It follows a consultation in which more than half of respondents objected to the proposals

All cars over 40 years old are soon be exempt from the annual MOT roadworthiness test – despite most classic car drivers thinking it’s a bad idea.

More than 2,000 members of the public took part in an official consultation, with more than half stating that they were against the proposals. A total of 1,130 respondents opposed plans to introduce a rolling exemption for vehicles over 40 years old, with many stating that all vehicles travelling on public roads should have an annual test for safety reasons. By comparison, 899 respondents said they thought the proposals were a good idea.

The Government has today announced that it will proceed with the exemption for all vehicles constructed or first registered more than 40 years ago, on a rolling basis. Currently, all cars registered before 1960 are exempt from the MOT test, meaning there are roughly 197,000 vehicles on the road that don’t need to be MOTed.

This change in the law will mean a further 293,000 vehicles (one percent of all cars on the road) won’t need an MOT.

Justifying the decision, the Department for Transport said most cars of this age are usually well maintained and only used occasionally, making it ‘unreasonable’ to require an MOT. It also said the modern MOT was ‘no longer relevant’ to older cars.

“We would like to thank all those who responded to the consultation for their valuable input, and have noted the views expressed,” said roads minister, Jesse Norman MP. “After considering the responses, we have decided to exempt most vehicles over 40 years old from the requirement for annual roadworthiness testing.

“Vehicles that have been substantially changed, regardless of their age, will not be exempt from annual roadworthiness testing.”

Owners of classic cars that fall into the exemption will be able to submit their cars for a voluntary MOT, despite it not being a legal requirement.