CLASSIC CAR MOTS WILL BE OVERHAULED
Department for Transport will continue with EU-led proposals to exempt thousands of your classics from annual safety tests
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.