You may be under the impression that once your vehicle has had its 40th birthday, an annual MoT is no longer a legal requirement and you’d be perfectly correct. But it does not happen automatically. You must first register your classic as a Vehicle of Historic Interest to prove that it’s exempt.
To let the DVLA know that your classic is now exempt from an MoT, you must declare it as a Vehicle of Historic Interest (VHI). To do this, you will need to pick up a V112 declaration form from your local Post Office and return.
However, there are certain exemptions to these new MoT rules and the responsibility lies firmly with the owner to ensure the vehicle meets the criteria for a VHI.
Your classic will still need an MoT if:
If your vehicle meets any of the criteria above, you cannot declare your classic as a VHI.
A common question about VHI exemption is ‘what makes a classic substantially changed?’.
For the DVLA, this means that the vehicle must have changes considerably from the original specification of the car. If the technical characteristics of the main components have changed in the past 30 years, then you cannot declare your vehicle as a VHI.
Key changes affecting exemption include:
(Except if it’s the same basic engine with alternative cubic capacities)
(Except of it’s a replacement of the same pattern as the original)
(Only if the type or method of suspension or steering is altered)
Acceptable modifications include:
Another common question around MoT exemption is ‘how will it affect my insurance’? Despite the change in MoT exemption, what hasn’t changed is the legal responsibility of all owners to ensure that their vehicle is safe and fit for purpose when taking it out on a public highway.
In the terms and conditions of any insurance policy, there will be a clause which states that the vehicle must be maintained in a roadworthy condition. In the event of an accident that leads to a subsequent claim, the vehicle will be inspected by an engineer. During this inspection, the engineer will advise whether the incident in question was caused due to unsatisfactory maintenance of the vehicle or not.
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