Taking a UK classic car to Europe

What is the FBHVC?
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is a grouping of almost 500 Clubs and Museums together with some 1500 Trade and Individual Supporters. The aim of the FBHVC is to uphold the freedom to use old vehicles on the roads without any undue restriction and to support its member organisations in whatever way it can. FBHVC website

MOT exemption
See our "MOT exemption explained" note. More

Posted: 190320
In a checklist issued by the FBHVC with information and advice on how best to prepare for driving in Mainland Europe after the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019, one of the points it highlights concerns MOT exemption. It advises owners of classics which have been declared a Vehicle of Historic Interest or VHI and consequently MOT exempt, that if they travel in Europe without a current MOT certificate and were stopped in an EU or EEA country, it might be difficult proving the car's roadworthiness.

In the UK the option to self declare a 40 year old vehicle a VHI and exempt from roadworthiness testing (MOT exempt) became available from 20th May 2018, but there are concerns over what documents for a UK based car, including roadworthiness documents, will be recognised by enforcement agencies in Europe, not least the police! The MOT certificate is a national standard in the UK and a document that even before May 2018 was recognised a wise step to carry with you when driving a classic on Mainland Europe.

Many classic car clubs have advised their members with MOT exempt cars to continue with an annual MOT test of their cars, or at least an equivalent inspection. The MOT test certificate, as it is an official document issued by a UK Government agency (DVSA) verifying the roadworthiness of a vehicle. It is recognised nationally as recording the car is fit for public roads at the time of the test. As an annual roadworthiness test the MOT test is one of the more rigorous tests when compared with other European countries. The V8 Register has since early 2018 suggested to its members that even if a car is eligible for MOT exemption and has been declared a VHI, it is both a wise and safer step to continue having your classic put in for an annual MOT test or an equivalent inspection by an experienced tester. Continuing with an MOT test does have the benefit of the MOT pass paperwork evidencing roadworthiness on inspection.

Our strapline was "Test and be Safer or TABS"! Sadly a few numpties dismissed that responsible stance. TABS