Pre-1960 car MoT move welcomed
Vintage 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%) were made before 1960.
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. Vintage cars never have much mileage in a year. It's hardly worthwhile putting them through the MoT because they are 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 safe and roadworthy. Provision has also been made for a voluntary MoT test for any motorists who wish to have their vehicles tested.
A public consultation between November and February showed broad support for the exemption.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said he did not believe it impacted on road safety, saying: "I do not believe there will be any lessening of safety on our roads as a result of this. Historic car enthusiasts are well known for keeping their vehicles in pristine and roadworthy condition. There are very few historic cars in Northern Ireland and they are for the most part used infrequently."