With the deadline for submitting feedback to the Department for Transport (DfT) on proposed historic vehicle MOT exemption past, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) is urging authorities to listen to the motor trade and does not believe that exemption is supported.
Current British and EU law states that vehicles manufactured before 1960 can be exempt from MOT testing. However, a new EU Directive will change the rules to allow any vehicle over 30-years-old to become exempt from MOT testing by 2018, as long as they haven’t had substantial changes made to them After the DfT recently invited consumers and motor traders to voice their opinions on the proposed Directive, the IGA has stated that it does not believe the proposals will have the backing of its members, and the wider motor trade.
“The view of the IGA is that classic cars and vans should not be exempt from MOT testing, and that the current yearly testing regime should be retained for any vehicles of this age subject to testing. What’s more, we are confident that the majority of the motor trade will agree with this stance,” said Stephen Coles, Head of MOT Technical Operations at the IGA.
“To use a rolling date would remove from any mandatory safety checks vehicles registered after 1988. The type of vehicles that would gain additional exemption under the proposed Directive would be a far different proposition from the pre 1960 vehicles that are currently exempt. They are far more likely to be used frequently. Without testing these potential defects may go undetected and therefore the threat to road safety would be severe and unjustified.”
The IGA, which represents 3,500 members, many of which operate MOT Testing Centres, is also questioning the level of investment required in order to set up and administer an exemption scheme and how this would be funded. According to the IGA, the current yearly testing regime should be retained.
Stuart James, IGA Director added: “It is our view that the MOT scheme is understood by the general public, testing facilities are readily available with over 22,000 in the UK, and the means of overseeing and maintaining standards are already in place with supervision from the DVLA.
“The advantage in having an annual MOT test for historic vehicles would reduce bureaucracy and red tape in checking vehicles for historic status. This is likely to be the most cost effective option to the owner of the vehicles, but most of all, it will have the benefit of ensuring and maintaining road safety.”
The proposed EU Directive on historic vehicle MOT exemption has also been questioned by other organisations including The Garage Equipment Association (GEA) and the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF).