7FAQ

Emissions And The MOT Test

Edit this page (last edited October 25, 2003)
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Pre SVA Cars

David Jackson had a concern that any new regulations re Emissions would apply to his car, which was registered Pre-SVA. Here's the response he got from the Ministry:

Dear Mr Jackson

Thank you for your e-mail of 30 October (2002) in which you ask if there is going to be any change to the emissions level to which your vehicle will be tested at its annual MOT test.

I can reassure you that there will be no change to the emissions standards for any kit car registered prior to the introduction of the SVA test so your vehicle will not be required to meet more stringent standards than it was designed for.

SVA has been mandatory for certain types of vehicle since 1 July 1998 and concerns have arisen that vehicles that have been designed to meet the SVA standards should be tested to those same standards at their annual MOT inspection. The procedure for such vehicles is that they will be tested:-

In your case ,however, your vehicle will continue to be subject to a visual check only.

Yours sincerely

Chris Curson Licensing, Roadworthiness and Insurance Division

Further to this

Post August 1998 cars need an emissions test which is consistent with that done at SVA time

For pre SVA cars the situation is a little more open :-

If its factory built you will have to pass an emissions test appropriate to the car - my tester has a handbook which includes 1.6K-series caterhams so you cant do much about it except to find another tester or borrow a cat from somebody

If it was kit built, the bit you need is refer your tester to section 6.4 in the MOT manual - in the 2001 edition there is a flowchart on page 5c which tells them what to do, and at the bottom right hand side of that page is a 'boxout' which states kit or amateur built vehicles are exempt and only need a visible smoke test.

In the June 2002 Edition of the mot testers handbook, the magical words can be found in SECTION 7.3, PAGE 9 in the box in the b/r/h corner.

Your registration document should say kit built or similar, otherwise they wont believe you.

There is a thread on blatchat here which discusses it further


K-Series Engined Cars

Simon Lambert at Caterham Cars subsequently (13th December 2002) posted this on BlatChat:

Hi Everybody.

The following information is only relevant to owners of Rover engined Caterhams, first used on or after 1st August 1998 (ie - an 'S' reg or newer).

We have received clarification of MOT rules this morning, following some confusion that came from ambiguity in the latest MOT testing manual.

In the new year, a special notice will be issued to testing stations. This will state the all Rover engined Caterhams first used on or after 1st August 1998 will be subject to a 'Cat' emissions test at MOT. Essentially, these are cars that would have gone through SVA and would have had a Cat when new. If you have fitted a competition exhaust, or straight through collector, the Cat system will need to be refitted before going to MOT.

In the past, the above only applied to factory built cars, but now it is all of them. The only exceptions will be if you can prove to the tester that a lesser test is required ie through age of engine or the emission standard applied at SVA - but this clause will only be relevant to starter kit builders that sourced their own engines.

Vauxhall engined Classics are not a problem - the testing manual differentiates between models directing the tester to the chassis number for engine recognition which dictates which test to apply.

If you have any queries or concerns over the above, feel free to email me simonl@caterham.co.uk or call on 01322 625804.

SIMON LAMBERT Aftersales Manager

Q-Plate cars

From the "MOT Tester's Manual" chapter on "How to use this manual":

Vehicle 'first used' dates - application of test criteria

A vehicle's 'first used' date is:
  1. Its date of manufacture, if the vehicle was originally used without being registered in GB [e.g., an imported vehicle or ex-HM Forces vehicle), or

  2. Vehicles having a Q plate registration when presented for MOT are to be treated as follows: For emission purposes only, all these types are to be considered as vehicles first used before 1st August 1975. For all other testing purposes they are to be considered as being first used on 1 st January 1971,or

  3. In any other case, the earlier of either

Update - July 2003

The key bits are all determined by date of first use. There are a couple of exemptions to date of first use that are pertinent to Caterham Sevens:

If the car is amateur built and first used before 1st August 1998, then the car is treated as "first used before 1st August 1975".
Wankel rotary engined vehicles first used before 1st August 1987 then the car is treated as "first used before 1st August 1975".
Hybrid vehicles (petrol/diesel/gas engines combined with electric) then the car is treated as "first used before 1st August 1975"

Vehicles fitted with two stroke engines ARE NOT TESTED AT ALL

There are also provisions under Construction and Use regulation 3(3) but I haven't been able to read up on these. These are related to engine installations where the engine was incapable of meeting the catalyst requirements at the date of manufacture.

The tests are:
First used before 1st August 1975Visual smoke test
First used before 1st August 1986Metered test at idle (non-catalyst test)
max 4.5%CO by vol
max 0.12%HC by vol (1200ppm)
First used before 1st August 1992Metered test at idle (non-catalyst test)
max 3.5%CO by vol
max 0.12%HC by vol (1200ppm)

For cars first used after 1st August 1992 you have to check the 6th, 8th and 9th characters of the VIN plate, covering all k-series and Vauxhall XE cars. All these cars should have been fitted with catalysts and will only meet the test criteria if the catalyst equipment is fitted and is working correctly. These tests are applicable for post 1st August 1992 factory cars and for post 1st August 1998 amateur built cars:

Seven 2.0i HPC 16V EFiVIN Code FVJ
Max idle CO0.5% vol
Min idle speed860
Max idle speed1020 - [this looks like it might be a typo in the original and should probably be 1200]
Max fast idle CO0.3% vol
Max fast idle HC200 ppm
Min fast idle lambda0.97
Max fast idle lambda1.03
Min fast idle speed2800
Max fast idle speed3200
Min oil temp for test75 deg C

Seven 2.0i HPC 16VVIN Code S or K VJ
Max idle CO0.5% vol
Min idle speed860
Max idle speed1200
Max fast idle CO0.3% vol
Max fast idle HC200 ppm
Min fast idle lambda0.97
Max fast idle lambda1.03
Min fast idle speed2800
Max fast idle speed3200
Min oil temp for test75 deg C

Seven K-Series 1.4L MPiVIN Code FRJ
Seven K-Series 1.6L MPiVIN Code FR6
Seven K-Series 1.8L MPiVIN Code FR8
Seven 1.4 MPi 16vVIN Code S or K RJ
Seven 1.6 MPi 16vVIN Code S or K R6
Seven 1.8 MPi 16vVIN Code S or K R8
Seven 1.8 VVC 16vVIN Code S or K RC
Seven 1.8 VHPD 16vVIN Code S or K RD
Seven 1.8 R300 16vVIN Code S or K R3
Seven 1.8 R400 16vVIN Code S or K R4
Seven 1.8 R500 16vVIN Code S or K R5
Max idle CO0.5% vol
Min idle speed750
Max idle speed1200
Max fast idle CO0.3% vol
Max fast idle HC200 ppm
Min fast idle lambda0.95
Max fast idle lambda1.09
Min fast idle speed2500
Max fast idle speed3000
Min oil temp for test75 deg C

For cars first used after 1st August 1992 that don't fit in the above VIN Code groups there are a further set of rules depending on the date of first use:

First used before 1st August 1995
Metered test at idle (non-catalyst test)max 3.5%CO by vol
max 0.12%HC by vol (1200ppm)

First used on or after 1st August 1995
Max idle CO0.5% vol
Max fast idle CO0.3% vol
Max fast idle HC200 ppm
Min fast idle lambda0.97
Max fast idle lambda1.03
Min fast idle speed2500
Max fast idle speed3000

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