Some cars are simply made to be modified. Everything from hatchbacks to luxury sedans have been altered by its drivers to make them louder, faster, and a heck of a lot more enjoyable. However, recent EU rules have put our beloved adjustments under the chopping block, questioning whether they would pass the MoT. So, after many decades, could this be the end of the modified car?
Recent reports indicate the bureaucrats in Brussels want certain modified and classic cars to be classified as illegal. According to the Daily Mail, the European commission has proposed an alteration to the MoT which will set rules making any modification an automatic failure. Affecting millions of motorists as well as many small businesses who have spent billions of pounds each year modifying their cars for pleasure or business, the system would identify any alteration made based on specifications at the factory.
In a test that will determine roadworthiness so that “components of the vehicle must comply with characteristics at the time of first registration” it will likely mean that “potentially something as minor as changing the stereo could result in an MoT failure.” This would also mean that even certain cars that are not been updated with safer equipment will ultimately be made illegal.
Commenting on this issue, Vanessa Guyll from AA said that “we don’t want this and we’re very much against it. If every car with a modification was breaking down and having problems then that would be different but they don’t. Most modifications don’t affect a car’s safety. This would affect everything from changing a car’s wheels to fitting a bodykit. No one enjoys taking their car for an MoT but our system is pretty good. It would cost testing stations a lot and there is not much money to be made from an MoT. The plan is ridiculous.”
Similarly, Barry Corners from the Association of Car Enthusiasts noted that “the implications would be massive. It is unbelievable and it seems unworkable. You would need to know every minute detail about every model of car ever made. There would need to be a database for every car otherwise it couldn’t work. You can take an older car like the Jenson Interceptor and have it completely overhauled with modern components for £100,000.” Beyond the issues with the sweeping provisions, there is no database in the UK that specifies what is factory based and what classified as modifications.
Creating quite a stir in the automotive community, members at the UK Independence Party have reported that they’ve been inundated with letters from concerned motorists. Similarly, politicians across the UK have noted that the British people have long been fans of car modification and will certainly fight to stabilize a favoured industry. While the European edict is far from being implemented, if the mere suggestion has caused such uproar, its enactment will produce nothing short of a revolution.