Government wants cars made before 1977 to be MOT free - consultation ends on 2nd November 2016

You have only one month to save the MOT or an alternative annual test for classic cars
It's essential you consider the classic car MOT proposals from the DfT and if you feel they are unwise or not safe, or indeed if you agree with them, then please express your views by participating in the online DfT consultation before it closes on 2nd November 2016.

DfT says "we are consulting on proposals to implement an exemption from testing for vehicles over 40 years old. This includes options to:
> exempt all vehicles over 30 years old.
> have alternative testing requirements.
> remove the exemption.
We are proposing that vehicles which have been ‘substantially altered’ will not be exempt from testing".

See the DfT webpage with links to briefing documents and an online smart survey form. More

Ways to respond to the DfT consultation
The alternatives are:

Respond online
using the DfT smart survey form
Email your views to DfT by email
Write to the DfT at:
David Pope
Department for Transport
Freight, Operator Licensing and Roadworthiness
Zone 3/28, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London

Don't delay sending in your views to DfT on their MOT exemption options as time is running out - the consultation will close on 2nd November 2016.

"VHI" - vehicle of historic interest.

Updated: 160928
Posted: 160922
DfT has reopened consultation over the extension of the MOT testing exemption for vehicles of historic interest with a very short period for the public to contribute their views
A lead article in the latest issue of Classic Car Weekly highlights the real concerns over the "DfT calling for cars manufactured before 1977 to be MOT free and suggests 30 year old cars could skip testing in the future. This would lead to 331,000 vehicles registered between 1960 and 1977 being exempted from mandatory annual testing. The UK Government cites the reasons for the consultation they have launched as due to EU Directive changes". CCW's markets editor Richard Barnett response to the proposals and consultation is "Words fail me, it's stupid".

What are the options proposed by the DfT in its consultation exercise?

This table is set out on page 11 of the DfT's briefing document. More
Some exemption from the rigours of a full scale MOT test for older vehicles is welcome because the increased mechanisation of testing procedures introduces risks of damage to elderly vehicles. Also the lack of knowledge of older vehicles on the part of some of the younger generation of testers is a concern. The groups representing historic vehicles were never proposing an exemption date as recent as 1960 and moving the date backwards would now be difficult without compelling evidence. On the other hand completely exempting from testing vehicles as late as 1978 (assuming that is when it would come into force) seems like folly. Those who can barely afford to run a car will buy that age of vehicle and may run it into the ground, but without any form of annual testing they may in fact run it into somebody else first!

The essential feature of an annual test - whether an MOT or an alternative annual test - of an historic or classic car is the discipline of preparing and presenting the car for the test so basic safety checks are made by both the owner and the tester. Surely removing that test would be very unwise.

Option 2 - Introduce a basic "VHI" roadworthiness "safety" test for 40 year old vehicles
This option would maintain the discipline of an an annual or biennial test of whether a vehicle is safe to be on public roads. By focusing on safety rather than the Germanic emphasis on originality with all the complications that introduces, it tests the key feature - safety. If this option were adopted then the cut off age could be reduced from 40 to 30 years which would please many classic car owners. Any sort of annual mileage limitation would be generally seen as wrong in principle, uncalled for in the EU directive, and unworkable in practice.

Option 3 is the DfT preferred option. The real issue is safety not whether the car has been modified. That has always been the pragmatic and sensible approach adopted in the UK.