XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
Classic Spirit Reborn

High Intensity Headlamps (HID) and the MoT

Confusion arising from DfT and VOSA over the use of HID headlamps where self-levelling systems and headlamp washers are not fitted.

Recent changes to the MoT Inspection Manual issued by VOSA state that “Vehicles with HID headlamps are required to have a headlamp washing system (a wiper is not required) and be self-levelling, which may be achieved either by the use of either headlamp or suspension levelling systems”. Then to cover aftermarket HID systems, such as those KWE fit to the XJS, it goes on to say: “In order to pass the MoT test, vehicles fitted with aftermarket HID systems would also need to be fitted with headlamp cleaning and self-levelling systems”.

However, at the end of the document it goes on to say “Where headlamp levelling or cleaning devices are missing or defective, but there is doubt as to whether they are required, the benefit of the doubt should be given and an advisory notice issued”.

In contrast, the current MoT testers manual states: “Vehicles equipped with High Intensity Discharge (HID) or LED dipped beam headlamps may be fitted with headlamp washers and a suspension or headlamp self levelling system. Where such systems are fitted, they must work”.

This is a very different interpretation as it only refers to cars where levelling and washing systems were originally fitted. If they’re not fitted, there’s no problem.

KWE has investigated this situation and found that confusion reigns! It seems likely that VOSA will modify its ruling in light of special cases – such as classic cars. Our local, large MoT centre said that as long as there is a decent beam pattern they would pass the car.

KWE has fitted dozens of HID upgrades to the immense satisfaction of the owners. We will continue to do so but will draw attention to this unclear situation. We think it very unlikely that VOSA would expect owners to fit self-levelling systems to classic cars where this is so obviously impractical and hugely expensive. The extra light produced by these HID lamps is a great safety improvement, though we recognise that the headlamp aim need to be set accurately – and tested – to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.

9:22 am KWE Cars

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