De­part­ment for Trans­port will con­tinue with EU-led pro­pos­als to ex­empt thou­sands of your clas­sics from an­nual safety tests

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

The De­part­ment for Trans­port has said that it will con­tinue to pur­sue op­tions for re­plac­ing the MoT for more than 331,000 clas­sics un­der di­rec­tions given to the UK by the EU’s Euro­pean Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive. This is de­spite the likely im­ple­men­ta­tion date be­ing af­ter Bri­tain’s exit. The op­tions be­ing con­sid­ered by the DfT, fol­low­ing a con­sul­ta­tion last year, in­clude ex­empt­ing all tax-ex­empt clas­sics from road­wor­thi­ness test­ing. The Federation of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs says that it is mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘The DfT can’t do any­thing that might prej­u­dice the UK’s ne­go­ti­a­tions on Brexit, so we can ex­pect the im­ple­men­ta­tion to move for­ward at some time.’

Six months af­ter propos­ing changes that will af­fect the clas­sic world per­ma­nently, the De­part­ment for Trans­port (DfT) ad­mits that it must still fol­low EU guide­lines.

De­spite Theresa May trig­ger­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 on 29 March and seal­ing Bri­tain’s exit from the EU, the DfT has re­it­er­ated that it must con­tinue fol­low­ing the Road­wor­thi­ness propo­si­tions.

Un­der these propo­si­tions, first re­leased in Septem­ber 2016, ve­hi­cles made more than 40 years ago will not need an MoT. This would lead to a fur­ther 331,000 cars reg­is­tered be­tween 1960 and 1977 be­ing ex­empt from manda­tory an­nual test­ing. Un­der the new rules, mem­ber states may also ex­empt ve­hi­cles of his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est from an­nual test­ing if they are at least 30 years old, no longer in pro­duc­tion, and have not had sub­stan­tial changes made to them.

Last year the gov­ern­ment cited the reason for the con­sul­ta­tion as be­ing ‘due to EU Di­rec­tive changes’. Jaber Mohamed, press of­fi­cer for the DfT says: ‘Trig­ger­ing ar­ti­cle 50 is only the first step in a very long Brexit pro­ce­dure. Un­til exit ne­go­ti­a­tions are con­cluded, the UK re­mains part of the EU with all the rights and obli­ga­tions. Dur­ing this pe­riod, the gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to im­ple­ment and ap­ply EU leg­is­la­tion.’

This laissez-faire at­ti­tude to an in­dus­try worth £5.5 bil­lion is frus­trat­ing the Federation of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs. Its com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘The DfT can’t do any­thing which might prej­u­dice the UK ne­go­ti­a­tions on Brexit. So, we can ex­pect the im­ple­men­ta­tion to move for­ward at some time. But who knows when.’

Jane Row­ley, spokesper­son for the Tri­umph Sports Six Club says: ‘ We’d rather see the MoT test stay in place. The ma­jor­ity of clas­sic cars are looked af­ter, but you need some­body in­de­pen­dent re­ally check­ing trun­nions and bear­ings – things you might not nec­es­sar­ily no­tice.

‘But at the same time, we wouldn’t want re­stric­tions on our us­age. Be­cause of this, cars re­ally need MoTs.’

Deal­ers that reg­u­larly sell cars un­der 30 years of age are sim­i­larly un­happy with the pro­posed rules. They say that it is dan­ger­ous, and could put po­ten­tial buy­ers at risk.

Zak Mat­tin, owner of IGM Pedi­gree Mo­tors, says: ‘ We need to drop this idea. Even if a car wasn’t legally obliged to be put in for an MoT, I wouldn’t feel happy about sell­ing car that hasn’t been checked. It’s lu­di­crous. If any­thing, we need to tighten up the MoT.

‘The way tyres are treated in this coun­try is crazy. I’ve known cars with dread­ful rub­ber pass MoTs. The age of tyres is a huge prob­lem too.’ Mur­ray Scul­lion

‘The DfT can’t do any­thing which might prej­u­dice the UK’s ne­go­ti­a­tions on Brexit’ GE­OFF LAN­CASTER, FBHVC

Cars reg­is­tered in 1976, the same year BMW re­leased the 6 Se­ries, will not need an MoT un­der these guide­lines.

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