MOT

MOTs for all cars over 30 years old could be axed

MOTCars registered before 1960 are now exempt from yearly MOT tests – but an EU directive means this could be extended to any vehicle over 30 years old, providing they haven’t been substantially modified.

Whether this will happen hasn’t been decided yet, and a decision won’t be made until 2018 – but the Department for Transport (DfT) is now seeking opinions from the general public.

Readers, that includes you: so here’s the background behind the possible legislation change.

Should classic cars be exempt from MOTs?

Research by the DfT found that classic cars are generally very well maintained and have much lower accident and MOT failure rates than newer vehicles. In 2009, initial MOT test failure rates for pre-1960 vehicles was less than 10% – compared to over 30% for newer cars.

Vehicles registered before 1960 make up around 0.6% of all cars on UK roads, but are involved in just 0.03% of crashes.

These figures, along with a public consultation that showed high levels of support for the proposal, meant all cars manufactured before 1960 have been exempt from the MOT test as of 2012. But should this exemption be extended?

What can the government do about classic cars?

The 2014/45/EU directive means cars and vans are permitted to have a maximum test-free period of four years from new, and must be tested at least every two years, unless exempted.

Individual member states of the EU can set rules within these guidelines. So, currently, cars in the UK older than three-years-old have to be MOT’d every year, unless they were registered before 1960.

The DfT has categorically said that this won’t be changing – don’t expect MOTs for modern cars to become biennial. What could be changing is which cars are exempt from being tested. The UK government is currently looking at two solutions.

Firstly, any car older than 30-years-old is classed as having “historical interest” and therefore could be exempt from MOTs – as long as it hasn’t been substantially modified. So, don’t bother sticking the shell of a new car onto a 30-year-old chassis and hoping to beat the system.

Alternatively, such vehicles could be tested every two years rather than yearly – with no exclusion for cars that have been modified.

I have a strong opinion about this – what should I do?

Going by reaction to the news that cars registered before 1960 are now exempt from MOTs, there are likely to be some strong opinions on this subject.

Are you a classic car enthusiast who thinks the yearly MOT test is an unrealistic assessment of a car’s roadworthiness? Or do you think having cars on the roads that never pass through a test station is a bad idea?

Well, the DfT is keen to hear from you. There’s a short survey you can fill in here, while lengthier responses can be given here.

You have until the end of October 2014 to give the DfT your opinion. A formal consultation on the change of the law will take place no later than 2018.

Of course, we’re also keen to hear your views, so comment below, send us a tweet, or post on our Facebook Page.

23 replies
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      Pre 1960 you do not officially need a MOT but it is so advisable to do one anyway …too many things get missed and the odd wreck is a danger to us all

      Reply
  1. John Miller-Wilson
    John Miller-Wilson says:

    As a classic enthusiast, I believe that regular testing is important. Older cars are much more likely to be seriously weakened by rust or suffer major defects such as fuel leaks, so they sgould be independently checked regularly. I know many are pampered and do few miles at modest speeds with cautious drivers, but if the law becomes lax, whats to stop the many idiots that we all share the roads with dumping their Saxos for classic bangers to avoid the expense of keeping their car in good working order? This could ruin the good name of classic enthusiasts, put up our insurance premiums – not happy!

    Reply
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      I FULLY agree John…ALL my classics are MOT’d for peace of mind….If they are fine then the ticket price is well worth it for peace of mind and to show others your car is ‘RIGHT’

      If my car fails then I’m happy the problem was found and rectified…Same solution ..I have peace of mind

      There is no argument for not having an MOT

      Reply
  2. Simon Turner
    Simon Turner says:

    I’d be happy with vehicles over 40 years old having 2 yearly tests. I do think 30 years old is too soon though and 40 years old also brings it in line with the road tax exemption

    Reply
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      I don’t agree ….whilst there are many classic car owners that keep their cars in MOT roadworthy conditions, there are many that do not and is clearly seen at car shows with the excuse ‘I only drive a few miles’ …Plus, older cars not maintained correctly wear and corrode quicker than modern cars…In fact the argument can be that older cars should ALL be tested YEARLY regardless of age

      If the car is kept in roadworthy condition, then surely the price of an MOT ticket is worth it!!!!

      It only takes one incident on the road when things go wrong or someone pulls out in front of you, and if your car is faulty, you have so much to lose whether in the right or wrong

      I MOT every one of my classics regardless of age///It stops complacency too

      Reply
  3. Mike Rodd
    Mike Rodd says:

    I know some owners of pre 60 Classics who still take the option of having an unofficial mot. There’s no substitute to putting a car up on a 4 post ramp for checking corrosion on break lines etc, something we can’t all do at home. One of the reasons that the govt gave for scrapping pre 60 mots was that modern equipment could not be used correctly on old cars ( personally I believe it was more likely because the Playstation Technicians these days do not fully appreciate basic mechanics) Surely in this technological age, an mot could be structured to suit the age of the car and linked to the cars registration details?

    Reply
  4. cam from glasgow
    cam from glasgow says:

    don’t scrap mot for older cars !, lower the fault levels on them a bit giving consideration for their age and technology by all means, but at end of the day, a dangerous car is a dangerous car, no matter the age !!, keep the mot but tailor it to cover the basics of the older cars, like covering brakes, brake lines, suspension, lights and basic body structure !, sounds like the current mot but maybe not as strict, my current car failed due to roll bar bushes being worn and that flagged up as dangerous, would the same problem not be dangerous in a morris minor, would worn suspension and worn brakes not be dangerous in an early vw beetle ??, by all means tailor the test to the age of the car, but for the love of your kids, don’t scrap it !!!

