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Classic Car Mot Exemption 2018

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#1 TwelveSeventyFiveGT


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Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:01 AM

Just wondering how this new rule will be implemented.
My 1976 mini is sorn and MOT is expired as I an sorting body work etc..
So on the date of the new legislation is in force, can I simply apply for classic car excempt tax and drive legally on the roads with no MOT?(with insurance).

I will renew MOT I guess regardless, but just wondered what others with pre 1976 cars will be doing in potentially 4 months time.


#2 robminibcy


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Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:48 AM

i believe you have to register as a classic status or something which then would mean free tax, no mot black and silver plates ect. I don't think it's automatic but could be wrong! I'm sure you are aware but it still has to be in motable condition to be driven on the road.

#3 nicklouse


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Posted 11 December 2017 - 01:33 AM

i would think there would be some form of test that would be required for a car that not hold a valid MOT. so that unsafe cars could be picked up. even if there is not you would still be responsible for having a car that complies with the the current rules.

#4 Retroman


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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:13 AM

It will work like it now does for any pre 1960 Mini, not MOT or test of any type needed, but as owner you are legally required to keep the car in roadworthy condition.


This is some of what those who think know better (Department for Transport) said in September 2017;


Exemption from MOT Testing for Vehicles Over 40 Years Old

  1. 899 respondents to this question supported the Government’s proposal to exempt vehicles over 40 years old from MOT testing, while 1,130 respondents were opposed.  The chief argument against the exemption was that all vehicles travelling on the highway should have an annual test for safety reasons.
  2. The Government has decided to proceed with the exemption for all vehicles constructed or first registered more than 40 years ago, on a rolling basis, as proposed in the consultation document. Currently there are 197,000 vehicles exempt from MOT testing. By implementing this measure it is expected that around an additional 293,000 vehicles (or 1% of the total fleet) will not require an annual MOT test.
  3. The Government’s consideration has included the following factors and issues, which were raised by respondents to the consultation, in reaching this decision:
    • cars of this age are usually maintained in good condition; 
    • they are used on few occasions, usually on short trips and requiring a full MOT was unreasonable; 
    • the modern MOT was no longer relevant to cars over 40 years old, or garages could not test them adequately; and
    • it would harmonise the MOT exemption date with the date for Vehicle Excise Duty.
  4. The Government also took into consideration the reasons raised in opposition to making this change. The main ones identified were that:
    • any vehicle could cause a fatal accident and therefore all should have an annual MOT. This is an argument against any exemptions at all, including the current one for vehicles built before 1960;
    • older vehicles were constructed to different design standards from those of modern vehicles, which were not as robust and they should therefore have an MOT;
    • most owners of older vehicles keep them in good condition but others do not and it makes sense to have an independent check; 
    • older vehicles corrode more easily than modern ones but this cannot always be spotted by the owner; and
    • vehicle owners do not have the facilities to conduct tests as thoroughly as garages.


