MoT scrapped for pre-1960 classics: what do you think?

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James Elliott
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Joined: 2011-03-11

This news came through today (click here for the story) and I can't help thinking it is very bad news. I know that I am not alone in thinking that, but equally I know that a lot of people think the opposite.

Click here for some of my previous thoughts on the matter, but I really want to know what other enthusiasts think.

 

 

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Chris Martin
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Joined: 2011-08-20

Although I am rarely on UK roads at all of late, and therefore not really entitled to a vote, but I have to say that to change now to allow older cars to be used without ANY safety check is just asking for trouble. It will only take one well meaning but incompetent Morris Minor driver to not realise his master cylinder has just parted company with the floor, with fatal consequences, to justify the interfering do-gooders to apply tough measures.

For what it is worth, there is a conditional registration system in force here in Australia, that allows cars over thirty years old to pay a nominal fee for a year's registration and third party cover with no annual safety inspection, except the owner has to belong to a recognised club, and that club's registrar is responsible to check the car is safe.

Better than nothing I suppose?

I do think it is a big mistake for the British government to go with this change, and although it would take another ten years of lobbying, it might be time to push for a similar situation there where car clubs take more responsibility for the safety of their members.

Just my ten bob's worth anyway.

Chris M.

 

I_Drink_Petrol
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Joined: 2011-09-19

Don't see that this will change much, surely the market will dictate that MOT exempt cars with a valid voluntary MOT equivalent will still be easier to sell? 

Chris Martin
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I_Drink_Petrol wrote:

Don't see that this will change much, surely the market will dictate that MOT exempt cars with a valid voluntary MOT equivalent will still be easier to sell? 

I do not think the danger comes from cars for sale. At any given time, that may account for a number of pre-'60 cars, and most reputable dealers will continue to offer assurances in some form or other about their stock.

No, the danger will be long term owners who think they know their car, it's the "I've had this Zodiac over forty years now and it's never let me down yet" types who will not notice hidden faults until it is too late. 

Chris M.

 

I_Drink_Petrol
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Joined: 2011-09-19

Chris,

I honestly think that the opposite applies. 

To me this is a question of responsibility. More responsibility is being given to the owner/driver to ensure that he/she pilots a roadworthy vehicle and less responsibility is being given to MOT testers. Frankly: you're packing your own parachute (the reason I do my own brake-work).

If there truly is a greater risk involved in adopting a slightly more libertarian approach to the appreciation of older cars then we'll soon see. 

I am happy to see common sense trumping nannying for a change, I only worry that this will lead to greater insurance restrictions. 

Mowog
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Joined: 2012-05-21

I'm not sure I'd class it as very bad news just yet, as we've still to see how everyone involved responds to the change.

If I were an insurer, I'd want an insured vehicle to have had some sort of safety check to guard against such things as rusted brake lines or suspension components parting company with the rest of the vehicle. And if I were a canny garage owner I'd certainly start offering a £40 'safety check' that gave you an MOT-style certificate that guaranteed that lights, indicators, suspension, steering, brakes, tyres and so forth are all roadworrthy. Certainly if you found yourself needing to demonstrate that some sort of mechanical-failure-related accident were not your fault then proof of the car's prior roadworthiness would be handy!

I suspect that this move is actually a response to dwindling knowledge amongst non-specialist mechanics about what constitutes 'roadworthy' for an older car. My Dad was recently most upset to chip a new respray on his MGB Roadster trying to pry off a chrome headlight rim when the MOT tester wanted the alignment microscopically corrected during the test. On one level, fair enough: them's the rules. However, the most badly adjusted pair of Lucas sealed-beam units are almost certainly still less dazzling than a perfectly adjusted set of xenons on an Audi Q7!

Basically, the MOT test as it stands requires an MOT tester who understands what to let slide and what to fail a vehicle on where old cars are concerned. I think as better solution would have been to simply introduce a less stringent, shorter MOT for any model of vehicle first sold before about 1970. The idea that a 1959 Minor would be exempt, but a near-identical 1960 car is subjected to the same MOT test as a Prius is mad.

DavidChaps
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Joined: 2011-09-20

This is really bad news for us and our hobby.

Can C&SC issue a press release today to make the position of the vast number of classic car owners clear, we don't want this.

BBC are already headlining it:

Classic and historic cars exempted from MoT

No mention of 1960, and the supporting figures quoting 0.03% of casualties still means more than 1 a week involving pre 1960 cars on current statistics. First time that happens and gets press coverage it'll mean a wave of hostility toward the rest of us with anything pre 1973 and those with pre 1960s stuff will likely see the begining of regulations on where and when they can be used "for public safety".

David  C

halfnelson
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Joined: 2011-06-02

The responsible among us will always try to maintain their cars in a safe condition - the problem is, as mentioned, that those who lack specific knowledge may not realise their car is unsafe.

Re: alternative MOTs - they will not be worth the paper they are written on as no garage is going to vouch a car is safe in case it is then involved in an accident and they get sued! Even the MOT doesn't vouch for the roadworthyness of a vehicle - the onus is still on the owner of that vehicle to ensure the car is in roadworthy condition.

What the MOT does is make owners get an annual health check for their car - why is that such a bad thing? It's not like we're not paying for the privilage? Plus, there are plenty of classic friendly test stations out there. All you need to do is ask around or check a forum.

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crabsonman
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Joined: 2012-04-08

I cannot believe what I am reading!Surely this is a spoof news release

DavidChaps
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Joined: 2011-09-20

It gets worse, just been talking to a relative in what I call the "robbing classics of their identity" business and he calls "cherished numbers" .

He is very happy tonight at the prospect of no longer needing to get a pre 1960 car through an MOT before he can "rob" the number to sell to the owner of a new BMW.  His words, "great news, this'll open up a world of possibilites...".

David C

GAZ9185
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Joined: 2011-12-14

I thought I did.....what happened to it?