No MOT for cars registered before 1960!! by daveb57

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As you would have probably seen my thread from the other day about road tax, i noticed at the bottom of the form that vehicles manufactured before 01/01/1960 are now not subject to the annual MOT inspection!

Surely not a wise move?

Not wishing to cast aspersions on anybody out there, but i am sure there may be some who may possibly take advantage of this fact and ignore maintenance on their vehicles, which, when considering the age that these are, could be asking for trouble. No, personally i do not think this should be happening.

Be interesting to see other members views on this subject.


Dave :)

Posted 12 Jan 2013, 16:29 #1 

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I think it really depends on the person. Personally, if I was lucky enough to own a car of that age, I would do whatever is needed to keep it fully roadworthy whether I had to MOT it or not. I think you are right, some people will buy an old car to try and get away without an MOT, but those sort of people probably wouldn't MOT a modern car or tax it anyway :)

Posted 12 Jan 2013, 16:56 #2 

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And, as a member on another forum where i also posted this has put, as it is pre '73, no road tax either. Cheap classic car insurance to boot and hey, you are away with ultra cheap motoring.

As regards insurance, the poster asked if an insurance company would want some form of inspection to see if the vehicle was roadworthy before they would insure it?

Posted 12 Jan 2013, 17:36 #3 

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Borg Warner
Been huge debate in magazines such as Practical Classics on this very subject as well on the MGOC web site. Think the general consensus of opinion is that it's a bad idea but it will cut red tape for owners of classic/historic cars???? But to be honest I don't see it that way. My 1970 MG will fall into the bracket as I think it's a rolling one(?), no matter it will have its MOT. Also insurance companies will surely look more favourably on those cars with an MOT, any excuse to up a premium or not pay out?

I think that part of the problem is modern testers have difficulty applying the rules to older cars. Modern cars as we know are built to much tighter tolerances so things like play in the steering, suspension etc. which would be expected on an older car would fail a modern one but the testers can't always see this.

Just wait for the first payout to be refused following an accident as the car didn't need an MOT but was actually un-roadworthy.

Posted 12 Jan 2013, 19:14 #4 

Last edited by Borg Warner on 12 Jan 2013, 20:44, edited 1 time in total.

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I really cannot see anyone but an enthusiast running such an old car. So one would expect it to be reasonably well looked after. There will always be exceptions, of course, but they have probably looked at the statistics of the failures on the classic cars and made the decision accordingly.
I don't like signatures, they take up too much screen space.

Posted 12 Jan 2013, 19:25 #5 

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I'm not convinced. The cars may well be run by enthusiasts, but there are a lot of them who have no idea whether a car is safe or not. Mind you some MOT testers aren't a lot better.

Posted 12 Jan 2013, 19:42 #6 

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The Government carried out a 'survey' about this, before it was implemented, and based on the 'yes' replies and a desire to 'help' the motorist, it became law. Their feeling was that 'classic' car owners were responsible people and could be trusted to keep their vehicle roadworthy. However, the FBHVC, which is the voluntary body that oversees the British old vehicle movement, does not agree with the decision, nor do most of the clubs and magazines, for the reasons mentioned elsewhere. Initially, pre 1960 cars were not even going to be allowed to have an MOT, but after pressure from the FBHVC, pre '60 vehicles can submit for a voluntary MOT, which is what most owners will do. I have owned many such vehicles and was competent enough to do my own maintenance, but I would still like my car to be independently checked once a year. Even if the car is professionally maintained, it is no guarantee that the work has been done properly or that everything has been checked. For members old enough to remember the Rover P4, from the 1950s and 60s (60, 75, 90, 100, etc), they had king-pins filled with EP90 oil, but when they they leaked, they were often filled with grease. I purchased a 1956 Rover 90 that had new king-pins fitted, but the 'garage' had filled them with grease, which I had to flush out and refill with oil. The problem with grease in this application, is that it dries out, becomes infective and promotes rapid wear of the king-pins. This is just one example where an owner might think his king-pins are OK, whereas a MOT would pick up a problem. Additionally, few DIY people have the use of a hoist, and with the best will in the world, many items cannot be easily checked on a jacked up car. The insurance implications of not having a test, don't bear thinking about.

