Is this the end for the 3-spoke alloy wheel?

Forthcoming changes to the MOT test could spell an end for the 3-spoke alloy wheel, PetrolBlog has learnt. Under the planned new Style and Decency section of the annual MOT test, 3-spoke alloy wheels could be driven off the road, with any car wearing them receiving an instant failure notice.

This is bad news for motorists with poor taste, but excellent news for the rest of us who have been forced to live with the terrible spectacle for far too many years.

3-spoke alloys Suzuki Vitara

The news comes as the Department for Transport seeks to rid the streets of horrendous aftermarket modifications and to save carmakers from further embarrassment. The likes of Ford, Vauxhall and Suzuki – three of the worst offenders – are said to welcome the changes which should come into force in 2015.

In a telex issued by the Department for Transport, Doug Downes told PetrolBlog:

“The MOT test looks at a car’s roadworthiness, but it’s time it was revamped to take into account matters of common decency, too. The 3-spoke alloy wheel is a lesson in bad taste, so any car arriving at a testing station rocking the 3-spoke look will receive an instant failure notice, with the owner given a free Specsavers eye test voucher.”

3-spoke alloys Ford Probe

It is thought that the Style and Decency section will also include the likes of Lexus-style rear lights, local radio station stickers and aftermarket badges. Rumours that the Chrysler PT Cruiser will also fall foul of the new legislation have yet to be confirmed, but an online petition supporting the move attracted more than 17,000 votes.

Not everyone is in favour of the new measures, with online forums buzzing with heated arguments and plentiful use of angry-faced emoticons. One member of the Crazy Cool Customised Corsa Club (CCCCC) was especially enraged. Known only by his forum name of 3spoke3threesomethe member told PetrolBlog:

“I’m especially enraged.”

It’s not entirely clear if and when the new Style and Decency section of the MOT test will come into force, but reports from inside the Bentley factory in Crewe suggest the British firm is monitoring developments with a view to a radical rethink of the design of the new EXP 9 F SUV.

The news is more positive for Saab drivers, as PetrolBlog understands the 900, 9000 and possibly the 9-5 will be exempt from the new 3-spoke alloy wheel legislation. In a rare display of common sense, the Department for Transport has accepted the fact that Saab is arguably the only manufacturer to successfully pull off the 3-spoke look.

3-spoke alloys Saab 900 Turbo

At their monthly ‘Natter and Noggin’ in Kilmarnock, members of the Saabs Are Great (Ayrshire) – or SAGA for short – raised a toast to the Department for Transport, before continuing their lengthy and fascinating discussion on why the 900’s glovebox door never quite fitted.

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Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.


  1. October 25, 2014
    Joe Shaw

    I’ll just leave this here…

  2. October 29, 2014

    Good to hear that Saabs will be exempt! However, as the Saab nut I am, I must point out that it’s the 9000 which has problems with the glove box doors, not the 900.

    • November 12, 2014
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Ha! Strangely, I never had a problem with the glovebox door on my 9000, but both the 900s owned by my father were cursed by the issue. It was a source of constant discussion at the local owners’ club gathering!

      Love the avatar, sir!

      • November 24, 2014
        Steve Lewis

        I too am pleased that SAAB will be exempt. I have 3 cars with 3 spokes and I’m not sure I could find alternative wheels in time for my next MOT

    • December 26, 2014
      Anthony Halpin

      Mine has an extremely gammy closing action. It feels like it’s not shut when it is.

      • December 26, 2014
        Anthony Halpin

        1990 9000 Carlsson btw

  3. December 26, 2014
    Anthony Halpin

    Aeros and Sunburst are your only man, or if you’ve got a 99, Incas. Saab must’ve fitted some of the most desirable wheels of any manufacturer.

  4. March 6, 2015

    Not a huge fan of 3-spokes in general, but the Pontiac Sunfire from the 2000’s had a set of 3-spoke rims that weren’t too horribly totally completely awful…

  5. May 23, 2015

    So England is still trapped under Nazi regime huh?

    Who are they to tell you what cars you can and can’t drive and how your car is supposed to look? Thank fuck I live in America.


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