MOTs for pre 1978 classics are not changing

The good news is the agency (DVSA) in charge of MOT testing says owners of pre-1978 classics won't be subjected to the tougher new rules if they want to continue with voluntary annual MOT tests. This news comes only four days before the new MOT rules come in together with the MOT exemption arrangements, both on 20th May 2018.

See our NEWS item on the MOT rule changes we released on 10th May 2018. More

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Posted: 180516 & Updated: 180518

MOT rule changes from 20th May 2018 published on the GOV.UK website in March this year say the "MOT test will change with new defect types, stricter rules for diesel emissions and some vehicle over 40 years becoming exempt". On hearing that announcement the concern for classic car owners was their cars would be tested to the MOT standards which are aimed at newer cars and could make voluntary tested classics more likely to fail. The good news is the agency (DVSA) in charge of MOT testing says owners of pre-1978 classics won't be subjected to the tougher new rules if they want to continue with voluntary annual tests. We hear that DVSA says "cars eligible for MOT exemption will be tested in the same way as previously rather than be subjected to updated rules aimed at newer cars". The agency adds "our priority is to help you keep you car safe to drive".
An MOT tester is reported to have commented "testers have been told from 20th May they are basically being asked to use their own discretion as to what is a pass, fail or advisory but there is no specific system set up for classics. The DVSA is asking testers to use their common sense".

A concern some owners of a classic car eligible for MOT exemption classic car owners have is over "eligible for" because from 20th May 2018 a car 40 years old and more which has not has "substantial change" (determined by reference to the DfT; Substantial Change Guidance) in the previous 30 years will be eligible for an MOT exemption self declaration. But the self declaration as an MOT exempt vehicle cannot be made until the car is next taxed. So if, for example, your road tax is due on 20th October 2018, you will have to wait 6 months before the self declaration can be made on Form V112 when you retax you car at the NIL value VED rate at your local Post Office. The VED exempt vehicle self declaration, and during that 6 month period the judgement made that the car is "eligible", will inevitably be based on the owner's assessment as to whether any modifications made to their car are "substantial changes" as set out in the Guidance. Until a registered keeper has made the self declaration on their Form V112 and it has been processed as part of the road tax renewal process, the car will continue to require an annual MOT test. Compliance will be recorded on the DVLA MOT database which you can check on the GOV.UK website.

Many classic car enthusiasts feel that even if their car is eligible for MOT exemption it is wise to continue having their car MOT tested on a voluntary annual basis because an experienced MOT tester has the knowledge and ability to detect concerns and safety issues which even a careful enthusiast might miss. So we say TABS: test and be safer.

Form V112 has been updated on 18th May 2018
Form V112 has been updated today to include a declaration of exemption from MOT vehicle registered or manufactured 40 years ago and which has not been substantially changed in the last 30 years.
Updated Form V112