UK Cougar MOT Requirements

I recently imported a 1968 Mercury Cougar and the DVLA needs an MOT for a fresh import.

My mechanic has enquired with a couple of MOT stations he uses and they both say the indicators at the back need to be orange, the car needs to have fog lights ect.

I don’t believe that is correct, I thought any pre 1974 car didn’t need those kinds of modification if the original equipment was working properly.

Anyone know or have any experience?

As you can see from the picture, the whole of the back of this car is indicators, the glass is red. They don’t make clear or white.

Many thanks,


I do not know what the UK requires, but I would think it has been published and you should be able to find that information on line, at a local library or from the DVLA. I would not just ask what it is but request a copy of the regulations. Sometimes the at counter don’t know the rules it they don’t normally work with them.

Good luck.


There is a Cougar club in the UK called M60. I tried to look in the Cougar Club of America but did not find contact info for them. I don’t know where your are but these lads surround Manchester as far as I can tell. Try looking it up. I will try another way and post if I get good info. They may be able to give you pointers as well.


Andrew, I sent you a PM with some M60 contact info.

Cheers, stay safe.

According to this an MOT is not needed when “the vehicle was built or first registered more than 40 years ago” and “no ‘substantial changes’ have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years, for example replacing the chassis, body, axles or engine to change the way the vehicle works”

So as long as you have the original drivetrain etc. sounds like you’re getting incorrect info.

When I had my 69 mot’d there was never any need for fog lights. Orange lights were needed though. There are ways around this though.
Join the classic Mercury cougar club of Great Britain on Facebook and ask advice there

I have been stationed in the UK and took my 1968 Cougar with me there from 1998-2006. At that time the fog light they are speaking of is at the rear of the car. It is 1 light, red. It is incorporated into the tail light panel on European production automobiles for the UK and has a fog switch. The lite is located on the centerline of the road, side of the car.
Other things I remember are that the headlights had to be adjusted to favor the left side instead of Illuminating the right. In other words U.S. autos (im talking about 60’-70’s) headlights illuminate the ditch a little brighter than they do the oncoming traffic lane. When you get to England you are now pointng your lights in the direction of your oncoming traffic lane which blind to the other driver. You know, those blinding bulbs installed at the factory in 67’.
Make sure your windshield washer pump works. You have to be able to spray your windshield with fluid.
You will need a MOT INSPECTION. Ministry of Transportation. There is no way to get around it. You will get a disk/ paper circle with a notary stamp. It must be displayed in the windshield.
Some items do not apply due to age.
Like any Society you may find some resistance as I did with some Brits. Mot inspections are given at almost every garage in the UK that repair cars. I found one that did not hassel me about the orange blinker lights at the rear. He knew it was grandfathered in.
If I remember right i did have to put a fog light in the back window. Safety first. There is fog there the likes I have never seen. Continuous elevation changes make fog appear instantly sometimes . This light is n attempt to prevent a car from getting rear ended. It is brighter than a brake light and is only turned on manually if foggy / road misty conditions. ( pet peeve: 24/7 fog light operators)

You may find your older vehicle hard to drive on the roads out there because your front end alignment is going to favor the crown of the road in the opposite direction that you are now driving on in the UK. Someone else may be better at explaining front end alignment than I can.

A lot of the roads out there are made from crushed ocean shells. Not completely but they use shells in there composition and when it rains it gets slippery combined with the diesel spillage on roundabouts. The point is roads are slipperier then U.S. roads. And also very very dark. They do not use any reflective glass in their asphalt and at night time you will see just how dim those original factory bulbs really are. Which reminds me of the time I hit a deer that came out of nowhere on my motorcycle with my daughter on the back between RAF Lakenheath and Bury Saint Edmunds. Chopped its head clean off with my crash bar and rolled right through it. Unbelievable story there. One day I’ll tell it. Although that was it really.

Another law in the UK is that you are not to back out into the street. You always must pull out into the street. Therefore you will find a lot of stop traffic for automobiles that are backing into their driveway so that when they leave the next time they can pull out into traffic. Be patient.

I will post pictures of my paperwork and mot permits and such when I get home. Might be several weeks. I have driving instruction manuals from there also. could be uploaded somehow if I knew who to send it to. In the mean time I’ll try and think of other exclusive thoughts pertaining to driving in the UK.

A lot of roads are made from crushed sea shells?
Not around here they’re not!
(Nor have in nearly 40 years of driving have I had to display any sort of mot disc in the window, you’re thinking of the old tax discs which stopped some years ago!)
The rest of it was fairly accurate though :thumbup:

Thanks for clarifying. I did leave in 2006. Yes the TAX disk. Thats right!
And maybe that was in Spain they used shells as a filler in roads.