Established 1976


 An MOT exemption is set to come into force on the 18th November of this year, covering pre-1960 vehicles. It is estimated that this exemption will affect approximately 194,500 vehicles or 0.6% of the 32.4 million licensed vehicles registered for the road. Not many if you look at the percentage, but still a sizable number of vehicles that will no longer require an annual MOT.

 Not everyone is in agreement with the proposed legislation. I suppose it depends on which side of the cut-off date you are and whether you feel confident in your own ability to maintain your pride and joy to the required standard. There is also still uncertainty regarding the majority of insurers, who may want some form of inspection to confirm the insured vehicle is roadworthy. All road cover policies require the insured vehicle to be in a roadworthy state as a condition of cover. 

Another area of debate is the transfer of registration numbers. Not always a popular subject with certain vehicle owners, especially veteran and vintage vehicles. Unless the legislation changes before the implementation date, removal of registration numbers on pre-1960 vehicles will not be allowed unless of a type that needs an MOT or an HGV test.

Just to add to the debate, new proposals under consideration by our ‘friends’ in the European Union could see a rolling 30 year exemption of MOT tests. The document explains that to retain Historic Vehicle status, cars must be maintained by use of replacement parts which reproduce the historic components of the vehicle, and has not sustained any change in the technical characteristics of its main components such as engine, suspension, brakes, or steering. The narrow view is of concern to many who regard the fitting of such as disc brakes as a safety measure. A DoT spokesperson suggested that classics with modern engines and other significant modifications may need to be re-registered along the lines of current kitcar Q-plate regulations. However to gain a Q-plate kitcars have to undergo an IVA test which includes modern safety standards for items such as switchgear and steering wheels amongst other equipment, also the modern standards would  apply to radius measurements etc. A real can of worms for an older/classic vehicle that many could not be adapted to comply with.

 There’s more, as they say. The Law Commission’s proposals for private hire vehicles in England and Wales could significantly impact on classic car owners who do wedding hire, proms, anniversaries, or similar. Vehicles would require an inspection every 10 weeks. Owner drivers would also have to partake in medical, criminal record checks and driving tests. Costs would be borne by the owner to the tune of £700 for a licence, plus £250 for car registration and £300 for driver assessment. The proposals suggest that funeral vehicle could be exempted, but that wedding cars could be used for other purposes such as stag parties, proms or anniversaries and as such would give rise to an exemption.

 It may be of interest to know that the French think that abolishing the MOT test is lunacy. They have a test, albeit carried out every 5 years, for all vehicles over 30 years of age. However their classics only averaged an annual 363km per year. That would no good for the UK as most of us cover substantially higher mileages than that. We have the freedom to use our cars when and as often as we choose. A right I sincerely hope we never lose, but one I suggest that those idiots in Brussels will do their best to remove from the UK classic car owner. Whether you have a veteran, a vintage, a classic or future classic in your garage, do not think that ‘it doesn’t concern me’ because we are not everyone’s popular hobby, we are seen as a waste of limited resources and an enemy of the green folk and we all know how vociferous they can be. Perhaps the silent majority should stop being silent and stand up for our hobbies before the killjoys in that unwanted Belgian based asylum impose their will on our enjoyment. We can’t be seen to have too much fun, they don’t like people to enjoy life if they can help it.

 The FBHVC have apparently decided that keeping an eye on things without speaking out may not have been the way to go, and are about to change their tactics. Watch this space!

What are your thoughts on all of this? Let us know what you think.