Sports Cars Servicing Maidstone

Phone Number: 01622 890233

Email Address:

What Age Is A Car Exempt From MOT

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Posted date:
  • 19-03-2023
What Age Is A Car Exempt From MOT

What age is a car exempt from MOT? Our guide explains the age threshold for MOT exemption in the UK. Explore the benefits and considerations of owning an MOT-exempt vehicle. Get expert insights on vehicle safety, maintenance, and legal requirements.  

DVLA MOT exempt rules

 Under Three Years Old

Vehicles under three years old are not required to undergo an MOT test. However, once a vehicle reaches three years of age, it must undergo an MOT test every 12 months from its first MOT date. If you're uncertain about your vehicle's age or whether it requires an MOT test, you can check the DVLA or refer to a vehicle check service to obtain your car's age and MOT history.

There are exceptions to the three-year rule. The following vehicles need to undergo an MOT test when they are 12 months old:

  • Ambulances and taxis.
  • Private passenger vehicles and ambulances with 9 to 12 passenger seats.
  • Class 4 vehicles with 9 to 12 passenger seats and a seat belt installation check.
  • Class 5 vehicles with more than 16 passenger seats and a seat belt installation check.
  • Play buses.
  • Private passenger vehicles and ambulances with 13 to 16 passenger seats.
  • Private passenger vehicles and ambulances with more than 16 passenger seats.
  • Class 5 vehicles with 13 to 16 passenger seats and a seat belt installation check.

 Over 40 Years Old

According to the updated MOT laws, vehicles registered over 40 years ago are exempt from future MOT tests. Previously, the exemption only applied to cars built before 1960.However, there are exceptions to this rule. If substantial changes or modifications have been made to a vehicle in the last 30 years, altering how the vehicle operates, it would not qualify for MOT exemption.


 Other MOT Exempt Vehicles

The following vehicles are exempt from MOT tests:

  • Cars registered with a 'Statutory Off-Road Notice' (SORN) status, but they cannot be driven on public roads except for a pre-booked MOT test.
  • Electric-powered goods vehicles registered before 1st March 2015.
  • Tractors.
  • Lorries, buses, and trailers must undergo an annual test instead of an MOT.

What cars do the 40-year MOT exemption regs include?

With the recent change in regulations, a wide array of iconic and era-defining models have now become legally fit for the road without requiring an up-to-date MOT.

Among the cherished classics that benefit from the 40-year MOT exemption are Ford's legendary Capri (Mk I and Mk II), Escort (Mk I), and Granada. Additionally, the Vauxhall Viva, Fiat X1/9, Triumph Stag, and MGB are among the celebrated vehicles now exempt from the annual MOT test.

These vintage automobiles, once bound by regular MOT assessments, can now cruise the roads with historical charm and nostalgia, evoking a sense of automotive heritage that captivates car enthusiasts and collectors alike. The 40-year MOT exemption has provided a renewed sense of freedom for owners of these iconic classics, allowing them to relish in the splendour of motoring history while enjoying their timeless beauty on modern streets.

However, it is essential to ensure that these vintage gems are still well-maintained and roadworthy, as their value and historical significance continue to shine brightly among automotive enthusiasts in the UK.

Are there any exceptions?

While classic car owners can rejoice in the 40-year MOT exemption, it's crucial to understand that not all vintage vehicles are eligible for this privilege. The exemption does not apply to cars that have undergone significant modifications or what is termed as a 'substantial change' in the past 30 years.

The government has provided detailed guidelines to determine what constitutes a substantial change for 'vehicles of historical interest' (VHI). Although the complete list is exhaustive and can be found in the official guidance document, certain crucial components stand out as potential disqualifiers for MOT exemption:

  • Chassis, including any sub-frames: Alterations to the chassis structure, which forms the backbone of the vehicle, can have a substantial impact on its overall integrity and safety.
  • Axles and running gear, including the type of steering or suspension: Changes to the axles, steering mechanism, or suspension can fundamentally alter a car's driving dynamics and handling characteristics.
  • Engines, such as changes to the number of cylinders present: Modifying the engine can significantly impact a car's performance and may lead to it being excluded from the MOT exemption.

It is important to emphasize that this list is not exhaustive, and other critical elements of the vehicle may also be considered for assessment. Adhering to these guidelines is crucial to preserving the authenticity and historical significance of classic cars.

By safeguarding the integrity of vintage vehicles, the exemption ensures that these cherished automobiles maintain their unique value and heritage in the motoring world.

Classic car owners must be vigilant about their vehicle's modification history and carefully assess whether their beloved cars meet the criteria for MOT exemption.

Seeking professional advice and referencing the official guidance document from the relevant authorities can help ensure compliance with the regulations.

While some vintage cars may not be eligible for MOT exemption, they still remain cherished classics that captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike. Adhering to the rules governing substantial changes ensures that these iconic vehicles continue to grace the roads, evoking a sense of automotive history that transcends time and generations.

How do I apply for MOT exemption?

The process of applying for MOT exemption varies based on your vehicle's manufacturing date.

 Vehicles Manufactured Before 1st January 1980

If your vehicle was built before 1st January 1980 and meets the criteria for MOT exemption, you must complete a V112 form. This form is essential for declaring your vehicle's eligibility for exemption from MOT testing when applying for vehicle tax exemption.

By submitting the V112 form, you can ensure that your classic car is recognized as exempt from the mandatory MOT requirements, allowing you to enjoy the freedom of driving without the annual test hassle.

 Vehicles Manufactured From 1st January 1980 Onwards

For vehicles manufactured from 1st January 1980 onwards that qualify for MOT exemption, there is no need to apply separately for the exemption. The DVLA automatically grants the MOT exemption to these vehicles.

This means that once your vehicle reaches the 40-year milestone, you can enjoy the benefits of MOT exemption without any additional paperwork or formalities. Your classic car will be legally fit for the road without requiring an up-to-date MOT certificate, offering a sense of liberation and nostalgia on the modern streets.

 Optional MOT for Exempt Vehicles

Even though your classic car may be exempt from mandatory MOT testing, you have the option to voluntarily undergo an MOT test if you wish to do so.

While not compulsory, this voluntary MOT helps ensure that your vehicle remains in a roadworthy condition and continues to meet essential safety standards.

Regularly checking and maintaining key components such as engine oil, brake fluid, battery, lights, water levels, washer bottles, and tires is highly recommended for the safety and reliability of your classic car.

By conducting these routine checks and keeping your cherished vehicle well-maintained, you can confidently embrace the joys of driving your classic car while upholding its historical significance and value.

Safety should always be a top priority, even for vehicles benefiting from MOT exemption.

What Age Is A Car Exempt From MOT? Classic Car Servicing Maidstone Kent

In conclusion, the process of applying for MOT exemption is relatively straightforward, especially for vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1980. For those fortunate classic car owners whose vehicles meet the 40-year milestone, the DVLA automatically grants MOT exemption, making it a seamless transition to enjoy the allure of vintage motoring without the annual MOT test requirements

 However, regardless of exemption status, responsible vehicle maintenance and regular checks are essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience on UK roads with your cherished classic car.

If you want to find out more about classic car servicing and repair within Maidstone and Kent, then get in touch today.