Since 20th May 2018, new legislation in Great Britain meant that cars over 40 years of age no longer need an annual MOT, provided they are not substantially modified i.e. no major suspension / engine / body modifications made (unless they were carried out pre-1988).
As we import vehicles from all over the world, from countries where testing is either very basic or non-existent, we feel it raises many serious concerns.
Legally, the car must still be in a roadworthy condition. Can you be 100% sure the car you have just imported, that may not have been driven for long periods, or may not have ever been up on ramps / rollers to inspect brakes, corrosion etc is fully roadworthy? How can you be sure it is roadworthy to be sure you are safe to drive it? Well the answer is to continue putting the car through an MOT, or at the very least an initial MOT on arrival to UK, just to be sure and to have paperwork to prove it is roadworthy.
The other issue is insurance, a few of the insurers we have contacted have not been clear as to whether they will be happy with paying out for a claim involving a car that has not had an annual MOT – are you sure you are covered? Others are not so clear, they state the vehicle must be in a roadworthy condition – will they take your word for that if you are needing a claim? Having an MOT certificate will remove any possible headaches.
Here are some examples of cars we have imported that are over forty years old and have had issues you would not know about unless you put it through an MOT
Many cars from places like the USA have some very poor repair work which may not necessarily be discovered unless you carry out an under-vehicle inspection
Any vehicle we import into the UK that we are registering on behalf of the owner we will place through an initial MOT / Roadworthiness check.
This is to cover us, and to ensure that the vehicle we are handing you the keys to is deemed roadworthy prior to you driving away.
Of course if you prefer, you can collect the vehicle from us and carry out the registration yourself
It is then up to you if you then declare the vehicle VHI on your next road tax application and so negate the need to test it again. Please note if you declare the vehicle as MOT exempt, are then involved in an accident and the car is proved to be unroadworthy, you may be liable to prosecution.
For everyone’s peace of mind we would suggest an annual MOT is undertaken. It is the easiest way to make sure you know the car is roadworthy and for you to have paperwork to prove so in the event of any insurance / legal claim.