Land Rover MoT information


Updated 28/10/15 - note that the dual purpose exemption is to be withdrawn at some point.  DVSA (formerly VOSA) keep putting it off, presumably due to a shortage of Class VII MoT testing stations.)

(Disclaimer:  I do not work for DVLA, VOSA or any other Government agency.  The information on this page has been gathered from a variety of official and unofficial sources.  I have done my best to verify it, but offer no assurance as to its accuracy.)

The introduction of the new computerised system for MoT testing has thrown up a problem which, it appears, affects the vast majority of commercial Land Rovers (but not Station Wagons).  I just took a 1963 2A 109 petrol to my local MOT station.  They now have the new computerised testing system which they did not have last time.  They input the chassis number into the system and then informed me that they could not carry out the MOT.

Reason given was that the vehicle has a revenue weight of 3499kg gross, and must therefore undergo a class 7 MOT test (commercial vehicles 3000 - 3499kg GRW) which most MOT stations are not equipped for.  I was given a computerised printout which showed the reason for rejection as 'Vehicle details entered incorrectly at test registration - wrong class vehicle'.

Sure enough, the V5C (registration certificate) states revenue weight of 3499kg gross.  I thought this might be a one-off error: with a 2A weighing about 1800kg empty, if you load it up to 3499kg the chassis will probably bend in the middle.  But then I checked the V5s for seven other commercial bodied Land Rovers that I have at the moment, and found that five of them have a revenue weight of 3499kg - these vehicles ranging from a 1959 Series 2 88 inch to a Defender 90.  (Note that if you have a genuine factory Station Wagon, a Range Rover or Discovery, it should show the body type as 'Estate' and there will be no revenue weight.  In this case this particular problem does not apply to you.)

Now the 'revenue weight' should be the maximum gross laden weight (GLW) as given by the manufacturer, and a figure of 3499kg, for most Land Rovers, is just plain wrong. It looks as though DVLA have been using 3499kg as the default revenue weight on Land Rover V5s for a very long time.  Apart from the shortage of class 7 testing stations, the test costs more than a class 4 test.  So I did a bit more research.

First I rang up DVLA, who told me that to change the revenue weight on the V5C is simple - you just enter the correct weight in box 22, the date of change in box 23, sign and date the V5C and send it to Swansea.  You will get an amended V5C back.  What is the 'correct weight'?  If your Land Rover was made after 1979 it should have a VIN plate looking like this:



The first figure (2710kg in this case) is the GLW, which you should use as the revenue weight.  For Series 3 before 1979, the GLW is given in the handbook as 2120kg for 88 inch vehicles, 2710kg for 109 inch (except the very rare One Ton model).  I do not have figures for earlier vehicles.

So if you send your logbook away in plenty of time before the next MoT is due, and get the revenue weight changed to something less than 3000kg, there is no problem, your vehicle will definitely be tested as class 4, just like a car.  But that doesn't help you if you have a 110 or 130 (GLW over 3000kg) or your MoT is imminent.

So I rang VOSA (the people who oversee MoTs) to clarify the situation.  This is what they told me:


If a vehicle has a GLW under 3500kg, an unladen weight under 2040kg, has four wheel drive and is equipped to carry one or more passengers (including the front seats) then it is a 'dual purpose' vehicle for MoT purposes and should be tested as class 4.  As far as I can tell, the only commercial Land Rovers which do not meet these criteria are the big 127/130 vehicles, and possibly the Series 2 forward controls.  (But the dual purpose exemption is to be withdrawn shortly - see below.)


I have since had this confirmed in writing.  VOSA sent me an extract from the 6th edition MOT Testing Guide, as follows:

Dual purpose vehicles 3. A `Dual purpose vehicle' is one that is constructed or adapted for the carriage of both passenger(s) and goods or burden of any description; and has an unladen weight (ULW) not exceeding 2,040 kg; and  which either:

(a) is so constructed or adapted so that the driving power of the engine, is, or by the use of the appropriate controls can be, transmitted to all the wheels of the vehicle; or

(b) satisfies the following conditions as to construction: (i) is permanently fitted with a rigid roof, with or without a sliding panel; (ii) the area to the rear of the driver's seat must: ·   be   permanently   fitted   with   at   least one row of transverse seats (fixed or folding) for two or more passengers, and those seats must be  properly sprung or cushioned and provided with upholstered backrests, attached either to the seats or to a side or the floor of the vehicle; and ·   be lit on each side and at the rear by a window or windows of glass or other transparent material having an aggregate area of not less than 1,850cm2 on each side and not less than 770cm2 at the rear; (iii) the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the backrests of the row of transverse seats satisfying the requirements specified in the first paragraph of item (b) (ii) (or, if there is more than one such row of seats, the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the backrests of the rearmost such row) must, when the seats are ready for use, be not less than one third of the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the rearmost part of the floor of the vehicle.


Almost all Land Rovers are covered by section (a) above.  If you have a 130 crew cab, you may find the ULW is over 2040kg, but you should still be able to get the vehicle tested Class 4 under section (b) above, as a crew cab has permanent transverse seats and side windows. 

So if a tester tells you your Landie needs to be tested class 7, you can now quote the 6th edition MOT testing guide at him chapter and verse.

BUT: the dual purpose exemption is to be withdrawn at the end of 2009.  From the start of 2010, if a vehicle has a recorded GLW of 3000kg or greater, it WILL be subject to class VII test with no exemptions.  If you own a 110 without self-levelling suspension, a 130 or a Forward Control, you will just have to live with this and find yourself a Class VII MoT station.  For everyone else, if the revenue weight on your V5 is wrong, get it changed now.

One other thing you need to be aware of - the new system allows the tester to check details such as engine size, fuel type, vehicle colour etc against the DVLA database.  I do not know whether you will be refused an MoT if you have changed the colour of your vehicle, or fitted a different engine, and not notified DVLA, but I think it is quite likely that you will.  So get out your V5C now, and make sure all the main details in section 4 are correct, especially:

  • Revenue weight

  • Cylinder capacity (cc) (this field is often blank on older Land Rovers, if so then leave it that way)

  • Type of fuel

  • Colour

And if your chassis plate has gone missing, get another one made up.  For vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1980, the VIN number (chassis number) must be displayed on the vehicle.  Land Rovers had the number stamped on a plate (Click here for more info) and also stamped into the right hand front chassis leg, but the latter may have been replaced or patched over on older vehicles, and if you have no VIN on the vehicle, the tester can and will refuse to test it.  Even a pre-1980 vehicle with no chassis plate may lead to major grief at MoT time, although the tester cannot strictly refuse to test it.


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