Press release

Plans to cut MOT red tape for classic car owners

MOT exemption for classic cars and motorbikes proposals released.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Classic cars and motorbikes could be exempted from the MOT test under proposals published for consultation today (3 November, 2011) by Roads Minister Mike Penning.

Classic and historic vehicles are often very well maintained by their owners and have a much lower accident and MOT failure rate than newer cars. The current requirement for these vehicles to undergo an MOT test goes over and above the obligations set out in European legislation. As part of the government’s commitment to cutting unnecessary red tape, today’s proposals would exempt private vehicles manufactured before 1960 from the MOT test, reducing costs for owners.

Mike Penning said:

We are committed to reducing regulation which places a financial burden on motorists without providing significant overall benefits. Owners of classic cars and motorbikes are enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles well - they don’t need to be told to look after them, they’re out there every weekend checking the condition of the engine, tyres and bodywork.

That is why I am today putting forward proposals to scrap the MOT test for these vehicles - this will result in savings for the government and for motorists.

Many of the features of the modern MOT test are not suitable for testing classic vehicles built more than 50 years ago. However, owners of classic vehicles will still be legally required to ensure that their cars are safe and in a proper condition to be on the road

These changes are being taken forward separately from the Department for Transport’s main MOT review.

The consultation starts today and closes on 26 January 2012. The consultation document is available.

Notes to editors

Pre-1960 licensed vehicles (vehicles manufactured prior to 1 January 1960) make up about 0.6% of the total number of licensed vehicles in Great Britain (GB), but are involved in just 0.03% of road casualties and accidents.

Evidence shows that the initial MOT test failure rate declines by the age of vehicle after the vehicle is 13 years old.

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Published 3 November 2011