Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Pre-1960 car owners hail MOT exemption move

Exemption will take effect from September
Exemption will take effect from September

Car enthusiasts have hailed the decision to scrap MOT tests for all pre-1960 vehicles as a victory for common sense.

The exemption, which brings Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK, will take effect from September.

Of the 898,874 car and motorbikes on Northern Ireland's roads, just 1,220 (0.14%) are more than 53 years old.

Philip McLean (68), from the Mid Ulster Vintage Vehicles Club, who owns four classic cars dating from 1922 to 1960, welcomed the move. “I think it is a good idea,” he said. “Vintage cars never have much mileage in a year. It's hardly worthwhile putting them through the MOT because they’re so rarely out.

“It costs over £30 for the test and you may only be doing 100 miles in a year. Most of the early era vehicles are very well looked after and are in good shape — they have to be.” At present, motor vehicles must go through their first MOT once they have been on the road for three years and are then retested annually.

Legally, owners of classic and historic vehicles still have to ensure their cars are roadworthy.

A public consultation showed broad support for the exemption.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said he did not believe it impacted on road safety.

“Historic car enthusiasts are well-known for keeping their vehicles in pristine and roadworthy condition,” he added.

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