Atthelimit

How will no MOT effect my motor insurance?

Recommended Posts

The no Mot rule for cars 40+ years old means that many "classic" Loti such as Elites, Elans, Europas, +2s and some early gen 3 cars, Esprits and Excel/Eclats now fall into this group.

An MOT is only ever a snapshot in time, a look at the car on one day does not make it roadworthy over the whole year! It is a myth that if your car has no MOT, insurers will not pay out, a car without an MOT is perfectly capable of being fully roadworthy and within the scope of the policy.  It is for this reason that all motor insurance policies whether this be classic or modern, have a clause in them which roughly states, "the vehicle must be maintained in a road worthy condition at all times" This was in policies prior to the new MOT rules and will remain in there for the future. It is this statement that insurers have relied on to determine whether or not the cover is valid, and going forward, without MOTs, they may have to rely on it more heavily.  

What does this really mean, if you run into the back of the car in front because you have four bald tyres and could not stop, insurers could well refuse a claim and void the policy. Not only could you lose your own car, but you would be responsible for the claim costs of the other party as well. I’m sure you understand the thinking here; no MOT requirement is no excuse for poor maintenance or should be seen as a way to run cars on a shoe string paying no regard for safety which endangers your passengers and other road users. With four bald tyres it would be hard to argue you were not aware, a feathering on an inside edge is one thing, running on slicks is another! However, the same accident described above would almost certainly be paid if the only defect was not a contributory factor, so if an indicator was not working it would have no bearing on the accident.

It is said that "classic car people" always maintain their cars well, as a generalisation this might be correct but there are always a few who will take liberties with the new rules. An MOT test forced people to address niggling faults like a bulb gone, wiper blades and to look at tyres etc. The MOT highlighted things that you would not spot, corroding brake pipes, a split rubber gaiter, play in bushes etc. The fear is that over time several niggling faults will build up leaving the vehicle in a poor state. Perhaps an MOT every two or even three years would have been more sensible?

The other concern is that as the 40-year rolling requirement moves on, the type of car that falls into this band will become a very useable everyday car. They will have 5 speed gearboxes, power steering, electric windows and central locking and a performance that allows them to be viable daily transport. This is where non-enthusiast may lurk, to buy old bangers which won't be cherished but used to get to work each day with no MOT, cheap classic insurance, no tax and with little or no maintenance.

As enthusiasts we are not all mechanical experts and so inevitably some defect might be missed, whilst insurance has a bad press I can assure you they are not looking to refuse claims without good cause. Keeping bills and receipts for parts or work done helps your situation no end and in the event of a write off claim helps secure a good valuation for your vehicle.

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the update....interesting.

I’m intending to continue to MOT my cars, I like the idea of being forewarned of any potential mechanical failures and I’m sure it’ll help when time comes to sell that I’ve a fist full of MOT certificates.?

Andy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy,

that's a pragmatic way of looking at it. I think I would still want to get an MOT on any car I had. I haven't got one that qualifies at present though. Force of habit and it makes sense if you can prove that you are taking positive steps to keep it suitable for road use.

Kevin

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

MOTs

I think many in the classic car world fundamentally disagree with the 40 year rolling MOT exemption. Most classics we insure choose a limit of 3000 miles. So even if the full mileage limit was used that would be 6000, or 9000 miles over two or three year period. A more sensible idea might have been to reduce the frequency, maybe every two or three years or at mileage intervals say 10k miles. 

I think the biggest problem lies with cars of monocoque construction, cars  of the 70s and 80s where rust lurks inside sills, up behind wheel arches , scuttle panels as well as inner wings, and suspension pick up points. Outer bodywork like wheel arches, outer sills valances etc are easy to spot but its the stuff you don't see which is the real danger. The Lotus is not immune of course but rust areas on the chassis are well known and easy enough to find.

Voluntary MOTs are great way to demonstrate a responsible attitude and even those with a great deal of mechanical knowledge and skill can benefit from the car being looked at, up in the air, by a fresh pair of eyes. 

 

Happy Classic Motoring

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim, the integrity of the structural elements need inspection certainly as I remember seeing some very tidy "tarted up" classics that under the surface were like Swiss cheese! Not only that, but as a trained welder made me shudder when I saw some of the botched repairs using Oxy-acetylene or worse, a MIG welder. An MOT would go some way to re-assuring the car is sound.

But also an inspection of the braking system, steering, bearings etc. A lot of the components that it's not obvious if they are failing, and in the "youth" of the vehicle would be picked up now by the service regime as well as the MOT. (Hopefully!) These can be some of the items that are just not checked by the owner unless some work in restoration are being carried out on them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now