GOVT: SORRY ABOUT THE MoT HOLD-UP!
Whitehall apologises for months of keeping classic owners in the dark about MoT exemption – and blames it on the election
The Department for Transport (DfT) has apologised for keeping thousands of classic owners in the dark about proposed changes to roadworthiness testing. It now says that the decision to exempt vehicles of historical interest from MoT testing will not be made until after the General Election. DfT spokesperson, David Pope, says: ‘ We had been preparing to make an announcement but this was forestalled by the calling of the General Election. We are unable to make announcements during the Election campaign and we will have to wait until a new government has been formed.’ Under controversial proposals, vehicles made more than 40 years ago will NOT need an MoT.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is still delaying one of the biggest law changes that will affect classic car owners. The decision to exempt vehicles of historical interest from MoT testing will now not be made until after the General Election.
DfT spokesperson, David Pope, emailed consultees. He says: ‘I am sorry that you have heard nothing from us since the consultation closed.
‘ We had been preparing to make an announcement, but this was forestalled by the calling of the General Election. We are unable to make announcements during the Election campaign and will have to wait until a new government has been formed.
CCW’s master mechanic, Fuzz Townshend, predicts that legislation will continue to go through. He says: ‘Unless they decide to look at ongoing legislation in a piecemeal fashion, it’s my understanding that the new regulations must be implemented by December 31 2018, which, being before any actual Brexit date, will mean that the country remains bound by EU regulation, thus it should go through, as planned.
‘I don’t see the Government backing out of this, as doing so would have a cost implication on training of testing operatives.
‘Therefore, I predict that this legislation will go through, unfettered.’
However, Pope says: ‘Our legal advice is that while we’re still in the EU, we must implement EU Directives. This directive says that our regulations should come into effect by 20 May 2018. So, there is still time for us to bring changes into force by next year’s deadline, should we decide to go ahead with them.’
Despite pressure from the wider classic car community, the DfT says that it will know more only when a government has been formed. There is no specific time plan in place as yet, however.
Pope adds: ‘It will depend partly on whether we have the same minister after the election. A new minister might delay things a little, because they will need time to get to grips with their new portfolio.
‘I would hope that you would hear within a month of the new government being formed.’ Under these propositions, 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 the government cites the reason for the consultation as being ‘due to EU Directive changes’.
These new rules allow member states to exempt vehicles of historical interest from testing if they are at least 30 years old, no longer in production and have received no substantial changes.
The Department for Transport had been criticised for not making classic owners of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs aware of its latest proposals to revamp MoT testing for older cars.
FBHVC communications director, Geoff Lancaster says: ‘ We had assumed as much. It’s standard practice in the run up to an election.’
Late 1970s classics like this Ford Cortina MkIV estate could be exempt from MoT testing.