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Cars to become MOT exempt when they hit 40 (years of age)

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September 22, 2017
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An extra 300,000 owners of classic old cars will be MOT exempt after the Department for Transport announced cars more than 40 years old will no longer have to undergo their annual roadworthiness check.

Currently, only vehicles built or first registered before 1960 are exempt from the MOT test – accounting for almost 200,000 cars on the road today.

That number will increase dramatically now the Department for Transport has said it will introduce a rolling scheme that will mean cars more than 40 years old will become MOT exempt. The new rule will be introduced in May 2018.

The change means that all manner of era-defining models, such as Ford’s Capri (Mk I & Mk II), Escort (Mk I) and Granada, the Vauxhall Viva, Fiat X1/9, Triumph Stag, and MGB will legally be regarded fit for the road without an up to date MOT.

MoT exempt

Increase in MOT exempt cars would be “concern”

But there are fears the new policy carries with it inherent dangers

More than 2,000 members of the public took part in a Government consultation about the scheme and 56 per cent opposed the plan saying vehicles travelling on public roads should have the annual safety check.

In response the DfT argued that cars more than 40 years old are often kept in good condition by owners, and not used regularly enough to warrant an MOT.

The department added that the test, which costs £54.85, is no longer relevant to many of these older cars.

The consultation also proposed a more basic biennial test for models that fell out of the 40 year bracket. This would include checking the vehicle identity and making sure important components – like the brakes – were in working order.

MoT exempt

MOT exempt cars could have “voluntary” check

However, the DfT decided not to go ahead with the introduction of that check-up, stating: “Those owners who feel an annual check is needed will be able to submit their vehicles for a voluntary MOT.”

Scott Goodliffe from insurance experts Adrian Flux said: “We encourage the general public to be aware that ]more pre-1977 cars, possibly MOT failures, will come on to the market.

“No matter what the law says regarding an MOT, insurance policies still require the car to be in a roadworthy condition as part of the policy terms. So the vehicle should still be in a good state of repair.

“There are also driving convictions for bald tyres, defective brakes etc that people should be careful of if they don’t get a mechanical check at least once a year.”

Whether your classic car will qualify as MOT exempt from next May or not, it will certainly need good quality car insurance. That’s where Adrian Flux comes into its own.


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