More than half of classic owners would still get their cars MoTd even if exempt

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While a Government decision to scrap plans to make the general MoT test less frequent have been widely reported this week, consultations on a proposal far more relevant to classic owners are soon to come to an end.

In November last year the Department for Transport issued a paper proposing a complete exemption from testing for all pre-1960 vehicles. Other options being considered were complete exemptions for all pre-1945 vehicles and all pre-1920 vehicles, or to do nothing.

Given the short period of the consultation the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs promoted an on-line survey to gauge the mood of the classic hobby.

Since then more than 4000 people responded and the results are illuminating:

  • 74% of respondents wish to see testing requirements for historic vehicles relaxed.
  • 59% support the government’s preferred option of exempting all pre-1960 vehicles.
  • 71% believe historic vehicles in commercial use should be subject to testing even if other pre-1960 vehicles are exempted; 14% said commercial use should make no difference to testing requirements..
  • 53% of respondents said they would take their vehicles for test if this could be done on a voluntary basis; 33% said they would not seek a voluntary test.

Reasons given for opposing changes in whole or part included:

  • no risk of restriction on use;
  • no risk of increased insurance premiums for untested vehicles;
  • no risk of insurers demanding (expensive) engineer’s reports;
  • some facility for a formal standardised test to demonstrate roadworthiness.

The full analysis is yet to be finalised and the results of the Government consultation are yet to be released.

The plans which were scrapped to much fanfare this were not specific to classics, but for the record would have included making the MoT biennial and extending the "grace" period for a new car before it was due its first MoT.

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