So, does my classic car require a MOT?

Firstly, the term MOT, born from the legacy of the old Ministry of Transport department, is simply a series of checks carried out to your motor car on a yearly basis to ensure it complies with road safety and environmental standards.

If your car was manufactured before 1960, no, you are not required by law to have an MOT.

And if you have just bought a new car, you are not required to carry out an MOT until the third year anniversary of the date of registration.

All petrol and diesel powered cars that fall in-between require an MOT.

What happens if my car’s MOT expires?

You may be fined up to £1000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT. However, your main concern should be to ensure your car is safe and treats the environment as it was designed to do, not just to avoid a fine. If you currently own a classic that pre-dates 1960, have been renewing your MOT each year and still hold a valid MOT for it now, you have two choices…to continue to MOT your pride and joy or to stop – but I suggest reading this article first before making a decision.

If your MOT has expired there are only two circumstances that make it legal for you to drive your car: to and from a garage to be repaired or to a pre arranged MOT test. Should a police officer pull you over, you will be required to state the name, address and contact number of the garage you are on your way to, and it is highly likely the officer will phone the garage to verify this.

However, remaining legal and safe is vital, especially with classic cars that lack electronic warnings and modern fail safes. There is no possible way of creating ‘one rule for all’ as to whether a car without an MOT should be driven to a place of repair or a pre arranged MOT because the scenarios are infinite, and thus you must ask yourself this question: Why is my car out of MOT? If your car has sat for a long while, especially if it is a classic car and you are not a competent DIY mechanic to check the operation of vital apparatus such as brakes, steering and lights I would arrange a tow truck. Do not risk your life or the lives of others for the sake of saving a small recovery fee. If, however, you were simply on holiday and missed the MOT by a week, safe in the knowledge that two weeks ago your car was just fine, driving it would be a sensible judgement.

In short, if there is any doubt about the safety of your car, do not drive it, recover it to a place of repair or MOT.

When and where should I have my classic car MOT carried out?

E-Type-MOT-2If your car holds a current MOT, you may complete your renewal up to a month less one day before its expiry date. So if your MOT is due on the 17th of October, the earliest you should MOT your car to preserve the same anniversary date is 18th of September.

For new cars approaching three years of age, you must carry out an MOT on the third anniversary from date of registration as found on your V5 document.

You may of course MOT a car any time you like, for example if you plan to be away during MOT time, carry it out earlier, just bear in mind next year the renewal date will be different.

For cars that do not have a current MOT you may arrange an MOT test as soon as you wish.

Any garage that has a blue sign with 3 white triangles is permitted to undertake MOT duties. Fees from garage to garage vary, but try to visit a garage you know and trust or has been recommended by a friend. If you are a classic car owner it is likely that you have a local friendly garage or specialist that has taken care of your pride and joy for years, so use them or someone they recommend if they do not have MOT test facilities themselves. I understand the maximum fee to be £54.85 for an MOT,  but in my experience most garages range between £40 and this maximum fee.

What happens during an MOT test?

When you arrive at your garage for your MOT appointment the MOT tester is likely to drive the car into the MOT test area themselves, giving you the nod to go and enjoy a cup of coffee from the trusty vending machine and check out the magazines in reception. Or play on your Smartphone.

This is because the MOT tester is solely responsible for testing your vehicle, and from my experience testers will not want to be interrupted, they have a lot to check and focus on, with hazardous garage equipment surrounding them and thus it is highly unlikely you will stay with the car unless you are called to view something under their supervision.

In a nutshell, your hour long wait gives the MOT tester time to check that your car meets the standards for safety and environmental requirements, the checks of which are covered later in this article with a comprehensive step by step guide on how to prepare your classic car for its MOT test.

I would however like to point out a common misconception using a particular example my friend supplied recently. She rang me from the side of the road, waiting for the AA to rescue her little Nissan Micra that had lost drive. She exclaimed “I only had my MOT done last week, and already the clutch has gone, how could they not have spotted that?”

