What the new MOT rules mean for scooters | NEWS
We’ve all heard about the new rolling 40-year MOT rules due to come into force on May 20th 2018 but what do these changes mean for us classic scooter riders, especially the ones who don’t like to keep things standard?
How old is your scooter?
- If your machine was built before 1978 then it’ll (in theory) be exempt from an MOT from May this year. This will be on a rolling 40-year basis.
- This rule also applies to vehicle road tax so from May you’ll only need to insure your historic vehicle to keep it road legal.
Will my insurance be affected?
- Each individual insurer/underwriter will have their own interpretation of the rules, some may stipulate that your vehicle still has to have an annual MOT, regardless of age. Others may stipulate that it ‘Has to be in a roadworthy condition’. Check your small print or ask for clarification from your insurer. We asked specialist scooter insurer, Lexham what their thoughts were, MD, Andy Goodson told us…
We feel it will make no difference here as it is always a condition in any policy that the client ensures the vehicle is roadworthy so currently the client has an obligation in between MOTs.”
What if your scooter isn’t standard?
- Exemptions include ‘heavy structural or mechanical modification’ in essence this means if you’ve changed an engine on a scooter for one with more power, or increased its power by 15% or more than what is stated on the logbook you’ll still need an MOT.
- Extensive structural modifications mean changing the original shape, for instance building a chopper. The DVSA have stated that cutdown legshields/extended forks/aftermarket exhausts/mirrors & lights etc. aren’t classed as ‘extensive’ but these rules are open to interpretation.
- Hybrids built using an engine from another machine (Lambretta auto for instance) will still need an MOT.
What does this mean in the real world?
If you’re fitting a new larger than standard capacity engine, or tuning an existing engine you’ll more than likely still need to MOT your scooter. If you’re building something unique, or something that doesn’t resemble the original machine you’ll still need an MOT.
What does it say on the logbook?
In reality, this means that more and more riders will choose not to disclose details of any modifications. If your logbook states 125 and you fit a 166 kit you’ll be above the 15% capacity increase so will need an MOT. If your logbook still states 125cc you can ride it without an MOT if it’s over 40-years old. Obviously, it’s illegal though and if you have an accident it’s an easy way for an insurer to refuse to pay out.
Is it really a problem?
The reason historic vehicles are being made exempt is to fall in line with Europe (the first time we’ve benefitted from a positive EU motoring law) and because most classic vehicle owners love and cherish their machines so they’re well looked after. Many owners will still happily MOT their scooters no matter if they need one or not, it gives them peace of mind and also ensures they don’t risk falling foul of any insurance/legal small print. For £20-30 a year it’s a small price to pay to have your pride and joy looked over independently.
With rules regarding emissions getting ever tighter and certain cities and countries banning the use of two-strokes (and some four-strokes) could this be a stealth way of flushing out modified historic vehicles in the future? Declare modifications now to the DVSA and they’ll know to send it to the crusher once your particular configuration is outlawed in the future…
Will you MOT yours?
Let us know in the comments below if you’ll still MOT your historic scooters…
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