Classic vehicles - exemption from periodic testing

The FBHVC has worked hard to introduce some common sense and pragmatism into these EU vehicle roadworthiness proposals and succeeded in getting some exemptions. But the inflexible mentality of some EU members is not impressive at all.

FBHVC newsletter item below. More

Go to the DfT website

Posted: 140930

In the latest newsletter from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) they have an item on roadworthiness testing and a note that the Department of Transport has set up a website for people to discuss and make suggestions about changes to roadworthiness testing for classic vehicles. The current rules in Great Britain will have to change in 2018 and we’re seeking views and evidence on the best way to make those changes.

What’s changed?
In Great Britain all vehicles manufactured before 1960 are exempt from regular roadworthiness testing. A new EU
Directive changes the rules around this. The new rules allow member states to exempt vehicles from testing if they are at least 30 years old and haven’t had substantial changes made to them. This means that, if the UK wishes to continue to exempt classic vehicles from regular testing, the UK Government will need to update UK law to reflect EU law.

Read more about the background to the proposed changes on the DfT website. More

How can you get involved?
To help the DfT make this change they looking for information and views from people and organisations who are interested in this area. The DfT are looking for a solution that:
> supports the government’s aim for better regulation that minimises the burdens on vehicle owners and businesses
> supports our aims for better road safety

The DfT hopes
their website will provide a forum for classic car enthusiasts to let them know how you think the DfT could best achieve this balance and help come up with practical solutions. The DfT have broken this issue down into 3 sections where they invite you to comment:
cars and vans
> buses and other commercial vehicles
> motorbikes

DfT say they will provide information about the changes they need to make. They will ask questions that they hope you’ll help so they will be able to consider and answer fully. DfT invite you to share your thoughts, opinions or any relevant information you may have. They will sometimes join in the discussion to provide factual information and to keep debates on topic.

DfT are intending to keep this website open for 3 months, to the end of October 2014. The information you provide will be used to inform a formal consultation in advance of a change to the law to be made for no later than 2018.

Go to the DfT website

FBHVC newsletter item on this topic by FBHVC member Bob Owen
Roadworthiness Testing Since the last Newsletter the Department for Transport (DfT) has opened its online website for comment. You can find it at We suggest all readers do so. There you can see what comments have been suggested already and you can perhaps comment yourselves.

When this article was prepared there was a preponderance of comment against any exemption. Perhaps this is the time for us to remember that the existing MoT exemption arose in the first place partly because the Federation had expressed concerns particularly about older vehicles being damaged by testers unskilled in testing elderly vehicles. Also, when we canvassed our members on the subject a majority were in favour of the pre-1960 MoT exemption currently in place. Whatever may be the views on exemptions for more recent vehicles, we do not think that we want to lose the original points, so in due course we will take it up with DfT. That may well be through an extended comment on the site, if that is how DfT wish to obtain input.

Comments to date seem to be brief and based on opinion with little reference to actual fact. The Federation exists partly to bring together our members' various views and opinions and put them into a reasoned evidence based form. We are a bit concerned that DfT's current inclusive, populist approach may result in them being swayed by prejudice as much as fact. We will continue to push for our members' views to be taken seriously.

The website is also misleading in one respect. There is a motorcycle section, which suggests that the rules which come into force in 2018 apply to motorcycles. This is simply not the case. The EU Directive expressly says motorcycles are excluded till 2022 and it is clear that the requirements for motorcycles remain to be defined. We will be taking this up with DfT.

There is one other thing you might not immediately notice. The site refers to 'Great Britain', which means it is not about Northern Ireland. Will the average visitor to the site would realise that?

Northern Ireland will be working out its own means of complying with the Directive and readers in Northern Ireland might wish to check with their own Government what is being done. The Federation will be trying to establish what if any differences there are between the two governments, with a view to ensuring that the interests of historic vehicle owners are fully recognised in both Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
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