine which is significantly more powerful than the original:

    My bus rolled out of Hamburg with a 1700 type 4 engine, which I think was around 60-something bhp. It now has a 2 litre Subaru engine, which must be around twice that at least. I think therefore it may fall foul of this definition of "substantially altered". However I'd think that there's quite lot of VWs, Bugs, Buses, etc that have even just had more powerful air-cooled engines fitted that would also fail this test - thinking of the 2056's, 2232's, turbos, etc that I've seen in people's beetles, for example.

    I'm just throwing this out there for comment because I'd love to know how they think they're going to administer this, apart from relying upon the honesty of owners?
  2. Your problems might only surface when the loss assessor from the insurance company turns up to look at your accident damaged vehicle.

    Someone backed into my MGB in a car park years ago and dented the front wing. When the loss assessor man came to inspect, he measured my tyre tread depth and noted the condition of various aspects of the car. All was fine and I got it repaired nicely at no cost to me, but it underlined to me that insurers will look for reasons to refuse a claim...
  3. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Is this about the 97th thread on this?
    pkrboo likes this.
  4. Yes, but this is a discussion forum so it's OK!
    IZZYBAY and baygeekster like this.
  5. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Yep, I was just discussing how many threads we were going to have on the same subject!
  6. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Administrator

    I think we should draw the line at 99 :thumbsup:
    Fat_Brum likes this.
  7. I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate.
    Jack Tatty, Baysearcher and paradox like this.
  8. In respect of the modified VW engines then it could be argued by an individual, and provided there is no evidence to the contrary and that they have maintained their logbook details appropriately that the changes were made pre 1988. I dont believe it would be in anyones interests to try to prove otherwise within DVLA, insurance companies post accident potentially being a different matter. If its a scooby thats in there then that argument couldnt be put. So other conversions utilising other pre 88 vehicles regardless of power output would only lose one point and be within the rules.

    I dont anticipate rigourous policing of this by the authorities to be honest. That said when asked by an insurance company whether your vehicle is modified it does beg the question as to what do they mean by modified. If the question isnt are there any modifications at all to a bus (that came out of the factory and then was modified by Devon for instance cutting half the roof out with a bread knife and filling it full of poorly attached chipboard) then thats a different question to the one dvla are asking.

    Mine has loads of mods but scores fine on the dvla scoreboard.
  9. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

    They are looking for a safety issue that the owners should have addressed, why should the insurance take liability for an owners lack of maintenance?
  10. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

    Lots of other countries are very strict on vehicle modification, we actually have a very lax system in comparison, it will come in this country eventually, the idea is that only historically important vehicles gain the benefits
    Dicky likes this.
  11. There was a saying 'change hands at 99'!!!!
  12. This was my response to Dickys comment on the other thread. I reckon yours might be OK, but there again you might not, depends on the mods to the engine or whether there has been a change from Type 1 to Type 4, I see this as having some complexity read on.

    Type 4
    If you assume 1700 was 65 hp and 2000 was 69hp then the power to weight ratio (assuming 1,800 KG) will 0.036 and 0.038 respectively, which if my maths is correct is an increase in power to weight ratio of 5.6%. The issue comes when you start adding twin carbs etc that each give you a number of gains in horse power. If you have a larger Type 1 than 1,600 or a trick Type 4 then you might find yourself caught by this, that is how I would read this - its about the change in power to weight ratio. Clearly going from a 1,700 type 4 to a Subaru EJ20 is as I see it at the moment going to put me in the substantially changed bracket.

    This of course assumes that your bus didn't originally run a gutless Type 1 engine.

    Type 1
    Just taking a look at anyone with a Type 1 engine an old Keeping your bus alive magazine shows the BHP for a stock 1600 twin port at 30 bhp then they added in the following order
    performance exhaust added 1 bhp
    twin webber 34ICT added 11 bhp
    Scat pro street rockers added 8 bhp
    electronic ignition 0 bhp

    So if you have a 1600cc bus which came with a single carburettor and it now runs twin weber 34 ICTs then based on a weight of 1,800 kg you have increased the power to weight ratio by 35%. You are probably not feeling quite so smug now. Obviously if you are running a 1776 then your clearly way above the 15%.
  13. The thing is you can get a type one engine to 90 bhp and it still look totally stock on the outside.
    So how are they going to tell?
    I can't see vosa pulling classics to the side of the road and putting them on a dyno
  14. I've got 99 problems but mot ain't one.
    orangefeeling and paradox like this.
  15. Clearly that is difficult but if an engine has twin carbs on it then that's clearly taken it over the 15% threshold.
  16. Unless they were fitted before 1988
    So again how could they tell

    So it's really only going to effect the modern engined bus owners
    And it's no big deal to mot it each year as people have been doing each year before this came in.
    The only bad thing I can see if modified busses didn't qualify for tax exemption but I don't think that's the case is it?
  17. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that if the vehicle doesnt attain the requisite 8 points it has to wear a Q plate
    Never mind the mot issue or historic tax status
  18. So a scooby engined bus with red nine front beam and rack and pinion steering will have to go on a q plate and not qualify for tax exemption or mot exemption

  19. Not a Type 1 or a Type 4, no.
  20. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    I very much doubt it'll be retrospective so not really ouch at all.

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