Classic Car MOT Exemption: Which Vehicles Do NOT Need MOTs?

Classic Car MOT Exemption

We only do one thing at We Only DO MOTs. Can you guess what it is?! Joking aside, there’s a handful of exemptions from the MOT test that you need to know about, so we’ve made this guide to car MOT exemptions. The classic car MOT exemption is probably the most commonly known, but that naming is a little bit misleading.

Historic Car MOT Exemption

The official name for this class of vehicles is “historic (classic) vehicles” – but the term “classic” is up for debate. Not everyone would consider an all-original 1974 Volkswagen Golf a classic car; but just about everyone would agree that the limited run of 25 Aston Martin DB5s built in 2020 are classics.

In MOT-land, only the Volkswagen would fall under the classic car MOT exemption – because, in accordance with the government’s guidelines on the matter:

  • The vehicle was built or first registered more than 40 years ago
  • No “substantial changes” have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years

So, despite holding the “classic” title and looking just like a 1960s Aston, the reissued 2020 DB5s still have to get an MOT every year (and pay full road tax, too).

What Other Vehicles Do Not Need an MOT?

The full list of MOT-exempt vehicles can be found on the MOT exemption form (V112). Here’s a rundown of the most common vehicles that are exempt from the MOT test:

  • Historic (classic) vehicles
  • Electric goods vehicles, registered before 1 March 2015
  • Tractors
  • Vehicles used on and moved between plots of privately owned land (that do not travel more than 6 miles per week on UK roads)
  • Vehicles with a max speed under 15.5mph
  • Buses and lorries;
    • These vehicles are subject to an annual vehicle test
  • Taxis/Hackney carriages, licensed and maintained by the local authority

Should You Still Get an MOT for a Classic Car?

Legally, you’re not obliged to do your car MOT every year if it’s classed as a classic. But you do have to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy. You could face fines of up to £2,500, driving bans and 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

If you own a classic or historic car, perform these checks each time before you drive:

  • The windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean
  • All lights work
  • The brakes work
  • Levels of: engine oil, water, brake fluid and windscreen washer fluid
  • Battery condition and charge
  • Tyre tread depth and condition (cuts or defects)

These simple checks could save you a penalty – or far worse.

Not Got a Classic Car? Let’s Sort Your MOT

There’s no point waiting for your family saloon to age into a classic to skip the annual MOT! Book your car MOT in Eastleigh today, with We Only Do MOTs. We promise to provide an impartial, independent MOT to everyone – and will carry out most minor repairs for free!

Send your message to or call us on 023 8064 7180

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