Tuesday, 22 May 2012

MoT Testing ~ Classic and historic vehicles

In November 2011 the Department for Transport issued a public 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including vehicles of historic interest which were manufactured before 1 January 1960 or which are temporarily withdrawn from circulation.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 vehicles.

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.


  1. Anonymous John22 May 2012 at 15:55

    I'm a bit surprised that they didn't make it 1973 in line with the date for a free tax disk.

  2. This makes an old wreck rather attractive: no tax, no mot. Would there be any objection to my buying an old car and replacing the engine, adding electronics, and perhaps replacing the body as well? In fact mainly just keeping the number plates? I'm thinking a Land Rover, for ease of sourcing parts. Diesel of course, so I can fuel it with tax free vegetable oil (I believe that Tesco's Value Brand is around 50p per litre.)

    I'd pay the Accountant General a bond as well, so I don't have to buy insurance, but I cannot afford that!

  3. If your car is over three years old, it will need an annual MOT inspection. It's a standard safety and emissions test, including your lights, brakes, steering and suspension.

  4. I would think that owning an older car in the UK would be very expensive, due to the strict standards that the MOT requires. I heard in the US, not every state requires an inspection, but even the ones that do aren't nearly as exhaustive as an MOT one.