Looking at the MOT guidance regarding seat belts a "significantly stretched or weakened" rear middle seat belt would be a dangerous defect:

Defect 7.1.2(b)(ii) "webbing or flexible stalk significantly stretched or weakened" "Dangerous"

If this seat belt were removed entirely would this instead constitute only a major defect?

Defect 7.1.2(a) "A statutory seat belt missing" "Major"

Or is the middle seat belt not "statutory"? Meaning there would be no defect?

Appendix C of the above guidance would suggest that a:

  • passenger vehicle
  • weighing less than 2540kg
  • first used on or after 1 April 1987
  • with more than 2 forward facing rear seats

would be coded as "B, G and O". Code O seems to state that for forward facing rear seats it would be sufficient to have a

three-point inertia reel belt on an outboard seat and a three-point static or inertia reel belt, lap belt, disabled persons belt or child restraint for at least one other seat

That is, a seat belt on a not-middle seat, and one other seat belt. No requirement for a middle seat belt.

Have I interpreted this correctly? Would removing the seat belt result in a major defect, or no defect at all?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Seeing as how I'm from the States, I'm not completely fluent on MOT mandates, but it seems to me I read somewhere (on here, of course) that if a vehicle came with a safety item it needs to retain the safety item or it would be a defect. Jun 6 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


My experience (based upon converting campervans) is that the answer will depend upon the vehicle's V5 certificate.

If the vehicle is labelled on the V5 as a five-seater then it must have seat belts for five persons.

Taking the belt out entirely would, in that case, be a defect.
If you have a four-seater, you would be OK. But the manufacturer is unlikely to have fitted more seat belts than necessary.

I believe that removing a belt, reducing the number below the V5 figure, would also render you insurance invalid.

  • "No more than necessary". I had a 1994 Peugeot 106. I can't find a spec (and no longer have the V5) but the 2002 Peugeot 106 was classed as a 4/5 seater. As a small car, mine had two rear seat moldings, two rear headrests but three rear seatbelts. The centre one distracted my rear view, so I had it removed, and it passed its first MOT test. It meant that I could only seat 4 in the car – no child in the middle. Jun 7 at 18:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .