The EU proposed European Road Worthiness Test

The Europe wide Road Worthiness Test

The draft European wide MOT proposals have come under serious scrutiny in recent times. One of the most onerous suggestions was to outlaw the modification of classic and vintage cars.  This would mean that replacing an engine with a later one or modifying the existing one would mean failure. The same would apply to all the major mechanical parts such as gearbox, axles and the body itself.

We have several members who have had to make serious changes and many others contemplating a major change. One member who has several vintage Rolls Royce Phantoms with the V12 engine – one of the most expensive engines to have to rebuild, anything up to £50,000 – has replaced them with later Rolls Royce V8 engines together with their gearboxes. This would mean an instant failure despite the fact that the change would keep some really beautiful cars safely on the road.

One really stupid proposed rule is that if the car was originally fitted with cross ply tyres then you can’t fit radials. So many sizes of cross plys are no longer available meaning you have to fit radials.

There is also the proposal that more modern cars must have European type approval to be able to pass the test. Again possible huge problems for the replica and kit car industry. Many of our members are running Beauford’s, Bramwith’s, Imperials and other similar makes which almost certainly do not have the correct European Type Approval. So what happens to them, will they just become so much scrap?


The government have been fighting Europe on behalf of all classic and vintage car owners,  have an assurance that these rules will not apply to UK registered Historic Vehicles. MOT testers will be still able to use their own judgement as to the fitting of non standard parts such as radial tyres and flashing indicators etc etc, provided these modifications are safe and working correctly.

At a meeting of EU representatives with the UK’s Minister of State for Transport Stephen Hammond MP it was agreed in principle that the proposal may well be downgraded from a Regulation to a Directive which means the UK will be able to cherry pick parts of the directive that suits our automotive environment.

So far there is no word as to any changes to the non historic vehicles rules. Consequently we are not at this point able to give such good news to our kit and replica owners. We believe the UK is one of the largest manufacturers of these types of vehicles in the world outside of the USA so we suspect the government will also be fighting on your behalf. Having said that if the Regulation is downgraded to a directive the current status quo should be maintained.

The changes to the proposals are not as yet ratified so we can’t be 100% certain that the EU will accept them but common sense says that they should. So it seems sensible to lobby our MEPs on this specific issue.

If the European wide Roadworthiness Test does come in as originally proposed (very doubtful) it is hardly likely to happen before 2020.

The NAWCP will keep you posted.

As usual please pass this post on to everyone you know in the wedding car industry. We will only get ‘strength through numbers’.

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