Revised Roadworthiness Regulations

If your car is currently exempt from UK MoT tests, read this. It’s very important! Although these notes refer to Morgan Three Wheelers, they affect any motorcycles, cars (including 3-wheelers) and light commercial vehicles built 40 or more years ago.

An extract from our club’s magazine The Bulletin and were prepared by our Technical Advisers and the club’s Registrar:

Revised Roadworthiness Regulations

As you will be aware, from the 20th May 2018 motorcycles, cars (including 3-wheelers) and light commercial vehicles built 40 or more years ago are entitled to be declared by their owner as Vehicles of Historic Interest (VHIs) and therefore exempt from the annual MOT test.

Just because your Morgan Three-Wheeler or other vehicle was registered prior to 1960 and is already exempt from the MOT test, please don’t ignore this new legislation as it affects you; VHI status is not the same as your vehicle’s taxation class being Historic. This new legislation is about road worthiness and the MOT; it is not about registration of the vehicle. 

Certain vehicles will not be eligible to be a VHI (and therefore will need to take the MOT test even if registered before 1960). This particularly applies to vehicles that have been substantially changed within the last 30 years. From what we have read so far, the Department for Transport (DfT) has still to make clear what is meant by “Substantial  Change”. For example, replacement of the chassis is acceptable “so long as it is the same pattern as the original”. It is not certain how the DfT might regard a Super Sports spec. chassis on what was originally a Family model. That could be regarded as substantial change. Click here to read the DfT Guidance Document

You can declare your Morgan as a VHI only when you renew the vehicle tax (or road fund licence). Your declaration must be made at a post office using form V112 and cannot be done on-line. You can download a copy of the V112 if you click here.  but please note that the form currently refers to pre-1960 vehicles. We assume this will be altered to VHIs 40 years old on the 20th May.

There is a timing issue. As mentioned above, a pre-1960 vehicle is currently exempt from the MOT test. It would appear that it is no longer exempt from MOT from 20th May unless it has been declared as a VHI – but that can’t be done until the vehicle tax renewal date! The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has discussed this anomaly with the Drivers and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The outcome is that so long as your pre-1960 vehicle is currently recorded as exempt from the MOT test it will continue to be so until the vehicle tax is due for
renewal. At that point you must declare the vehicle as a VHI or you will lose your MOT exemption status.

As we understand it, post-1960 vehicles will have to be MOT-tested until the VHI declaration can be made at the vehicle tax renewal date. That could be as late as April 2019.

We must emphasise that whilst the MTWC Technical Advisers and the Registrar are available to give advice on this matter it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the vehicle is eligible for VHI status. Although the DfT has stated that it will not be checking VHI validity, an inappropriate declaration might result in issues with insurance cover.