Classic car organisations are being urged to lobby the government to introduce a basic safety test for older vehicles
Bodies like the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) and the newly-formed Historic & Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) are being urged to lobby the government to introduce a basic safety test for older vehicles, with a call for insurance companies to collectively raise policy premiums for vehicles without an MoT in the meantime.
The calls are being made by Ben Field, Managing Director of Vintage Tyres, who took to the firm’s website to discuss the issues surrounding MoT exemption. Back in May 2018 MoT exemption was controversially brought in line with historic vehicle tax (VED), meaning vehicles built more than 40 years ago no longer need to be tested providing no ‘substantial changes’ have been made in the last 30 years.
Ben reckons a consultation regarding the decision “read like a done deal against the MoT from the start” and that the representative from the Department for Transport responsible for organising the consultation, collating responses and drafting the report didn’t have a clue about what the MoT really involved.
“Surely the MoT was the backbone of vehicle safety, that second pair of eyes and hands checking that everything was in order,” he argued. “Yes, the MoT was a bind, and yes it probably wasn’t entirely fit for purpose when it came to older vehicles. But to remove it because it wasn’t entirely fit for purpose? Was that really the best answer?”
The need for some form of safety test has never been more important, Ben claims, having witnessed a steep decline in the standard of tyres coming in for changing since 2017. He also said that colleagues across the industry are getting to serious mechanical and structural problems far later than they would if a test were flagging problems on a yearly basis.
“Just recently we had a classic in for a set of tyres,” he added. “Those on the car were all 40 years old and they were visibly shot. Three were radials, one was a crossply. The car itself was brimming with body filler and was one wet winter away from disintegration. Yet this car had just been sold on (wthout MoT, of course) for a five-figure sum. And this sort of thing is not untypical.”
As well as calling for new government safety to take place in future, Vintage Tyres believes that aforementioned collective percentage increase in insurance premiums if a vehicle has no MoT should be applied in the meantime, and that everyone selling classic vehicles, trade or private, should have to produce a valid MoT certificate before sale.
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