News : Pre-1960 cars to be MoT exempt

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

John Slavin

From November this year, cars registered before 1960 will be exempt from the MoT test – although owners will still be required to maintain their vehicles in a roadworthy condition.

According to the announcement from the DfT, owners of classic and historic vehicles tend to maintain them to a high standard, and a public consultation showed a high level of support for the proposed exemption.

Honest John’s MoT data shows that some older vehicles do have higher MoT pass rates than their modern counterparts.

Roads Minister, Mike Penning, said: ‘We are committed to cutting out red tape which costs motorists money without providing significant overall benefits. Owners of classic cars and motorbikes tend to be enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles well – they don’t need to be told to look after them, they’re out there in all weathers checking the condition of the engine, tyres and bodywork.’

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112 Comments

  1. Not keen on this at all. Don’t recall the consultation exercise – does anyone here? Surely if anyone knew, this forum would. The first time someone dies, or is badly hurt, in an accident involving a pre-1960 non-MoT’d car, questions will have to be asked…

  2. A smart move – and not so much about saving the motorist some money. The cost of an annual MOT surely is not too much in the context of being able to run a 50 or more years old car as a hobby (or daily for that matter). I find that I need to explain how certain aspects of my cars work more and more often to the testers here in Germany – and modern testing routines not always being correct for old mechanical solutions. The case of the enthousiastic owner knowing better how to assess the car than the person officially needing to do so will not be a rare one.

  3. Shame in some respects that it hasn’t match the 1973 of the tax exemption – Alexander is quite correct, enthusiastic owners know more about their classic cars than a tester following his Departmental test sheet. My 1968 Rover P5B has failed it’s MOT three times in three years on ‘I can’t get the headlights to dip’ – and one tester even tried to charge me a retest fee even after I’f pointed out the dipswitch in the floorwell – and that was after I’d told them to be aware of it!

  4. Similar to Alexanders comment, I often wondered how MOT testers test things like indicators, foglights or seatbelts on cars not fitted with them as standard!

    Not sure how the GB MOT works, but the NI MOT has a stage which is a ramp that shakes the car (which are imported especially from Germany – TUV?) and older cars might not be up to the abuse.

  5. Older cars should be up for the use on these ramps, but they’ll surely show more movement in suspension components than modern cars (there should be none is the current saying). And then the tester needs to be able to really rate what he sees – and some are not.

    Try a Landcrab (Austin 1800 et al) with power-steering in a test. To work the steering requires that the pinion housing moves on the rack – but try to explain this to the tester! Luckily most testers here in Germany are still studied engineers with at least a master’s degree – these actually are able to understand such things when explained…

  6. @Will M – Speaking as someone with a classic car that’s just failed a Northern Ireland MoT (and retest!) for brake balance, I don’t enjoy watching it getting shaken to bits on the ramp, but surely it gets more shaking when I’m rattling down a B-road at 60mph?

    I’m definitely against the MoT exemption move – I enthusiastically maintain my car, but I don’t have brake rollers, and they’ve told me twice that I’ve got something sticking in my nearside drum, despite my best efforts at adjusting. Without the MoT, I’d be driving around merrily with a 60% brake imbalance on the rear wheels.

  7. The message is simple,before buying one,have it inspected,and if you are dilligent,maintain it,Its the owners responsibility to either maintain or MOT,if you kill someone because you balljoints are shagged its down to you either way.

  8. It is about time the rolling date for zero rate VED was re introduced (it was in both the Conservative and LibDem manifestos if I recall correctly)

  9. Does anybody know if the exemption (a good idea in my view)is a rolling one like VED originally was or if the 1960 date is fixed?

    Incidentally, my local MOT station is staffed by younger testers who recognise that older vehicles won’t meet new standards, and they simply make sure it’s safe to drive, meets legal requirements and meets the performance standards it had to when it was built. If all testers took this view then maybe there would be no need for the exemption and they’d still raise the money from the fee…

  10. Many cars that are not tax exempt have been scrapped because people objected to having to pay tax on them. Does this mean that 1960-1972 cars will go for scrap because people object to having to fork out for an MOT?

  11. @Gavin
    Depends on the road, and if I was driving a 60+ year old car, I’d not be hoofing it down a B road at 60! 🙂

    I remember the Xantia on the shaky machine, it took it a few minutes to readjust the suspension back up when it was brought down again, it sat on it’s belly.

    There are bound to be rolling road guys who otherwise chip Golf diesels who would let you run a brake test?

  12. @ Will M – My fellow NI countryman.

    I generally find that the english MOT is purchased in a bar off an unscrupulous chap (that has usually been the case with anything I bought across the water)

    Nothing I have ever bought (and there has been around 30) would pass our strict MOT in NI. By the time I take it though it nearly always passes here first time.

    I am however in favour of the exemption, because if like me you are a car enthusiast, or value your life, then you probably won’t want to drive a dangerous shed. The MOT is just an annoying formality for (next part applies to NI only) a failed mechanic with hands like shovels and a head like a sieve to ruin your clutch or crunch your gears!

    🙂

    p.s. Some of this is a bit tongue in cheek, but you get the idea!!

  13. Another empty gesture. Anyone who owns such a car and has it on the road, as has been pointed out, will no doubt keep it in good condition anyway, so they are saving a £35 a year MOT bill and that’s it. What about the other people who have cars in the same state from the 1960’s and 1970’s (cars that are 40 years old+!) We will lose out because the bottom line is this is merely to get headlines and doesn’t actually save many people much at all. Total Joke.

