29/05/2012 09:56 | By Chris Rees
The best and worst MOT-exempt classic cars

MOT-exemptt Classics

MOT-exempt Classics (© Volkswagen)
  • MOT-exempt Classics (© Volkswagen)
  • Pre-1960 greats- MG TF (© MG)
  • Pre-1960 greats: Land Rover (© Land Rover)
  • Pre-1960 greats: Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite (© Austin-Healey)
  • Pre-1960 greats: Citroën 2CV (© Citroen)
  • Pre-1960 greats: Ford Popular (© Ford)
  • Pre-1960 greats: Jaguar XK140 (© Jaguar)
  • Pre-1960 greats: Morris Minor (© Morris Minor)
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Bored with MOTs? From November 2012, if you own a classic car made before 1960, it looks as if you will no longer have to bother to put it through an MOT test.

Yes, the UK government is scrapping the MOT for these golden oldies because, it says, "owners of classic cars and motorbikes tend to be enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles well." It also cites the lower accident rates and higher MOT pass rates for pre-1960 cars, and says that owners will still be able to take their pre-1960 cars to an MOT tester on a voluntary basis.

The announcement has been pretty controversial. The government says it has widespread public support for the change, but plenty of people - even within the classic car movement - have their reservations about the exemption.
Where do you stand?

To get you thinking, here is our choice of the top 10 pre-1960 cars that are easy to maintain, and so ideal for the whole 'no-MOT' thing. And to balance the argument out, we've also listed five DIY nightmares that we think could really do with keeping to a strict MOT regime. Drive these at your peril!

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31/05/2012 06:24
You do not mention the main problems with classic cars. You are mis--leading people into rushing out to buy a classic car to save the cost of an MOT.
Firstly the biggest problem with all cars from the sixties will be rust, they were notorius for it. Welding is mega expensive unless you can do it yourself and make and shape  the required panel.
Secondly spares availability is still good on a lot of them, but its going to be sods law the bit you want will be unavailable so your off the road for however long.
Youngsters today will not want to get dirty and oily and generally are not interested in maintaining their vehicles, just look at the state of some of the twist and go scooters they race round on, panels smashed, indicators off, never seen a service.
Look at classic car clubs with there middle aged and elderly members, very very few younger people. In a few years when the old boys have gone the classic car movement will die along with them, and so will the skills and knowledge.
I use a 1951 Ford V8 Pilot and the fettling is constant to keep it in good shape, how many younger people have the time or the inclination these days.

31/05/2012 15:11

the problem with the uk is we take our cars to a garage that  will fail the vehicle, then we have to pay the same garage to repair the car, and will rip us off,an mot station is a licence to print money and they know it, mot  stations should be council owned and not be able to repair vehicles, just test them and issue you with a notice to repair like other countries    its time we got this con  sorted

Been a classic car & bike enthusiast  since a kid , and hate modern vehicles . But I think Keith Jackson has the same mindset of other classic lovers , not many of this generation will get their hands dirty messing with old vehicles like the ones before . I think the reasoning is the government have the figures supplied by insurance companies & others , and it points to the owners of old vehicles doing a minimum of miles per year . Not many folk use their old motor as everyday transport , and  most classic insurance policies usually offer a large discount for a 3000 or  under 6000 mile policy . I have a 1961 [just missed out] Austin A40 , among others , that I have owned since 1976 , I have done less miles in the 36 years I have owned her than I did in my first car ,a 1961 Ford Consul  in a year . The Channel  Islands & some scottish isles have managed for many years without a m.o.t. , but I understand any faults found on a spot check and the driver is treated more harshly  than the mainland . I think we are surprised that during these "nanny" state years that  any government would give this idea a whirl ? .
Some weird comments !  Posh boy , out of touch government  ? . When were Blair &  Brown "in touch " , it was them that stopped the free road tax on classics after 1972  ,and started the fuel esculator . This government have at least tried to stop stupid road laws from Brussels unlike the last that accepted everything .
31/05/2012 06:29
Rust, useless brakes, no power steering,really cheap nasty interiors. inferior handling, fuel inefficient, slow, noisy. Nuff said really but i love old cars.

31/05/2012 21:50

Once upon a time the MOT consisted of Brakes,Steering & Lights, then they introduced Tyres & Seatbelts, fair enough  all good things relating to safety & the cost of the Mot was quite cheap.


But now the cost is astronomical & it's unfair to blame the Mot stations for this as it's the government who set the prices.


As it is the government along with it's partners in crime VOSA who stipulate the contents of the Mot. Whether you agree or disagree it's the government who set the maximum charge allowed for this useless piece of paper as it carries no weight in law. It's only proof that, at that certain time the vehicle did conform or not conform to the specifications set out by the government & VOSA.Once you leave the Mot station if your unlucky enough to get pulled by the police & Vosa and they say your vehicle is not roadworthy, you can't get a refund off the Mot station even though you've just come from there.


The government is a PLC and its business is to make profit, and it is making a very handsome profit by ripping of the motorist with the Mot along with it's over taxation on petrol/diesel.


