MOT inspection manual: cars and passenger vehicles

Appendix C: Seat belt fitment tables

Seat belt fitment rules for passenger vehicles, motor caravans, ambulances, minibuses, coaches, buses other than with standing passengers, goods vehicles, and 3-wheeled vehicles, tricycles and quadricycles MOT tests.

All motor vehicles

Table 1. Driver’s and specified front passenger seat belts

Seat belt type Description
A Belt which restrains the upper part of the body (but need not include a lap belt)
B Three-point belt or disabled person’s belt
C Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- retractable lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint (not driver’s seats)
D For the driver’s seat, any of the following:
- three-point belt
- lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
There is no requirement for the specified front passenger seat to have a belt.
E Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint (not driver’s seats)

Table 2. Other forward-facing front passenger seats belts

Seat belt type Description
F none
G Any of the following:
- three-point belt
- lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
H Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
J Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- retractable lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint
K Three-point belt or lap belt
L Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint

Table 3. Rear seat belts

Seat belt type Description
M none
N In forward facing rear seats:
A three-point inertia reel belt in at least one seat, or any of the following in both seats:
- three-point belt
- lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
O In forward facing rear seats any of the following:
- 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
- static three-point belt for one seat and a disabled person’s belt or child restraint for at least one other seat
- three-point belt, lap belt, disabled person’s belt or child restraint to each seat
P In forward and rearward facing rear seats any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint
Q Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- retractable lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint
R Any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- retractable lap belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint
Note: Retractable lap belts may be fitted on any exposed seat where there are no seats or surfaces directly in front. They are acceptable on non-exposed seats only if an appropriate energy absorbing seat or surface is present in front.
S In exposed forward facing seats (any rear seat which is not immediately behind a forward facing seat), a three-point belt or lap belt
T In forward facing rear seats any of the following:
- three-point inertia reel belt
- disabled person’s belt
- child restraint

Passenger vehicles, motor caravans and ambulances with up to 8 passenger seats

A ‘passenger vehicle’ is a vehicle constructed solely for the carriage of passengers and their effects.

A ‘motor caravan’ is a motor vehicle which is both:

  • constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers and their effects
  • permanently installed with equipment and facilities which are reasonably necessary to enable the vehicle to provide mobile living accommodation

Motor caravans are in Class 4 or 5 depending on their seating capacity. Size or weight does not determine which class the motor caravan is in.

An ‘ambulance’ is a motor vehicle that’s both:

  • specially designed and constructed (and not merely adapted) for carrying as equipment permanently fixed to the vehicle, equipment used for medical, dental, or other health purposes
  • used primarily for the carriage of persons suffering from illness, injury or disability


Table 4. Seatbelt fitments for vehicles with an unladen weight of 2,540kg or less

Date of first use Forward facing rear seats Seat belt fitment
before 1 Jan 1965 n/a none
before 1 April 1981 n/a A, F and M
before 1 April 1987 n/a B, F and M
on or after 1 April 1987 2 or fewer
more than 2
B, G and N
B, G and O

Table 5. Seatbelt fitments for vehicles with an unladen weight more than 2,540kg

Date of first use Forward facing rear seats Design gross weight Seat belt fitment
before 1 October 1988 n/a n/a none
before 1 October 2001 2 or fewer
more than 2
n/a
3,500kg or less
more than 3,500kg
B, G and N
B, G and M
none
on or after 1 October 2001 2 or fewer
n/a
n/a
3,500kg or less
more than 3,500kg
B, G and N
B, L and T
C, J and R

Minibuses, motor caravans and ambulances with 9 to 16 passenger seats

A ‘minibus’ is a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry more than 8, but no more than 16 seated passengers.

A ‘motor caravan’ is a motor vehicle which is both:

  • constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers and their effects
  • permanently installed with equipment and facilities which are reasonably necessary to enable the vehicle to provide mobile living accommodation

Motor caravans are in Class 4 or 5 depending on their seating capacity. Size or weight does not determine which class the motor caravan is in.

