CHRIS GRAYLING: WHY I BACK THE MoT EXEMPTION
Transport Minister believes removing classics from annual tests will protect them from a driverless future
Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, has spoken of his support for controversial plans to remove the MoT requirement for tax-exempt classics from next year – because he believes that it will guarantee classic owners’ long-term freedom.
The heritage-loving Transport Minister – whose first car was a Ford Capri MkI – says that while the Department for Transport is openly preparing for a future dominated by driverless vehicles, he is in favour of classic owners being allowed to continue driving, and says that the Government is committed to keeping older cars on Britain’s roads.
He says: ‘I can assure you that as we plan for a revolutionary future we are not losing sight of the importance of maintaining the heritage of the motor industry.
‘That’s why we have taken the steps we have around the new regulations back in September.’
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has spoken out in favour of tax-exempt vehicles also being exempted from roadworthiness tests – because it will guarantee the freedom of using them.
The government minister, speaking at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group attended by CCW, argued that in a future where autonomous vehicles will be the norm, easing restrictions on classic owners would help to ensure their continued use.
Mr Grayling – whose first car was a Ford Capri MkI – argued that while the Government is planning for a future transport system that will increasingly use autonomous vehicles, he believed that there will continue to be an appetite from the public for vehicles that can be driven, particularly classics. He said: ‘I am very pleased that we’ve taken steps in the last few weeks to adopt the rules to provide greater protection for those who drive historic vehicles. ‘I can assure you that as we plan for a revolutionary future, we are not losing sight of the importance of maintaining the heritage of the motor industry. That’s why we have taken the steps we have around the new regulations back in September. We’re making sure that we can protect what is a great enthusiasm and a great hobby – and the freedom to drive around listening to Pink Floyd while driving a historic vehicle! It’s a very important part of Britain’s heritage.
‘This Government will do everything it can to support this hobby. People love seeing classic cars on Britain’s roads.’
Mr Grayling’s comments were welcomed by group chair, Sir Greg Knight MP, who has previously voiced his support for MoT exemption, saying that the annual test is ‘ becoming progressively irrelevant for historic vehicles’. He described the minister as ‘a great friend’ of the classic vehicle movement.’
Chris Grayling, secretary of State for Transport, and MP for Epsom. Pre ’77 classics like this 1971 Triumph Stag will be MoT exempt from May 2018.