Periodic Roadworthiness Tests

Image Of Modified Car VAGCOM

I am sure that by now most of you will have heard of the furore about the EU Commission Proposal regarding the harmonisation of periodic roadworthiness tests (RWT). This could possibly affect classic and modified vehicles and their associated industries. Europe wide reactions to this Proposal have ranged from a “wait and see” attitude to panic and outright rage, with letters to MEP’s and petitions signed in the UK and demonstrations and egg throwing in mainland Europe!

So is this a case of Eurocratic regulation gone mad, or sensible safety measures that will protect us all? The problem is in the ambiguous wording of the proposal document, suspicions (and hackles) were also raised after the consultation took place via an EU only website.

German and Australian law demands that all modifications to vehicles are approved by qualified engineers before said vehicle is allowed on the road; this new proposal includes the same concept, that any modification from the vehicle’s original technical specification without approval will lead to an MoT failure. The database of original technical specifications for all vehicles in use on UK roads simply does not exist, so how will this new test be implemented on all those non standard classic and modified vehicles out there? The test will be required at each change of ownership, also following a serious accident or after any modifications, this is potentially going to prove both time consuming and costly for vehicle owners.

The UK Mot test is to ensure vehicles are safe on our roads; will this new test be just a more stringent version? There are definitely some modified vehicles in daily use that would be considered unroadworthy, so surely a stricter test can only be a good thing where safety is concerned? A test at change of ownership will mean an accurate count of previous owners, the odometer checks at the same time will also be useful and should assist in stopping those with villainous tendencies profiting from “clocking”.

This may all turn out to be a storm in a tea cup, resulting in acceptable compromise on both sides with safer vehicles and roads for us all, but we should also be vigilant and not allow those in Brussels to bully us. Click here if you want to take a look at the proposal, if you want to sign the petition then click here.

Does this proposal pose a danger to our classic and modified car heritage, not forgetting their associated industries, in this country and elsewhere in the world? Maybe, maybe not, watch this space!