Respond to historical vehicle MOT consultation now, says RMI

Still time to respond to DfT's proposed new rules for 'historical' vehicle testing

Respond to historical vehicle MOT consultation now, says RMI
The DfT is consulting on the future of MOT exemptions for classic cars. Image: Bigstock.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is consulting on proposals to implement an exemption from testing for vehicles over 40-years-old in advance of a law change which is to be made by 2018.

Under current GB and EU law, all vehicles that were manufactured before 1960 are exempted from compulsory annual roadworthiness testing.

The RMI has said it will respond to the evidence put forward and is reminding technicians that they can also reply “to add their weight to the argument”.

Proposed options include an exemption on vehicles over 40 years old, an exemption on vehicles over 30 years old, introduce alternative testing requirements for older vehicles or to remove MOT exemption.

In a statement, the RMI said: “We will make our reply to the consultation after studying the implications and on feedback received from our members.

Road safety

“Previously we responded that it was we felt it was better for road safety and ultimately less expensive to the consumer to have all age of vehicles tested without any exemptions, and that any certification processes to prove or declare the vehicle had not undergone any substantial changes would be complicated and expensive.

Minister of State for Transport, John Hayes said: “Our preference is to exempt vehicles manufactured or registered at least 40 years ago.

“The 40 year old vehicle option is also in line with the current rolling 40 year exemptions from Vehicle Excise Duty so this will ensure greater consistency.

40 year exemption?

“Throughout the proposals in this document the government has been keen to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on businesses as well as individuals who want to make use of these vehicles.”

Commenting on Brexit, he added that the outcome of the UK’s exit negotiations “will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in the future once the UK has left the EU”.

He explained: “Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force.”

The consultation will remain open until November 2, 2016 and you can respond online or via email.

Do you support MOT exemptions for older vehicles or are you concerned about the safety implications? Share your comments and experiences in the comments below.

42 Comments

  1. The MOT is a safety inspection! A safety inspection for the vehicle users and other road users. Me personally, I would NOT want to put my family at RISK because the vehicle owner THINKS their old car is road worthy. The only way to tell if its road worthy is to test it.

    Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more Andrew, some of these cars over 50 years old are not always in the best of shape so should have to be tested the same as every other vehicle

      Reply
  2. The MOT is a safety inspection! A safety inspection for the vehicle users and other road users. Me personally, I would NOT want to put my family at RISK because the vehicle owner THINKS their old car is road worthy. The only way to tell if its road worthy is to test it.

    Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more Andrew, some of these cars over 50 years old are not always in the best of shape so should have to be tested the same as every other vehicle

      Reply
  3. I suspect this is being reviewed as the MOT is changing.
    An MOT is a minimum standard for a car I don’t think there are many 40 year old cars out there that are not cherished /collector vehicles which don’t exceed this.
    Saying that there should be some criteria for a historic check/test.
    I do a few miles, and I can go months without seeing a 40 year old car on the road so.
    I think this will come down to numbers and statistics!

    Reply
  4. I suspect this is being reviewed as the MOT is changing.
    An MOT is a minimum standard for a car I don’t think there are many 40 year old cars out there that are not cherished /collector vehicles which don’t exceed this.
    Saying that there should be some criteria for a historic check/test.
    I do a few miles, and I can go months without seeing a 40 year old car on the road so.
    I think this will come down to numbers and statistics!

    Reply
  5. Ridiculous decision in the first place. I would like to know who dreamt up this idea and who exactly it benefits. Probably some wealthy MP who has a collection and doesn’t want to take them down to the MOT station.
    I don’t know any customer who has classic cars and doesn’t mind getting them tested. Why don’t they need testing? My Nan does 500 miles a year in her VW. Why is she not exempt? This ruling benefits no one. Some of this old stuff was dangerous new! So definitely needs testing after 30 years.
    I’ve tested classic cars that have been “professionally” restored and failed them. Don’t waste any more taxpayers money looking into this.
    Someone is just justifying their job. Keep jobs in the motor industry!

