Great news for classic car fans – and maybe or a horror film for road-safety sticklers: 115,000 veteran cars that had been SORNed can soon be driven without any need to pass an MOT.
And MG and Triumph owners have been revealed by a probe into the law as the greatest beneficiaries of the change.
Analysis reveals that that the big change to MOT rules, from May 20, could see more than a hundred thousand 40-year-old cars being brought back on from the dead, having been previously registered off road.
Researchers for Kwik Fit found there are a quarter of a million cars (250,239) in the UK which were first registered between 1960-78. Of these, 116,927 are currently declared off road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Until now, any car first registered after 1960 would have needed to pass an MOT to be taken on the road.
But under the new regulations, most cars over 40 years old will no longer need an MOT.
From 20th May, owners of cars pre-1978 cars need simply declare on an annual basis that their car meets the rules for not needing an MOT.
“Owners of classic MG, Triumph, VW, Ford and Morris cars are going to benefit the most from the rule changes as it is these marques which have the greatest number of 40-58-year-old vehicles currently registered off road,” a spokesman told Avon Tuning.
And the top SORN models with the greatest numbers of cars are:
VW Beetle (6,774)
Morris Minor (6,466)
MG Midget (5,651)
Ford Escort (4,857)
There’s also a total of over 7,800 Minis from that period with Austin, Morris and Leyland badges combined.
Safety experts believe the decision to remove the need for an MOT for these cars is a sensible one – as long as their owners make regular checks. But could the change spark new horrors on the road?
Not according to Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager at Kwik Fit: “In the main, classic car owners look after their vehicles. However, it’s especially important to check tyres: their age may make them dangerous.”
He also adds a warning. “If any classic car owner has not been driving their vehicle because it would fail an MOT, the new rules don’t allow them to put it straight back on the road. Although they don’t need to take a test, they must ensure the car’s roadworthy or they could face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.”