Historic MOT Exemption

While we wait for the outcome of the Northern Ireland consultation on the exemption of historic vehicles from MoT, the BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) have reported that they are cautious over Historic Vehicles MOT Exemption announced in GB by the DfT (Department for Transport).

The DfT said, ” Classic vehicles will be exempted from the MoT test, Roads Minister Mike Penning announced today.

Classic and historic vehicles are often very well maintained by their owners and have a much lower accident and MoT failure rate than newer vehicles.

The current requirement to undergo an MoT test goes over and above the obligations set out in European legislation. Following a public consultation which showed high levels of support for the proposals, vehicles manufactured before 1960 will be exempted from the MoT test from 18th November 2012 reducing costs for owners.

Owners of affected vehicles will still be able to take exempt vehicles for an MoT test on a voluntary basis.”

Did you respond to the Northern Ireland consultation, what were your thoughts?

BMF Cautious over Historic Vehicles MOT Exemption

24th May 2012

The announcement by the Government that vehicles manufactured before 1960 will no longer have to pass an MOT, has received a cautious welcome from the British Motorcyclists Federation.

While pleased that the Government is trying to cut down on regulation, the fact that thousands of cars and motorcycles will from 18th November no longer require an annual test of any sort is a concern say the BMF.

At the time of the consultation the BMF pointed out that there was still a lot of support from the classic world for some form of an MOT as an annual check of basic roadworthiness. The BMF’s response, while recognising that modern test standards were not suitable for 50 year old vehicles, also went on to acknowledge that there was a problem in finding testers who were knowledgeable on the limitations of older vehicles.

The BMF also points out that owners of pre-1960 machines will still be legally required to ensure that they are safe and in a proper condition to be on the road, the problem now being though, who decides?

The Government have also said that it is allowing voluntary MOT tests and it might well mean that motor insurance providers will require historic vehicles to have been tested as proof of road worthiness, something that could also assist owners following road traffic accidents.

BMF Government Relations Executive Chris Hodder said: “Broadly speaking, the BMF is generally in favour of less legislation and regulation for motorcycle owners, but there is a very large degree of support for the MOT system and we did question whether exemptions should be made at all. We will now have to watch how the system pans out.”

A summary of response to the consultation is available as a pdf: Click Here

Note: Ironically, with much talk currently over EU Type Approval regulations, it is Article 4(2) of EU Directive 2009/40/EC, that allows governments to exempt pre – 1960 vehicles and in fact brings requirements into line with the unladen pre-1960 manufactured HGVs, which are already exempted from the MOT testing.

Original BMF Source: Click Here

DfT Source: Click Here


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  1. I would like to see more support by both the BMF and MAG UK for the MoT (aka Periodical Technical Inspection – PTI). Considering the failure rate in GB is 21% (7% in Northern Ireland), this suggests that this inspection has a valid purpose.
    Of course there is room here for an interesting debate on the reasons for such a wide variation: Is it because the greedy private sector mechanics in GB find fault where there is none to boost their meagre profits and/or is it because in Northern Ireland where MoTs are carried out by a government agency, the examiners only give visual tests and don’t really know enough about motorcycles?
    Apart from that sort of speculation, personally I would be very unhappy to share the road with mechanically unsound vehicles. The stance taken by FEMA against PTI appears to be short sighted and needs to debated. I understand that the EC wants Europe wide PTI and given the failure rates here, I don’t see that as a problem. What should be discussed is the type of PTI and whether mutual recognition would be the best option.
    Signing petitions just to say no – seems an incredible waste of time and energy. Using the MAIDS report which FEMA quotes as the basis of the 0.7% of defects as the cause of accidents (even though the Commission and world experts such as Harry Hurt slammed as being biased) is not reliable. The Northern Ireland Motorcycle Fatality report which the BMF Foundation supported, highlights that 12.5% of the vehicles in the 39 case studies were defective.
    Time for a real debate!

  2. I think the MoT exemption is an excellent idea most people who keep historic vehicles are mechanically minded and keep their vehicles in good condition, who wants to take a vehicle on the road which is not road worthy older vehicles are alot easier mintained than more modern vehicles, an MoTd vehicle is only road worthy at the time of testing a week later it may not be as a fault can occur at any time.

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