    Reply
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      I agree ….MOT’s are VITAL for ALL cars…I don’t even like the new cars not being MOT’d for 3 years ….. They can hit a pothole coming out of the showroom and drive away for 3 years not knowing there is a serious fault for example

      Reply
  5. Kelly Turner
    Kelly Turner says:

    I have a 1975 triumph as my 2nd car and it only gets used now and then throughout the year and I am sure there are allot of other people in the same boat. Paying for mots and tax for a car not used every day. Everyone who owns a classic car seems to be level headed and generally keep them in good state of repair and would probably put an mot on their car for own piece of mind even if it is exampt if its used regulary. I know I still would. You don’t want the regular cost of mots but you don’t want to be driving a death trap either. I think at least for now, the mot every 2 years wouldn’t be a bad thing! And personally I would love to have my car mot exampt. It also means I don’t have to worry about the deadlines. Also. We should be helping to keep these cars on the road and moving the tax year especially I think is very important.

    Reply
    • Kelly Turner
      Kelly Turner says:

      I think the tax year should be moved to 30 years. I think this as a cost to classic car owners would be more important as for example mine is £230 a year. And that is more than the cost of putting my car through an not for sure.

      Reply
  6. peet trayte
    peet trayte says:

    hi i have 2 1980 classic cars i believe the road tax exemption should be set at 30 years and a basic mot test for classics every 2 years as most classic cars cover a very low mileage and are maintained to a good standard i also own 2 pre 60 sixty’s classics and take my responsibility to maintain them seriously as most classic car owners do i also feel that having a mot test every two years it would ensure any unsafe classics are either repaired or taken off the road

    Reply
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      I believe MOT’s should be done should be done on EVERY car from new and YEARLY ….. Old classic car owners I agree (like myself) in general do look after their cars and maintain to a very good standard…But classic cars rot so quickly and in the hands on the wash and polish brigade, we sadly have too many wrecks on the road and you see them driven to cars shows …..

      If a car is sound and safe, then surely it is worth the price of the ticket!!!! If it is not safe then that where the yearly MOT says get off the road

      One more point too is that we can all miss something…. the MOT is worth it for me

      Reply
  7. Ray Crane
    Ray Crane says:

    I lived in Brisbane during 1975 to 1993. I liked the system there. You only had to get an MOT if you were selling a car and it lasted 30 days. So when cars changed hands a current MOT was required. If you kept the same car for 10 years, you only needed an MOT when you sold it. This worked well and people knew to keep their cars in good condition. I wonder if this would work here ?

    Reply
  8. tim beckett
    tim beckett says:

    why not just change the law to make it so that mots have to be carried out every x amount of miles. for example it could be set up so that every 20,000 miles a car has to be mot’ed. that way high mileage cars get regular checks. but also set the cap so that cars have to have an MOT certificate a minimum check of once every three years so that those not doing many miles in there cars still get checked for road worthyness regardless of the milage.

    Reply
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      I’m a responsible classic car owner and perfectionist and ALL my cars are MOT’d yearly…My ’62 Cadillac does 2000 miles a year. so your idea would mean I need an MOT every TEN YEARS …… I don’t even agree with new cars not needing an MOT for 2 years …so much can happen in that time …EVERY car should have a yearly MOT and there really isn’t an argument against it other than saving a few £££’s and risk lives for doing so …I personally know two local old timers with pre ’60 wrecks and I hope they are pulled up soon ….one clearly has the suspension through the inner wing and he says it’s safe…Leave it to the MOT testers

      Reply
  9. tim
    tim says:

    i mot cars for a living . im not a mot tester but i take atleast 3/5 cars a week for mot . i do the same customers cars year in year out for the last 28 years a lot of the customers have owned their cars for a few years so i know the vehicles. in the last 6 months i have taken atleast 6 vehicles off the road cos they were in such a bad way with rot that they were dangerous and the year before they were alright . i allso take 3 pre 1960 jags for a test even tho they dont need it because the owner says quite rightly he wants to know if they are road worthy. looking at the underneath of you 55 year old car propped up on a trolly jack isnt really good enough and as for rot it doesnt matter how many miles you do or dont do rot doesnt care

    Reply
  10. tim
    tim says:

    ps if you get pulled in your pre 60 car with faults you WILL be prosecuted whether it needs a mot or not . is it really worth saving £40 for an mot

    Reply
    • Ken
      Ken says:

      I am restoring a 1961 Irish built Lloyd. The car was better than some 15 year old cars even before I started. The DVLA will not issue a V5 for it because they say it needs an MOT even though I have the Irish Log Book. How petty, can these overpaid people get .

      Reply
    • SJR007
      SJR007 says:

      The simple answer is YES. The exemption is based on the fact that generally classic cars are well maintained by enthusiasts and many beyond factory spec and they do so much fewer miles per year and many are treasured

      BUT, it is till your responsibility to ensure the vehicle is in FULL roadworthy condition and safe all the time

      My hobby is classic cars and have had more than I can think of and now have a 1962 Pink Cadillac. It’s an expensive car to run and maintain and I’m glad it needs it’s yearly MOT just for my peace of mind

      I have always MOT’d pre 1960 cars for peace of mind (and I may miss something)

      Sadly, there are a few out there who buy pre 1960 cars that really should not be on the road

      For me the MOT ticket is peace of mind and I’ll always do it

      Reply

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