[Mini] UK MOT testing: When is a modified vehicle a rally car?

Dr John C Bullas john.bullas at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 03:58:52 MDT 2014

When is a modified vehicle a rally car?

Matters of Testing, 19 May 2014 -- Hot tips, Your questions answered

From: https://mattersoftesting.blog.gov.uk/when-is-a-modified-vehicle-a-rally-car/

We are often asked what level of modification is necessary before a
vehicle can be classed as a rally car and therefore qualify as a
'modified vehicle' as defined in the Introduction section of the MOT
inspection manual.

(JBs notes here (YAY!) see http://www.motinfo.gov.uk/htdocs/index.htm :

5. Modified Vehicles: Where a vehicle has been extensively modified or
converted, certain
Reasons for Rejection, such as for components 'missing where fitted as
tandard' should not be applied, for example:

* a car converted for rally use (i.e. rear seats removed and fitted
with a roll cage and full harness seat belts etc.) may have been
converted so as not to require a brake servo, power steering or

JBs notes end)

Put simply, the vehicle must be a competition rally car that needs an
MOT to be used on the road between stages. Track day cars or vehicles
with 'boy racer' modifications are not competition rally cars and do
not therefore qualify as a 'modified vehicle'. So if a vehicle like
this is not fitted with original equipment items such as a brake
servo, airbags or any other SRS (Supplemental Restraint System)
equipment, it must fail the MOT test.

Unfortunately, identifying a genuine rally car is not always
straightforward due to the variety of classifications. The most
obvious evidence will be the mandatory fitment of a steel safety
roll-over cage. The rear seats are likely to be removed and there may
be longitudinal door bars and substantial underbody protection
covering any area of fuel tank exposed to running damage.

The vehicle is also likely to have modified seats with full harness
seat belts; a fire extinguisher in the passenger compartment;
competition number boxes on the body (not displaying a number) and the
emergency towing eyes painted a distinctive colour.

When there is doubt about whether a vehicle is a competition rally
car, the presenter is responsible for providing proof to convince the
tester that it is a genuine competition vehicle. This could be in the
form of a competition certificate from the rally's governing body.


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