    Reply
  6. Ridiculous decision in the first place. I would like to know who dreamt up this idea and who exactly it benefits. Probably some wealthy MP who has a collection and doesn’t want to take them down to the MOT station.
    I don’t know any customer who has classic cars and doesn’t mind getting them tested. Why don’t they need testing? My Nan does 500 miles a year in her VW. Why is she not exempt? This ruling benefits no one. Some of this old stuff was dangerous new! So definitely needs testing after 30 years.
    I’ve tested classic cars that have been “professionally” restored and failed them. Don’t waste any more taxpayers money looking into this.
    Someone is just justifying their job. Keep jobs in the motor industry!

    Reply
  7. I have to agree with Edward and Andrew. The test is there for a reason. The last thing needed on the roads are untested cars and drivers in blissful ignorance of the cars condition. I would however say that perhaps the current test is not geared towards classic cars and maybe an alternative test would be more appropriate. I have lost count of the number of times I hear of classic cars failing the test because they are being tested to a modern standard. Exhaust emissions being the biggest problem I hear of.

    Reply
  8. I have to agree with Edward and Andrew. The test is there for a reason. The last thing needed on the roads are untested cars and drivers in blissful ignorance of the cars condition. I would however say that perhaps the current test is not geared towards classic cars and maybe an alternative test would be more appropriate. I have lost count of the number of times I hear of classic cars failing the test because they are being tested to a modern standard. Exhaust emissions being the biggest problem I hear of.

    Reply
  9. I am a classic car collector and a garage owner and as such i have first hand knowledge of how a classic vehicle, however kept, can deteriorate over the winter months when not used. Many a time I have decided to give one of my cars an airing only to find I have binding brakes or a mis-shaped tyre, I can only imagine how many owners would take the attitude that they are ‘only going to a show, so it will be alright’ if they did not have to have them professionally inspected.

    Reply
  10. I am a classic car collector and a garage owner and as such i have first hand knowledge of how a classic vehicle, however kept, can deteriorate over the winter months when not used. Many a time I have decided to give one of my cars an airing only to find I have binding brakes or a mis-shaped tyre, I can only imagine how many owners would take the attitude that they are ‘only going to a show, so it will be alright’ if they did not have to have them professionally inspected.

    Reply
  11. 1. The mechanical condition of a motor vehicle does not improve with age. It can only deteriorate.
    2. If the DfT decide to proceed, any vehicle that failed its last MoT test and was registered with a SORN should pass a test before being allowed back on the road.
    3. Insurance companies may ask for an annual ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ in the absence of a test certificate and in the event of any claim. Ditto the police should there be any roadside issues.
    The owner may wish to consider that the cheapest form of any appropriate inspection will remain the MoT test and that they themselves are responsible for the condition of the vehicle at all times.

    As an experienced vehicle tester in classes IV, V and VII and in the interests of road safety, I recommend the proposal/s are withdrawn.

    David Meredith, MIMI.

    Reply
    • Also see item 4. below (omitted from the above)

      Reply
  12. 1. The mechanical condition of a motor vehicle does not improve with age. It can only deteriorate.
    2. If the DfT decide to proceed, any vehicle that failed its last MoT test and was registered with a SORN should pass a test before being allowed back on the road.
    3. Insurance companies may ask for an annual ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ in the absence of a test certificate and in the event of any claim. Ditto the police should there be any roadside issues.
    The owner may wish to consider that the cheapest form of any appropriate inspection will remain the MoT test and that they themselves are responsible for the condition of the vehicle at all times.

    As an experienced vehicle tester in classes IV, V and VII and in the interests of road safety, I recommend the proposal/s are withdrawn.

    David Meredith, MIMI.

    Reply
    • Also see item 4. below (omitted from the above)

      Reply
  13. I am a classic car owner, restorer and mot tester. When the original idea was proposed there was a choice of dates given. Pre 1945 was the best fix as there are many testers who do not know how much play these cars had from new in suspension and steering and how poor the brakes were. It would be unfair for these to be tested to modern standards. Having said that there are many classic cars produced before 1960 which are exempt but are in poor safety condition because their owners do not have the facilities to check the cars. Without the use of a rolling brake tester and a vehicle hoist it is almost impossible to tell if a vehicle is in good condition or not. I recently tested a vehicle with rod operated brakes, it drove ok on the road but the brake readings all stopped at 100 because the adjustment was incorrect. So in an emergency stop, it wouldn’t have. There should be some sort of minimum standard check for all classic vehicles which would includes a brake test, including both a physical inspection and brake roller test and a rust check of chassis and component mountings and fuel system. As things stand at the moment you could buy a 1959 car which has been stood for years, get it to run, insure it and then drive down a motorway at 70mph without any further checks.

