Historic vehicle tests consultation – Make your voice heard

historic motorbike

Published on 28 September 2016 by Robert Drane

On September 22, the Department for Transport announced a new consultation investigating the changing of roadworthiness testing for historic vehicles.

Currently, any vehicle manufactured before 1960 is exempt from annual roadworthiness testing. However, because of a new European Roadworthiness Directive (and as we are still a part of the EU, for now), changes will be have to be made to GB laws.

The EU requirements call for vehicles manufactured or registered at least 30 years ago to be exempt from regular testing, providing that the vehicle is no longer in production and has not been changed substantially.

In the document announcing the consultation, the DfT said:

“Our preference is to exempt vehicles manufactured or registered at least 40 years ago… [which] is also in line with the current rolling 40 year exemptions from Vehicle Excise Duty”.

The BMF’s Anna Zee commented:

“The current exemption for pre-1960 vehicles is a pragmatic decision based on two factors: the number of accidents which could be prevented by testing is negligible and very few MoT testers know enough about old vehicles to be able to check them anyway.”

According to the consultation document, research revealed that vehicles from 1978-1987 failed 33.7% of MOT tests. This compares to a failure rate of 25.3% of vehicles produced between 1960-1977 and 14.8% of pre-1960 vehicles. Classic vehicles appear to be well-kept, perhaps because of caring hobbyists and collectors.

Under the proposals, the document also states: “Whilst it is important to ensure that vehicles are safe to use on the public highway, it is also important to ensure that regulations imposed achieve the correct balance and are not excessive.”

Voice your opinion to the consultation here.

The consultation closes at 2345 on November 2 2016.

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