Do Classic Cars Need an MOT Check? Find Out Now!

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This article could be a very short one. Do classic cars need an MOT check? Yes. Yes, they do! However, there is more to the matter than a superficial yes-no answer! Let’s take a look at what happens with older cars and MOTs before you choose Elite Direct as your go-to MOT testing station in London, where independence meets expertise for a comprehensive vehicle assessment!

What is Defined as a Classic Car?

Many people assume that ‘old’ cars can all be classified as classic cars, but this is not the case at all! There is a hierarchy of ageing with well-loved old cars.

    Vintage: these cars are 75 years old or older

    Antique: these cars are 45 years old

    Classic: these cars are 25 years old

Classic cars are still eligible for their annual MOT test, and must be regularly checked for roadworthiness in the same way that younger cars are.

What is the Forty-Year Rule?

However, while classic cars must still be MOT tested, the other two classifications of vehicle, can be exempted from the MOT, because they are older than forty years old. This rule came about because of the (mainly sensible) assumption that cars this old are only still on the road because they have been beautifully looked after and are most likely in the hands of a collector who only drives them – at very moderate speeds – once or twice a year.

Are there Exemptions to the Forty-Year Rule?

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Cars who have a registration date more than forty years in the past can be exempted from needing an annual MOT certificate, BUT there are a few provisos. The exemption must be applied for, and on the form, the owner must guarantee that the car has not been dramatically modified in any way. Exemption will also be denied to cars which are used as private hire vehicles (such as taxis) or those which are used for commercial purposes – this is because these categories of vehicle are expected to spend a lot of time in busy traffic and will therefore need to prove their roadworthiness.

So if your old car is close to its fortieth birthday, but is not quite there yet, don’t be tempted to skimp your last ever MOT. It is better to have the car MOTed, and then once the age milestone is reached and you apply for the exemption, the balance of the payment, pro rated, will be returned to you along with your exemption confirmation.

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