consultation on a proposal to exempt vehicles of historic interest (vehicles manufactured prior to 1 January 1960) in Great Britain (GB) from the statutory "MoT test." It has now been announced that such an exemption is to be introduced from 18th November 2012 - Department of Transport News Release
The MoT Test has been with us since its introduction by the late Ernest Marples MP (1907-1978) in 1960.
Sections 45 to 48 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provide the legislative basis
for MoT testing. The purpose of the MoT test is to ensure that cars,
other light vehicles (including some light goods vehicles), private buses and
motorcycles over a prescribed age are checked at least once a year to see that
they comply with key roadworthiness and environmental requirements in the Road Vehicle Construction and Use Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (both as amended).
Exemptions from MoT testing exist for certain types of vehicle
- (more detail here) -and, under Article 4(2) of the EU Directive 2009/40/EC - “Member States may, after consulting the
Commission, exclude from the scope of this Directive, or subject to special
provisions, certain vehicles operated or used in exceptional conditions and
vehicles which are never, or hardly ever, used on public highways, including
vehicles of historic interest which were manufactured before 1 January 1960 or
which are temporarily withdrawn from circulation. Member States may,
after consulting the Commission, set their own testing standards for vehicles
considered to be of historic interest.”
In support of this new exemption, the government stated: - "the proposed exemption will reduce the regulatory
burden on owners of historic vehicles, meet its Reducing Regulation agenda and
the desire to remove unnecessary burdens. It will also bring the age of vehicles
requiring the statutory MoT test in line with The Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988, which already exempts unladen pre-1960 manufactured
Heavy Goods Vehicles from the roadworthiness test.
Two-thirds of pre-1960 licensed vehicles (vehicles manufactured prior to 1
January 1960) are driven less than 500 miles each year. This is
significantly less than the 9,000 miles driven on average by all licensed
Whilst the pre-1960 licensed vehicles made up about 0.6% of the approximately
35.2m licensed vehicles in GB in 2010, they were involved in just 0.03% of road
casualties and accidents. The pre-1960 licensed vehicles are largely well
maintained by their owners. The initial MoT test failure rate for these
vehicles in 2009 was less than 10%, whilst the initial MoT test failure rate
for post-1960 licensed vehicles was over 30%."
Form V112 is available for vehicle owners who run vehicles which are
exempt from MOT testing, and must be produced in place of an MOT
certificate with an application for a vehicle licence (tax disc) - see Direct Gov for further information.