    Reply
  14. I am a classic car owner, restorer and mot tester. When the original idea was proposed there was a choice of dates given. Pre 1945 was the best fix as there are many testers who do not know how much play these cars had from new in suspension and steering and how poor the brakes were. It would be unfair for these to be tested to modern standards. Having said that there are many classic cars produced before 1960 which are exempt but are in poor safety condition because their owners do not have the facilities to check the cars. Without the use of a rolling brake tester and a vehicle hoist it is almost impossible to tell if a vehicle is in good condition or not. I recently tested a vehicle with rod operated brakes, it drove ok on the road but the brake readings all stopped at 100 because the adjustment was incorrect. So in an emergency stop, it wouldn’t have. There should be some sort of minimum standard check for all classic vehicles which would includes a brake test, including both a physical inspection and brake roller test and a rust check of chassis and component mountings and fuel system. As things stand at the moment you could buy a 1959 car which has been stood for years, get it to run, insure it and then drive down a motorway at 70mph without any further checks.

    Reply
  15. I strongly agree with Andrew. Not all the owners of these cars, necessarily keep them in a safe condition. I too have a garage repair business, and used to have one particular customer, with a ‘classic car’, who only brought it in for it’s MOT. And would then want just enough work carried out on it, to pass it’s MOT.
    Since the law changed to exempt these cars, he has not been in with this car, but is still driving it on the road. I hate to think what condition it is in now.
    My other comment is, would the insurance companies pay out, if the car was proved to have been unroadworthy, because of lack of a proper check/maintenance, at the time of an accident?

    Reply
  16. I strongly agree with Andrew. Not all the owners of these cars, necessarily keep them in a safe condition. I too have a garage repair business, and used to have one particular customer, with a ‘classic car’, who only brought it in for it’s MOT. And would then want just enough work carried out on it, to pass it’s MOT.
    Since the law changed to exempt these cars, he has not been in with this car, but is still driving it on the road. I hate to think what condition it is in now.
    My other comment is, would the insurance companies pay out, if the car was proved to have been unroadworthy, because of lack of a proper check/maintenance, at the time of an accident?

    Reply
  17. We still have these older cars coming in for mot and most of them FAIL. Our customers like us to check them over at least once a year. It gives them a chance to have a good look. The last one we did had bulge in the inside of the tyre. these vehicle need to have a mot.

    Reply
  18. We still have these older cars coming in for mot and most of them FAIL. Our customers like us to check them over at least once a year. It gives them a chance to have a good look. The last one we did had bulge in the inside of the tyre. these vehicle need to have a mot.

    Reply
  19. Having tested vehicles for years ( I have the grey mop to prove this) l believe at least a basic test of some sort should apply to ALL road going vehicles, but common sense is required when testing rod and cable brakes and multi link steering systems, the visual only test covers most older vehicles on emissions already. Crikey! did I really say ‘common sense’ earlier.

    Reply
  20. Having tested vehicles for years ( I have the grey mop to prove this) l believe at least a basic test of some sort should apply to ALL road going vehicles, but common sense is required when testing rod and cable brakes and multi link steering systems, the visual only test covers most older vehicles on emissions already. Crikey! did I really say ‘common sense’ earlier.

    Reply
  21. All motor vehicles should have an MOT. No Exceptions.

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  22. All motor vehicles should have an MOT. No Exceptions.

    Reply
  23. 4. The DVSA who administer the MoT scheme monitor the average age of vehicles tested at their approved Vehicle Test Stations. Those test stations with a higher than average age vehicle throughput are marked-down on their risk assessment; it’s seen as a greater risk.
    So before this proceeds any further, could someone from the DVSA comment in some detail please on all four of my points.
    Thank you in anticipation,
    David Meredith

    Reply
  24. 4. The DVSA who administer the MoT scheme monitor the average age of vehicles tested at their approved Vehicle Test Stations. Those test stations with a higher than average age vehicle throughput are marked-down on their risk assessment; it’s seen as a greater risk.
    So before this proceeds any further, could someone from the DVSA comment in some detail please on all four of my points.
    Thank you in anticipation,
    David Meredith

    Reply
  25. I have a number of pre 1960 so find it a saving ! I do a number of mot and service jobs and test can spot things wrong on the day but only that it can not make a car “safe” for a year , how about a yearly test on drivers ?