Well, the MOT test does not cover the condition of the engine, gearbox or clutch. MOTs only check for safety and environmental requirements. The rest is up to the driver to assess or arrange a separate inspection for. The answer I received on the other end of line is not suitable for this article, but fear not Trade Classic readers, to avoid you being in the same situation I will run through a few basic checks later on to carry out on your engine and gearbox so you can spot looming failures.

Now, once your one hour marathon with the vending machine and the reception area’s entertainment is complete, you will be handed a piece of paper with the verdict from your MOT tester. Their spoken word and the supplied sheet of paper will grant you one of the following:


Great news, your car meets the requirements. You will be given a MOT test certificate and the test result will be recorded on the MOT database. It is imperative to check that the mileage on the MOT certificate matches the actual mileage displayed on your car (inaccuracies can only be dealt with up to seven days post MOT, after that it is too late). Pay the garage, file the MOT and receipt, keeping your comprehensive service history bang up to date, and be proud to have maintained your classic car well.

Pass with advisories

Great news again, your car meets the requirements, but it requires some attention soon. Again, you receive an MOT certificate, check the mileage and then digest the list of points that should be rectified in time. Classic car maintenance is best practised fully with no half measures – ask your local friendly garage to give the car some love to get a clean bill of health next time to avoid any breakdowns, showing them the advisory sheet as a guide. Or perhaps it is time for some DIY if you are a capable home mechanic.

Advisories warn of something that is safe for now but has the potential in the near future before the next MOT to rear its ugly head as a safety issue, such as ‘light misting on dampers’ – start to think about replacing them before they begin to leak properly. Or ‘rear tyres close to legal limit’ – order those tyres in and have them replaced, who wants to be close to the legal limit in their pride and joy?


Bad news, your car does not meet the minimum safety and environmental standards. You will be refused an MOT, the failure will be recorded on the MOT database and you will be handed a list of defects to repair in order for your car to comply with MOT test regulations.

An example of criteria for failure is a handbrake that will not hold the vehicle satisfactorily, an inoperative horn or brake lights not working. All annoyances that go hand in hand with classic car ownership, but must be put right in the interest of safety.

Even if you still have a valid MOT your not allowed to drive your now failed car on the road, except, to take it to a place of repair to have all failure items put right, or to another MOT test appointment. My understanding of researching this grey area is that if you can fix the handbrake yourself, and thus drive it home, get it working and then bring it back for a re-test the next day, this is legal. The same applies if you drive it to another garage to have the work carried out.

However, in my experience a garage can deem your car as unfit to leave the premises, for example if the brakes fail completely during the brake test. And I am sure you would agree that the car is best left there for immediate repair or recovered somewhere. I note from research that driving a car in a dangerous condition can land you with a £2500 fine, 3 points and even a driving ban. Be warned.

It is likely and advisable that if you are indeed a classic car owner, any MOT failure that has taken place will be in the garage you use to look after your mechanical pet anyway, and thus let the experts crack on and fix it – returning when they call you a few days later to collect your MOT pass certificate, use the vending machine, and file your fresh of the press receipts in your service history file.

But the aim Trade Classic readers is to only make use of the MOT reception area’s entertainment and refreshments for one hour, and one hour only, driving off with a pass! So why not take a look at this little lot below so that you give your car the best possible chance come MOT time…

How to prepare your classic car for its MOT test to ensure an excellent chance of passing!

E-Type-MOT-3This is simply an informal guide from my personal experience, based on the current MOT test checks. Even if your MOT is miles away, keep a constant eye on all the points in my guide below, make it your autopilot mode in fact, because nipping faults in the bud as soon as you spot them is much easier than trying to tackle ten jobs six weeks before your MOT! So put a date with your classic car in the diary to spend some quality time together.

I appreciate that owning a classic car does not automatically make you a competent motor mechanic, nor is it a requirement to be a fully fledged DIY mechanic to own a cool classic, and thus my guide is broken down into three sections ‘Home‘, ‘On the go‘ and ‘Away‘. It is simply my opinion of what makes sense to tackle yourself and what I think a specialist should look at, this is aimed at someone like moi, who loves classics cars, has some mechanical ability and is a little short of time…I will leave it up to you wonderful Trade Classic readers of varying mechanical expertise to decide how you blend the following three sections together.


