Historic MoT Exemption

Historic vehicles exempt from MOT – Attwood

chopperNorthern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced on Monday 29th April 2013 that he is exempting pre-1960 historic vehicles from the MOT test.

All historic vehicles with a manufacture date before 1960, which have not undergone substantial change, will be exempt from the MOT test.

It would seem that the Minister and the Department are keeping one step ahead of proposed impending EU regulations on Road Worthiness Testing (RWT).

This decision follows the outcome of a public consultation which showed broad support for the exemption. Such an exemption has been in place in Britain since November 2012.

Pre 1960 vehicles account for less than 0.14% of vehicles in Northern Ireland.

It is proposed that the enabling legislation will come into operation in September 2013 in Northern Ireland.

Alex Attwood said: “I have very much listened to the response coming through from our consultation. 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 road worthy condition. There are very few historic cars in Northern Ireland and they are for the most part used infrequently.

“While this will be welcome news for owners, I anticipate that my decision will encourage them to continue to look after their vehicles.

“I have also made provision for a voluntary MOT test should the owners wish to have their vehicle tested. I also welcome the Environment Committee giving its support for my decision.”


The proposed regulations make use of an exemption in Roadworthiness Directive 2009/40/EC, which allows Member States to exempt historic vehicles from MOT testing.

There are 898,874 car and motorbikes in Northern Ireland. Of these 1220 are pre 1960. In GB, two thirds of pre 1960 vehicles do less than 500 miles each year.

In July 2012, the European Commission published a ‘Roadworthiness Package’ which, amongst other things, addresses periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles, therein making changes to the rules that apply to historic vehicles; the proposals are expected to be introduced no earlier than August 2014.

If implemented as then drafted, these proposals would have narrowed the parameters within which the Department could provide for exemptions to historic vehicles, as the definition of historic vehicle was more prescriptively described. The Department therefore had to be mindful of the changing legislative context, to ensure that any changes made were not made redundant by incoming EC Regulations.

As a result of the EU negotiations regarding the roadworthiness package, one of the main amendments was a change to the definition of “historic vehicles” allowing vehicles that have not undergone “substantial” changes to be still classed as historic, thus now enabling the Department to proceed with the legislative amendment to exempt pre-1960 vehicles from periodic testing.

The public consultation ran between 29 November 2011 and 21 February 2012.

The provision for a voluntary MOT test for such vehicles (for purposes including cherished plate transfer), will also be introduced. Agreement has been reached with DVA that it will carry out these tests on request.

Consultation Document – Click Here

Right To Ride EU Reports on EU RWT Proposals – Click Here

Original Source DOE – Click Here


Share Button

Speak Your Mind