In a shock move the Department for Transport has just announced that MoT tests for pre-1960 cars are to be abolished.
However, owners of vehicles that are exempted from the MoT test will still be legally required to ensure that their cars are safe, roadworthy and in a proper condition to be on the road.
The move is sure to cause controversy because polls showed that many classic owners wanted to retain the MoT.
Plus the move seems to solely shift the onus on to owners to make sure that their cars are safe, making the premise for dropping a legally enforced test redundant.
Worse still, there are widespread fears that any accidents involving test-exempt unroadworthy classics could have severe repercussions for the hobby as a whole.
The DoT decision follows a campaign by the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, led by East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight (pictured above).
He dismissed the concerns of critics who claim that the annual MoT test was a regular ‘safety check’ for older vehicles and should not have been scrapped.
He said: "Those owners lacking mechanical knowledge will still be able to submit their classic car for an MoT test. However, I am sure that many garages will also be prepared to offer a short ‘classic car safety check’ by looking at the essential items such as steering, chassis and brakes at a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost of the current MoT."
“This red-tape cutting decision is a victory for common sense.”
Welcoming the development, Mr Knight added: “I am delighted by this announcement. Accidents involving historic vehicles are extremely rare and the majority of owners are meticulous in keeping their vehicles in good condition. Having to have an annual MoT test for a vehicle which may only travel a few hundred miles in a year was costly and absurd.”
Transport Minister Mike Penning said: “Historic vehicles are treasured by their owners who want to ensure they are well maintained, and in most cases they use them irregularly.”
Mr Knight added: “The modern MoT test has increasingly become irrelevant to historic vehicles which do not have ABS brakes and catalytic converters. Some do not even have brakes on each wheel! Today’s announcement is great news for historic vehicle enthusiasts.”