Changes to MOT From May 2018

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MB Enthusiast
Sep 16, 2004
Leven, Fife / Northampton
2006 320 CDI Avantgarde . 1997 312d Sprinter
i just found this snippet that may benefit drivers of older vehicles, will pre 1978 vehicles now become more in demand ? :-

Hundreds of thousands of cars will no longer need MOTs from May 2018.
This year the government is changing the MOT test criteria, meaning hundreds of thousands of cars will no longer need one. The move is aimed largely at classic and vintage cars, and will mean many existing vehicles will no longer need to take or pass the road worthiness test. Critics have argued the move will increase the number of unsafe cars on the country’s roads. Here are the changes as put forward by breakdown cover service Green Flag:
What are the changes to the MOT?
Currently, owners of all cars registered after 1960 need to put their car through the annual MOT test. From May 2018, cars that are more than 40-years old (first registered in 1978) will no longer need an MOT certificate. This will continue on a rolling basis meaning the following year it will be cars first registered in 1979 and so on.
Why has the Government made these MOT changes?
The Government believes cars that are 40 years or older are of historical interest. Because of that it thinks these older cars are well maintained voluntarily as the vast majority are owned by enthusiasts. The Government also claims older cars aren’t used regularly. And when they are used, it’s usually for short journeys. Changing the exemption to cars that are 40-years old also ties in with the current car tax rules. And modern cars are very complex, requiring increasing levels of computer diagnosis. This means garages frequently aren’t set up to test much older cars. What will the impact be? At the moment there are 197,000 vehicles on the road that don’t need to have a valid MOT certificate. By changing the year when an MOT is needed, a further 293,000 vehicles are expected to be added to the list. That is around one per cent of the number of cars on the road. It means now 490,000 cars will no longer have an MOT certificate. However, the onus will be on the owner to ensure their car is roadworthy.
Will it mean more unroadworthy vehicles?
There were concerns from road safety campaigners that the number of road accidents might increase because there would be more unroadworthy vehicles. However, figures suggest only three per cent of all accidents are due to vehicle defects. In addition, Department for Transport stats show that in 2015, 215 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving vehicles first registered in 1961-77. In the same year, there were 160,385 deaths and serious injuries in crashes involving vehicles built after 1988.
What about other changes?
The government is currently analysing the results of a consultation paper. This asked whether a car’s first MOT test should move from three-years old to four. There has already been a strong response to this. The vast majority of people are against it and if the stats are correct, rightly so. According to the government’s own figures, one in six three-year old cars fails its first MOT. That means there would be 385,000 cars running around for up to 12 months that aren’t considered roadworthy. Testers claim most fail because of poor maintenance by their owners. Unsafe brakes, lights and tyres are the reason for the majority of failures.

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I would like ALL vehicles to be subjected to an annual MoT test. Obviously the pass/fail criteria could differ depending on age and technology but perhaps just a basic test of structure, suspension/steering, brakes, lights, wipers etc would help help ensure a tidal wave of death traps are kept off the road?

Just my thoughts.
I'm astonished that 1 in 6 three year old cars fail the MOT. What do people do to them? I can't remember the last time I had a car fail, and I've never had new cars. The SLK is 12 years old now and the Ypsilon is 7, that's been pretty typical over the years..


I'm astonished that 1 in 6 three year old cars fail the MOT. What do people do to them? I can't remember the last time I had a car fail, and I've never had new cars. The SLK is 12 years old now and the Ypsilon is 7, that's been pretty typical over the years.
I think you probably fall into the "enthusiast owner" category (as it s quaintly titled by HMG) and therefore pay attention to whether or not the vehicle you're driving is safe.

Having been a passenger in cars owned by others less clued up, I never fail to be amazed at the very obvious - and sometimes downright dangerous - faults on their car that they think aren't a problem. My guess is that many of the MOT fails at the first test when 3 years old are stupid items such as worn out wiper blades or lights not working, plus a smattering of the less obvious such as split or damaged CV boots, or emissions fails.
A common MOT failure for the "less enthusiastic" owner is tyre tread depth. Why should they check them when it's serviced every 12/18 months?

I agree with most on here in that an MOT should be compulsory. I've always been keen on maintaining my cars to a reasonable level, certainly with the older stuff I own. A 12 month check over by an independent set of eyes should be encouraged really as we can all miss the blindingly obvious stuff.

To me the new legislation is encouraging people to get away with stuff as what's dangerous to some owners could well be classed as a minor niggle to others. Stuff like corrosion in particular, if left unchecked, could end up particularly nasty especially if close to suspension mounts etc.
My motorcycle will qualify very soon as it's already 39 years old. I can understand the view that all vehicles should be tested but I personally wouldn't ride a motorcycle that I felt to be unsafe as the risk is high enough when they are working properly.

I can't help feeling that part of the problem is that the MOT process has become too complex and expensive to make it suitable for older vehicles. My bike MOT takes 10 mins to complete the basic lighting, chassis and suspension checks followed by the roller brake test. The rest of the half hour or is it 3/4 I chat with the tester while we wait for the government web site to time out before he can issue a certificate. The guy does a good job but the system prevents him doing it in a reasonable time which pushes up the cost.

Spare a thought for the enthusiasts with a dozen or more vehicles where the cost of MOT's and Tax adds up. The vehicle tax is particularly unfair considering the usage they are likely to get.
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I think all cars should have an MOT even from after year 1. Even though it is a pain for me and I have a couple of cars. Car tax is an even bigger pain.

Some modern cars and drivers are doing 40-50k miles per year. The roads are pretty bad covered in pot holes and worse. It wouldn't take a lot for a car 1-3 years old to become unroadworthy & fail an MOT.

I'm not quite sure where the logic comes from to take much older cars from times where they were much more rust prone and less safe than modern cars & scrap the MOT. Madness IMHO. Are we going to see an insurance company not pay out in an accident scenario where the car with no MOT was deemed unsafe and untrustworthy with the responsibility & owness passed on to the owner/keeper/driver? It actually means the owner/keeper/driver has less protection in this scenario. If it had an MOT it would be deemed roadworthy and in an accident it is unlikely an insurance company would argue otherwise.

Is it a voluntary opt in if you choose & want to have an MOT to protect against this scenario?

I really don't see the need to change the current MOT system and not sure what the upside is against the potential downsides.
Well it looks like the revamp of the MOT has died a death,too many vested interests were at risk I suppose,most of the EU have a 4 year test for new cars,but at least the devil you know,I suppose.
Has anyone asked the question -how many accidents are caused by mechanical failure?

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