Approach your pride and joy having let it sit overnight, with a notepad, pen and torch, along with a printed version of this guide, or bring it up on your Smartphone. As you progress with each step note down anything that is suspect or that requires attention, you will be relying on this list later on.

1. Open the bonnet. Does it open easily? Is it secure on it’s hinges? Is the bonnet stay present? Do the gas struts support he bonnet’s weight?

2. Visually check wiring that is visible in the engine compartment. Are there any loose or frayed wires? Is the battery securely fastened down? Inspect the condition of the battery tray – are there any holes from rust? Is the battery bubbling acid at all?

3. Locate the VIN or chassis number. Your are looking for a little metal plate or series of letters stamped into the metalwork displaying the VIN/chassis number and perhaps engine number, paint code and build number too. Ensure this is present, not damaged and fully visible. Now is an ideal time to make a note of the number so you can check this against the number displayed in your logbook later on. If it is different, this can cause a problem when the DVLA flags up a discrepancy once your MOT is logged on the database.

4. Using your torch to illuminate the hidden areas, look for visible leaks in the engine bay. Oil, brake fluid from reservoir, power steering fluid, coolant and fuel, all will produce a wet patch somewhere so this is what you must keep your eyes peeled for as you scan the engine bay. Can you smell fuel? Try and follow your nose to the area the smell is strongest to see if there are any obvious leaks.

*At this point, if there is anything dangerous that you have spotted such as wiring, a fuel smell/leak, or the battery bubbling do not continue with the following checks until you have a) fixed the issues yourself if you are a competent DIY mechanic, b) spoken to your local friendly garage for expert advice or c) called out your breakdown assistance provider*

5. Assuming all was well above and third party assistance was not needed, now close the bonnet – does it close securely?

6. Visually check your number plates. Are they attached firmly to the car? Can all the digits be seen? Are they in good condition, has the reflective surface started to deteriorate or is a plate itself cracked? Are they the correct colour with correct font and spacing?

7. Inspect front and rear bumpers that incorporate lights – are there any exposed wires or cables hanging down that shouldn’t be?

8. Are all your factory fitted exterior mirrors present and secure? Are they stained and obscuring vision?

9. Bounce all four corners of the car, being careful not to press your classic car’s body in the wrong place and dent it. If the car bounces firmly once, all is ok, if it continues to bounce like a bouncy castle, replacement dampers are the order of the day.

10. Take a slow walk around your car. How is the bodywork looking? Are any areas damaged? Loose trims? Is there rust setting in? Are there any holes in panels? Are there sharp or rusty edges ready and waiting to cause harm? Inspect all light units, looking closely for cracks, chips, discolouration (for example orange indicator lenses or red brake light lenses that have since faded to white).

11. Inspect each tyre at a time (it may help to turn the front wheels to full lock to see more of the tyre). Use your trusty torch to shine light into the arches and onto the tyre itself so you can see clearly. Are there any cracks, bubbles, slits or cuts on the tyre wall and tread? Are all the wheel bolts in place? Is the tyre size correct for your vehicle? Is the tread wearing evenly across the tyre? Minimum tread depth across three quarters of a tyre is 1.6mm…this is grey area as there are variables such as to who is measuring, how, with what and whether they do it correctly – my advice, if you are measuring anywhere near 2.5 to 3mm, change them. It is vital for a classic car that relies solely on mechanical grip to be running with tyres that are spot on.

12. While you are working with the tyres it is sensible to check the tyre pressures now and to make sure all valves have dust caps.

13. If you have a spare wheel then it will be checked, however, not having one will not fail and MOT!  However, I recommend you always have a good spare for your own safety and convenience, so now is the time to check it.

14. Open and close the boot, checking it locks securely, then begin to open and close each door of your classic car from the outside saving the driver’s door until last, inspecting the hinges for rust, attachment and smooth operation, double checking that they do indeed close securely. Once the driver’s door has been checked, jump in to your classic car.

