DfT stance on MOT test relief for new and classic cars

The lead news item in this week's issue of the popular newspaper, Classic Car Weekly, reports on the response to the DfT's decisions on MOT relief for new and classic cars.

See our previous NEWS items on MOT exemption for classic cars over 40 years old

MOT exemption and substantially modified cars. More

Keep TABS on your MOT exempt MGBGTV8. More

FBHVC Historic Vehicle friendly MoT stations
FBHVC members have contributed to this list of MoT test stations that understand the special requirements of historic vehicles. A list can be downloaded on the FBHVC website. More

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Although originally intending to extend the time before a new car's first MOT from 3 to 4 years, the UK Government seems to have now decided not to do so on the grounds of safety, but it is continuing with its decision to exempt classic cars 40 years and older from May 2018 from the requirement of an annual MOT test. The DfT is reported to have come under heavy criticism for the change. What appears to be a U-turn is said to have been based on road safety and accident statistics. The DfT acknowledges that in an earlier public consultation respondents did raise "significant concerns as to safety impacts on extending the date of the first MOT from 3 to 4 years" for a new car, particularly "where high mileages are concerned which impacts on some consumable safety critical parts, such as tyres and braking system components." Other responses to the Vehicles of Historic Interest (VHI) consultation suggested that "cars of this age that are still in use are usually maintained in good condition, and are used on few occasions, often on short trips. Taking these factors into consideration DfT say "we consider the element of risk arising from taking vehicles over 40 years old out of the testing regime is small, but there would have been a significant road safety implications to an extension of the date of a first MOT (for a new vehicle)."

The Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is reported as recommending "testing even if it is not legally required". They add "we have ensured that under the new arrangements the option of taking a voluntary test is retained and our advice is to take this opportunity (of an annual test). A list of testing stations experienced in working with historic vehicles is on our website".

In a previous NEWS item we suggested that even if your car is MOT exempt, continuing to get a voluntary MOT or a voluntary TABS inspection and report is a prudent step. Personal safety for both the driver and any passenger, together with other road users, is an essential responsibility for any classic car owner.

So it's TABS - test and be safer. TABS