Changes to the MoT system and the way historic vehicles are classified are coming into force soon. The FBHVC says you shouldn't be worried
Bodies representing classic vehicles are reassuring owners that they can continue to enjoy their motoring after two potential threats were defused. The news brings to an end a lengthy period of uncertainty over the future of huge numbers of classics.
Fears arose that a stringent roadworthiness test would be blanketed across Europe. But after a decade of lobbying by the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens, an EU directive, and not a regulation as originally planned, was issued. This means that member states can ‘interpret’ it.
In the UK from May, the MoT exemption currently applied to vehicles over 50 years old will be extended to include those more than 40 years old if they are not ‘substantially changed’. Because many cars are unoriginal this phrase prompted panic, but after consultation with the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, the UK Government has now published its definition of a Vehicle of Historic Interest and clarified what ‘substantially changed’ means.
Cars on Q-plates, kits and built-up cars will become Historic 40 years after registration, whereas a replacement chassis or new frame will not be considered a substantial change if they are of the correct type. Alternative capacities of the same engine or alternative original-equipment engines are OK, too. However, classics still registered as the original car that have received significant steering or suspension upgrades may fall foul of the rules.