MOT exemption, good thing or no?

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MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#1 Post by JPB » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:04 am

I reckon that once 1977 cars become test-exempt in May 2018, on a 41st year rolling basis in line with VED exemption, the pages of eBay and other motor flogging sites will be (even more) awash with older motors whose identities are suspect, this will probably make it even harder to find a legitimate mini, Beetle, S3 Land Rover, MK2 Escort or other popular '70s vehicle.
Already, a quick sweep of eBay is showing an alarming increase in this sort of fraud - for that's how it is - with several minis leading the way as a handful of mid to late eighties examples are already appearing with the identities of soon-to-be test-exempt pre-'78 cars.

Were it not bad enough that this will inevitably see the unscrupulous horse traders selling cars whose roadworthiness is questionable, a very minor issue with the outgoing fixed pre-1960 concession, it will, IMHO, also see a return to the early seventies habits of "repairing" structural rot with Cataloy and old newspapers and generally using lots of thickly applied, bitumen-derived black goo as a restoration medium. Pre 1960 cars are relatively rarely running about in a really poor condition, since these are, in the main, less well suited to daily use than the cars of the seventies, which are usually capable of performing at least well enough to keep up with the current crop of new motors, albeit at a slight efficiency disadvantage. But I find myself worrying about the sudden influx of scrapyard escapees that - in my mind - are sure to come along and further muddy the waters for those who are looking for a cheaper old runabout.

Still, GHT will be delighted as lots of Allegros, Marinas and other of his favourite classics ( :lol: ) will suddenly be dragged out of their hedges, barns and holes in the ground, given some quick attention with the blind riveter, slathered with underseal and sold to unsuspecting newcomers to this hobby of ours. I'm pretty sure that this concession will end in tears, am I worrying for nothing?
John, Operating knackered old sheds as daily transport since 1981. :|

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#2 Post by suffolkpete » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:01 am

I can understand your concerns, but that sort of fraud will go on anyway to avoid tax. The Republic of Ireland has not tested pre '81 cars for some time now and your feared apocalypse hasn't happened, nor is there any measurable difference between US states that test cars and those that don't. We will probably see an increase in the police stopping questionable-looking vehicles and performing an instant MoT though. My fear is that were testing to be retained, our classics would be subjected to a rigorous test designed for modern vehicles, performed by people who have no knowledge of or sympathy for classics, as old school mechanics retire or die off.
1974 Rover 2200 SC
1982 Matra Murena 1.6

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#3 Post by kevin » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:56 am

it wont stop me taking my Singer for the annual MOT, worth doing just to make sure she is safe.
There will be loads who dont see it like that and run something potentially dangerous about.


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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#4 Post by arceye » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:58 am

I'm worried about where this is all going to be honest. On the one hand they have said the current MOT test isn't suitable for older vehicles, then if you look at the draft legislation they have removed potentially thousands of classics from being recognised as Vehicles of Historic Interest.

This is done under the guise of "substanially altered " vehicles not qualifying as VHI. Whilst at the moment this means they will still need an MOT but probably retain VED exemption it could be the very thin end of a very fat wedge.

To put it in perspective criterion 1 of the draft on "substanially altered" covers any vehicle with a power to weight increase of over 15% from its standard factory build (by tuning / engine swaps / rebodied specials that make a vehicle lighter ) These vehicles will not be considered a VHI and will be classed a substantially altered. So thats the Austin in my case just because I dropped a 1098 A series in.

Now, for some reason the modern day MOT is fine and capable for testing my Austin, but not for testing an identical one with an 803 engine :?

Something is off somewhere, possibly years down the line when they decide to tax old polluting cars off the road that are not deemed to be of historic interest ?

One get out is if mods can be proven as taken place before 1988, good luck with that in the majority of cases. And this could well catch rebodied Austin 7 specials etc also.

So, that'll be me off to the MOT station then, not a big concern just yet, just means I will have to pay my lad who is an MOT tester to do it on the system rather than just doing it off the system as and when I want him to give everything a check over. Yet some boy in a totally rotten P6 V8 will be able to sit at the ton on M6 with no checks whatsoever........... go figure, something is deffo off somewhere about this :scared:

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#5 Post by GHT » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:44 pm

kevin wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:56 am
it wont stop me taking my Singer for the annual MOT, worth doing just to make sure she is safe.
There will be loads who dont see it like that and run something potentially dangerous about.

Well said, and I endorse all that John says. My '52 MG has never missed an MOT, whilst, in my care or with it's former custodians. The MOT centre explained that they have to make some concessions, like seat belt checks, mine hasn't got any, and various other things that come under MOT scrutiny but weren't on cars of a certain vintage.
The Classic Car press don't help the cause when they push 15 to 18 year old cars as the next modern classics. At that age most cars have reached either the banger age or they become donors for others.

The word classic has now reached a stage where it's definition is whatever you want to interpret it to be. As one of my passengers said when he asked how old my car was:
"Sixty-five," I said, adding, "we are a couple of old classics." "Oh I wouldn't say that," he replied, smiling. Did he mean that I was too young, or too decrepit?

