AM Online

Government confirms pre-1960 classic cars will be MoT exempt

Classic vehicles built before 1960 will be exempted from the MoT test from November 18, roads minister Mike Penning announced today.

The Government said the decision had been made because it believes 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”. It has also received “high levels of support” from its public consultation.

Pre-1960 licensed vehicles make up about 0.6% of the total number of licensed vehicles in the UK, but are involved in 0.03% of road casualties and accidents.

The current requirement to undergo an MoT test goes over and above the obligations set out in European legislation.

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

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.

“Owners of classic vehicles will still be legally required to ensure that they are safe and in a proper condition to be on the road but scrapping the MoT test for these vehicles will save motorists money.”

Edmund King, AA president, told AM via Twitter the announcment was a "victory for common sense".

The announcement has been welcomed by the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs which represents approximately 500 clubs of high-end historic cars in the UK.

However, Practical Classics, the UK classic car magazine, believes that the change could be a “potential disaster” opening the door for safety issues and accidents.

Practical Classics editor Danny Hopkins said: “The Government has handed the baton back to owners and insurance companies.

“It means pre-60 cars will potentially be untested and while the majority of owners will keep their cars well maintained, there are the 2% that will cause trouble.

“An accident might not happen straight away, but when it does the finger will point straight back at the owners and the Government will probably have a knee-jerk reaction.”

Hopkins believes insurance companies will demand an annual certificate of roadworthiness from an approved repairer for customers looking to insure their pre-60 classic in the future, which will arguably end up costing more than a MoT.

Click here for aftersales best practice and procurement insight

If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Login to comment


  • StephenCaulfield - 21/05/2012 18:14

    The current requirement to undergo an MoT test goes over and above the obligations set out in European legislation. .... That was a quote from the above article on MOT testing , but is says it all about our government's attitude to EU legislation and the OTT rules and regs that we have to abide by........Whatever happened to common sense ?

  • Arthur Carr - 20/11/2012 10:11

    Are historic vehicle owners going to be officially notified of being exempt from the MOT test?

  • Gordon Roberts - 20/11/2012 14:34

    On going confusion among owners as to registered before, or as the government paper states manufactured before.If the case is manufactured before, which components of the machine would be required to comply?

  • m j levey - 24/11/2012 16:03

    can i now move over my registration number from my 1959 triumph tiger 110 motercycle to my newer car without it being mot ed does it still have to be taxed / insured as its in dry store in my garage

  • Douglas Brown - 05/12/2012 17:33

    Pre 1960 vehicles should be subect to an MoT test every 2nd year (due to low, seasonal use) or an annual test at 50% reduction (due to much simpler mechanics).

  • Bazza - 05/12/2012 18:53

    Shame nobody knows how to obtain exemption. But today 05/12/2012 one of the five people employed in my post office found a form that I can send to the DVLA and when taxing (free) my classic car I will not require an MOT certificate.

    • Bazza - 05/12/2012 18:59

      I forgot to add the post office person said that they think the tax disc csn only be obtained from the post office and not on line with this new system. Does anybody know if this is correct. I took my classic for an MOT and taxed it on line as usual!

  • Chris K - 02/01/2013 13:31

    The Post Ofice counter staff are none to sure about this either, but it means manufactured before 1960. This is on the front of the regisration document.

  • David Hind ,owner of ODN 963, Lambretta,manufactured 1956/7 - 22/01/2013 12:26

    How can one demonstrate in a post office, next December, that an MoT certificate is not required? The V11 still has a sentence( bottom left)'an appropriate MoT certificate' which gives the impression that it is required.

  • Graham - 29/01/2013 19:10

    Stupid! Iam currently restoring a vehicle which has not been on the road since 1978. I am pretty sure that the work I carry out will make the vehicle roadworthy but I want the reassurance from a professional tester that this is so. I will be taking it for an MOT test.

  • Eric - 21/02/2013 10:28

    Is that up to December 31st 1959? or does it include vehicles registered up to 31st December 1960? for MOT exemtion?

  • steve - 10/03/2013 16:45

    why not for all tax free classic cars - not just those pre 1960.

  • keith mills - 17/05/2013 16:17

    I don't understand why just 1960 when any classic car owner will tell you they all love and look after there classic car if its good for cars to 1960 why not up to 1972 ?

  • darren - 06/06/2013 22:18

    i have just restored my 1952 ford,can anyone shed some light does my car need to go for mot or can i insure and get tax and drive,i have been told i can drive with no mot,then others say it needs one mot ? please help.

  • John W - 13/06/2013 22:23

    What about pre 1960 buses & coaches used for hire & reward, are these exempt from MoT?

  • G.B.Johnston - 12/07/2013 10:48

    It's a pity that D.V.L.A. don't understand the new rules. My online application for a new licence for my 1936 Austin Ruby has repeatedly been refused for lack of a M.O.T. cert.

  • Charles Alexander - 09/08/2013 11:43

    Has this position now become law. I have a historic car dated prior to 1960 and am trying to relicence it but DVLA will not do so stating it needs an MOT ! Help, please clarify. Thanks

    • tomseymour - 09/08/2013 11:50

      @Charles Alexander - Hi Charles, yes this policy is in place.

  • Oscar516c - 15/09/2013 20:18

    I am a former director of a large transport museum in the north of the UK, in that capacity I have met some of the types of characters that will abuse the MOT exemption . Not everyone is responsible and not everyone cares for the safety of others !! This exemption has opened the door for none enthusiasts to buy into very cheap motoring . When an accident happens due to a serious mechanical failure ,I hope no one I know is involved of hurt. When I served my time as an engineer ,brakes and steering above all else where regarded as a safety priority!! A vehicle on the road which has not been through an annual inspection by trained staff is an accident waiting to happen .this exemption is a sad step backwards for road safety

  • Gregory Jackson - 13/04/2014 20:34

    Hi. A 1938 Vauxhall not been on the road for over 40 years can he just put in on the road

    • Nigel Blythe - 13/08/2014 23:04

      @Gregory Jackson - NO... in short the car had to have an MOT at the time the legislation came into force. so if you now want to put your old car back on the road it will require an MOT to start with.

  • M J Norman - 27/08/2014 09:37

    Is an in-date MOT Cert required for a pre 1960 vehicle on transfer to a new owner please?