  14. The one man test lane (ATL)with shakers are not going to damage anything are they?they are VOSA approved and therefore safe,be it a austin 7,xantia or 7 series with active anti rpll bars all they do is show play in balljoints,suspension components and track rods/ends.I for one would not want exemptions because you will always get one bad apple who does not give a toss if the car is safe/tested or not.It has been bad enough persuading the government that the 4-2-2 proposals were a disaster waiting to happen,ive seen at least a dozen hyundais with cracked wishbones on thier first MOT never mind any other make.

  15. This is such a bad idea. I’ve seen some shocking pre 1960 cars, just because the owner is a loving classic owner doesn’t make them compentent at looking after it. Too many people love classics but know nothing.

  16. Leaking wheel cylinders, bald 40 year old flat spotted tyres, no brake lights, knackered horns….

  17. If your loved ones are killed by a “ringed” Series one Landrover on a 90″ coil sprung chassis, thank the daft MP who pushed for this….

  18. “I often wondered how MOT testers test things like indicators, foglights or seatbelts on cars not fitted with them as standard!”

    As i understand it if they’re fitted then they have to work. Rear fog light and rear seat belts are good examples. If you have a pre-1980 (i think) car then it doesn’t have to have a rear fog light, but if it’s there it has to work. Much like a pre-1986 car doesn’t require rear seatbelts but if they’re fitted they have to work. So if you have a pre-1986 car and it fails on the rear seat belts, you can either repair them or remove them completely, to get a pass.

    For pre-war cars the MOT test is so minimal it’s probably not worth bothering, because they’re exempt from so much.

    I think the reason they’ve chosen the 1960 date is because that’s the year the test was introduced, prior to that there wasn’t one. Much of the current test they were never able to meet even when new. Of course if you have a 1961 car you’re going to be pissed off but then that’s just tough luck.

  19. “Many cars that are not tax exempt have been scrapped because people objected to having to pay tax on them. Does this mean that 1960-1972 cars will go for scrap because people object to having to fork out for an MOT?”

    I think they’d have been scrapped anyway, when cars get old and rotten they get scrapped, that’s how it works. It’s just that a lot of knackered pre-73 cars were dragged out of fields and barns and given the bare minimum to make them scrape through an MOT just so the owner didn’t have to pay road tax. Lots of 1974 cars were just as rough and only fit for scrap, but there was no reason to bodge them up for use.

    I think it will definitely increase the amount of ringing that goes on, probably the cars rung as pre-73 ones will now be re-rung as pre-1960 ones. Which in turn will lead to a further toughening up of the rules regarding what can be repaired or modified.

  20. Wonder how this affects vehicle index transfer.At the moment It requires a car to have a current MOT. Presumably now you can transfer any (Pre 1960) cars V.I. more easily?
    I cant see it causing too many problems. I fully take on board whats been said against. Some large fairground trucks are already MOT/Tax exempt and have been for years.

  21. Hmmm…

    Yes, classic car owners do look after them well and so generally the classics will pass an MOT. However, can you really exempt them from the test and trust 100% of classic owners 100% of the time?

  22. This is a bad move based on assumptions as to the expertise of us as classic car owners. I often start a repair and then have to have what I did sorted out by a professional. That’s not saying I’m incompetent, but we all have our limits of expertise.

    To have your vehicle checked once a year at a cost of £40-£50 per year is a small price to pay for peace of mind and safety

  23. #7 is the reason for MOT to be maintained. Gavin didn’t realise the rear brakes aren’t trusty any more thanks to MOT test. What would have happened in an emergency braking situation, even at 50mph? Unlikely to have seatbelts, definitely no airbags and a NCAP rating of MINUS 5*!!! A test cost less than 10 gals of petrol!!! Cheap, compared to death or remaining disable. What about trust? Would you buy a car without MOT AND use it?
    Is it costing that much to maintain the database, obviously DOT doesn’t think about the user’s savings, but its own! doesn’t make sense to me…

  24. In the USA, many state either don’t have a safety inspection even for new cars (only for pollution testing)or they are exempt if 25 or more years old and registered as an ‘antique’ or ‘classic’

  25. I think this is a bad idea for the reasons that have been stated. Although, in fairness, there probably are very few pre 1960s on the road, and much fewer still in regular use.

    Wish they’d do the rolling road tax exclusion again. That did make a lot of sense. Not least because of the currently arbitrary 1972 cut-off point which probably devalues slightly newer classics (esp if they aren’t particularly valuable in the first place, such as minis).

  26. No No no no no!!!! This is an absolute no-no. The MOT exists for a very good reason that ALL cars be tested for their road worthiness and safety. Not just for the occupants but TO ALL OTHER ROAD USERS! No way, I am vehemently against this.

    If they want to do something useful then remove road tax for pre-’80 vehicles. These cars are nearly 35 years old and actually started to contain good emissions control features. Surely there’s not that many on the roads?

  27. I’m quite shocked at this idea. The reason that the MOT was brought in was to remove dangerous vehicles from the road, and now to some extent these will be allowed back on the road again. Take the Morris Minor, they all wear in the king-pins, yet my post ’60’s pair will have this caught by an MOT, yet a Pre ’60 one won’t, yet they all use the same parts. Crazy.

    The other downsize to this is that insurance will no-doubt go through the roof again, as they will see an increased risk of owners driving unroad-worthy cars.

    What are they thinking?

  28. Why not split the difference?

    MOT still required but the test is free? Cars still have to be inspected annually but the owner benefits from a cash saving due to its classic status?

