Proposal to scrap MoT tests for pre-1960 classics

8 replies [Last post]
Graeme Hurst
Graeme Hurst's picture
Joined: 2011-04-19

Hot news: parliament officially kicked off the consultation process for considering proposals to get shot of MoT tests for pre-1960s cars yesterday – but is this necessarily a good thing? Will it save owners of older classics from a lot of pointless hassle or lead to loads of unreliable (and potentially dangerous) old cars on our roads? Take a look at our news story (which includes a link to the Department for Transport's summary of the consultation) and tell us what you think.

Joined: 2011-09-20

No, this is NOT good news !  We need our classics to be safe (we have enough trouble with the Greens and some authorities as it is) and the annual inspection certainly contributes to safety. There are some issues - example being a loose brake bakeplate - that are dangerous but almost impossible to spot working on your own in a domestic garage. 

People talk of cost saving but I would expect insurance premiums would increase by more than the £40ish most people pay for an MOT, especially if accident rates increase. 

As for the arguement the our cars don't do many miles, well that's even more reason to test them, we all know how well cars drive and feel after a long trip and how a sticking front right brake cylinder (causing a vicious pull to the left for example and in to that bus queue) is much more likely if a car has been standing.

And what about tyres ?  They should be changed every 10 years even if plenty of tread but without an MOT that isn't likely to happen.

I don't buy the "European" arguement either, I know the MOT test in France recently went the opposite way and exemptions for classics were removed. 

Classic movement should oppose this, lets save our energy for the real threats, such as use of classic in city centres and ethernol in fuel.

James Elliott
James Elliott's picture
Joined: 2011-03-11

I am totally against scrapping it. Never thought I would say that, but...

After all, many of the people running classics are not as mechanically savvy as others and aren't qualified to judge a car's safety. Some are just lazy and/or busy and, without an annual MoT test, will put off vital jobs they know need doing, but think they can get away with. I fit in both groups to a degree.

Also, it offers me great peace of mind knowing that someone else has checked out the vital signs of my car and OKd it, plus the advisories are really useful on diagnosing future works. The price has gone up a lot, but it is still cheap for an annual healthcheck and the reassurance it brings.

A lot depends on the tester, of course, but I think it would be a lot more useful to issue classic-specific guidelines to MoT stations (if they were tested to the letter I wonder how many would pass), rather than scrapping the test altogether.

Then, I might not have a bunch of cars off the road for silly things that should really only apply to moderns!

If they do scrap it, there is bound to be an accident involving an unsafe car which, in turn, will just lead to a backlash and give ammunition to those who already seek to restrict our freedom to enjoy our cars.

Chris Martin
Joined: 2011-08-20

Although I am not on the British roads anymore, I would strongly support the views of the previous two posts. Maybe a different way of testing and assessing older cars is needed but there needs to be some sort of sfaety check at least.

Chris M.


Joined: 2011-07-03

I also think there should be an annual test, but perhaps one at a reduced cost with a broader scope for pass / fail which will still keep the cars safe, possibly with the date set at 1973 to tie in with the current tax exemption


Joined: 2011-07-02

Maybe a different type of MOT would be better. Servicing an older car is much different to servicing a newer one, so certain things needn't be necessary, but pre-1960 cars, in my opinion, should still be serviced annually.

Joined: 2011-12-14

An excessive expense for a car which may do less than 500 miles in a year.  Either a simplified much cheaper test or one every two years (as I believe happens elsewhere) or one connected to mileage travelled.  If you have to pay £215 a year for road tax  - especially hard on the owners of many over 30 year old cars discriminated against because the government haven't kept their previous promise to bring back theconcession  rolling date - and £50+ for an MOT, that's £5 a week before one starts to pay insurance, fuel or maintenance, so low mileage cars costing maybe £1 - £2 a mile, and likely used only for weekend shows to benefit charities.  A lower road tax rate for 1973 to 1981 vehicles  - if 'free' is unacceptable - would help, and show faith from the government: no excuses about U.K., can't afford it - cost less than a few hours of Afghanistan war.


Joined: 2011-12-16

Pre 1960 is too recent IMHO. There is an argument for having an exemption date but not that modern.

With older cars though it gets harder as they were not built with modern components and a perfectly ok part when measured to a modern standard is a failure. I know at least one owner whose older (way older than 1959) car was nearly failed for no greater crime than having been made that way.

Me - I use a tester in the FBHVC list for my vintage car as he knows old cars. List though is a microsm of the total number of MOT stations.

Joined: 2014-04-20

Great - ditch MOT's for older cars I say. Can't wait to whang my '59 alfa spider veloce around the roads of Blighty with her old drum brakes screeching ! And just think - one can keep a car on the continent and never have to bring it back for an MOT. Whizzo. Ha ha, the old classic and vintage brigade getting hot under the collar again.