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Roadworthy - definition

in Motoring
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  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    boatman wrote: »
    Yes, thats what I read, but its pretty limited, and doesn't really cover whats in an MOT, and yet when I see the term 'roadworthy' they refer to the fact that an MOT does not mean its roadworthy. An MOT is a snapshot of the cars condition, so are they just saying that for a car to be classed be roadworthy it just needs to pass an MOT, or are there other specific criteria as well as the MOT?

    The definition quoted by Shaun is specifically for determining whether a vehicle has been sold or supplied legally ["For the purposes of subsection (1) above"], and not for anything else.

    There is (AFAIK) no offence of using an unroadworthy vehicle. Instead, you can be charged with breaches of specific C & U regulations, or the offence of using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
  • Ebe_ScroogeEbe_Scrooge Forumite
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    AdrianC wrote: »
    "Unroadworthy" does not, itself, mean or imply perfect reliability. It's simply a rough shorthand for whether the condition of the vehicle means that it is legal and safe to use on the public highway.


    I have to agree with this. OP, what do you mean by "unroadworthy". To my mind there are two interpretations : "Unroadworthy" in the eyes of the law, which broadly covers MOT testable items, i.e. defects which make the car dangerous, and which you could be fined for if pulled over ( e.g. bald tyres, defective brakes, cracked windscreen, etc. etc. etc. ). Or "Unroadworthy" in terms of being a sold a car which doesn't work - I'd argue this is more along the lines of "fit for purpose" or some such. For instance, the fact that it won't go into 3rd gear, or having an engine that doesn't start, would be pretty annoying to say the least, but wouldn't actually be "dangerous" per se - at least, not to the extent that having defective brakes would. Just my thoughts.
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  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    I have to agree with this. OP, what do you mean by "unroadworthy". To my mind there are two interpretations : "Unroadworthy" in the eyes of the law, which broadly covers MOT testable items, i.e. defects which make the car dangerous, and which you could be fined for if pulled over ( e.g. bald tyres, defective brakes, cracked windscreen, etc. etc. etc. ). Or "Unroadworthy" in terms of being a sold a car which doesn't work - I'd argue this is more along the lines of "fit for purpose" or some such. For instance, the fact that it won't go into 3rd gear, or having an engine that doesn't start, would be pretty annoying to say the least, but wouldn't actually be "dangerous" per se - at least, not to the extent that having defective brakes would. Just my thoughts.

    Selling an unroadworthy vehicle is a criminal offence, and there is a precise definition (see post #6 above).

    Fitness for purpose is different. A car with an engine that won't start is (probably) not fit for purpose, but if that is the only fault then it doesn't seem to fit the definition of unroadworthy.
  • DoaMDoaM Forumite
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    Which takes us back to post #2 :)

    There was a reason why I asked - as seen by the other posts in this thread. If the OP was more effusive with the details we'd be able to give proper help rather than the "wild stabbing in the dark" we're presently doing. ;)
  • Could be perfectly roadworthy with a duff engine. As others have said this sounds like "Not fit for purpose"
  • AretnapAretnap Forumite
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    Is this just a random question, or does it relate to an actual problem that you're having?

    In other words: are you complaining that someone has sold you a duff car, or are you asking if you can legally drive your duff car on the road?
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    Mate took a car in for an MOT with no reverse gear, he just had to shop around for a station where they drive in one way and out the other.

    Then cross his fingers thet didnt need to reverse it.

    A car can have a massive list of faults and still pass an MOT.

    As per roadworthy though. Ita a minefield.. If you join the motorway with only enough fuel to do 5 miles and its 30 miles to the next junction was it roadworthy?
    You spot a nail in the tyre and the pressure has dropped but you carry on driving was it roadworthy?
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  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    boatman wrote: »
    and yet when I see the term 'roadworthy' they refer to the fact that an MOT does not mean its roadworthy. An MOT is a snapshot of the cars condition, so are they just saying that for a car to be classed be roadworthy it just needs to pass an MOT, or are there other specific criteria as well as the MOT?

    The fact a vehicle has a MOT is not a guarantee that it is roadworthy. The condition of the vehicle in regards to being able to pass a MOT basically only applies for the duration of the test. You could drive it out the test centre, smack a kerb and break a steering arm and even though it has a new MOT issued just a few minutes eariler it would not be roadworthy.

    Too many people think that the MOT is an indication of the condition of a vehicle and assume because it has one that it must be roadworthy and safe hence the government and consumer advisory group warnings about a MOT not being an indication of roadworthiness.

    It doesn't even need to be at a MOT pass level to be roadworthy. There are several MOT fail items which would not mean a car is unroadworthy. For example a cracked numberplate or a blown numberplate light bulb would not make a car unroadworthy.
  • bigadajbigadaj Forumite
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    Just thinking this might be a trade in question, for an incentive on a dealer or manufacturer offer maybe?
  • boatmanboatman Forumite
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    More specifically unroadworthy in relation to buying and selling, as that appears to have a legal meaning, but seems to be a bit vague.

    As has been said by Almillar 'causing the driver to be unable to follow the rules of the road' seems a reasonable way to go.

    Assuming a car can pass its MOT all day long, every time, but the problem magically reoccurs, but not during the MOT.

    I suggested engine and gearbox as this is the most likely area where a fault could be that wouldn't come up in an MOT. Something that occurs, but never for arguments sake during an MOT.
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