Personally, I think testing should be applied to all vehicles, even those under three years old. Some owners do 50,000 miles PA, so in three years, that vehicle has done 150,000 miles and is probably on its third set of tyres. I have often pointed out a defect to a motorist and their response is usually, oh, I will get that done at the next service or MOT!



Posted 13 Jan 2013, 13:35 #7 

It is a vast subject but has relatively simple means of solving the problems which could easily arise following accidents, not least of which could be injury to the owner/driver - both financial and physical. It does seem a very retrograde decision to abolish the MOT for vehicles that by definition should be just as closely, if not more so, monitored for safety and efficiency as all others.

In all of these government moves it is continually stated that ’consultations’ have been taken but those consulted are for all intents and purposes unidentified. Surely it’s about time that all government ’consultations’ were listed, with the contributors’ qualifications and objectivity stated. I can’t accept that motoring organisations, especially garages/repairers/MOT examiners/engineers, would have been in support and approval of this. That leaves those most respected and trusted members of those with an interest in cars, the publishers of, or contributors to, motoring magazines who of course end up with no legal culpability. Maybe an MP could make an enquiry under the freedom of information legislation?

Posted 13 Jan 2013, 16:11 #8 

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Hi Jumper,
As I understand it, the consultation was of interested parties; how it was done, I don't know. Every magazine, club, traders and the FBHVC that I have seen, didn't agree with the decision and were amazed when it was announced as 'law'. In fact, it was generally understood, following comments from Justine Greening, that the proposals were to be rejected. In fact, the Telegraph Motoring announced that it had become law and I sent an E-mail, suggesting they had got it wrong. They hadn't.

Another aspect of the decision is how the arbitrary date of pre 1960 was decided on. A 1959 Rover 100 doesn't need an MOT and yet an identical 1960 Rover 100 does need an MOT! I am afraid we live in an age of 'professional' politicians, with not a true statesman among them.


Posted 14 Jan 2013, 13:55 #9 

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(Site Admin)
IMNSHO vehicles prior to 1960 should be subject to more rigorous tests than a modern machine.

Posted 14 Jan 2013, 18:09 #10 

I agree with you Roverite. I’ve felt for a long time that government policy is decided by furtive and unidentified influential people whose second careers consist mainly of axe grinding.

Political direction has nothing to do with elections or popularity with the electorate, those impostors are irrelevant. Once policies are decided, the fig leaves of public enquiry, inquests and consultation documents are trotted out with “the fix” in place in advance. Only that can explain the sheer stupidity of many so-called initiatives and decisions that appear.

Even if all this is true, I can’t for the life of me understand the rationale behind this MOT pantomime. It doesn’t make sense from any point of view. I also agree with Mick, older vehicles need more attention, not less. What rankles even more is that these shadowy figures think we are all absolutely stupid.

It is significant that many of these things are suddenly "announced as law" without any Commons or Lords debate. Whatever happened to parliamentary procedure. There are far to many individuals who will not brook any question or dissent over their pronouncements.

Posted 14 Jan 2013, 19:29 #11 

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I don't want to labour the point, but another problem with this legislation is that pre 1960 cars don't need to pay road tax and now don't have to pay for an MOT. On the other hand, pre 1973 cars (classics), don't have to pay road tax but do have to pay for an MOT! I think older vehicles do deserve some consideration, which was what the zero rated car tax was designed for, although the rolling 25 year qualification was frozen at pre 1973 vehicles; it would have been better to just re-introduce the rolling 25 year rule, starting at pre 1987 vehicles. Apart from the safety issues with this legislation, it is now possible to restrict the use of this easily identified group of vehicles, as they do in the EU, where they could be banned from motorways or from night time use.

The good thing is that they have the very good FHBVC to take up any issues with UK government, or EU intervention. The ordinary motorist has no such organization to represent their point of view. Yes, there is the AA and RAC, but they are commercial organizations, owned by venture capitalists and the like; there are also several smaller groups, but there is no single body representing the 34 million motorists and their £50 billion PA tax contribution.


Posted 15 Jan 2013, 15:46 #12 

Last edited by Roverite on 19 Jan 2013, 14:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Bermudan 75
Oh goody ! I assume that every year the year of car moves on. Therefore my 2008 registered 75 will not need a MoT in 2066 when I will be er, 111, oh bugger. :(

Posted 19 Jan 2013, 00:45 #13