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Recent changes to the LED headlight laws won’t exempt classic cars made after April 1986, it’s been revealed

Changes to the rules surrounding LED and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlight upgrades have caused confusion for classic car owners.

In January, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency updated the MoT manual to state that: ‘Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with high-intensity discharge (HID) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.’

But following pressure led by Gil Keane of Better Car Lighting, the ruling has been reversed for cars made before April 1, 1986. The DVSA says: ‘Vehicles first used before 1 April 1986 are not required to use type approved ‘e’ marked headlamps. Therefore, converting a halogen, or other headlamp on such a vehicle to use LED bulbs would not be in contravention of the regulations.’

Gil Keane is urging other enthusiasts to contact their MP to fully reverse the decision, saying: “The lack of logic and unfairness applies equally to cars made after April 1986. The DfT should finish the job and completely retract these illogical, unfair and unsafe changes.’

Keane thanked Nadhim Zahawi, his MP, and Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, for the concession, but added: ‘I, and many others, remain worried about the plight of the thousands of owners of newer cars who are left in an uncomfortable and dangerous position.’

‘Regulations formulated as long ago as 1989 were created before LED car lighting was even thought possible. The immense amount of investment and development since means that they can offer great safety and efficiency improvements to older cars.’

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