    Works ok with the road tax

  29. I’m not sure this is the way to go. I have a 1953 Bedford CA, and very often to need to assist the tester in how it operates etc. He did spot a damaged brake pipe on the MOT, which if it split I would lose all breaking (single circuit system on the old van) – A better way to go would be to have specialised MOT stations that cater for classic vehicles (and the more limited tests that they need)

  30. The garage I go to have you stay in the car for the mot to operate all the bits & pieces which is useful for unusual controls like floor mounted dip switches etc.
    I would say that ALL cars used on the public roads do need to have an annual inspection, but the current mot is inappropriate for old cars. A limited mot that maybe costs less is the way to go in my opinion.

  31. We have just last week tested a 1978 spitfire,towed in,i got it running and it was presented for mot and failed on both sills,the bloke was choked because he wanted to sell it,£1100 later it passed (fabricated inners,heritage full outer sills)the emissions test is just visual!the moral of the story is had this been a pre 60’s car of whatever make,he would have been happy to sell this dog onto someone.As it was this car looked fairly level-new seats and carpets and a blowover in signal orange.There are vendors out there with no concience whatsoever-the mot is a firewall to that,unless you get a stoke-on-trent ticket at the local battle-cruiser.

  32. Perhaps one can put a car through an MOT-style test voluntarily, where they do a full MOT and just point out anything suspect that they find for the owner’s information?

  33. As LeonUSA pointed out in #28, here in the U.S. some states have no inspections at all, and some inspect emissions only and not safety-related items. I’ve not seen any statistics proving an increase of accidents due to equipment failure in the states that lack inspections. As far as the situation in #35 (Spitfire with rotted sills), that is a case of caveat emptor. The knowledgeable buyer will check for that himself before purchasing the vehicle.

  34. @36 As I understand it, you will be able to. I certainly shall – just £35 round here for an experienced mechanic to take a good look on a four-poster and do an objective test of the brakes.
    I foresee an increase in the number of post-sale disputes where cars aren’t tested. Wonder how many sellers with sound cars and a clear conscience will want to get cars tested anyway?

  35. A minimal MOT should be the way to go. . . .
    I.e. A brake and chassis corrsion test.
    A quick visual ‘look over’ with advisories should keep the insurance companies happy (or in check).

    T

  36. @37 indeed,i got the vehicle running and to be fair it looked ok,our tester then dug into the sills and……
    No matter what,someone is going to buy a dog,be it 60’s 70’s or current,keep the mot and be better safe than sorry,its not an inconvenience we all have to do it.When i have any of my cars done i expect them to be microwaved by the VT-no let offs but then the presented vehicle only has to meet the minimum standards,if im carrying family or friends i want it safe,of course i maintain myself being in the trade,but that piece of paper still matters.

  37. Bad idea I think. ‘Classics’ are just old cars by a different name – one has only to look at some of the pre-1960 rubbish on being offered on eBay to see why. The MoT is expensive and inconvenient but as pointed out elsewhere is also a firewall which prevents unfit vehicles from being on the road (at time of test only of course). While roadworthiness is the responsibility of the owner there will be those who will drive some of these old sheds just because they can. Wait until someone mows down a bus queue in one then watch the reaction from parliament and the media.

  38. Although looking at it another way it is frightening what rubbish will actually ‘pass’ an MOT. But anything is better than nothing when it comes to a roadworthyness check.

    When they introduced that tax exemption thing, you’d be amazed at the utter crap that got brought in just because it was suddenly exempt from road tax. The owner would get the thing to start and drive it to the garage for a pre-MOT, then you’d hand them a massive failure list and would be expected to bodge it and do the bare minimum to get it to pass an mot. So clean up the brakes with a wire brush rather than fit new discs. Big hole in the floor? “well just weld a bit of tin over it, it’s only got to pass the MOT”. If we didn’t do it someone else would, sometimes the owners wouldn’t even pay us to do it, they just wanted a failure list so they could take it home and bodge it themselves.

  39. @42 absolutely,even discs that are pitted and corroded are not a rfr,they only have to be below efficiency or in a dangerous condition-likely to shatter etc

  40. Well then maybe an alternative is that ALL testing centres are government run with no repair/service capabilities. I’ve had some shocking experiences of dodgy MOT testers who just happen to suggest this and that needs repairing when they didn’t. A prime example of this was a company in Yorkshire called “Apples Car Clinics” they were like a local Kwik-Fit in the late 1990’s, I took my Fiat Panda in and they called me to say it had failed the MOT and needed £400 of work doing, I went round there (shocked and unable to pay that sort of money) and after much insistence I asked for the MOT checklist, the car had actually failed on a poor indicator bulb, and none of the other work they suggested was either needed or anything to do with the MOT at all!

    I wonder how many people ar ripped off each year with daft things like wiper replacements at £20 a go? If they can make it legitimate I wouldn’t mind paying for it. If anything, my local Rover dealer are past caring about my 1982 Metro and they never quiblle about anything because it’s not a car they can make a packet selling me all sorts for. It usually flies through the MOT (but then it has only done 5k)

  41. I am also against the exemption of the MOT test for pre-1960s cars. For many owners it does at least give them a confirmatory ‘peace of mind’ that their classic car has no obvious faults that will potentially compromise its function and safety.

    Sadly this move will also be a blow to small independent garages, particularly in rural areas such as Devon, where they are already facing immense competition from bigger garages and supermarket petrol forecourts. Here in Devon and also Cornwall, most classic cars are serviced and MOTed in small, independent rural garages, not conveyor-belt style outfits found in the middle of big towns or cities where the so-called ‘trained technician’ (grease monkey) has no idea about grease nipples or carburettors.

