UK: Proposed changes to emissions

All (especially UK),
Please read the items in the link and please put forward your view.

In a nutshell, it looks as though the emissions relaxation for our kit/replica cars is being proposed to be withdrawn. It means you'd have to meet current emissions.

I am also reading it that it may be retroactive, so even if you car passed under the current rules it may then have to meet the year that you registered

Extract below and link to consultation: Road vehicles: improving air quality and safety - GOV.UK

Kit cars
4.10 Kit cars and reconstructed classic cars undergoing IVA will not be required to meet WLTP, given that at present they are not required to meet NEDC or the latest EU standards. Instead they are tested to age-appropriate MOT standards, on the basis of the date of manufacture or first use of the engine.
4.11 We are proposing that for kit cars, compliance with the MOT emissions standards current at the date of registration will be required, despite the use of an older engine. In other words the current relaxation for emissions according to the age of the engine will no longer apply.
4.12 Reconstructed (restored) classic cars undergoing IVA will not be required to meet the latest MOT standards, as long as the appearance of the vehicle is broadly unchanged and the engine is of the same capacity as that supplied with the vehicle when it was new.
4.13 When new vehicles were first required to be fitted with catalytic converters around 1992 (Euro 1 emissions standard), kit car makers typically used older engines which were not fitted with catalytic converters, hence the justification for age-appropriate testing of emissions based on date of engine manufacture or first use. The majority of the fleet is now vehicles up to 25 years old whose engines are fitted with catalytic converters, providing plenty of choice to the kit car builder.
This is deeply troubling. Under section 4.11 it means my car would almost certainly fail and I suspect this applies to many others.
I have an engine dating certificate that set the emissions testing levels when the car was IVA tested in 2010.
This could also mean that anyone who has recently got their car through IVA with an older engine, could then find out that it fails it's first MOT.
I not sure what the answer is. The cost of fitting some form of catalytic convertor and possibly having to re-work the whole exhaust system is likely to be very expensive.
I would like to hear other people's views.
I would also add that our cars represent a tiny percentage of the vehicles on the road so this proposed retrospective action is draconian.
This is very bad news. Any carburetted car , or even injected cars with big cams etc wouldn't have a chance.

I have also completed the survey with comments on the kit car proposal. Hope others voice there opinion.
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So we'll have to meet Tier 6 regs then with old engines, can't see that happening. Not good at all for the homebuilders or kit car industry. We will be forced to use more modern engines (which I suppose is fine) but some of these modern Direct Injection engines etc will cost a lot to get running with dedicated ECU's (There are a few companies doing ECU's for Direct Injection now, but it's not cheap).



Thanks for letting us know, this needs to be spread far and wide and fought tooth and nail by as many as possible.

It does seem a bit ambiguous though, as I went quickly through the survey and only found a few thing that may effect us.

15. Do you agree with requiring kit cars submitted for IVA to meet the latest MOT standards, thereby removing the rule that kit cars are IVA tested to MOT standards according to engine age?

It doesn't really clarify if this is retrospective, and if so how far back do they go, are cars that passed under SVA OK? etc.

EU Exit

34. What would you like to see in this area of regulation following Brexit and do you have any views on whether the UK should continue to follow the EU type approval scheme after Brexit?

35. Would you like to see special measures to minimise disruption the changeover to the post-exit situation will cause?


Having spoken to Mick (there are no problems just solutions waiting to be found) Sollis at SGT I now feel reassured that whatever decisions are made there will be a solution, albeit some more expensive than others.

I still strongly believe we need to fight vehemently against retrospective application of any emission changes, I suspect they won't "like it up em" and hope it will send a message they take note of.


Recent post on Pistonheads.

Complete Kit Car have just posted on their FB page this is a part of it.....

..........................Peter Bailey, of Chesil Motor Company has spoken to Mike Lowe who told him: “…if the consensus of the opinion is that this will kill the British kit car industry, we are very much open to listening and asking Ministers if we can remove this proposal from the package of proposals.”

