A popular Saturday evening event of most rallies is the road run down to the local pub, hang around until 5-6ish and you will probably see procession of steam engines and other exhibits heading out on the open road. Which begs the question are they road legal? – Yes. Miniature engines of all scales can be road registered just like a car, however unlike a car due to their taxation class do not have to pay road tax, and do not require an annual MOT. For anyone who owns one and has not yet road registered their engine it is a surprisingly easy process, we have a how-to-guide on our website which explains what is required and how best to complete the forms. Although engines both miniature and full size do not require an

MOT they do require an annual boiler test to ensure the boiler is functioning properly and safely. For miniatures there is a scheme run by the national model engineering federations, however for large scale engines we use a commercial boiler inspector who is completely independent from our company. The annual test is conducted in two parts, the first is a cold inspection where the boiler is drained of water and the inspector looks at both internal and external condition of the boiler and its components. They should also take thickness measurements of the boiler plates and record these to see if any wastage has occurred from year to year. The second part is a steam test, the engine is fired up to working pressure where the safety relief valves and water feeds for the boiler are tested. It is important to note that a boiler inspection is just that, it doesn’t look at the rest of the engine. There is also another test normally conducted every 10 years known as the hydraulic test, this involves a more in-depth inspection with parts removed for better access, and then the boiler pumped up with water to 1.5 times the working pressure to test its integrity.

Hopefully this has answered a few of the questions you may have about miniature steam engines, all except of course the big one. How much is it worth? Well price is all based on the size, quality, rarity, complexity and usability of the individual engine. If you wanted to enter the world of steam and attend rallies a nice 3” (quarter size) traction engine can be purchased for around £7000-8000, but prices

can go up to almost £100,000 for the large half size showmans engines. Whatever you buy though, if you do not know what you are looking at please, please, please take someone with you who does and that includes when buying from a dealer. We are dealers ourselves and encourage newcomers to the hobby to bring someone with them for a proper inspection. To protect your money, we have produced a buyers guide which is free to view and download from our website.

Should you have any more questions please do not hesitate to get in touch, we would be happy to have a chat. Alternatively pop along to a local show and talk to other owners, generally they are a friendly bunch and all too happy to talk about their pride and joy. Legacy Vehicles are a family business run by Tom and Samantha Allen, they are modernising the vintage vehicle market by offering professional advertising and brokering services alongside their regular dealer services. Uniquely they also offer competitive finance packages through a specialist broker. Check out the range of available vehicles on their website and keep updated by following them on Facebook and Instagram:

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