We Review The MOT Exemption Changes One Year On.

“You could preserve your money, classic car and even your life by ignoring the classic car MOT exemption and keep your annual MOT inspections up-to-date.”

A striking statement made recently by a classic car dealer, which is provocative intentionally. Here we examine why it could be true.

Why? Why disregard the one occasion that the government actually offer to save you more than a couple of pence? Simple – because it won’t. What the exemption will do is put you, your treasured classic car, your passengers and the great British public in potential danger, and may even cost you money in repairs in the long run. How so? Here’s why you should toss the MOT classic (historic) vehicle exemption to one side.

At the point of sale, savings are exhilarating, but like any cheap decision – its going to cost you long-term. The government’s historic (classic) vehicle exemption is no different. Set the fee aside for a second and fast forward five, ten, fifteen years. Would you want to buy a classic car that last saw an MOT that long ago? Exactly. Not only does skipping out on the MOT de-value your investment, it could also creates a ticking time-bomb. Let me explain, here’s the top reasons why not MOT’ing your classic car is a bad idea, on so many levels:

  1. Universal assurance for buyers and drivers: So you’re finally in a position to buy that Austin Healey 3000, E-Type Jag or AC Cobra but you hear that it hasn’t been MOT’d in years. Does that make you think twice or even walk away. One of the points of an MOT is to provide a universal standard of reassurance for both you and any potential buyer. Without it, neither you or anyone else has any idea of the safety of the car that you are driving around in. Worse still, if you are in a classic car then the hidden dangers of corrosion, faulty electrics, fuel leaks and worn brakes are a reality.


Keeping up with the MOT on a car made within recent years, that has contemporary systems and standards, whilst ignoring MOTs for cars that are 40+ plus years old with electrics from the past, potentially corrosive parts and any other manner of need, could be a recipe for disaster, that anyone would want to avoid. Whether you are a driver or a buyer, above all, you want to know that the classic car that you are driving is safe. Period.


  1. Irrefutable proof of mileage: Likewise, without the MOT, where’s the solid proof of mileage? Again, if it is a toss-up between word of mouth and an official document, we all know which one we’ll go for. Imagine two identical classic cars, one without any up to date records, and one with annual MOT certification showing its mileage – the choice is obvious.


  1. Save now- pay more later: We’ve all been there, you go for the cheaper option, only to find that it works out far more expensive in the long run. This is clearly the case here. Classic cars need to be looked after. From rust to weak seat belt fixtures, most of the serious defects are not visible to the naked eye without proper structural inspection. You might save on the small cost of an MOT now, but you are almost guaranteed to have to fork out on some major work in the future. Costs that could have been avoided if the car was maintained properly.


  1. Avoid letting minor issues turn into major problems: Who wants to invest in a classic car that has not been properly looked after? No-one. We need to know the car history because we don’t want to end up with a car that costs more in repairs than we paid for it. But without an annual MOT that is exactly what is going to happen. With classic cars already at risk of damage from rust, weakened fittings, damaged mounts and failing electrics, you know that your car needs to be looked after properly. Even more so, because most major faults are invisible to the naked eye, so without an annual inspection to spot any potential problems early on- the first sign of any problem, may well come too late, resulting in your car needing costly, major restoration work. Want to know more? Read the full outcomes of the government consultation with members of the classic car community here.

So, although it may feel a little disappointing, resist the temptation to follow the changing winds of official policy and make sure that your classic car is safe to drive and properly looked after. Indeed, with a legal duty to ensure that any vehicle is road-worthy, we don’t think it won’t be long before the government reviews the exemption. A year has gone by since the Exemption took effect, and already we are seeing cars that are not roadworthy being advertised for sale.

Now this is not to say that all classic cars are in danger. Generally speaking classic car owners are enthusiasts and love to drive their old cars. Annual mileage is often in the hundreds, not thousands. Typically these owners are meticulous in the care of their cars and investments, but in the main they still have then tested annually. No one has anything to fear from an MOT and we thoroughly recommend that you still do it regularly.

For a pre-MOT check, and preparation of your classic car call Roman Garages on 0333 3355 054

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