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#6 Post by steviea » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:48 pm

For UK owners
what do you think ???
Proposed Changes to exemption of vehicles from MOT
Email By Stuart Graham
Proposed Changes to the exemption of vehicles from MOT and the impact on vehicles having been modified
Good afternoon, You may or may not be aware, but the government are proposing that the age for which vehicles of historic interest become exempt from MOT will now be pre 1978 (40 years old) from the 20th May 2018. This proposal is not the whole story however. Vehicles pre 1978 which have been ‘modified’ may now no longer be MOT exempt and may actually require to be inspected to a much higher level as would a new car and lose their period registration number, being allocated a ‘Q’ plate.
I have been dealing with this on behalf of our club, contacting various organisations within government and interested bodies as this has a potentially devastating impact on the classic car environment, with the potential to turn many classics into valueless commodities or be left to rot in garages as it will cost too much to bring these vehicles into line with the new regulations. Basically, having spent many hours reading all the links below, I have put forward an argument that the governments proposed legislation for ‘modified classics’ is not fit for purpose. As a starting point there is an on line petition which is to try and stop the historic registration numbers being removed.
Here are links to the proposals and the new legislation which I have based my arguments on.…/news/_ar…/122/ ... rom-fbhvc/…/radic ... d-vehicles…/vehicles-of-histor ... est-substa ... tents/made…/pub…/built-up-vehi ... ion-report
I have sent my letter to the following in an attempt to get this ludicrous proposal changed. (not the 40 year MOT exemption, no issue with that)
Chris Grayling MP, Secretary for State for Transport
John Hayes MP, Minister for State (Transport).
Humza Yousaf MSP Minister for Transport & the Islands
Rt Hon Lord Steel, Classic Car enthusiast
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC).
Scottish Vintage Vehicle Federation (SVVF) (John Hyman)
Practical Classics
Classic Cars magazines.
Also &
I had also contacted the SVVF whom I feel, as the member body for Scotland should be doing this, found out that a) they hadn’t done anything up to last weekend, at least not contacting member clubs about it and b) Following me raising issue, they raised it as an agenda item for last Sunday’s meeting. I currently await their reply.
I am starting to contact classic car clubs across Scotland to petition all of the above before it’s too late. I urge you to, if you haven’t already, to inform your members of this as it may have an impact on their vehicle, either it’s roadworthiness and or its value. If we could also pass this information onto as many classic car owners as possible, it would be appreciated ... y1eIo2UPDs

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#7 Post by Penguin45 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:09 pm

Far too late.


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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#8 Post by Martin Evans » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:58 pm

I took part in the consultation over this (But I think exemption was always the plan) and expressed the opinion that testing may well need to be put in the hands of specialists and that it should be done on the basis of use, rather than by the calender. As it stands, I will get mine done every 1000 miles (Which is when I grease the suspension and change the oil....though I had been doing it at MOT time of late), just to make sure the brakes are all pulling as they should and to let a second pair of eyes look at it. I am lucky that the local garage understand older cars, having got a Frogeye, Healey 100/6, Jensen Intercepter and an MGA Mk2. If they ever quit......... :?:

My father well remembers what it was like before there were MOTs. I think most classic owners are more aware of what goes on, that what I refer to as the "Coal in the bath" motorists and that few will see MOT exemption as a carte blanche to get away with murder. However I know that some will take chances and any resultant accidents will have a disproportionate effect on the opinions of the ill informed. People have a tendency to judge things by their own standards and experience so since most people only have experience of old cars, as old bangers (The cars, not the owners), anything older than their heap was must be proportionately more clapped out. If one unroadworthy old car causes and accident, this would only reinforce the unfounded assumptions of such people.

I've seen two things regarding modified cars. I had a letter from the Department of Transport, which mentioned that a 15% power to weight ratio increase would mean a vehicle was subject to an MOT, unless the modifications were done before 1988. The latest FBHVC newsletter didn't mention power to weight ratio but suggested the date was rolling. I had raised the issue of proof (I have invoices for when my cars were altered) and it seems there are no plans to insist on proof (How can anyone really check up?). It was for this reason that I originally suggested that modifications should be period mods, no matter when carried out, so a 1275 A Series in a Morris Minor would be OK but not a Ford Zetec.

I've asked my insurers how they view MOT exemption and they said if that's the law, that's it. The added however that if a car had been checked or given an MOT, it could help the owner if there was an accident.

To sum up I think how it pans out is up to all of us. We've been shown some trust; let's not abuse it. I don't want to get into politics but if ever Labour get in again (I think when is more apt), we can expect another Brownline, that will freeze road tax exemptions and presumably MOT exemptions for the duration. If all Abingdon MGs and RWD Escorts come in from the cold, I think we'll be lucky. How do I know this :?: Labour refuse to answer my questions, whether directed via my local MP or via party HQ. I think they assume all classic car owners are filthy rich and I also think they feel they can be seen to be tough on the environment by using us as scapegoats. Let's face it, there aren't enough of us to swing an election.
Rules exist for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.

MG Midget 1500, MGB GT V8, Morris Minor Traveller 1275 & several bicycles.

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#9 Post by rich. » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:30 pm

as with any car, if its not roadworthy, then the police will fine you.. as someone who owned lots of cars that were just about legal i knew where to draw the line..

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Re: MOT exemption, good thing or no?

#10 Post by rich. » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:36 am

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