Lotus Elan

New mot rule

PostPost by: JonB » Fri May 25, 2018 1:36 pm

@types26/36

Thanks for that useful link.

DVLA wrote:What does ‘substantially changed’ mean?
A vehicle where the technical characteristics
of the main components have changed in the
last 30 years. These components (other than for
motorcycles) are the chassis or monocoque
bodyshell (including any sub-frames), engine
and axle and running gear (alteration of the
type and/or method of suspension or steering).


I think this means that a Spyder chassis prevents MOT exemption if it is less than 30 years old, irrespective of whether the chassis is classed as a "subframe" or "chassis" - unless one of the other clauses applies.

So:
  • Does the Spyder chassis count as being the same pattern as the Lotus chassis (I think not, because the method of construction is different)?
  • Can it be argued that the Lotus chassis is or was at the time of replacement no longer available?
  • Can it be argued that a Spyder chassis improves safety (due to improved rigidity) or efficiency (if it is lighter than the Lotus chassis)?

Not as clear cut as I thought before reading that PDF! But this might save the day:

  • Changes of a type that have been made when the type of vehicle was in production or in general use (within ten years of the end of production).

When was the first Spyder chassis made? (Edit: Around 1975, so I should be good, although they advised I continue MOT-ing the car.)
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat May 26, 2018 8:09 am

Oh what a tangled web this is turning out to be. Has anyone asked Spyder what their take on it is? It's not going to do their business much good if fitting their upgrade chassis "substantially changes" the car to the point where it's no longer regarded as a vehicle of historic interest (using the government's definition). Makes me relieved I was too skint to be able to afford a Spyder chassis back in the mid 80's and had to make do with the fold along the dotted lines original type.

I'd imagine no one is going to look too closely at what's under the body shell until somebody crashes one and the insurance companies get involved.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat May 26, 2018 8:45 am

Yes, I asked them. They said "we recommend you continue MOT-ing your car" for the usual reasons of not trusting the insurance company.
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PostPost by: elj221c » Sat May 26, 2018 11:37 am

My take, for what it's worth, is in the statement around subframes. Technical Characteristics.

The Spyder (sub) frames have the same pickup points and dimensions. So the TCs haven't actually changed unless you count how those pickup points are connected together. Case could be argued....?

It really depends on the interpretation and we are being given the opportunity to declare what suits us.

It just so happens, however, that my space(sub)frame is over 30 and the body mods over 40 years old so I will have no qualms about my declaration. That's not to say I won't have an initial MOT when I finally get the car back on the road.

Spyder, They said "we recommend you continue MOT-ing your car". Hardly a surprise. Insurance? Nah! They don't want any comebacks, do they?
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat May 26, 2018 12:17 pm

It's all starting to look a little complicated:

Original factory "chassis" - probably rusted through so fails roadworthy requirements :lol: Presumably if you've welded up more than half of it it becomes a new construction of non Lotus origin and fails the substantially changed rule :lol:
Replacement Lotus chassis - qualifies for no MOT status
Older Spyder chassis - may fail on 'not substantially changed' requirement but then requalifies on 30yr rule
Newer Spyder chassis - may or may fail on 'not substantially changed' rule depending on how honest / competent / argumentative / informed / worried owners are when making the declaration.

In the absence of definitive guidance from above it seems to come down to a matter of conscience. If I really really believe my garden shed space frame chassis made from old railway lines doesn't substantially change the essence of the car because it uses the same pick up points etc as the original then my MOT exempt declaration will be made in good faith. But if I know in my heart that my new Spyder space frame chassis is nothing like the original sheet steel version and really shouldn't qualify, but click anyway, then the declaration is fraudulent. It's all a bit like going to confession with the government as the almighty.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat May 26, 2018 1:39 pm

I'm confused.

I went to tax the car today on the DVLA web site and although it is showing as a "historic vehicle" for tax purposes, there's nothing there that allows me to declare it is MOT exempt.

Then I saw this: https://www.gov.uk/historic-vehicles
DVLA wrote:You must apply for a vehicle tax exemption to stop paying vehicle tax. This is sometimes called putting a vehicle into the ‘historic tax class’.

You do not have to apply to stop getting an MOT for your vehicle each year. However, you must still keep it in a roadworthy condition.