Until such time that the public stand up & say enough is enough then our  MP's (PUBLIC SERVANTS) will carry on as usual.



        Pitty they don't carry out an Mot on the nut that holds the steering wheel, if they did we may be a little safer on the roads.

31/05/2012 15:44

Stupid idea if you ask me, and I think there is more to this than meets the eye.

A few years ago many landrover enthusiasts had a nightmare trying to get there vehicles MOT'd because a new computer system came into force. Without the cars details being on the system, you could not carry out an MOT. Vehicles that had engine transplants, were built from several cars, that were imports, or that were just "old" were not catered for.

I think there might be a new MOT coming out which would be a nightmare to impliment on older vehicles.

No government gives with one hand without taking with the over...there is something behind this.

01/06/2012 00:12
I think a sensible approach to this question is, an MOT type test every three years. It does not matter how good we old car lovers think we are at maintaining our cars, few of us have garage type ramps.
It is a good idea to get them in the air and have a good look under them, lying on your back in the driveway or garage floor is not ideal.
The testing stations for classic and vintage should be council run premises that do not want the work of repairing vehicles, so do not find faults for the purpose of getting repair work and stinging the owners with inflated charges. For older vehicles than the sixties cars a sympathetic sensible test should take account that steering joints ect had play in them when new,emmisions do not count as the cars in reality do less than a 1000 miles a year going to a few shows and sunday runs. I am still deciding whether to have the Ford Pilot I use MOTd  every year or three years, more for safety sake than anything, and I do think Insurance companies will load classic premiums anyway, they are never slow in extracting more from us. And they might force having an MOT before insuring us. We know they do not like paying out either.

31/05/2012 13:56
The biggest problem with the english MOT is it is done by a garage and drivers do not trust them they believe the garage is often looking for work and give a failure notice i do know as i am a retired City and Guilds trainer and examiner in motor vehicle studies. I now live in France and their system is very good you take your car to a testing station and that is all they do they are not garage and if your car fails they are not allowed by LAW to recommend a garage to do the work and by the way the french MOT is every 2 years wake up Great Britain
31/05/2012 10:02

Did anyone need proof that we governed a bunch of idiots?

    Those of us who drove these cars when they were everyday transport and can remember the MOT being introduced know full well that there were good reasons for such a test.

   Driving an old car is not proof that you are a better judge of safety than anybody else.

31/05/2012 10:13
Another ridiulous idea from a ridiculous government.  As soon as this comes into force, classic cars will be the target for stopping by police to find fault with and raise funds by fines / recovery / impounding.     Cars of this age need testing by a professional MOT tester anyway.   The idea of un-tested cars on the road is foolish.   (My cars are 1960 and 1948.   I have no modern cars)
31/05/2012 12:51
could be driving about with an unseen fault which an enthusiast could miss without proper testing equip..i am surprised insurances company's have not complained....only takes one bad owner..

31/05/2012 10:51
The last time the Tories were in power they introduced a free taxation class called "25 Year Exempt" which would have been on a rolling basis.  At that time, I ran an MVL issuing Post Office and the day after the Budget announcement an owner of an old Rover was in demanding that I issue a new free tax disc at once.  When I explained that he'd to go to the nearest DVLA local office, he complained about the cost of going there!  Now that it's Historic Vehicle tax, for vehicles first registered before1st January 1973, at least it encourages real enthusiasts.  However, removing the need for an MOT for pre-1960 cars would seem foolish.  Fine if you keep your car in perfect mechanical condition, unfortunate if you just decide you can run any old banger for nothing.  Like a lot of other policies, it's not really been thought through IMO.
31/05/2012 14:46

XK150 Convertible......what a sensational motorcar.   

I need a lottery win A SAP!!!!

31/05/2012 13:00
I had a classic car...piston broke...no not the car that was me!
Sorry, but this is a total crock..... If they're going to do MOT exempt on classics, then it should be as defined by TAX exemption, which is all vehicles registered before January 1st 1973.

And David Fry.... stop talking from your poop hole... i own a Rover P5B (1970!)... which would absolutely destroy a people carrier doing a school run if both vehicles collided.

I think that someone here is mistaking classic vehicles with historic vehicles.

31/05/2012 14:52
i own a 1966 morris traveler mot it every year and i think all classic cars regardless of age should be for safety sake and would not render their cars uninsurable / uninsured if in an accident
31/05/2012 20:00

 Most people with classic cars look after the body work and interior very well.

Most of them do not have the facility to look underneath the vehicle at brake system steering and

chassis components.  Many of our customer have classic cars and still believe that it should have an MOT for their own safety.  I would people with pre 1960's cars if not mot'd to get their local garage to check the underneath of vehicle once a year for their own safety and other road users. A good way to help them is keep the MOT at a reduced rate of perhaps £10 for their own peace of mind.

31/05/2012 13:17

A very bad idea, most people who drive old cars (classics) do understand and maintain them in a road worthy condition but not all do this.

It will only be a matter of time until someone who has neglected their car, abandoned it in a garage for ten months, then drags it out onto the public roads and then kills someone because some component on the car has failed.

I do drive an old car as my only car.

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