    Reply
  26. I have a number of pre 1960 so find it a saving ! I do a number of mot and service jobs and test can spot things wrong on the day but only that it can not make a car “safe” for a year , how about a yearly test on drivers ?

    Reply
  27. All vehicles that are driven on the public highway should be subject to a minimum safety inspection, which should be enforced by law (i.e. an mot test). There should be no exceptions! The older the vehicle the more likelihood of it having faults. The mot test already makes allowances for older vehicles, maybe this should be evaluated and refined, but in no way should they be exempt from testing.

    Reply
  28. All vehicles that are driven on the public highway should be subject to a minimum safety inspection, which should be enforced by law (i.e. an mot test). There should be no exceptions! The older the vehicle the more likelihood of it having faults. The mot test already makes allowances for older vehicles, maybe this should be evaluated and refined, but in no way should they be exempt from testing.

    Reply
  29. I mainly look after vehicles that are 30, 40 and 50 years old. I agree that very old, high value vehicles are normally well maintained and hardly used on public roads. But I see far too many vehicles that will be MOT exempt under the 40+ rule, that shouldn’t be on the road at all. The owners, also do not have the money to maintain them either in many cases.
    Why do we have an exemption for pre- 60’s? Why are we considering 40+? What is unique about these vehicles or the MOT test that requires this? Shouldn’t we all be protected from ALL road going vehicles, no matter what age they are?

    Reply
  30. I mainly look after vehicles that are 30, 40 and 50 years old. I agree that very old, high value vehicles are normally well maintained and hardly used on public roads. But I see far too many vehicles that will be MOT exempt under the 40+ rule, that shouldn’t be on the road at all. The owners, also do not have the money to maintain them either in many cases.
    Why do we have an exemption for pre- 60’s? Why are we considering 40+? What is unique about these vehicles or the MOT test that requires this? Shouldn’t we all be protected from ALL road going vehicles, no matter what age they are?

    Reply
  31. Any vehicle using the roads should be tested and taxed. I personally know of one person using an old Rover exempt from tax having fitted a modern engine to gain power, any vehicle on the road should meet MOT standards and pay tax.

    Reply
  32. Any vehicle using the roads should be tested and taxed. I personally know of one person using an old Rover exempt from tax having fitted a modern engine to gain power, any vehicle on the road should meet MOT standards and pay tax.

    Reply
  33. I cant see any reason whatsoever to allow any vehicle to be exempt from an mot safety test .
    Modern driving conditions demand higher standards then ever before !

    Reply
  34. I cant see any reason whatsoever to allow any vehicle to be exempt from an mot safety test .
    Modern driving conditions demand higher standards then ever before !

    Reply
  35. Robert has the right idea, all vehicles of any age should be tested to a minimum standard before being used on the highway, that’s all vehicles, irrespective of age. what most classic vehicle owners don’t do or know is that most insurance company small print say’s that age related mot exempt vehicles need to be inspected yearly by a competent engineer !!! correct me if i’m wrong but is that not what a mot inspector is ?

    Reply
  36. Robert has the right idea, all vehicles of any age should be tested to a minimum standard before being used on the highway, that’s all vehicles, irrespective of age. what most classic vehicle owners don’t do or know is that most insurance company small print say’s that age related mot exempt vehicles need to be inspected yearly by a competent engineer !!! correct me if i’m wrong but is that not what a mot inspector is ?

    Reply
  37. The purpose of an mot is to make sure any vehicle used on a public road meets a minimum safety standard to protect all road users and pedestrians.
    Why would anyone consider not testing any vehicle, however old, a sensible or rational decision ??? !!!!

    Reply
  38. The purpose of an mot is to make sure any vehicle used on a public road meets a minimum safety standard to protect all road users and pedestrians.
    Why would anyone consider not testing any vehicle, however old, a sensible or rational decision ??? !!!!

    Reply

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