The government has proposed to provide an exemption from the MoT test to all classic cars or cars built before 1960. This is mostly due to beliefs that these cars are better run and maintained by owners.
Most classic cars have lower accident rates as compared to recent models. This could also be due to the fact that about two thirds of all the cars on UK roads are driven for less than 500 miles every year.
At present, there are approximately 162,000 classic cars on the roads, which adds up to around 0.6% of the total number of cars in UK.
Amongst the other alternatives offered by the Government, there could be a move to exempt all the cars built before 1920 or 1945 from the MoT test.
Mike Penning, UK’s road safety minister, had this to say about the proposed plans: “We are committed to reducing regulation which places a financial burden on motorists without providing significant overall benefits.”
He continued to say, “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 weekend checking the condition of the engine, tyres and bodywork.”
Popular aftermath from this proposal has led several to believe that some of the elements in the MoT test may not be appropriate or applicable for classic cars.
Technically, classic car owners are still legally bound to maintain their cars properly and pay due attention to their roadworthiness, it is not thought to be much of an issue, given the generous attention that these owners are known to spare for these cherished possessions.
This is also a reason why classic car insurance is usually a foregone conclusion, since the cars are so well-maintained that a “no claims” certificate is virtually guaranteed to the owner.
These proposals were welcomed by some in the Whitehall, such as Tim Schofield, who is currently the director at Bonhams auctioneers.
“If you take a pre-war car to a garage, it will probably be baffled and will never have seen anything like it. There is logic in that position, even though you still want to know that a motor car on the road is legal, that it stops when you want it to and has lights that you can see,“ said Schofield, “Traditionally, if you always took the car to the same chap who had an MoT station and who knew the car, then he would know what had to be done.”
Others however, begged to differ. Nigel Case, who owns the Classic Car Club, has taken a vehement stand against the government proposal to exempt classic cars from MoT tests. He went so far as to call the proposal “ridiculous”.
“It’s nonsense. Older cars need more attention,” said Case, “You could buy a car which seems superficially fantastic, but it will be rotten underneath and a death trap.”
Whether or not the Government plans are passed remains to be seen. However, popular opinion is boosting its stand, so it seems to be only a matter of time for the bill to get the go-ahead.