Road Safety News

DfT invites views on classic car testing

Friday 29th August 2014

The DfT has set up a website to enable people to discuss and make suggestions about changes to road-worthiness testing for classic vehicles.

The current rules in Great Britain will have to change in 2018, as a result of a new EU Directive, and the DfT is seeking views and evidence on the best way to make these changes.

Currently, in Great Britain all vehicles manufactured before 1960 are exempt from regular road-worthiness testing. However, the new EU Directive will allow member states to exempt vehicles from testing if they are at least 30 years old and haven’t had substantial changes made to them.

The DfT says it is looking for a solution that “supports the Government’s aim for better regulation that minimises the burdens on vehicle owners and businesses” and improves road safety.

The website divides the issue into three sections for cars and vans, buses and other commercial vehicles, and motorbikes.

The website will remain open until the end of October 2014 and the information provided will inform a formal consultation in advance of a change to the law to be made for no later than 2018.


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I have always been amused that we have to have the vehicle checked annually or if they are old not at all yet we are told that the primary cause of road traffic accidents is human error not vehicle defects.

Maybe we should turn this on its head and check the driver whose headlights have faded (eyesight) and the steering and suspension is dodgy whatever the state of the driven vehicle. I remember getting a vehicle through the MOT without an engine as the battery did all the lights and the rolling road tested the brakes. This before exhaust emission figures, plus the vehicle in question had no seatbelts. I think we need to look at realistic assessment of brakes lights and steering.
Peter London

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

I am a member of a local classic car club and a number of members have pre 1960 cars. With one exception these members still have their cars MOTed for their own and others safety and are not in agreement with their cars not being tested. The odd one is mean and only does the minimum of maintenance to engine, brakes and steering. I try not to be in the same place as his cars. The MOT should be introduced again for all vehicles on the road yearly for everyones safety. I am fortunate to have a 1961 car and am glad of its yearly MOT.
Brian Viney

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

Just because a person is enthusiastic does not mean that they are expert, it should be the case that the vehicle is subject to an annual 'MoT'inspection for their peace of mind and everyone's safety. It may be that some parts are difficult to obtain and therefore expensive and the vehicle is not fully maintained to a safe standard. Some new drivers are turning to older cars to benefit from classic car insurance and run their car on a very limited budget. Mileage is not the measure, things can deteriorate, look at the coach crash involving legal but old tyres.
Olly, Lancs

Agree (11) | Disagree (3)

To add to my previous: Vehicles can deteriorate if left unused or little used, oil seals can harden, brakes may seize, and tyres can perish so a mileage limit for testing might not be a good idea.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)

This is an odd situation. We have had compulsory testing of vehicles in the form of the yearly MOT for quite a while, yet for some almost bizarre reason DfT decided that pre 1960 built no longer needed same. Why? This issue has been aired throughout the classic vehicle movement, and the vast majority still continue to MOT their vehicles as a regular check on their condition. It makes clear sense to do so. I have two cars in regular use that are 39yrs old, one does over 200 miles each week. Both are in tip top condition, and get MOT'd each year as is currently required.

But look at it from another angle: Most classic vehicles are owned by enthusiasts, and those very enthusiasts will be members of clubs of various sorts. All will be well aware that their pride and joys need to be in perfect condition. Compare that to the average family car of 5yrs to 10yrs old.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (9) | Disagree (1)

Bit puzzled by this. It's not unheard of for a 30 year old car to be in regular daily use clocking up the miles to the same extent as a more modern car, so why the exemption? If anything, why not base it on miles covered per year and not age?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (4)