  1. In reaching its decision the Government gave significant consideration to the issue of any potential impact on rates of death and serious injury on the road. The MOT failure rate and the number of people killed and seriously injured in accidents involving vehicles over 40 years old are both lower than those for newer vehicles. 
  2. This increase can be better understood through consideration of the actual numbers from 2015. In this year 215 people were killed or received serious injuries in accidents involving vehicles first registered in 1961-1977, which is fewer than the figures for vehicles built after 1987. Death and serious injury rates per vehicle for pre-1978 vehicles are significantly fewer than the figures for those vehicles built after 1988, which was 160,385 deaths and serious injuries in 2015. There are of course significantly more vehicles built after 1988 and still on the roads than there are vehicles from earlier dates but rates of injury per vehicle are also lower for pre-1978 vehicles.  
  3. Some vehicle owners may not keep on top of basic maintenance requirements if they do not have the deadline of the MOT to influence them. Research carried out on behalf of the Department for Transport in 2011 by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) produced the report ‘Effect of Defects in Road Accidents'. The TRL report explored for newer vehicles the impact that different test frequencies may have upon road safety.
  4. The TRL report authors were careful to caveat conclusions on road casualties and state assumptions. Some people may be influenced by a change in the first MOT timing and fail to undertake even routine maintenance, which could result in safety critical defects on the vehicle. Conversely the public may follow the law and keep their vehicles in a safe condition regardless of the MOT timing. Many current owners of older vehicles do take great pains at present to maintain their vehicles.   
  5. TRL estimated in 2011 that just 3% of road casualties could be associated with vehicle defects. The effect of MOTs on the rate of vehicle defects contributing to crashes amongst these older vehicles is difficult to assess. Our conclusion is there could be a small negative effect on road safety. The impact assessment uses an estimate of close to two serious injuries per year. However there is no specific evidence that not testing vehicles of historic interest will lead to a safety risk materialising. It is important to note that the method used to make the prediction uses a relatively simple approach and there are a number of confounding factors, not least that other events could trigger a repair or replacement part to be fitted before the MOT date.  
  6. MOT pass rates are also indicative of the condition in which vehicles are kept. Like vehicles registered before 1960 (but less so), vehicles first registered in 1961-1977 have a substantially lower MOT failure rate than the general fleet. 
  7. Taking all these factors into consideration we consider the element of risk arising from taking vehicles over 40 years old out of the testing regime is small. Testing requirements should be proportionate. Per vehicle, the risks in the status quo of not testing vehicles until they are three years old and of not testing the general fleet every six months as opposed to the current annual frequency are likely to be higher. The risks also apply in respect of far larger numbers of vehicles.
  8. By implementing this measure owners of vehicles built before 1977 will benefit from a number of savings. The principal saving will be the cost of the MOT test. However, they will also benefit from the associated financial and times costs incurred in taking their vehicle to be tested.
  9. The option for owners to submit their vehicles to a voluntary MOT test will remain and they will still, like all vehicle owners, need to ensure that they meet the legal requirement of keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all time. Currently around 6% of the owners of pre-1960 vehicles submit their vehicles to voluntary testing and we would anticipate that many vehicle owners will service their vehicles regularly. 

Exempting vehicles over 40 years old is also in line with the current rolling 40 year exemptions from Vehicle Excise Duty, so vehicle owners would be able to apply for VED exemption at the same time as their vehicle becomes exempt from MOT tests



So in theory you can insure a shed fresh pile of scrap, and go and kill anyone, as you now can in any 1959 built Mini.

They have basically washed their hands of MOT testing early cars based on accident statistics which prove they are safer. (despite over 200 deaths and serious injuries)

Maybe they are safer with an MOT, but without they will be less safe overall, but the extra 'risk' as they see it is insignificant.

Would MP's re-think it if a member of their family got mowed down by an unsafe vehicle with no MOT ?

They have looked at the cost of the MOT at the Government side and to cut costs cut safety, maybe if they had factored in the cost of each accident to Government coffers it would be a different story.

Edited by Retroman, 11 December 2017 - 10:24 AM.

#5 DomCr250


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Posted 11 December 2017 - 11:22 AM

When the 1960 rule came in I saw a few very ropy looking cars at a local classic car meeting - one was a Singer saloon and you could see the rusted lower panels of the car from ten feet away, same thing with Moggies.

#6 Homersimpson


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Posted 11 December 2017 - 05:46 PM

I may be wrong but I was told by my MOT tester that a car has to have one MOT that's been recorded on the computerised system since the MOT exemption ruling came in to force.


He said this was to stop people dragging old cars out of barns (or even just having an old logbook) and taking the number plates off them.


Not sure whether this correct but would be interested to know.


Personally I think MOT exemption is a stupid idea except for very very old cars which have almost no testable parts on them (like a wooden wheeled Model T Ford).


My 1959 Jag MK2 has four wheeled disc breaks and will do over 100mph (125mph apparently when they were new if you believe the manufacturer).  Why on earth wouldn't you want to check this over once a year to make sure it isn't a pile of rusty scrap with leaking brakes? 


Its not like people who own these car's can't afford to pay £50 per year to check they are safe.

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