BREXIT VOTE WON’T SAVE THE MoT TEST
Plans to introduce EU Roadworthiness checks set to remain
Britain’s forthcoming departure from the European Union will have little impact on the future of our MoT test – so exemption for 30-yearold classics could still be introduced.
Sir Greg Knight, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group is certain the EU Roadworthiness Directive, which would have brought in the end of the current MoT test in 2017-2018, is set to stay in place. He says: ‘We’re on the verge of consulting on changes to the EU Roadworthiness Directive, and the likelihood is that it will still go ahead.’
Experts are predicting that Britain’s departure from the European Union could impact on the future of the MoT and the classic car tour movement. But plans for emissions zones and our interaction with Fédération Internationale des
Véhicules Anciens (the global umbrella organisation of historic vehicle clubs) are likely to remain unchanged.
The UK classic car industry is thought to be worth more than £6 billion a year – and the EU is well aware of that. Classic industry leaders, and the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs predict that outstanding EU Directives may be used as bargaining chips between the UK Government and the European Commission to negotiate our exit policy.
The EU Roadworthiness Directive is set to stay in place despite leaving the Union, according to Sir Greg Knight, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group. He says: ‘We’re on the verge of consulting on changes to the EU Roadworthiness Directive, and the likelihood is that it will still go ahead.’
However, the FBHVC understands that the Directive has been frozen. Geoff Lancaster says: ‘We spoke to the Department for Transport last week, and learned that it’s awaiting advice from the appropriate minister as to whether to issue the consultation in the UK. The Directive has effectively stalled and we don’t know whether it will re-start.’
One aspect that won’t be changing anytime soon is our involvement with FIVA. Vice -president for external relations Gautam Sen tells CCW: ‘We are not a European body, we are worldwide – we have over 65 member countries and we aren’t concerned with political unions. As far as FIVA is concerned, it will be business as usual; we will continue to liaise with the FBHVC and will keep promoting the classic car movement in the UK, the EU, and other nations.’
Classic car tours will be affected, especially because of currency fluctuations, according to one operator. Bill Telford of Classic Car Tours Ecosse says: ‘Because the Euro is now worth over 10% more than it was last week our outgoings have increased. Unless the exchange rate levels out we are certainly going to have to raise prices to cover our costs.’
Ian Glass of Country Lane Tours adds: ‘Costs are going to rise. It’s inevitable because of the exchange rate.’
CCW was concerned that emissions zones may be affected – in the wake of Paris and other cities introducing tough new anti-pollution regulations. But, the Department for Transport confirms these are neither a government regulation nor European Directive, and fall within the purview of local authorities. Brexit will not affect existing or future plans.
The use of ethanol in fuel has reared its head again. The EU spearheaded the move toward E10 petrol, a fuel containing more ethanol that can be harmful to older engines, as part of its drive toward 10% renewable fuel by 2020. According to the FBHVC fuel wholesalers are reluctant to shift to E10 as the production of ethanol is tied to the price of cereals. E10 will be market driven, and Government sources suggest that it’s not a primary concern.
Driving in Europe is also unlikely to pose a long-term problem for British enthusiasts. Geoff Lancaster says: ‘Historically all that was needed was proof of tax and an insurance green card. I don’t think this is likely to change, and I feel that free access across Europe is one of the things the UK Government will discuss during our leaving talks.’
Sir Greg Knight agrees: ‘I would expect to see this issue discussed as part of negotiations with Europe – we can’t turn the clock back 40 years but we’ll be working toward as little red tape as possible.’