Keep TABS on your MOT exempt MGBGTV8

Support voluntary testing
Personal safety for both the driver and any passenger, together with other road users, is an essential responsibility for any classic car owner. Even if your car is MOT exempt continuing to get a voluntary MOT or a voluntary TABS inspection and report is a prudent step. So it's TABS - test and be safer.


MOT exemption
From 20th May 2018, vehicles more than 40 years old will be eligible for exemption from the annual MOT test. When this was announced in September, it proved to be a controversial move. A survey of more than 2,000 members of the public revealed that most thought it was a bad idea as it could result in an increase in unroadworthy cars on the roads, and even classic car owners have been disapproving. The rolling classic car MOT exemption (meaning all cars will become eligible for exemption when they hit 40 years old) is optional - you can still take your car for an MOT test even if it doesn't require it.

MOT exemption and substantially modified cars
See our NEWS item released today. More

Check the MOT history of a vehicle
You can check the past results of MOT tests for a vehicle on the GOV.UK website. You can only get the MOT test results in England, Scotland and Wales since 2005. The information disclosed is whether the vehicle passed or failed the test, the mileage recorded when it was tested, what parts failed at each test and if any parts had minor problems, and also when the next MOT is due. MOT check

Highlighting concerns supporting a voluntary annual test for a classic car
See our series of articles highlighting concerns and safety issues that could easily be missed without an an annual voluntary inspection, even by a diligent classic car enthusiast.

Concerns with MOT exemption
Nic Houslip highlights some of the areas of concern an owner of an MOT exempt car might miss without the benefit of an annual MOT test or inspection. More

Further articles
Any contributions from fellow members will be welcome. Contact V8 Webmaster

Updated: 180107 Posted: 180104

So it's TABS - test and be safer
From 20th May 2018 vehicles more than 40 years old will be eligible for exemption from the annual MOT test. However many classic car enthusiasts feel continuing to have an MOT test or a voluntary test by an experienced MOT tester will be a useful check to ensure the car is roadworthy and safe.

Classic car owners must maintain their vehicles in a roadworthy condition. You can be fined up to £2,500 and get 3 penalty points on your driving licence for using a vehicle on public roads which is in a dangerous condition. Equally important, motor insurance policies include conditions requiring the policyholder to maintain the car in a roadworthy condition. If, following a major claim, an assessor acting for the insurer should find evidence during his inspection of the vehicle that it has not been maintained in a roadworthy condition, the insurer may limit the payout to the minimum third party liabilities that may be payable. The benefits of any comprehensive cover may be denied and possibly the insurer might also seek the recovery of the third party payout from the policyholder.

Personal safety for both the driver and any passenger, together with other road users, is an essential responsibility for any classic car owner. Even if your car is MOT exempt continuing to get a voluntary MOT or a voluntary TABS inspection and report is a prudent step.

Voluntary annual test of an MOT exempt vehicle

Owners of MOT exempt classic cars can either continue to have an annual MOT test with a licensed MOT tester or an annual inspection by a specialist service provider who knows the model well. In both cases it is worth retaining the MOT test certificate issued by the MOT tester or the inspection report issued by the vehicle inspector. Those documents are a valuable part of the documented history file for the vehicle. That could make a sale easier.

What could be covered by a voluntary TABS vehicle inspection?
The scope of a voluntary test will be similar to the MOT test as it has been applied to older vehicles. Experienced testers with a close knowledge of older cars will be aware of the mechanical and lighting standards of older cars and how they should be applied during the test. For example when testing the front wheel bearings on an MGB with a distance piece and shims on a taper roller bearing, there is end float that is detectable by feel. To many modern testers that movement might be seen as a fail so it is important classic car owners seek out experienced testers aware of classic car features for a voluntary vehicle inspection. Our TABS proposal is simply to encourage voluntary testing of MOT exempt cars and suggest the test is based on the current MOT test as it is applied to classic cars by an experienced tester. The MOT Inspection Manual is well worth examining for the scope and detail of an MOT test.
MOT Inspection Manual

It's an annual test, not a continuing confirmation of safety for the year
An MOT test report confirms that at the time of test the vehicle has met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards. It does not mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the test report or certificate so continuing servicing and prudent checks will be necessary. A report of a voluntary inspection of a classic car also covers the condition of the car at the date of the inspection, so continuing care and maintenance will be necessary until the next test or inspection.
MOT test
The MOT test, often referred to simply as an MOT, is an annual test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions required in the United Kingdom for most vehicles over three years old. The name derives from the Ministry of Transport, a defunct UK Government department, which was one of several ancestors of the current Department for Transport (DfT), but is still officially used. The MOT test certificates are currently issued in the UK under the auspices of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which was formed as a result of the merger between the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). DVSA is an executive agency of the DfT.

In Great Britain MOT testing centres are regulated and licensed by the DfT and DVSA for the purpose, and the individual testers carrying out the inspections also have to be trained and certified. The decision to pass or fail each presented vehicle comes down to the discretion of the tester following the guidelines issued by the DVSA.

The MOT test covers the following aspects: lighting and signalling equipment, steering including suspension, brakes, tyres and wheels, seats and seat belts, body, structure and general items (includes body and components such as spoilers, bumpers and mirror housings), exhaust, fuel and emissions and driver's view of the road.
DVSA MOT inspection checklist
Download a copy
MOT Inspection Manual is well worth examining for the scope and detail of an MOT test. MOT Inspection Manual