  42. How bizarre, you would think über old cars would need their worthyness on the road more closely checked!

  43. @44 my advice is not go to these car clinics-apples kwik-fit and the like because they are on shite wages,are tossers and are on commission,they are good at the old “shockers are leaking,you pads are low”.Only go to a good garage scheme approved centre-they are accredited,on the net and they wouldnt want “name and shame”.The trouble is with some VT’s they think they know everything and are generally not good mechanics-only some i hasten to add!open to interpretation some RfR’s!

  44. Why is it that politicians and civil servants manage to make a dog’s dinner of practically everything they touch? Here’s my suggestion for a simple system:
    1. MOTs every 2 years for all vehicles over 3 years old. No more tightening of the ‘standards’ which are ludicrously strict already (eg emissions levels, which are just a sop to the climate change lobby anyway).
    2. MOT testing stations to be entirely independent of garages, like in many other countries (eg France) – there’s still far too much abuse of the current system (“ooh, that’s a fail, Sir, but I can fix it for £250 plus VAT…”)
    3. Scrap road tax; put any revenue shortfall (if there is any, once admin costs have been factored in/out) on fuel – the more you drive, the more you pay.
    4. Obligatory MOT and Insurance Certs. on the windscreen, again like in many other countries.

    How hard can it be?

  45. @44
    and exactly what is worng with that?? if the brakes are balanced and oppertaing as they should and their perfomance is upto spec and all the parts are still strong what differeance does it make.. NONE. If they are badly scored/pitted and thus performance is degraded then they will fail.

    As for rear brakes,. they only account for about 10% of braking (and on some cars under heavy brakeing non at all, the Mk2 golf GTI does this, and it’s intended to).

    I don think the probelm here will be the real pre 1960 cars, but the rung landorvers, minors and beetles. The vast majority of pre 1960 cars that are still running are doing so because thioer woners do take care of them, and the MOT is to become optional, I suspect most of these owners will still have them tested. It’s the pikey types who will take a VIN plate from a pre ’60 minor and nail it to a clapped out ’68 minor dragged out of a barn who will be the problem

  46. @49 wouldnt work,as 4-2-2 proposals,MOT is minimum standard for car to be safe,imagine a rotten focus in ten years time?bad enough with korean and malaysian built cars with thier suspension arms made from scrap washing machines.Safety is paramount not owners inconveniance,you dont have to have work done at the VTS you can go anywhere.

  47. Although while on the subject of MOTs I still rember some highly educated ‘tester’ telling me I had to weld the sills onto my P6 2000TC and they screwing them on was a fail….

  48. Far more worrying than a few old cars exempt from MOTS

    New figures released by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) reveal that a shocking 1 in 3 (34%) of all uninsured drivers are under the age of thirty.

    In fact, according to the study, 1 in 10 drivers among the 18 to 34 age bracket are unaware that car insurance is a legal requirement.

    A total of 4% of the 34 million vehicles circulating on UK roads today are uninsured, according to the study.

    Every year, uninsured and untraced drivers injure up to 23,000 people and kill 160 people on the British road. Aside from the cost to human lives, uninsured driving costs about £500 million per year, a price that is paid by all honest motorists to the value of a £30 per insurance premium.

    Furthermore, the MIB says that uninsured drivers are five times more likely to be involved in road collisions, to fail to comply with other road traffic requirements, and to be engaged in other criminal activity.

  49. @50 stewart i didnt say anything was wrong with that, a pass is a pass,personally i would change them being my own because they will be on the slide soon.Traders dont like an advise about items like this on the right hand side of the ticket as well,but tough.Regardless of ringing-gimme me a break-what are the percentages of a few?im talking about if we do away with this its carte blance for ALL the cockers and bodgers and wannabe mechanics to run around with something which could be unsafe-not a blanket reference to enthusiasts at all.There is no need for any change whatsoever,and in terms of ringing im more concerned about the 2/3/4 year old write-offs being resurrected or twinned than some old 2000 MK1 or whatever.All a tester needs is a chassis number and thats the criteria be it on frame or dog tag.

  50. “1. MOTs every 2 years for all vehicles over 3 years old. No more tightening of the ‘standards’ which are ludicrously strict already (eg emissions levels, which are just a sop to the climate change lobby anyway).”

    They’re not ludicrously strict at all, if you’ve ever worked in a garage you’ll see the rubbish that can legally pass an MOT, it’s also only a pass on the day, it could be full of advisories that might fail a week later, many owners just ignore them.

    “2. MOT testing stations to be entirely independent of garages, like in many other countries (eg France) – there’s still far too much abuse of the current system (“ooh, that’s a fail, Sir, but I can fix it for £250 plus VAT…”)”

    I think it would just drive up the cost of the test, not to mention you’d probably lose the ‘free retest’ element on many minor parts. Even if the car failed and you took it to another garage there is nothing to say they wont rip you off when you go there. If you feel a garage is telling you something is a fail when it isn’t you are able to appeal to VOSA it’s a simple process and they do take it very seriously, just as seriously as cars passing when they shouldn’t.

    “3. Scrap road tax; put any revenue shortfall (if there is any, once admin costs have been factored in/out) on fuel – the more you drive, the more you pay.”

    Agreed, it also works in terms of ‘CO2 Emissions’ too, as this is directly linked to fuel consumption anyway.

    “4. Obligatory MOT and Insurance Certs. on the windscreen, again like in many other countries.”