The form linked to previously is clearly for when you tax at the Post Office and you want to declare MOT exemption. On-line there is no exemption declaration that I can see, so does this quote (above) apply? If so, then all Historic Vehicles would be automatically MOT exempt next time they were taxed.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sat May 26, 2018 2:24 pm

Perhaps i should mot and tax my spare one. See how that goes.
There is potential to make a mockery of the system.
Either way ill always mot mine.
My life is worth more that £50
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: NickD » Sat May 26, 2018 9:23 pm

JohB,
Just taxed mine on the DVLA site. You do not have to make any advance declaration of MoT exemption. Just follow the "Tax Your Vehicle" path, fill in your vehicle details and follow the prompts until a page appears which says something like "your vehicle appears to MoT 40-Year exempt unless substantially modified". There is then a tick box to confirm if exempt, and if you select this, the vehicle is taxed.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun May 27, 2018 7:54 am

I didn't see the screen with the checkbox, so I've re-taxed without exemption.

Might have to try again. MOT due in 3 weeks...
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun May 27, 2018 9:14 am

I got the same tick box as Nick when I taxed mine last week but if your car still has a valid MOT that'll be why you're not seeing it. You'll have to wait a few weeks till it runs out, SORN it, apply for your "tax refund" :lol: and then retax it. Should take about 5 mins. :lol:
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun May 27, 2018 4:27 pm

So that's why. Ok.

Problem is, it takes 5 days because the DVLA web site won't allow you to do 2 transactions within 5 days of each other. Oh well...
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:28 am

69S4 wrote:I got the same tick box as Nick when I taxed mine last week but if your car still has a valid MOT that'll be why you're not seeing it. You'll have to wait a few weeks till it runs out, SORN it, apply for your "tax refund" :lol: and then retax it. Should take about 5 mins. :lol:


Well, the MOT ran out and I had the car on SORN. As you said, on re-taxing the DVLA web site offered me the option to declare MOT exemption - which I did - and now the car is back on the road. And if I may say so, it is far more road worthy now than it was when I bought it back in November, with 7 months' MOT on it.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:13 am

69S4 wrote:It's all starting to look a little complicated:

Original factory "chassis" - probably rusted through so fails roadworthy requirements :lol: Presumably if you've welded up more than half of it it becomes a new construction of non Lotus origin and fails the substantially changed rule :lol:
Replacement Lotus chassis - qualifies for no MOT status
Older Spyder chassis - may fail on 'not substantially changed' requirement but then requalifies on 30yr rule
Newer Spyder chassis - may or may fail on 'not substantially changed' rule depending on how honest / competent / argumentative / informed / worried owners are when making the declaration.

The only time i would go MOT exempt on a Spyder chassis is if i have a receipt with the date of purchase on it that was inside the ten year after manufacture rule. If the date of the Chassis manufacture can't be proved then it would get MOT'd.

End of the day an MOT isn't a bad thing anyway, our cars will be getting tested once a year just as normal mainly to have proof of road worthiness if some thing did happen but also to get a second set of eyes go over it on a ramp.
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:59 pm

How does this SORN & 'retax' work? Can it be done online? Or do you have to go to a Post Office?

Does the magic number on the retax notification that I received enable me to 'have another go' & do a SORN & retax again?

My MOT runs out in a few days time, but due to dates I had to 'retax' last month and was not offered the MOT exemption option on-line.
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PostPost by: greg40green » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:54 pm

Regards chassis change .
My understanding is that anyone owning an Elan has been advised time and time again not to inform DVLA that you have had a chassis change as this foolishness would probably result in the owner being issued with a 'Q' plate.
So if you have not notified DVLA of a change to either a LR or Spyder chassis how will DVLA know of any changes.

If the DVLA are reliant on MOT stations policing chassis changes we should be extremely worried as the MOT
station will be monitoring suspension changes, 'A' frames, , adjustable wishbones, solid drive shafts etc. 'We' might consider the changes to be safety improvements but thats our personal interpretation not DVLA's.

I cannot see MOT stations and / or the DVLA educating themselves on the original and none original items of every classic car make can you?

In my humble opinion.
Any classic car owner not wanting to invest in an annual MOT fee to check to make sure their vehicles brakes, suspension , running gear etc is safe for themselves and other road users is being irresponsible.
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