Peter has put together the following guidelines for how you might like to structure any written response. Please feel free to use these guidelines, or do your own thing. Over to Peter…

As you are now hopefully aware, there is new legislation in the pipeline that could greatly affect our industry. I for one would not be here at Chesil if these proposals were introduced, as we fit air-cooled engines (that have no real alternative) and would be very difficult to get to pass the proposed emissions… but on top of that, it is not what our customers want.

It does seem, having spoken to the DfT just now, that if there is sufficient pressure and clear, genuine reasons why this part of the legislation could be ‘catastrophic’ to our industry, there is a fair chance it could be removed from the proposals, but it is up to all of us to respond!

I am suggesting that all manufacturers write, giving their own individual case, and also that we all collectively send a response from the industry as a whole.

Below are some suggestions as to the content of your response:
1. Does your vehicle, particularly if it is a replica, need to have an earlier style engine to retain the character of your car? If so, explain why this is so important, and how difficult it would be to implement emission controls.
2. Would fitting a more modern engine detract from the original character of the car, and therefore its saleability? Would customers be put off buying it? Explain why.
3. If an alternative could be fitted, would it increase the build cost, which too could be detrimental to sales? Give a realistic indication of cost increase, perhaps as a percentage.
4. Would there be existing customers who could get ‘caught out’ by this legislation as their build completion would be beyond the implementation date? Give an example and perhaps how many customers you have in this situation.
5. If this legislation were implemented, could it possibly affect your business sufficiently that you might have to ‘close your doors’? If so, give good sound reasons why.
Responses should be sent to…

[email protected] or

Robert Lloyd-Smith
Zone 1/33, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR

Below is Peter’s proposal for a group response from manufacturers/traders. If you are happy to have your name and company added to this list, we are happy to collate them here and send it on your behalf. To be included, please email [email protected] BEFORE Wednesday 28 February.
A Collective Response – from kit car manufacturers and traders

As small scale manufacturers of specialist and kit cars, we would like to collectively respond to the proposed legislation, in particular regarding to the changes to the emissions requirement.

We are not a big industry, but we are unique within Europe and in fact in the world, having produced thousands of specialist cars over the last 50 years, and have become established as the world centre for this type of car.

The introduction of SVA and then IVA allowed our industry to produce vehicles to a recognised safe standard – a fact borne out by the low insurance premiums that our vehicle owners enjoy.

We would very much like our industry to continue, but these current proposals could be catastrophic to some, and many we are sure would have to close. This is not an excessive expectation, but a reality. As many have individually explained, it is the proposed change to MoT emissions standards for kit cars that would be very damaging to our cars… the older style of engines perhaps being vital to the core appeal of the model, and/or the potential costs of fitting compliant engines being so expensive as to cause sales to fall to unsustainable levels.

Many of us have small workshops and not a vast workforce, but we all have many times that number indirectly employed who have specialist skills and rely on our continued, and regular, work.

As you will notice, on a day-to-day basis there are very few classic cars on the roads, often reserved for special occasions, days out and perhaps limited touring during the summer months. It is not uncommon for these cars to have limited mileage insurance, typically 2000-6000 miles per year, with many not covering more than 1000 miles annually. The emissions impact by this small ‘fleet’ of cars is also tiny and does not warrant the heavy-handed controls that are being considered.

We all hope that you now have a better picture of our industry and its precarious position if this legislation became enacted.

We strongly request that this part of the proposed new legislation be dropped.

The following companies and individuals have agreed to their names being added to this letter…

Clubs and individual owners

Complete Kit Car has had contact from a number of clubs expressing concern at the proposals. Hopefully the information we have provided above will clarify the situation. We understand some clubs will be more impacted by the proposals than others, and may wish to make their own representation to the contact details listed above.
Excellent suggestions in the previous reply. Well done.

I have written pointing out that our vehicles represent a tiny percentage of the vehicles on the road (and remember it's not just cars, it's vans, trucks, coaches, buses, etc, etc). Furthermore as mentioned above, virtually all our cars are on limited mileage insurance policies, are usually NOT used as a 'daily' vehicle and a high number are declared SORN during the winter months.
To put this in context, my GT40 has done less miles in 5 years than my daily car (a big 4x4) has done in the last 2 months.
In terms of 'pollution' our vehicles generate an absolutely tiny percentage of the overall vehicle generated air pollution.

