Pre-1960 vehicles MOT exemption

From the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs:


The Statutory Instrument introducing the MoT exemption was published in October and came in to force on 18 November. SI 2012/2652 The Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2012 simply adds pre-1960 vehicles to the list of other types of vehicle that do not require an MoT in order to be used on the road. We understand that a final decision about exemptions has not yet been made for Northern Ireland, which was the subject of a separate consultation.

The Road Traffic Act indicates that: the date of manufacture of a vehicle shall be taken to be the last day of the year during which its final assembly is completed except where after that day modifications are made to the vehicle before it is sold or supplied by retail and in that excepted case shall be taken to be the last day of the year during which the modifications are completed.

The Federation’s response to the original MoT consultation, backed up by the completion of the on-line survey, deliberately included the option of voluntary tests – something which had originally been opposed by DfT. The voluntary test will be the same as the statutory test with all the component and performance exemptions as allowed at present and there is thus no need to reinvent the wheel – the test is there and will remain in the VOSA manual. The vehicle testing station can log it onto the system and carry out the test as normal. As in any case where a vehicle fails its test, whether voluntary or mandatory, the keeper has a responsibility to ensure they do not use that vehicle on a public road as it is not in a roadworthy condition.

To enable members to find a suitable testing station the Federation has carried a list of garages known to be sympathetic to our vehicles on the website for some considerable time. There are approximately 400 testers listed, all recommended by historic vehicle owners.

The situation regarding those circumstances where an MoT was required, for example, as part of the V765 procedure, was clarified at a meeting with DVLA in Swansea in September. An MoT will not be required apart from for the cherished number transfer process, which is subject to a different regulation. DVLA have announced that form V112, Declaration of Exemption from MoT Testing, will be amended to add a new category ‘O’ to the list of exempt vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1960. This completed form will be required in place of the MoT certificate.

The Federation has suggested that it would be in the interests of safety to require an MoT for any vehicle that has been off road and/or subject to a SORN declaration for more than three years and is about to be used on the road again. This would prevent, for example, a vehicle that was taken off the road because of a previous MoT failure coming back into use with no checks on roadworthiness. We have not had an answer to this suggestion at the time of writing.

A footnote for owners of all vehicles irrespective of age: an MoT test certificate issued after 18 November 2012 will now show the vehicles recent mileage history. This has been introduced as part of a government initiative to reduce vehicle crime. Where available, the mileage history will comprise the readings associated with the three most recent VT20s (test passes) along with the dates of those readings. This will be in addition to the mileage recorded at the time of the current test.

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