EU MOT proposal to threaten modified cars?

14th September 2012

Cars with any modifications could be in danger of failing their MOT test by default under new EU legislation, a motoring group has argued.

While some critics are dismissing it as EU alarmism, the Association of Car Enthusiasts (ACE) has raised concerns that an EU proposal to change the definition of roadworthiness for cars could put modified cars at odds with MOT standards.

The suspect wording states that "components of the vehicle must comply with characteristics at the time of first registration", which ACE argues would effectively outlaw any additions or changes being made to original factory models.

The AA also expressed concern, describing the proposal as "completely over the top".

However, MEPs have rejected the worry, stating the proposal still has a long way to go before becoming law. The ACE, backed up by its own analysis of EU law, has rejected this, stating the proposal is a Regulation not a Directive, and as such could be passed without further consultation.

There are also fears that historic cars will suffer.

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs expressed its opposition to the development, describing it as 'unworkable and completely unacceptable'. The group pointed out that the historic car industry employs 28,000 people in the UK and generates £3.4 billion.

The wording seems to be the key issue – if passed into law as currently stated, the ACE fears any components not factory-fitted, from tow-bars to stereos and beyond, could trigger MOT failures.

Adding another voice to the debate, a number of commentators online have also argued the wording of the proposal is a matter of interpretation and the panic it has inspired is unwarranted.

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Posted by Danielle Barge