An independent MoT training campaign has highlighted the need for sensitive handling of historic vehicles – whatever the outcome of the roadworthiness testing consultation.

With the Department for Transport (DfT) said to prefer a rolling 40-year exemption for what it terms ‘Vehicles of Historic Interest’ (VHI), MoT testers will need to be retrained to make sure they’re testing the right items on vehicles. The MoT consultation, which laid out five options for the future of VHI roadworthiness testing (see below) closed on Wednesday, November 2.

Annual training is administered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA); and if the results of this year’s classroom sessions are anything to go by, it will need to make sure its syllabus is up to scratch should the option for age-related MoT testing be chosen.

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) recently published concerns that fewer garages were completing mandatory DVSA training allowing them to continue testing vehicles under current MoT rules. The current round of training for the DVSA 2016/2017 syllabus (scheduled to change again for 2017/2018 after the MoT has changed to reflect the new Roadworthiness Testing Directive) has to be completed by Friday, March 31.

To that end, the IGA recently launched a training campaign to remind MoT testers of course changes. Commenting on low attendance and pass rates, IGA director Stuart James commented: “We are led to believe that the number of garages who will meet the Friday, March 31 deadline is lower than anticipated. Time is running out and this training which is mandated by the DVSA needs to be completed. The IGA has scheduled these UK-wide events to ensure that MoT garages do not leave themselves vulnerable to sanctions for non-compliance.”

Whether tested fully, by certification or even voluntarily, Classics Monthy would like MoT stations to be fully briefed on the needs of VHIs when MoT requirements change. Regardless of the outcome of the MoT consultation, we need to keep as many historic vehicles on the road as possible.