Fears that the system for taxing newly MoT-exempt vehicles would not be up and running in time appear to have been groundless. At the time of writing, the 40 year rolling MoT exemption has been in force for less than a week, and no significant problems have emerged with either online taxing or at Post Offices.
The system is actually very simple. If applying in person, you simply complete form V112 – the latest version of which includes an option for 40 year age exemption – which declares that the vehicle meets the necessary ‘no modifications’ criteria and tax the car in the normal way. For online applications, the system automatically identifies qualifying vehicles over 40 years old which might be MoT exempt, and invites the keeper to declare whether or not the vehicle qualifies – and if you then click yes you can tax it without an MoT.
This declaration needs only to be made when tax is renewed. If you own a qualifying vehicle which is currently tested but with a test that expires before the tax is due, you do not need to do anything until the tax expires – the enforcement authorities are aware that a 40 year exemption is the normal/default position. All you need do is make the appropriate declaration (form or online) when you next tax the vehicle.
It’s worth a reminder, though, that nothing has changed regarding what does and does not constitute roadworthiness. It’s also likely that while the police generally recognise that classic car enthusiasts are by and large responsible people, an MoT exempt vehicle which appears to be in poor condition may well be seen as worth a roadside check. Additionally, any vehicle which is taxed for the road must also be insured for the road, irrespective of actual use.
The DVLA checks taxed vehicles against the Motor Insurance Database every month, and if this identifies an uninsured but taxed vehicle, a warning letter sent, inviting the keeper to either insure the vehicle or, if it is not going to be used, surrender the tax and declare it SORN. This is followed by a second warning if necessary, but if that is also ignored, a £100 fixed penalty is issued automatically.