Experts fear chaos as pre-'84 MoT exemption consultations start
A group representing thousands of classic owners said that new EU legislation exempting pre-1984 cars from the MoT could cause chaos unless introduced sensibly and thoroughly considered.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is in discussions with the Department for Transport about how to implement the European Roadworthiness Directive, which will exempt all pre-1984 cars in 2017.
FBHVC spokesman Geoff Lancaster, said: ‘This is a directive which all member states of the EU, including the UK, has to meet – unless Britain were to leave the EU within the next three years, the exemption is definitely going to happen in some form. However, at our initial meeting it transpires there are plenty of issues which could affect classic owners, depending on how it is implemented. One of the biggest sticking points is that the EU directive requires that vehicles exempt from MoT have to be ‘substantially unchanged’, but nobody yet has come up with a firm agreement as to what that actually means.
‘We raised the question of what happens if a Triumph Stag owner takes their Triumph V8 engine out and sticks a Rover one in – which a lot of people did – and according to the DfT that wouldn’t be exempted from MoT. However, if a Mini owner were to take out their 850cc engine and replace it with a 1275cc engine, that would be seen as OK.
‘There’s also the question of cars rebodied in period – of course they’re historic, but under there’s a very real chance they would fall foul of the directive. There are plenty of sticking points which we’re keen to make sure won’t hit classic owners hard.’
However, one concession that the FBHVC says has been made by the Government is that any pre-1984 classics which end up falling outside the MoT exemption will only have to meet the roadworthiness standards required in period, and will not be forced to meet the same standards as more modern vehicles.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: ‘We had a very productive meeting with members of the classic car community. We will continue to talk to interested parties with a consultation to follow in advance of legislative changes that will be implemented by 2017.’
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