An ‘ambulance’ is a motor vehicle that’s both:

  • specially designed and constructed (and not merely adapted) for carrying as equipment permanently fixed to the vehicle, equipment used for medical, dental, or other health purposes
  • used primarily for the carriage of persons suffering from illness, injury or disability


Table 6. Seatbelt fitments for minibuses, motor caravans and ambulances with 9-16 passengers

Date of first use Weight Passenger seats Seat belt fitment
before 1 Jan 1965 n/a n/a none
before 1 October 1982 ULW 2,540kg or less
ULW more than 2,540kg
9 - 16
9 - 16
A, F and M
none
before 1 October 1988 ULW 2,540kg or less
ULW more than 2,540kg
9 - 16
9 - 16
B, F and M
none
before 1 October 2001 DGW 3,500kg or less
DGW more than 3,500kg
9 - 16
9 - 16
B, G and M
none
on or after 1 October 2001 DGW 3,500kg or less

DGW more than 3,500kg
9 - 12
13 - 16
9 - 16
B, L and T
C, L and T
C, J and R

Coaches

A ‘coach’ is a motor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry more than 16 seated passengers, with a DGW of more than 7,500kg and a maximum speed in excess of 60mph.

Table 7. Seatbelt fitments for coaches

Date of first use Seat belt fitment
before 1 October 1988 none
before 1 October 2001 D, G and S
on or after 1 October 2001 C, J and R

Other buses, except those designed for urban use with standing passengers

A ‘bus’ is a motor vehicle which is constructed or adapted to carry more than 8 seated passengers (see also ‘minibus’).

Table 8. Seatbelt fitments for other buses

Date of first use Design gross weight Seat belt fitment
before 1 October 2001 n/a none
on or after 1 October 2001 DGW 3,500kg or less
DGW more than 3,500kg
E, L and T
C, J and R

Goods vehicles

A ‘goods vehicle’ is a motor vehicle constructed or adapted for use for the carriage or haulage of goods or burden of any description.

Table 9. Seatbelt fitments for goods vehicles

Date of first use Unladen weight Seat belt fitment
before 1 April 1967 n/a none
before 1 April 1980 more than 1,525kg
1,525kg or less
none
A, F and M
before 1 April 1981* n/a A, F and M
before 1 April 1987* n/a B, F and M
on or after 1 April 1987 n/a B, G and M

*Except a model of vehicle manufactured before 1 October 1979 and first used before 1st April 1982.

Three-wheeled vehicles, tricycles and quadricycles

Table 10. Three-wheeled vehicles first used before 17 June 1999

Date of first use Unladen weight Number of forward facing rear seats Seat belt fitment
before 1 January 1965 n/a n/a none
on or after 1 September 1970 255kg or less
more than 255kg*
n/a
n/a
none
A, F and M
before 1 April 1981 more than 410kg n/a A, F and M
before 1 April 1987 more than 410kg n/a B, F and M
on or after 1 April 1987 more than 410kg 2 or fewer
more than 2
B, G and N
B, G and O

*If an amateur built vehicle has less than 410kg unladen weight and a driving seat of a type that the driver sits astride, it does not need a seat belt.

Table 11. Tricycles and quadricycles first used on or after 17 June 1999

Seat Belt requirements
driver’s seat Three-point lap and diagonal belt (may be static or inertia), harness belt or disabled persons belt
outboard (front) passenger seat Three-point lap and diagonal belt (may be static or inertia), harness belt or disabled persons belt
centre front seat Lap belt, three-point lap and diagonal belt (may be static or inertia), harness belt or disabled persons belt
forward facing rear seats * Lap belt, three-point lap and diagonal belt (may be static or inertia), harness belt, disabled persons belt or child restraint

*Includes outboard forward-facing seats fitted to un-bodied tricycles.

Seat belts are not needed for:

  • three-wheeled mopeds
  • quadricycles that have an unladen weight not more than 250kg
  • tip-up occasional seats
  • a sit astride, saddle type driver’s seat on unbodied tricycles or quadricycles
  • any sit astride, saddle type passenger seat that’s immediately in front or behind the driver in a longitudinal plane

Some unbodied vehicles may have been ‘type approved’ without seat belts. You can accept these if there’s evidence that they’re type approved to 92/61/EEC or 2002/24/EC. This information is usually written on the manufacturer’s plate.