What exactly does the MoT mean to you? An annual sharp intake of breath as your local garage tells you what the damage is to get your old car through the test? Then again you could view it as confirmation that you are maintaining your vehicle in the rudest possible health. Whatever you think about that crucial half an hour when a mechanic prods around your pride and joy the simple fact is that the MoT isn’t perfect. It was however, all we had until recently.
The Department of Transport has decided to scrap the MoT test for vehicles over 40 years old. The change in legislation will come into force on May 20th 2018. It brings the MoT test into line with the cut-off date when Vehicle Excise Duty is also no longer applicable.
For some it seems to be a cause for celebration because it might just save fifty quid every year. Others focus on the fact that they can go and buy a Lamborghini Countach and not have to worry about it passing a test.
This concession is aimed at the classic car owner because on the whole they are good boys and girls who go out of their way to look after older motors which usually need a bit more TLC, even if that won’t always stop them breaking down.
Obviously It is up to car owners to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained throughout the year and not rely solely on this test. Most owners will keep up their care schedule, the trouble is that such an exemption gives those who are a tad more slovenly, an excuse. That is not a good message to send out to any car owners that making sure a car is roadworthy is now sort of optional. The MOT acts as a good annual reminder to sort things out.
Just as terrifying as having unroadworthy 40+ year old nails running around is that the authorities now have an age related excuse to blanket ban vehicles from certain areas, or simply participating in everyday motoring life. Maybe classics will only be allowed out on Grand Prix weekends, or when it is sunny.
And finally good local garages are going to lose out. It isn’t just the paltry amount they make on the MOT itself it is the extra business they will get from repairs and just sorting things out in an age old engineering fashion rather than fitting some new parts.
If you don’t own an old car you may not care about any of this. It is important to remember that you will though be sharing road space with old cars and that should terrify you.