The government has announced plans to introduce a rolling 40-year MoT exemption for classic car owners, in-line with the current VED exemption.
This means nearly 300,000 classic car drivers will be exempt.
Currently, only vehicles built or first registered before 1960 are exempt from the MoT test – accounting for almost 200,000 cars in use today.
The Department for Transport confirmed on Friday that it will loosen the restriction from next year with a rolling scheme that will mean any car more than four decades old won’t need an MOT certificate.
The changes will come into effect from 20 May 2018.
At the moment there are 197,000 vehicles registered that are exempt from MoT testing annually, and the Government predicts the changes will mean an additional 293,000 vehicles will no longer require an MoT.
Justifications for pressing ahead with exemption include the fact that cars of this age are usually kept in good condition, they are used relatively sparingly, and the modern MoT is no longer suitable for cars over 40 years old, and garages can’t test them adequately.
This has happened despite a majority of respondents to the Government’s proposal – 56% to be precise – opposing the idea. They voiced concerns that vehicles travelling on public roads should have an annual check-up for safety reasons.
In contrast, 899 respondents supported the changes to the rules.
The consultation also included plans for a basic vehicle roadworthiness test for cars aged 40 and above carried out on an annual basis. This would have involved ensuring the vehicle’s identity is correct and that key components like brakes work.
The DfT decided not to proceed with this proposal.
Parliamentary under secretary of state for roads, local transport and devolution, Jesse Norman MP, said: “After considering the responses, we have decided to exempt most vehicles over 40 years old from the requirement for annual roadworthiness testing.
“This means lighter vehicles (such as cars and motorcycles) and those larger vehicles such as buses which are not used commercially. Heavy Goods Vehicles and Public Service Vehicles falling under operator licensing regulations will remain within scope of roadworthiness testing.
“This will ensure a proportionate approach to testing for older vehicles, which works for public safety and vehicle owners.”