Vivas could become classic cars under new government proposals 0
According to British and EU laws, any vehicle manufactured before 1960 is exempt from the standard MOT tests as they are recognised as classic cars. Other cars under consideration for the possible reclassification are Austin Allegros and Ford Cortinas.
The European Union has submitted plans to cut the threshold to incorporate cars made at least 30 years ago, are no longer in production, and have not been significantly altered by repairs or modifications.
A consultation has been started by the Department for Transport (DfT) on plans recommending a 40-year limit for cars under consideration.
These proposed changes could potentially see up to 331,000 vehicles registered from 1960 to 1977 being made except from the annual MOT (unless significant modifications have taken place) and being reclassified as ‘classic cars’.
Vehicles over 40 years old are already except from vehicle excise duty, this move, should it happen, would bring MOTs in line with the road tax system.
On their website the DfT has stated: “Our preference is to except vehicles manufactured or registered at least 40 years ago. The 40-year old vehicle option is also in line with the current 40-year exemptions from Vehicle Excise Duty so this will ensure greater consistency.
“Throughout the proposals in this document the Government has been keen to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on businesses as well as individuals who want to make use of these vehicles. We believe the proposals are sensible for keeping our roads safe for users and strike the right balance,
“Responses to this consultation will help inform our final proposals before we make changes to domestic legislation. It will also assist us in refining the assessment of the impacts. I encourage you to reflect on the proposals set our here and to respond to the consultation questions in full.”
The co-founder of the Car and Classic website, Phillip Warner, told The Times: “There’s nothing wrong with a nice old Ford Cortina or equivalent. They can be fun to drive and people like to see them on the road. But it is always sensible to get a second option from an MOT garage.”
Not everyone is on board with the planned changes.
Former Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson, who acts as spokesman for FairFuel-UK, said to The Times: “It is absolutely wrong and risks compromising road safety. Older cars should have a greater level of scrutiny than new cars.
“You’re talking here about cars like the Escort Mk1 and the Cortina. They were hardly at the zenith of rust proofing or technical efficiency and need constant maintenance. To think that we could see 1970s Fords, Vauxhalls or Hillmans taking to the road unsupervised really worries me.”
The DfT have refuted claims that the new plans are a safety risk.
A spokesman for the DfT told the Daily Mail: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and cutting the number of accidents is our top priority. MOT testing is a key part of maintaining safer vehicles and keeping dangerous vehicles off the road.
“Research shows that classic vehicles are involved in proportionally far fewer accidents than their modern equivalents and the number of collisions caused by mechanical defects is extremely low.
“We will announce the results of the consultation in due course.”
The consultation started on September the 22nd and is due to run until November 2, 2016.