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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Why now is the time to have your say on MoT testing

THERE is less than a week left to have your say about proposed laws which could spell the end of the MoT if - like me - you've got a car made before 1988.

Over a pint last night I spent a good twenty minutes trying to explain the implications of the European Roadworthiness Directive to my tame mechanics, who for the crime of being classic car specialists get the dubious honour of rescuing both my MGB and my MX-5 from their various mechanical maladies. It left me a bit worried - if two classic car mechanics aren't quite up to scratch with what the British Government are currently consulting over, what chance do the rest of us petrolheads have?

Unpeel the proposals from the EU bumph however, and it's fairly simple; in the plainest Northern English possible, the British Government has agreed to implement some form of MoT exemption for cars over 30 years old, as long as - and here's the tricky bit - they haven't had "substantial changes".

As it's a directive from Brussells rather than a fully-fledged law, however, it's entirely up to the boffins at Whitehall to work out exactly what substantial change is, which is why the Department for Transport is currently carrying out a consultation on the issue (albeit one that's not exactly been massively publicised).

It is a hugely divisive issue in the classic car world. I've always been of the opinion that ALL cars should have to go through an MOT (and I was definitely against pre-1960 cars being given MoT exemption) but I know plenty of people who reckon it's a good idea to exempt 30-year-old cars too, plenty of people who'd like classic cars to be tested every two years instead, and plenty of people who just want the European Union to get off our back and let us deal with our own motoring matters ourselves.

Whatever happens though, the important thing is to go on the consultation and get your thoughts across sooner rather than later - the consultation ends next Friday (24 October), so time's of the essence.

Hopefully, someone in Westminster or Whitehall will take note.

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