If you have not yet responded to the consultation then PLEASE do so before the end of February.


Lifetime Supporter
Do you have a SEMA like organization in the UK? Have you contacted SEMA to see if the would advocate for you?
I am STUNNED that more UK owners are not commenting on this thread.

I have learnt today from those in the know that this proposed legislation is more of an intent than a proposal and the time frame is very short. It could be Law by the autumn.

This could mean that YOUR car will not pass an MOT later this year and the cost of remedial action will be prohibitive. There is the potential for all of us to own pieces of scrap worth £40-90K.

This is already having an impact. Have a quick surf round dealers who sell cars like ours (Cobra's, etc, etc) and you will see they are not making sales.

Come on guys ..... this is a call to arms!
I think we’re all too bloody busy in the garage pushing fo a summer IVA date...

This was recently posted on PH, so it’s not looking likely to be retrospective so that done good news at least, means I neeed to pull my finger out though:uneasy:...

Piston Heads said:
I have now had confirmation via the assistant to my local MP that the new rules - if they come into force - will not be retrospective. They will apply to cars registered later in 2018 at a date to be confirmed. Anyone building a car with an engine that won’t comply with current emissions legislation needs to get it registered and IVA’d as soon as possible as a contingency against Government madness....
Hi Paul,
Thank you for your posting.
For anyone who hasn't written yet, here are some statistics that you may wish to use (these are Goverment figures).

I have rounded off the figures as they seem to be based on 3 month statistics:

Vehicles registered on UK roads: 38 million
Cars 31.8 million
Motor cycles 1.27 million
Light Goods 3.9 million
Heavy Goods 517 thousand
Buses/Coaches 167 thousand
Other 752 thousand

Therefore if say 0.5% of these vehicles were our kind of vehicles (so called Kit Cars) there would be 190,000 on the road. (I doubt there is anything like this number ...... but stick with me a moment). Given that a significant number of our cars are typically declared SORN over the winter months and when they are used they do a very limited mileage, then the contribution to emissions is an absolutely tiny percentage. I've tried to do a whole load of math and come up with figures of somewhere around 0.001% or less of all total vehicle generated emissions is caused by our cars.
It is clearly 'Politically Correct' nonsense to suggest that our cars have any measurable impact on emissions.


Lifetime Supporter
Yet you support the politicians that push this garbage. Hard to feel sorry for you...
Hi Mike ..... greetings to the folk in Colorado.

Your reply may be a touch offensive to many people on this thread. In the UK there are 2 main political parties, the Conservatives and Labour, plus there are many others. It is everyone's right to vote however they feel inclined.

In my many years (I am now one of the 'old guys') I have lived under the rule of more than one political party and in my experience they all make decisions or pursue agenda's that anger the very people that put them in office.

Unfortunately as just 'car guys' we can only but try and deal with these pieces of legislation as and when they arise.

Believe me, many of my friends on this forum are incensed by the constant conveyor belt of stuff that comes partly from un-elected European leaders and our own government departments. Short of leaving the planet it is increasingly difficult to deal with all this crap.
Yet you support the politicians that push this garbage. Hard to feel sorry for you...
Pot calling kettle black springs to mind, our government is far from on perfect but I strongly suggest looking closer to home before making sweeping generalisations about it...


Lifetime Supporter
Has nothing to do with US VS UK governments. Has everything to do for voting for a political ideology on either side of the pond that would smash all petrol burning cars to bits let alone old "dirty" classics if they had their way. I'm certain no one in Brussels pulling the strings cares about your classic cars yet some still want their oversight.
Mike ...... pleased to see your reply as in fact we are on the 'same page of the hymn book'.
I wish I knew the answer but unfortunately we are going to have to try and combat these stupid bits of proposed legislation on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. In reality it doesn't matter who you vote for, this so called environmental stuff is just a never ending treadmill. Unless you live in China or India where they don't give a damn.
I've just read your thread about the latest Ford GT ...... for one moment I thought you'd got one ...... I was about to pack my bags and move next door to you!