A 40 year MoT exemption has been introduced in Northern Ireland for vehicles of historic interest following changes to legislation announced by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon on October 12.
The change brings Northern Ireland in line with Great Britain, applying to private vehicles constructed or first registered more than 40 years ago. The exemption applies to vehicles which have not been substantially altered, or are no longer in production. In Northern Ireland vehicles first registered before 1960 are already exempt from periodic testing.
The exemption applies to vehicles which have not been substantially altered, or are no longer in production – though we’re struggling to think of many models that have been in production for more than 40 years anyway. In Northern Ireland vehicles first registered before 1960 are already exempt from periodic testing.
In addition, the exemption will also include other, non-car vehicle types such as motorcycles and light goods vehicles (LGVs) of no more than 3.5 tonnes maximum gross weight. These vehicles must also no longer be in production and must not be substantially changed.
A rolling 40 year MoT exemption was introduced in England, Scotland and Wales in May 2018, to much controversy from those who felt it would leave unsafe classics on the road. It has placed the onus on owners to ensure their cars are roadworthy, without the safety net of a mandatory inspection. Despite this, Northern Ireland has now followed suit.
Minister Mallon said: “I announced in July that after carefully considering the results of a public consultation and listening to the views of elected representatives in our community with a keen interest in vehicles of historic interest, my plan is to bring forward legislation to exempt private vehicles of historic interest from annual MOT testing.
“This will be welcome news for all owners of classic cars and other eligible vehicles qualifying for this exemption. I commend my officials for working at pace to enable this change to take place.
“It is also important that owners and drivers of all vehicles are reminded that they are responsible under the law for the roadworthiness of their vehicle at all times.”