    Well we already have obligatory tax discs in the windscreen, and it doesn’t stop people running around with out of date or fake tax discs, so i don’t see the point really. These days they’re easily checked on the computer, so while it might have been worthwhile 30 years ago, I don’t think there would be much point these days. A common practice with Insurance now is to take out a policy online, then cancel it and keep the certificate, just tell the insurers it’s been lost or destroyed. You’d be found out as soon and the police run it through the database, i don’t see that’s going to be any different with a window sticker.

  51. @53
    Have you ever been to a meeting of minis? take a look next time at the pre’73 cars, and you will rapidly see a huge number that are NO SUCH THING. Just to avoid paying road tax on a mini.. The same thing will happen here

  52. @ 55 “3. Scrap road tax; put any revenue shortfall (if there is any, once admin costs have been factored in/out) on fuel – the more you drive, the more you pay.”

    Agreed, it also works in terms of ‘CO2 Emissions’ too, as this is directly linked to fuel consumption anyway.”

    Thats not strictly true is it? consumption has very little to do with emissions, my 30 year old miniMetro can do 50mpg, but chances are it belches out doublt the emissions of a modern car.

    But then the amount of Tax paid over the years via Road Tax/MOT’s and Fuel Duty – not to mention VAT of a 30 year old car is probably into the ten’s of £thousands! I think these cars deserve a bit of a break.

    IMO I cannot see why fuel duty cannot be used to cover everything, there is very little way of avoiding it and it doesnt cost a lot to administer.

  53. @56,may i also clarify stewart i am 100% against any car being on the road without a valid MOT certificate,pre 60’s or otherwise.

  54. If they wanted to help classic owners they would reintroduce a rolling date for exemption to road tax.

    An MOT test isn’t expensive, it may lead to work yes, but frankly if your brakes, lights aren’t working or the cars isn’t structually sound, then you should fix the bloody thing.

  55. “Thats not strictly true is it? consumption has very little to do with emissions, my 30 year old miniMetro can do 50mpg, but chances are it belches out doublt the emissions of a modern car.”

    You’re right it pumps out all sorts of other rubbish, however Road tax is only concerned with CO2. If you burn a litre of Petrol it releases 2.36kg of CO2, it doesn’t matter how you burn it, it still releases the same amount of CO2. So two petrol cars that do 50mpg, will both release the same amount of CO2 if driven for the same 50 miles.

    As the formula for road tax is in kg per Km then it’s the same as stating ltr per Km or MPG. Just a different way of expressing it.

  56. @62 the biggest threat to the enviroment is the ransacking or earths precious resources,but thats life,the CO2 emissions as in your equation per litre of fuel are the greatest of any other and therefore conveniently subject to a money making levy-in fact a whole industry and market has evolved like carbon tax credits etc,they also could wipe out road tax overnight with a penny on fuel-but why would they when yhey making money?its all one big con.

  57. @62, I take your point but why is that many cars with apparently the same MPG have quite widely varying CO2 claims? I also think my miniMetro might actually produce less CO2 because it hasn’t got a catalytic converter? which are (as far as I know) largely responsible for emitting CO2 – of course they do that to convert other harmful substances so the terms “rock and hard place” comes to mind.

    • @James

      If cars with the same given MPG state different figures for CO2 this can be down to two facts: a) using different fuel (burning Diesel produces more CO2 than burning petrol) and b) different testing cylces.

      The cat on a modern car will convert the harmful, poisenous emissions to water and CO2, so if your Metro runs at about 1-3% CO when driven (the other substances are at even smaller percentages), it will emit a very little bit less CO2 compared to a car with a cat. But that is close to neglilible. And the resulting CO2 is not poisenous compared to the components the cat converts. The possible problem with CO2 is ‘only’ that by burning fossile fuels we have disturbed the natural balance between production and consumption of CO2, which will most likely affect the climate. This ‘most likely’ combined with the fact that the resources of this kind of fuel are not endless should mean to try and reduce consumption anyway.

  58. @francis brett

    I think we are agruing the same side of the argument.. I actually do have a pre’60 car, it’s a ’59 Austin Healey Sptite and if I ever finish it it won’t be used that much except summer, which is like most Classics, stashed away in the winter and pulled out for a bit of fun in the summer. It will be tested. Simply becasue it’s an easy way to have it checked over for the summer months for anything that has seized up over the winter lay up and I don’t have a brake tester! I doubt many owners of cars of this age will see it much differntly. It won’t stop things failing after the test. It has to be said finding a cheap car of this age that is capable of being driven as a daily without needing constant repairs just to keep it going will be hard, hence the worry of ringers. TBH the cost of a test is peanuts, bring back the 25 year tax exempt rule, actually I would in addition to this make any car that has been owned constantly by the same person for over 10 years also tax exempt, untill it is sold, or reaches 25, as an evironmental measure to try and kill the disposable attitude we seem to have.

    As for the rung ’73 cars I spot, I did used to report them, mostly pre’73 5 door range rovers but nothing ever seems to happen

  59. BSD

    Here in ISRAEL it is the wierdest of all!!

    If one has a car older than 19 years,it’s car is labled as an “ELDER VEHICLE”,even if it’s a collector’s vehicle.

    Until 2 years ago,each elver vehicle had to pass the MOT once a year-BUT-from 07:00am to 09:00am it was forbidden to be on the road!!!

    Only after the classic cars club protested,the law was changed so these cars will be allowed to be on the road at any time-HOWEVER-they must pass the MOT test TWICE A YEAR!!!

    So,even if the older car is in mint condition and looks as it just left the production line,it still must pass the MOT test twice a year!!!