15. Sitting in your drivers seat, shine your torch under the dashboard and scan for any loose, frayed or exposed wires, or wiring that is hanging down when it should not be. Is your rear view mirror present, securely attached and reflecting as it should be? Is your brake pedal rubber grip present and firmly in place? It is worth checking the grips on the throttle pedal, and if you have one, the clutch pedal too.

16. Activate your steering lock if you have one. Now turn the key, releasing the steering lock and taking the key to the ignition position. Did the steering lock work properly? Is your brake fluid warning/handbrake warning light illuminating? Flick the high beams on and check that the high beam warning light works. If you own a modern classic like a BMW 8 series, have a run through all of your warning lights on the dashboard when you turn the key to just shy of starting – do all of your lights appear such as the airbag and engine management light?  Refer to your handbook if you are unsure which lights should illuminate and crucially extinguish when the car starts up, because the MOT tester will be looking out for airbag lights, seat belt pre-tensioner and engine management warnings that constitute failure. Turn your ignition off and remove the key.

17. Check that the back and forth, rake and height adjustments on your driver’s seat are working. Is the seat securely bolted in? Does it wobble? Are there any bolts missing? Seat backs, should they have an adjuster, must be capable of being fixed in the upright position, and crucially your body weight should not push them out of place when you lean back. Is this the case for your drivers seat?

18. Inspect your driver’s seat belt. Is the webbing frayed? Are there any holes or tears? Does it lock into place securely with ease? Does it retract back as it should if it is supposed to? Does it lock into place when you pull it hard if it is an inertia style belt? Are the nuts and bolts for mountings secure? Do the adjusters work?

19. Now open your driver’s door to check that it you can indeed open it from the inside. Head round to the passenger side, performing steps 17 and 18 for the passenger seating position. Now open the passenger door to check it opens from the inside and head to the passenger rear door if you have a four door car. If you do not have a four door car but do have rear seats hop into the back now.

20. Ensure the seat bases and back rests are secure and repeat step 18 to check the individual belt for the rear passenger side and the middle occupant should your car be equipped with seat and belt. Once satisfied, open the door if you have a four door car, again checking that it can be opened from the inside (not essential for MOT test for it to open from the inside I believe but I think it is best practice to ensure it does, and if you have a child-lock function check this now too).

21. Repeat step 20 for the final remaining seating position, the rear drivers side.

22. Check that your fuel filler cap is present and opens and closes as it should.

23. Jump back into the driver’s seat. Start your classic beauty up, and upon it starting, leave it idling and head to the rear of the car to look at the exhaust fumes – it it is normal to see black/grey smoke and smell petrol upon start up when the cold running system or choke is in operation. Take note of the colour, density and smell of the fumes. Sit back in the car, keep it running and either manually adjust the choke as it warms up or let the cold running system switch off automatically – in short let it warm up, and while it does so, carry out the next step…

24.  Run through all your lights by finding a willing helper to give you the thumbs up, or down as you check each lighting function in turn. The brake lights should illuminate within the first inch of pressing the brake pedal in my opinion. Indicators should flash at the correct speed, with the dash board indicator working alongside too. Don’t forget the rear number plate illumination lights. Take note of any dim lights that could indicate faulty earth wiring, a fogged up lens or tarnished reflector. Once all stages of the headlamps have been checked, put all your lights on at the same time, except for the brake and reverse lights and indicators…and then try them one at a time first and then all together to ensure their operation is not causing a side effect to another light or each other – for example, when you apply the brakes, the left indicator glows constantly, MOT failure.

25. With the car still running, operate the wipers on all settings and activate the washers – do the jets aim at the screen accurately? Do the wipers clear the screen to provide you with an unobstructed view? If you are piloting a modern classic, you may have headlamp washers – ensure that these are working correctly.

26. Try the horn. Does it work consistently and the instant you press the button?

27. Inspect the windscreen from the inside. Are there any cracks or chips? Generally chips that affect the drivers view can be failure items. Cracks will only get bigger, so as a lover of your classic car I am sure you would be replacing the screen when a crack appears anyway.

