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MOT Update: DVSA updates classic car exemption criteria

MOT Update: DVSA updates classic car exemption criteria

30 May 2018

DVSA has published new guidance to clarify their criteria for when a classic car does not need an MOT.

As of 20th May 2018, cars built or first registered more than 40 years ago do not require an MOT unless “substantial changes” have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years.

DVSA have now provided a thorough definition on what counts as a “substantial change”, and you can read the full guidance below:

1. Eligibility

You do not need to get an MOT if:

  • The vehicle was first registered more than 40 years ago
  • No ‘substantial changes’ have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years

There are different rules for lorries, buses and trailers.

Read a quick guide about historic (classic) vehicles

2. What ‘substantial changes’ means

A ‘substantial change’ is something that means the technical characteristics of the main components have changed.

Cars, private passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles

Chassis

Chassis replacements of the same pattern as the original do not count as a substantial change.

Monocoque bodyshell (including any sub-frames) replacements of the same pattern as the original do not count as a substantial change.

Axles and running gear

Alterations to the type and/or method of suspension or steering counts as a substantial change.

Engine

Alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines do not count as a substantial change.

If the number of cylinders in an engine is different from the original, it’s likely to be, but not necessarily, the case that the current engine is not alternative original equipment.

Other reasons for changes

It does not count as a substantial change if:

  • Changes are made to preserve a vehicle because the original type parts are no longer reasonably available
  • Changes of a type - you need to be able to prove the change was made when vehicles of the type were in production or within 10 years of the end of production
  • Axles and running gear have been changed to improve efficiency, safety or environmental performance
  • Vehicles that were previously used as commercial vehicles had changes made to them - you need to be able to prove the changes were made when the vehicle was used commercially

Things that count as ‘substantial changes’

It counts as a ‘substantial change’ if a vehicle:

  • Is a kit car assembled from components from different makes and model of vehicle
  • Is a kit conversion, where a kit of new parts is added to an existing vehicle, or old parts are added to a kit of a manufactured body, chassis or monocoque bodyshell, which changes the general appearance of the vehicle

However, if any of these 4 types of vehicle is taxed as a ‘historic vehicle’, and it has not been modified during the previous 30 years, it is exempt from needing an MOT.

3. More information

Speak to a historic vehicle expert to help you decide if your vehicle is exempt or not.

If you need further advice or clarification surrounding the new MOT exemption criteria, please call the IGA Member Helpline on 0845 305 4230.