    And regarding the MOT test,the facilities that make the test are private,and their only connection to the ministry of transportation is ispection made by it from time to time,and the facility giving the lable indicating that the car passed the test.

    In many cases the car owners bringing their cars to the facility know the testers (or they are relatives…),and with a proper “under the table” payment the car can pass the MOT test in a condition that is dangerous to be in!!!

    Many time i hear on the news that the police stopped cars that just left the MOT facility,and when they were inspected they had mny faults such as brake or power steering oil leaks,steering mechanism problems,lights not working,etc.

    Just 2 days ago in the north of ISRAEL (if someone knows,the downhill curves heading down to the KINETER lake in TIBERIAS),a minivan with 9 people (2 parents and their 7 kids) lost it’s brakes,fell over the side into a canal and burnt!

    Only one daughter was saved because she was thrown out of the car.

    The rest of her family (parents and 7 brothers and sisters) were burnt to death!!!

    The car passed the MOT test less than 3 months ago!!!

    When the police inspected the burnt remains of the vehicle they found out that the brake pads had almost no “meat” on them!!!

    And not only that,it turns out that in the MOT test in ISRAEL they do not check if the brake pads are worn or not-if the car passes the brake test (the 2 turning wheels that the car stands on with the front wheels first and then with the rear wheels,and seeing the brake result on a digital scale) it’s OK-even if the brake pads are completely worn-because they are not inspected!!!

    So,what’s the point of the test?

    this idiotism caused the life of one whole family!!!

    and these are just 2 examples of the curiosities of the ISRAELI motor market…

  60. BSD

    I forgot to mention that if a car is found with a safety problem it has a limited permitted time to go to a garage and fix the problem.

    Only,in many garages it is the same as with the MOT facilities-if you know them you are fixed…

    Only if the car passed it’s time limit of fixing the problem-only then the ministry of transportation is (supposed to be…) informed!

    There is no computer link between the ministry and the MOT facilities!

    So,many times a car can be driven for even 10 years without MOT,and only if it is cought bu the police the problem is known!!!

  61. I agree. I’m driving a Maestro 1.3 on LPG as a daily since many years… But it can be improved – LPG is one step to a cleaner car, fitting a closed loop controlled cat would improve it even further. But here in Germany I may then end up with an illegal car, since the retrofit kits for cats to carburettor fed cars is not type approved for the Maestro… Thus I would be bound to fail at the TÜV when fitting such an improvement.

    Back to the topic of the news: In the case of really old cars I’m sure that many testing stations will not be able to spot severe safety problems, due to the different requirements on old cars. I agree that setting up a few specialised testing stations can overcome this problem, but that seems like a huge effort for a small number of cars that is – as statistics prove again and again – in significantly above average condition.

  62. There seems to be a mix of views in the responses to this news. Rather like the road tax exemption, I do think that this could result in an erosion of influence if not actual rights over future legislation. The MOT test is a measure of a car’s roadworthiness at the time of the test. If you remove that measure – and therefore rely on an owner’s snse of “roadworthiness” – how will that influence the long-term well being of odler vehicles is not very clear at this time.

  63. Bad idea, very bad idea.

    Notwithstanding all the idiots on the road, the PHBs now want to put vehicles with (in comparison with modern metal) primitive, non fault tolerant, safety systems on the road without testing?
    The Humber I used to have had no truck with ‘crumple zones’. It was built in the days when ‘NCAP’ meant if you hit the house at 70mph, the house was the one to collapse in a heap. That doesnt mean to say that because it was built out of secondhand Chobham armour plate its safe for modern day roads.
    I just had to have all the brakes done on the Safrane – it was fine for pootling around town. Take it up to motorway speeds and the braking ability was something akin to what you would expect from pushbike brakes. Not to mention track rod ends that were so worn the car was practically tapdancing down the road.

    The MOT was brought in and is there for a REASON. Getting the car properly tested could be the difference between making a mistake and missing an accident (or a child) by inches – or living with the guilt of scraping pureed schoolkid off the paintwork. This suggestion is dangerous and idiotic in the extreme (and as such a perfect example of what we have come to expect from this government).

    I do take the point about the idiot MOT testers though like the numpty who was all upset when pressing the centre boss of the horn ring didnt sound the horn, and failed the car on it, even though I showed him within 1 minute of him trying that the horn(s) worked perfectly (if you had the relevant IQ to understand the concept of Horn Rings and Not Taking Your Hand Off The Wheel). I hate to imagine what he would have made of a pushbutton automatic – probably whinged that he could’nt get BBC Radio 2 properly…

  64. I hope the owners of pre-1960 cars know how to check the date code on tyres…….tyres become dangerous on little used classic cars and caravans long before the tread wears out.

    “An accident which took place a few years back in which the driver of an H registered MGB lost his life when a rear tyre burst on the M56. The careful and experienced driver who was not travelling particularly fast at the time. The car was described by police as being maintained in excellent condition.
    The surviving passenger said that just before the
    accident, the driver had commented that a tyre
    ‘wobble’ had developed and he was going to ‘drive
    through it’. The wobble went briefly, but then the
    tyre burst, causing the car to spin, clip the kerb and
    flip over.
    Subsequent investigation showed that although
    hardly used, the tyre was 25 years old. It was one of
    a set of as-new tyres and wheels bought at an autojumble
    the previous year for use for show purposes;
    (at the time of the incident, the car was on its way
    to an event at Oulton Park.)
    The British Rubber Manufacturers Association
    suggests that, in ideal conditions, a tyre may have a
    life expectancy of 10 years. However, if a tyre is 6
    years old and remains unused, it should not be put
    into service.”

