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5 important steps to maintain classic car and new MOT guidelines

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Classic and vintage cars 30 years and older are now exempt from an annual MOT. There has been much debate around this new ruling since the  classic vehicle MOT exemption criteria was published on the Gov.uk website in May 2018. Many historic vehicle owners have expressed the need to maintain road worthiness as much as possible. Insurance providers have suggested that owners send their historic cars for an annual service by a reputable garage for peace of mind.

How to keep classic cars exempt from MOT roadworthy

Cars exempt from a MOT must be registered as one of Historic interest, 'VHI'. This includes cars and motorcycles older than 30 years that have not undergone technical changes to the engine or running gear or substantial structural change.

  • Brakes, suspension and wheel alignment need an annual thorough inspection by an authorised mechanic. Or, of course by the owner if skilled in classic car maintenance.
  • Check all lights work including brake lights and indicators
  • Tyres need to be kept in good condition - tread maintained at 1.5mm and free of cracks
  • Fluid levels and tyre pressure monthly checks
  • Inspect car for rust - including the underbody chassis area


Rust proofing should be an essential maintenance step for all older car makes and models. Common places where rust may occur are the front wings, around headlights, sills, floorpans, around the edges of boot lid, wheel arches where stones have been thrown up chipping the paint and protective layers.

Welded seams are the most important areas to rust proof as is any accident damage despite quality repairs.

Rust proofing application will protect the underbody chassis. Regular washing with attention to the underbody will help rid your car of a build-up of salt and road grime. However, salt and grime can still collect in those tough to reach nooks and cavities causing problems. 

Look under your vehicle to check for rust?

The parts that are most susceptible to rust are the underneath chassis components - frame, A arms, suspension parts, painted steel brackets and drive shafts. These areas, rust experts will argue are not always fully protected at the factory or import plant. Rust proofing and frequent undercarriage washes, cars, vans and trucks are far more likely to stay rust free on the undercarriage.

DINITROL offers a wide range of rust proofing products including cavity waxes and underbody waxes and oils. Applied to the underbody of a vehicle. Advantages of rust proofing:

  • reduces road noice by absorbing sound transmission,
  • protects against stone chips
  • protects against the onset of corrosion
  • resists moisture - underbody wax rust proofing dries to a flexible tough film that withstands rain and salt

DINITROL underbody coatings can help in reducing noice by as much as 10 decibels. This is sufficient to reduce road noice in a vehicle. Cavity waxes applied into the side panels, doors and body frame crevices and underbody chassis area will also offer some some deadening.

DINITROL is an oil based product that contains rust inhibiting ingredients to treat rust and offer high quality rust proofing to prevent further corrosion.

DINITROL 445 is a black polymer based underbody and stone chip coating with good rust proofing and sound deadening properties. It forms a durable, tough and elastic film which results in very good stone chip resistance.

Which product you buy to protect the undercarriage of your vehicle is most likely to come down to choice or ease of application. Dinitrol is well known for it's ease of application - as supported by the number of customer reviews and comments in Practical Classics product comparison articles.

Rust proofing protects against stone chips and self-heals, and it withstands the corrosive effects of salt in road grit or sea air.

Rejel supply rust proofing kits with all the products you need to treat any signs of rust and protect against further corrosion.

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