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Query about MOT class system for Defender

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Good afternoon all.

I have just got back from not having the MOT done on my Defender :blink: . I was booked in to a local friendly (as recommended by some chums) MOT station who knows how to test Land Rovers. However, when I got there the tester refused to test it saying it was Class 7 due to the GVW (it is a '93 110 hard top). I'd not heard of this (I know ignorance isn't a defence). He said I needed to go to a goods vehicle testing station (which I am now booked into for Monday). The only LWB Land Rover Defenders they have been able to test previously were some Fire Brigade pick-ups (lower GVW?).

Has anyone else experienced this problem? The last MOT certificate has my vehicle down as Class 4, but the tester today said whoever tested it is very naughty by entering those details.

If my vehicle is now going to be tested as a goods vehicle, will this affect the price of my tax disc? I've just renewed as PLG at just over £100 for 6 months.


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I put this on here as I was having trouble getting through to VOSA on the phone and their website isn't very helpful... <_<

I have just got through and they say as it is over 3000 kg it is class 7 and should be tested as such. Luckily the fee is not much more that class 4, it's just a pain finding out who does goods vehicle testing and getting it all booked in.

I suppose I'll have to do something useful now like some shopping or the washing up... :o

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Take it somewhere else for it's MOT.

The GVW of a standard 110 is 3050kg, so strictly speaking it is class 7. However, my 1989 110 Hardtop has always been tested as class 4.

The place that I have it MOT'd is capable of testing up to class 7 and once, while I was waiting, I was reading their poster on vehicle classes, I noticed the weights and asked the tester if he was testing it in the right class, he said that they always tested 110s as class 4, the only Land Rovers they tested as class 7 were 130s.


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Take it somewhere else for it's MOT.

I am :)

...(which I am now booked into for Monday)...

I am not, however, go to phone around places asking "are you willing to test a class 7 vehicle as a class 4?" The place I went to was recommended to me as he already tests a D-Lander and Tomcat. However, it was more that his licence was worth to force through a test on a different class. I would also have a problem with this. If I was to be involved in a serious RTC where a vehicle examination was required, I could be prosecuted for not having a valid MOT as it was not tested correctly and this making any certificate invalid.

I work for the police in a role that means my integrity has to be beyond reproach (as it is for all who work for the police), so I cannot be seen to be trying to "fiddle" the system.

So, if my Defender is a class 7 vehicle, then so be it.

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It's on here somewhere.


My 110 SW gets tested normally as a class 4.


My understanding is that you have a dual purpose vehicle due to the extra seats behind the driver. Mine is a hard top with just two seats. There are no extra seats.

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From Dept of Transport website:

Dual-purpose vehicle means a vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage both of passengers and of goods or burden of any description, where the unladen weight does not exceed 2,040 kilograms, and which satisfies the following conditions as to construction:

  • the vehicle must be permanently fitted with a rigid roof, with or without a sliding panel;
  • 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 2 or more passengers and those seats must be properly sprung or cushioned and provided with upholstered back-rests; 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 area or aggregate area of not less than 1,850 square centimeters on each side and not less than 770, square centimeters at the rear; and

    [*]the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the back-rests of the row of transverse seats satisfying the requirements specified in sub-paragraph b(i) above or, if there is more than one such row of seats, the distance between the rearmost part of the steering wheel and the back-rests of the rearmost such row must, when the seats are ready for use, be not less than one-third of the distance between the rear most part of the steering wheel and the rear most part of the floor of the vehicle.

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This is definately not the first time I have heard of this and it is unlikely to be the last!.

A lot of the problem seems to be that Land rover weren't consistent in the way they plated vehicles, some are 3050 kg hence Class 7, some are 2950 kg so Class 4. (The same problem sometimes comes up with numbers of seats, sometimes it is on the V5 othertimes not). There was probably some logic to it somewhere although knowing land rover maybe not. Many test stations, especially ones that don't know land rovers well don't realise they are not all the same and apply one rule to all of them.

A class 7 MOT isn't significantly different from a class 4 one it just means the test station needs bigger ramps, I believe this is the reason they are allowed to charge more. As far as I am aware the items tested and the requirements are the same, it isn't a HGV type test which is more involved and tighter. I know there are several MOT testers who post on here so I am sure some one will be able to confirm this or correct me if I am wrong.

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My dad has this problem with his 110 high capacity. He has to take it to a special place to get it MOT. He says it is cheaper than some car places. I know ther are two types of place were you can get it tested. One they will not let you drive it home if it fails the other they will. Will have to find out of my dad which is which. As for the tax he has not had to pay any more than he did before. As mentioned before the reason he was told it had to go to a specail mot station was that the rolling road would not be strong enough at a normal station.


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If a vehicle has a DGW under 3500kg, an unladen weight under 2040kg, has four wheel drive and is equipped to carry one or more passengers then it is a "dual purpose" vehicle for MoT purposes and should be tested as class 4.

I'm licensed to test class 4 and class 7 although we only do class 4 where i work. Never had a problem testing Land Rovers.

When you log the vehicle in for test there is a drop down menu on the computer that asks you what class. Click 4, and away you go.

Every testing station has to display the address and phone no of the local VOSA area office for appeals etc. Ring them and they will confirm what class you should be tested as.

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After another call to VOSA, it turns out that Pat_Pending's advice was on the money, if the unladen weight is below 2040kg (VOSA doubted it would be). I would have to go to a weighbridge and get an official weight ticket and then take it with me to the testing station to have the Defender tested to Class 4 as a dual purpose vehicle. However, at the moment, I just haven't got the time to sort that out before the MOT runs out so I'll be getting it tested as Class 7. Sometime next year I'll sort out a proper weigh-in, but I also have my doubts regarding the unladen weight due to some of the permanent fixtures that will be in there.

Thanks for all the advice everyone. :D

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110 diesel hard top unlevelled suspension, gross 3050kg....unladen weight....1653kg. Straight out of drivers handbook.

Highest unladen weight i could find was a 130 crew cab...1946kg.

Haven't got a manual so wasn't able to check that, thanks.

Do you still think you're over 2040kg ?

Don't know, depends how much weight an ARB nudge bar, expedition roof rack, Southdown tank guard, and two military style storage lockers add to the unladen weight (these are all permanent fits - I know the roof rack comes off but I've got nowhere to put it apart from on the roof of the Defender).

Providing everything goes ok tomorrow with the Class 7 MOT, then once I am back from Italy, I'll get it stripped of all the paraphenalia and get it weighed (thanks TJ for your number, I'll be in contact ;) ).

Will it need to be in this state when it goes for the next MOT, or will I just need to have the certified weight ticket?

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