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

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - Mur­ray Scul­lion

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.

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