  65. @74 this is where common sense should prevail,just like silcicone sealant around a window,tyres are subject to enviromental rigours,ultra violet radiation,heat/cold etc the most important safety item before brakes in my opinion.

  66. Just a very small point – is the 1960 date just to bring the cars into line with commercials who have been exempt from MoT (Plating) for pre 1960 vehicles for some years. It has ben suggested this was introduced just because of the difficulty of testing older trucks on the modern testing rigs.

  67. @ Aidan

    I think, as someone said earlier, it might be tying in with the date MOT’s were first introduced.

  68. If I had a pre 60 car , I would stll have it serviced and inspected every year whether you are required to or not. I think this is a bad move btw , just make it free for pre 73 cars like they do with the tax.

  69. The trouble with making a free MOT is that it still costs money to perform it. The £54 fee (or what ever it is now) is the maximum that a garage can charge. I was told by a tester that the government only actually charge £1.80 for each MOT carried out, the rest of that fee is for the garage to cover the cost of the labour and maintenance of the approved equipment.

    So if it was made ‘free’ then where would the money come from to pay for it? As the garage that performed it would still need to be paid for their time.

  70. It costs £250 for 100 mot “slots” some stations only charge £30 which is cut throat-and no favours done either.

  71. @ Dennis

    As you say, the fee doesn’t cover the cost of the labour involved in the test anyway. This is either the DfT’s fault for making the test too cheap, or the garage for having too high a labour rate 😉

    As long as a car is having to be tested, and serious faults keeping sheds off the road, I don’t think there will be an avalanche of tests being undertaken over and above what are being done now. Older cars generally have less items to be tested than newer ones, so there is less of a station’s time being used anyway. It will be your smaller operators that would feel the pinch more as they won’t be doing as big a volume of work.

    I would imagine it’s very much a ‘swings and roundabouts’ scenario with MOT stations, as they will be hoping to get repair work to make up the numbers in terms of income from the test itself. There must be something in it for them as it would make no sense to invest in the technology and equipment to carry out MOT’s and do testing for very little profit as Francis points out above. The small-ish garage near us has its test bay working from 8am to 6pm every weekday so they muct be making something from it.

  72. “some stations only charge £30 which is cut throat-and no favours done either.”

    Called a ‘loss leader’, shops use the practice a lot. Basically many garages just use the MOT as a means of getting customers into the place. Once they’re in, there is a good chance they’ll have other work done at the same time, of course there are always going to be unscrupulous businesses that will abuse that. However generally if a car legitimately fails it’s MOT, many owners will have the work done at the same garage.

    Still at £30 a time, with a £2.50 ministry fee and lets say 7.50 goes towards equipment upkeep (much of which will be leased for a weekly fee) that still gives £20 profit on each, and the mechanic himself will likely only be paid about £10 per hour by the garage. It takes roughly an hour to do an MOT so the garage is making £10 per hour pure profit, if you only do 8 tests per day then that’s £80 pure pre tax profit even if every car passes first time. If each of those 8 cars need work then it can easily become £300 a day.

  73. @82,My best mate is a one man band,his ATL test lane cost him £30k over 3 years,4k to dig the hole for brake tester,£600 every calibration,heat,light,tools,maintainance rent and rates and can do ten tests a day,he is only constrained by the amount of work he can take on due to not affording another wage,he does alright out of it but he does have lean spots too,one woman last week turned away because his fee was £35 and she said she would go and find cheaper!the trouble is there are that many at it in north manchester and it is cut throat a set mandatory fee would be best alround in the trade i think just to keep it uniform.

  74. Though you’ll find many of the stations offering £25 MOT’s are those without an ATL, in theory though you should be able to get more MOT’s done per day with an ATL, not sure it works like that though. A couple of Mirrors on the wall and a manual pedal depressor are a lot cheaper. Other than the Emissions tester most of the older Rolling Roads and beam setters can be quite old and still approved by VOSA.

  75. @84 its the timing-average 40-45 mins per test and as you are monitored online(still dial-up!?)

  76. Regarding date codes on tyres (comment 74), is this even checked at an MOT? I have had two old tyres fail in the past due to perished rubber, and both had passed an MOT. Both were rear wheels on front wheel drive cars, which tend not to wear very quickly. Maybe relying on testers is a false security anyway?

  77. @ stewart, and you have overheads as well its not a huge markup really time is money,put it into context williams BMW rochdale labour rate is £130 an hour and that place looks like a shopping mall,its about taking the rough with the smooth,one failed alternator on warranty means you do the job again for free,so when its all thrown in the mix the mot isnt badly priced.

  78. I am a classic car owner and think this is a very stupid idea.

    I await the backlash after the first fatal accident involving an unroadworthy MOT expempt classic.

    This will do no good to the classic car scene.

  79. I like the ministers comment ‘they are out there in all weathers checking the condition of tyres, engine…’, but don’t most of them only come out in the summer and when it’s sunny!! Mind you, if all the pre 1960 cars were left out in all weathers the problem would disappear after a few years.
    So a pre 1960 barn find or car that has been in a garage for over ten years, just needs a bit of fresh petrol and a battery and away we go!
    Insurance companies may well ask for evidence of the car having been serviced or checked by a professional, they may be more reluctant to merely leave it up to the owner.

  80. “I have had two old tyres fail in the past due to perished rubber, and both had passed an MOT”

    Perished tyres aren’t an MOT failure, i believe a tester can note it as an advisory if they’re bad but it’s not a reason for refusal in its self. Much like spare tyres aren’t checked at all.

