What does Daytime MoT mean?


BeMoto - What is Daytime MOT?

We often hear people debating the fabled ‘Daytime MoT’ or ‘Daylight MoT’… But does it exist, and if so what is it?

Cutting to the chase, there’s no such thing as an official Daytime MoT. There’s only one test and you either pass or fail it (sometimes with recommendations to make it safer). The term is therefore a colloquialism - an unofficial name given by Joe Public to more easily describe a normal MoT with ‘Advisories’ - for a bike that isn’t allowed to be used at night or in poor visibility conditions, i.e. it has no lights.

Like other advisories on your MoT certificate, such as leaking fork seals, you’re not obligated to do anything about them - it’s like that advice your parents so often try to give you but you end up ignoring (even if it’s the right thing to do).

One of the BeMoto team owns the awesome Lamb Chop Rides “Beastie”, which can only be used in daylight hours, as it’s effectively a road-legal track bike with no lights or indicators (proper tyres and brakes of course). Other common examples include Enduro and Trials bikes that are used mainly off-road, but need to be road-legal when going between race stages or green laning etc.

Clearly it is a legal requirement to have a current MoT to ride on the UK highways and if you do ride without one, not only is it illegal, but it will also invalidate your insurance too. If you want insurance for a bike that has been modified from its original road-legal specification, i.e. you’ve turned a road bike into a track bike and removed the lights and/or indicators, it’s best that you speak to your insurer to make sure they are aware, as well as declaring any other modifications.

At BeMoto, we have Daytime MoT Insurance policies designed for:

  • Green laning insurance, e.g. for enduro bikes
  • Trials bike insurance for those rides on public roads in-between stages
  • Track bike road insurance (as a sportsbike you'll need some No Claims Bonus and a good riding history)
  • Classic bike insurance for vintage bikes that were pre-MoT rules

For a Daytime MoT Insurance quote call 01733 907000 and speak to a specialist.

What is needed for daytime MoT?

Ultimately your motorbike needs to be safe to ride and meet some minimum legal requirements, such as having proper functioning brakes and suspension, tyres intended for road-use with actual tread on them, it must meet noise and emission standards, and be in general good mechanical condition with structural integrity (in other words, it must be able to go, steer, stop and not be a total rust bucket puffing blue smoke out of a 150db cannon).

However, surprisingly, you don’t actually need a speedo, stand, lights, indicators, mirrors, brake lights or reflectors!

Daylight MoT requirements?

If you have a few hours spare and want to become an expert, you can read the DVSA MoT Inspection Manual - but be warned - it’s all in the interpretation. One test centre may interpret the rules slightly differently or more strictly than another, yet still be technically correct. It’s a minefield of random rules, for example:

  • If you have headlights, mirrors or brake lights fitted, then they must work, you will not usually get away with them being masked over (they are meant to be ‘disabled’).
  • You can’t have rear lights without front lights, or rear indicators without front indicators - if you have lights then you need indicators (it’s a full set or nothing).
  • If you have switchgear that is clearly intended to control lights or indicators, then you are also expected to have working lights and indicators too (so you may be expected to remove the switchgear, however you might get away with scratching off the switch-labels or taping over them to obscure their purpose).
  • Technically the manual allows for brake lights (stop lamps) even if the normal running lights have been removed, but this may depend on what side of the bed your tester got out of (they are not explicitly forbidden when the main lights are removed) - if in doubt mask over the brake light during the MOT - It is highly recommended you have a brake light and mirrors for personal safety.
  • They cannot remove stickers or sticky tape from your bike, so if your exhaust is not intended for road use, but has a sticker over the stamp that says so, who’s to know?

Odly (ish), you do however need to have a horn, although this doesn't have to be fed from the main battery, but it does need to be button operated with a continuous tone.

BeMoto Daytime MOT Insurance CR500 with no lights side view

Smoking Skills: Read our blog about this daytime MOT insured CR500 Supermoto Special.

Ministry of Transport ("MoT") Certificate

So if your bike has no lights and passes, you will be given your VT20 certificate (a failure is the VT30), but also a VT32 Advisory Notice - this is typically where the tester will notice an item that has deteriorated, such as brakes or tyre tread, but is not yet bad enough to warrant a failure - or in the case of your missing lights, confirming the bike had “No lights at the time of testing” (advising you to get them fitted).

Your motorcycle can only be used legally on the public highways during good visibility, i.e. daylight hours, and not at night or during times of low visibility.

BeMoto Daytime MOT Insurance Fireblade with no lights front view

The BeMoto RCV Special built by Lamb Chop Rides with no lights or indicators on a Daylight certificate.

Preparing for your MoT

Obviously there’s little point in turning up if you have bald or slick tyres, brakes that don’t work or bulbs out in your lights or indicators… Get these all sorted in advance. And If you think you have something that is going to be controversial or at least borderline, such as no lights or indicators, why not speak to your intended local friendly MoT tester in advance. You will soon get the measure of how they interpret the manual and what steps you need to take before turning up and wasting your time, e.g. will they accept you masking over the switchgear if your lights and indicators have been fully removed or do they expect you to remove them?

And of course, don’t turn up with a tiny number plate. Keep the original mahoosive one and either refit it, or stick it over the top for the test.

Disclaimer! We’re not qualified testers and the rules change over time. This guide is intended to be helpful from our own experience with Daylight MoT bikes, but there’s nothing better than getting to know your local service and MoT centre team. As a loyal customer, assuming you’re not a bell-end that they try to avoid, they will no doubt offer helpful advice in advance to make the process go smoothly.

Check out our more detailed guide to preparing for your motorcycle MoT from our chat with a proper expert...

Other BeMoto Insurance for track and dirt bikes

BeMoto is an official partner and sponsor of Trackday Addicts Group on Facebook. If you enjoy riding off-road, on track or dirt, then we have various other insurance products that you may not know exist and could be gamechangers for you:

  • Race Van Insurance - Save £££s vs. commercial policies (for social use only, i.e. going to circuits or race meetings)
  • Track Insurance Products - Trackday Bike Damage Insurance, Personal Injury Cover and Trackday Repatriation Insurance
  • Dirt Bike Insurance Products - Theft Insurance (no V5 required), Race Van Insurance and overseas Motocross Travel Insurance

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