September 21, 2018

Classic car owners warned over substandard parts ‘flooding the market’

Concerns over the quality of car parts, the discontinuation of original supply lines and the influx of cheaper imported parts have combined to create an air of uncertainty in the classic car market.

And with MOTs no longer a legal requirement for vehicles more than 40 years old, the problem could be set to get worse as cars and their parts go unchecked for years.


It’s unavoidable that some car parts will fail, but recently the number of owners using online forums and social media to complain about substandard parts seems to be on the rise.

Even part numbering is no longer as reliable as it once was, with some lower quality items being sold using the same part number as the originals.

And since classic cars over 40 years old became exempt from MOTs, the safety net protecting drivers from unsafe car parts has been removed.

This has thrust the responsibility to ensure cars are safe to run back on owners, many of whom are not knowledgeable enough to identify all technical issues correctly.

Due diligence

John Yea, managing director at British Motor Heritage, warned that classic enthusiasts need to be extra careful when buying used car parts to ensure they are roadworthy.

He said problems often arise “when an original supplier is no longer producing a part and it has to be made elsewhere, usually by a much smaller outfit without the original technical data.”

He also warned of the plethora of cheap imported parts that are currently commonplace on the British market, parts which are often substandard.

He said: “There’s a perception that you can go online and buy the cheapest product – [but] people are not doing any due diligence over the quality.”