28. Operate the heater, aim the hot air at the front screen. Is all working as it should? Would your car de-mist effectively? Now give your car a good rev on the spot to clear its throat and watch in the rear view mirror – is there a big cloud of black smoke? Rev it four more times and the aim here is by the third or fourth rev there should be no smoke. Is this the case for you? In any case, leave it idling and hop out.

29. Inspect the windscreen from the outside. Are there any cracks or chips that you couldn’t see from the inside? Lift each wiper up one at a time, checking the rubber blades. Are they beginning to tear and coming apart? Have they become hard and brittle?

30. Head to the back of your now warm car, there should not be any smoke, just the usual level of pollution and fuel smell generated by a classic car. A classic car is not subject to the same strict emissions standards a modern car is governed by, MOT testers simply make a visual check for smoke from the exhaust when the car is warm. And thus, if your engine is worn and currently treating you to an intense visual display, complete with the pungent scent of Castrol’s finest being burnt – you will fail as soon as you arrive at the MOT station. When the cold running system or choke is operational as you first start a cold car, some smoke then is fine, but at all other times smoke should be minimal.

31. Assuming the exhaust fumes are normal and are not knocking you out, listen carefully from the front of the car, pacing slowly to the back, with your ear aimed close to the ground…can you hear an exhaust blow? Is there a ‘chuffing’ sound? Is the dust on the floor being blown away underneath the middle of the car?

32. Turn your car off. Digest the list you have constructed during the above checks, and if there are items to attend to, decide if you will tackle the work yourself or ask your local friendly garage to do it for you. Either way, you now have a handy to do list. If your list includes any safety related items such as brake lights not working, horn inoperative, bonnet not closing, your seatbelt not locking in place, do not move on the the next stageOn the go – now is the time to fix it at home if you can, call your garage for advice on what to do next, or use your breakdown cover for an expert to come and assess things for you. If all is well, and only if all is well, continue.

On the go:

Assuming that you now feel your car is functioning correctly and safely, after having adhered to my advice in red text above, it is time for a road test. Remember to take your notepad and pen with you.

Pick a route that you know well, a route that includes speed bumps, roundabouts, duel carriageways, a motorway and an empty deserted road to carry out an emergency stop. You are keeping your senses focused on the following:

1. Listen carefully for any clonks, bumps and rattles coming from the suspension. How does the car feel over bumps and in the corners? Is it tight or does it feel loose and vague? Does the suspension feel like it is operating evenly on all four corners?

2. Keep an ear out for whirring noises that increase with road speed and when loading the car into corners, this could indicate a wheel bearing issue. If you are turning right, and experience wheel bearing noise, it is likely to be coming from a left hand wheel bearing, and vice versa.

3. Does the car steer straight? Does it tram-line? Does the steering wobble at speed? Does the whole car shake at a certain speed?

4. How far does the steering wheel move left to right from its central position without actually taking any effect on the road wheels?

5. If you have a GPS or electronic speedo, use it now to see how accurate (or not!) your speedometer is. A correctly functioning speedometer I believe is essential to pass an MOT if your car has a tow-bar fitted to it. But better to check it anyway with all the speed cameras’ littered across the world.

6. Does the handbrake work properly and hold the car? To test it on a manual car, apply it and then put the car into first gear and bring the clutch up with no throttle, the car should stall. For an automatic car, put the car in D, it should not move.

7. Press the brake pedal lightly at motorway speed. Does the pedal vibrate and shimmy? Does the car shimmy too? Press harder, keeping a firm hold on the steering wheel and ensuring there are no cars next to you…does the car begin to pull left or right? Do the brakes grab or snatch?

8. Find your deserted road and accelerate safely to 30 mph and when nobody is behind you, perform an emergency stop. Did the brake pedal remain firm or did it sink to the floor and require pumping? Did the car pull up straight? Did is stop satisfactorily in your opinion? Try the brake pedal again from 10 mph, does it feel any different? If yes, pull over, something has given up under strain. Call your local friendly garage or breakdown assistance. If the answer is no, and you were satisfied with the first stop, carry out one more emergency stop and check that car is consistent two times in a row , then try the brake pedal from 10 mph once again. If all is well, continue.