    Reverse lights was one i thought was an oddity, they’re not tested at all for the MOT, but all cars after about 1979 are required to have them fitted. I always checked them anyway if i was doing the in the car jiggling and flashing bit for the tester, because you can always advise the customer of it if they don’t work, gain possible business from a new switch etc.

  81. @francis brett
    £130/hr? Proof that BMW drivers are stupid. I know about overheads, it’s still a huge markup

  82. @ stewart, thats why i always say go to independant multi-make specialists in the good garage scheme- i does not affect the warranty due to block exemption rules(one of the good euro rules)why mug yourself?

  83. @francis brett
    Indeed. However as I was a CAA certified A/C engineer (IT paid better!) I tend to DIY. Irritatingly the design of the SAAB clutch is pushing me into paying someone else to do it

  84. “£130/hr? Proof that BMW drivers are stupid.”

    To be fair that’s probably about average with Main dealers these days. A lot of them quote their labour rate as “per half hour” so the figure looks better on the showroom wall.

    Great thing with BMW’s though is there are a lot of independent specialists, usually run by former main dealer techs.

  85. @95 is an old 900? where you shove an old HT lead in the depressed clutch cover to get it out once the shaft is pulled back?

  86. Right one thing to worry you all about this idiotic idea. This also includes commercial vehicles & buses. There are lots of decrepit, unrestored pre 1960’s buses and lorries in barns everywhere, that would never pass an MOT in a million years, now all of a sudden, these are road legal, so many will just get a slop of fresh paint on, and be out on the road, complete with crusty chassis & body, and iffy brakes, with 40 year old tyres.

    I’m just waiting for news of a pre 1960 lorry or bus to be involved in a fatal, and be checked out by VOSA, and it turn out to be a death trap made entirely of rust and woodworm. I know a hell of a lot of preservationists, and they think this has got to be the most retarded and dangerous idea in history. An MOT every 2 years, now that would have been much more sensible!

  87. @francis brett
    No it’s a GM900 where the SAAB engineers threw out the cavalier box for their own.. and with it the abilty to do similar. This one you have to drop the whole front subframe to get it out 🙁

  88. I think the other issues is some of these really old cars are a bit odd to test. A lot of rolls royce/bentlys come to mind, the front brakes will not work unless they are moving, which is when you want them to!, the system is very good and they are fantastic brakes for cars of their age and size but if you don’t know them and put them on a normal brake tester they will appear to have no brakes at all on the front and jump straight off when you do the rears. When you drive them it’s very aparent the front brakes are working however

  89. “This also includes commercial vehicles & buses.”

    It has done for years, you also don’t require a PCV or LGV licence to drive them (providing they’re unladen).

    “I think the other issues is some of these really old cars are a bit odd to test. A lot of rolls royce/bentlys come to mind, the front brakes will not work unless they are moving, which is when you want them to!”

    Though as an owner presenting a car for test this is simply something you pass on to the tester before he does it. If he’s not prepared to listen then go somewhere they are. No great hardship to stick the tapley on the floor and do it that way.

  90. ‘Though as an owner presenting a car for test this is simply something you pass on to the tester before he does it. If he’s not prepared to listen then go somewhere they are. No great hardship to stick the tapley on the floor and do it that way.’

    Then we got to older cars like the Rolls Royce 40/50hp, the car that made the company, they have NO brakes on the front. (When questioned about this Henry Royce replied ‘Good brakes make bad drivers’, he had a point but when he did finally sucumb to the idea he made his the best there were). But the brakes are just an example. When you get to the point the Owner knows more about his car and the etseting of it than the tester then there is an issue that needs to be addressd, I am not really sure this is the best solution however

  91. They have testable items info sheets printed out prior to test telling the VT what is/isnt testable on build year i.e indicators etc.Some braking components on 1938 bentley’s can be seen on vehicles today!

  92. Hi I think that not have a mot is good for some people like me and my grandad he has got a 1959 dodge royal and we take it out about 3-6 time a year and we always check over the car so we know when we need to replace anything so to me it is a good think but I can see y some people are saying it isn’t a good thing but if you have a classis car pre 1960 then you should know that all classis car need work done to them. You can still go to a mot place and go get a mot but you don’t have to pass that the only thing that has changed as far as I no

  93. I have just imported an 1952 chevrolet pick up and I read vehicles pre-1960 are now exempt from MOT as from the 18 NOV 2012.
    I made an inquiry to the local DVLA the person on the counter wasn’t aware of the new rule but after a lot of office discussions he concluded that he thinks I’ll still need one to register it because it came from abroad Canada??
    I rang the CVA they said it’s exempt from IVA? Help does anyone know whats the real facts are on this ruling? Dave

  94. Well they caved in, you can have a voluntary test done and there is a list of 400 stations on the mainland so far offering to do it and I know of some insurers asking for it. Yes some trucks are already exempt but they tend to trundle around at 20mph and don’t wander onto motorways….I know of cars capable of doing 150 that could be MOT free. 1960 I believe was chosen as 61 was when front seat belts had to be fitted.

  95. Its a voluntary test so take it if you want peace of mind,dont you think insurers was kept in the lop regarding this?

  96. i don’t like the idea of buying a pre 1960 vehicle and not having any certificate saying that it is roadworthy,iknow an mot certificate is no proof that the vehicle is roadworthy but it is just peace of mind,how many people are not going to maintain their vehicles now that they don’t require an mot.

  97. Does anyone know the percentage of accidents caused by mechanical or other defects? My understanding is that it is less than 3%. On a cost benefit analysis basis, tackling the cause of the other 97% of accidents would be more fruitful.

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