(If you drive a modern classic that has anti lock brakes (ABS) and it is functioning correctly you would have felt a pulsating through the brake pedal and the car should have stopped with minimal screeching of the tyres. The ABS light may flicker on when the system is in action and during the ignition stage of starting the car, but it should never be illuminated at any other time.)

9. Double check your mirrors when you are driving…do any of them vibrate themselves out of position?

10. Drive to a supermarket car park or similar and park up facing a wall, front on. Put on your dipped beam to test the headlamp aim. This is a very vague test just to give you a rough idea – all you need to do is to ensure the lights are roughly the same level. Now park the car in the open air and stand a few metres in front of it checking that the lights do not dazzle you. This by no means an accurate test but can give you an indication if work needs to be carried out to adjust the aim.

11. Sitting in the car, write down all your feedback from the road test to make your to do list even more comprehensive, then take time to reflect on the list as a whole. How healthy is your mechanical pet? Separate the list by what you can and want to tackle yourself and which jobs your local friendly garage will do.

12. Drive home…and this is the point you make the checks that the MOT tester is not interested in to keep an eye out for impending doom.

For manual cars, sit in fourth gear at 30 mph to 40 mph and floor the throttle. If the revs rise but the road speed does not, the clutch is slipping. It may need adjusting or replacing in time, or could have an oil leak from the engine contaminating the clutch disc.

For automatic cars, at a similar road speed, place the car in the highest gear you can select manually (if you have the function) and floor the throttle. Watch the revs, they will rise a little but the road speed should follow it. If you only have ‘D’…find an uphill section and pull away, the gearbox should not feel like it is struggling. If it does, or exhibits clunky changing, or holds onto gears too long, you may need to check/replace the fluid and filter or take the car to your local friendly garage to be looked at.

Keep an eye on the smoke emitted from the rear of the car – remember the test we did early at home? Well if your car passed with flying colours, I think your engine is just fine. Keep a regular eye on oil and coolant consumption, fuel economy and listen out for any strange noises from the engine, keeping a watchful eye on gauges such as water and oil temperature, oil pressure along with the volt meter – refer to your car’s handbook to find the correct readings. 

You have now seen me use the phrase ‘local friendly garage’ many times in this article, and we are about to find out what I expect of them. Assuming that your classic car is not already sitting with the garage in question after having lived up to some of my red text in the stages above, it is now time to make an appointment with them because you may have items on your to do list that you will not be tackling, or even if your car has passed all of the above tests (or being a brilliant home mechanic you have fixed all the problems!) I still recommend an appointment. And thus my last stage of preparing your classic car for MOT is called ‘Away‘.


There is no denying that having an inspection ramp is the only way to check a car properly. And with this in mind I advise that in between MOT renewal, maybe five months prior to an MOT, have your trusted garage (and I guess it is most likely the same place that will MOT it) give your classic car a health check. Maybe now is a good time to have a service carried out too. Key points for a garage to check, besides whittling your to do list down to a series of phrases with ticks next to them are as follows:

1. Underside body corrosion check. Are the suspension mounting points, sills, floor pans and jacking points in good order? Better to catch them early and have them rectified, and then perhaps treat the now strong and neat underside of your beloved classic car to some wax oil to try and keep corrosion at bay for longer.

2. If you have a towbar, have the garage check it is secure, free from rust and that the connector to power up a caravan or trailer lighting works properly. Have the engine mountains inspected to ensure they are up to the job of hauling something along behind. I say this because an MOT tester will be looking out for these items.

3. Check your fuel system over for leaks, paying special attention to pipes and connections under the car, the filter housing, tank and the fuelling system.

4. The exhaust system. Are there any holes in the silencers, loose fittings and pipework close to becoming disconnected due to rust? Better to have it fixed now as opposed to looking at your stranded classic beauty at the side of the road, exhaust lying on the floor.

5. Brakes. To check all hoses, pipes, connections and components for leaks and corrosion. Inspect discs, pads, drums and shoes for cracking, excessive wear and corrosion. Ask the garage to let you know how much life is left in the front and rear brakes. Check the strength of the brake fluid. And to carry out a brake efficiency test.

6. An inspection of all bearings, ball joints, suspension and steering and components, looking for corrosion, leaks, wear and tear and pending failure.

7. General health check for items such as coolant hoses and coolant strength, headlamp aim, condition of HT leads, timing, points gap (assuming you do not have electronic ignition), fuelling set up, oil leaks in their early stages and greasing up all parts of your classic car that should be.

8. If a service is to be carried out at this point, treat your classic car to a set of plugs and fresh fluids as recommended by your garage.

Keep all receipts and invoices that your local friendly garage provides, a classic car can never have too much service history or love, it is on going. And some parts and fixes may even have a warranty, such as a clutch. If you are an excellent home mechanic, keep all your parts purchase receipts, take pictures of the work you have carried out and file this way too – buyers of classic cars love to see history with photographs. And in years to come, it makes for a nice trip down memory lane to open the file and look over it all, with a glass of red wine to hand.

I have said before that classic car maintenance is like a religion, and the fixes and checks we perform are the rituals for practising this religion. Sometimes you require the help of a priest, in the form of your local friendly garage. You may even turn to a holy script known as an owner’s manual. A spiritual healer in the form of articles like this and owners forums can offer guidance. And if all this fails, a God…a renowned specialist can be called upon.

Oh, and a once a year pilgrimage to a holy place. Well we could call that the MOT station I suppose.

And understanding your car is the first step to being able to predict it, gain a feel for it’s health and fix it, so I would suggest buying the Haynes manual or equivalent for your model of car…and reading it like a Bible.

And so, whether or not your classic car requires an MOT, or rules change in the future meaning younger classics’ will be MOT exempt, I believe the key thing is to be aware of your car’s mechanical condition and keep on top of it, for your own safety, others’ safety and to uphold the value of your cherished motor car. Practice some of the rituals in Home and On the Go during the course of your natural driving time with your classic – and save Away for once a year or when necessary…this way you will not be the MOT venue vending machine’s best customer!

The official MOT testing guide can be viewed here at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mot-testing-guide

MOT testing guide – Publications – GOV.UK

How the MOT scheme is administered and the rules for for authorised examiners, nominated testers and testing different types of vehicles.

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And if you want to check whether or not a car has an MOT, this is the place to do so… https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status

Check the MOT status of a vehicle – GOV.UK

Find out the MOT test status of a vehicle – check the date of the MOT test, the odometer reading (mileage) and the expiry date of an MOT test pass

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Well, Trade Classic readers I hope this has been a useful article for you, keeping your mechanical pets healthy that have reached their later life is an ongoing love affair, we are pleased to be part of it.

Oh yeah, and if you like my articles then you can have them delivered straight to your lovely inbox – simply subscribe to my blog.

Mike Atwall
This article was written and published by Mike Atwal. Mike works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years’ experience in the classic car sector – for over 8 years he was the General Manager of the Classic Car Club in London and responsible for a fleet of over 100 cars worth multi-million pounds. So there’s not much Mike doesn’t know about makes, models, maintenance and idiosyncrasies of these old cars. Mike’s a true petrol head with a deep passion for the classics and he loves to talk cars all day, so why not write a reply on this article below.

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1 Comment
Richard Atkins
Richard Atkins
3 years ago

Hi Mike. great article many thanks. I have a 1936 Ford Model Y, which is pretty much original. This means it has push rod brakes, 6v electrics. No indicators, no seat belts, no heater, no windscreen washer, no bonnet stays, not even a separate boot. In an MOT test where equipment was not originally fitted, or has been subsequently fitted is their absence simply ignored? What would the tester be looking for with regard to emissions and break efficiency. Are their minimum retrospective standards or simply the testers opinion that they perform as close to their original performance as practical – given that there probably wasn’t a manufacturers declared performance or performance standard at the date of manufacturer?
Finally question. I am contemplating a conversion to EV + 12v electrics with modern lighting etc. So an MOT would definitely then be needed. What new criteria would be added to the MOT test that was not previously applicable?