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There is a UK parliament petition just started to reduce the road tax exemption from 40 years to 30 years.
I have just signed it and I urge all UK forum members to do the same.
When it gets to 10,000, the government must respond.

Although it won't affect us just yet, it is a move in the right direction I feel. A 1995 model p38 will be 26 years old now.

Road Tax Petition

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Well that's fine but I cannot believe vehicles from 1960s and older are not except --- I still take my MK2 consul for MOTs even though it doesn't have too ---

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Signed it but can't really see the logic behind it, "I would like the Goverment to do this as it will help young motoring enthusiasts afford classic cars." No it won't, it will encourage people to keep old bangers on the road. Just because they are exempt from road tax doesn't make them a classic car. I also take stuff for an MoT whether it needs it or not, it's an opportunity for someone else to have a look and maybe spot something I haven't.

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Symes:

It should be. Anything built before 1 Jan 1981.

Classic vehicle rules

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Yes but I'm saying 60 year old vehicles no MOT ---- I don't agree with dvsa saying old classic vehicles are well maintained --- had guy moan about mye putting V8 in rover p6 he got quite angry ---- on way home his tyres burst --- they were 20yr old 🙄🙄🙄

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Over here, a 30 year old vehicle can be put onto historic registration. It works out (in NSW) to be about 10% of the cost of full rego. You have to be a member of a club, vehicle still needs an annual inspection, either MOT or by a club official, and has to be substantially unmodified, basically withe the power train and body as it would have had new.

You get 60 days driving via a logbook scheme, plus any club event days. There are no restrictions on where or how far you travel on your 60 days, so in theory you could do a trip around OZ. Only the days you drive the car count.

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It varies quite a bit by country. In some a historic class vehicle can only be used at certain times of the year, or with limited mileage, etc. Here, as soon as a car reaches 40 years old it no longer needs an MoT test (but you have to declare it is roadworthy and if you are using it and a policeman decides it isn't roadworthy, you'll still get nicked for it) and the road tax is free. There's no limits on when you can use it, how often and how far you travel. So anything pre-1981 could quite legitimately be used as an everyday car and clock up as many miles as you want.

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My mighty Austin 7 will run on beeswax and camel piss - it'll outlast us all!!
Not that you'd necessarily WANT to drive very far in it, mind.

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A couple of comments:
I don't agree with the wording behind the petition "to help young motoring enthusiasts afford classic cars".
However, I have a personal interest. I am running two cars and my wife one car. I sorned the p38 last year partly due to cost and partly due to the lockdown and it not being used. What about you guys with 3 or 4 p38's? Do you road tax them all?
You can only drive one car at a time, so where is the logic in road taxing every car?
MOT is a different thing, so should have a separate date or at least separate rules. Anything post war 50's/60's/70's/80's should be tested I think and those are the cars more likely to get you killed.
I can find my way round a p38 but as Richard says it is always good to have an MOT tester look at it with a fresh pair of eyes in case something is missed. It has happened to me several times over the years. Just last year with my front suspension bushes.
Also you can't have someone turn up in a Foden steam wagon for an MOT, so pre war cars should be dealt with differently. What about someone turning up with a 1928 Bentley Speed Six? Worth £2 million. Would you leave it with them to test? I think not.
Is there an environment advantage to running older cars for longer. A bit like Cuba maybe? Older cars are less efficient and have poor emissions vs the cost and energy producing a new car.

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I keep both mine taxed, it's £23 a month each so not as if it's going to break the bank. I've got a trade policy for insurance so they are both covered on that too. Worth it just to have them available when needed as the Ascot seems to have become the household pool car. Dina pinched it this morning so she could take her sister and a friend out and her car only has two seats.

The main argument with removing the need for an MoT for older stuff is that much of it doesn't apply. While a lot of the older testers who have been around for a long time know what they are doing, some of the younger ones are likely to try to fail an older car for not having something it never had in the first place.

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I'd agree that older vehicles aren't appropiate for an MOT test, but at the same time I've seen enough to say as said above, a second pair of eyes giving them an appropiate once over is needed. Yes most of the MOT may not apply, but that doesn't mean nothing at all should be checked by someone independent and qualified to say what they are looking at is reasonably safe (or as safe as it can be in the case of some vehicles).

Having seen a Series IIA where the front seats were only secured on one side of the seat each and a completely non-functional handbrake being driven about, and other similar and even more dangerous faults on older stuff, you can't rely on the owners to keep stuff in a good enough state by themselves (some will, others need the regular testing to keep it somewhere close to an acceptable standard).

Don't have so much of an issue of the driver coming to an untimley end due to their own actions, but they can hurt others in the process after all.

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That's why I put my collection through MOT --- at the end of the day we are human and can miss things ---- my consul failed only once --- no handbrake fitted ----- tester got in it and didn't know chrome T handle under dash was hand brake ---- when I came back to collect --- showed him how it worked ---- he passed it afterwards -- didn't like red rear indicators though ----- Not only should old vehicles have some form of safety check but tester needs understanding of old vehicles

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Red rear (and white front) indicators are legal for anything pre-1961 so as long as they work, they should still pass them. I took a 1958 Studebaker in for test that had been standing for about 20 years and the valves on two cylinders were stuck open but as it was a sidevalve engine it still ran on the other 4. It still passed as on something that old there's no emissions test, no seatbelt check, etc. But it was solid, the brakes worked (as well as they ever had), the lights worked, no slop in the steering and that was about as far as the test went.

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I forget how the road tax system works.. Is it pre 2006 it's based on engine size and post 2006 based on CO2 emissions?

If that's true, one interpretation of the intention of the petition is lower road tax for small engine'd old cars to bring it closer to the cost of taxing a modern small engine'd car (currently cheaper to tax a 2016 1.2L car that is taxed according to it's low CO2 emissions than to tax a 1990 1.2L car)?

But if it involves not having to put vehicles through an MOT the wording envisages a legal loophole where anyone could buy a 1990 Ford Fiesta / Cavalier / etc, drive it daily and only ever spend on maintenance when it refused to move or the wheels fell off...

I could agree with the road tax argument and it could also make sense in terms of CO2 emissions (an old car on the road might mean a new car doesn't have to be made) but I wouldn't want a lot of people driving early 90's cars without taking them for MOT.

There are a lot of 1990's cars on last legs now, in poor condition and almost ready for the scrappers. A change to rules today would still be in force in a few years and could see a lot of those cars that would be scrapped instead valued more than a 27 year old car but only because they don't have to be MOTd... no chance of a mechanic telling the owner it needs £300 spending on it or it can't be used on the road, the 'no nasty surprise bills' car.

How long has it been that a classic car is one over 40 years old? If it was as far back as 1985 a classic in '85 would have been produced before 1945... hell of a difference between a 45 and 85 car and few 45 cars were on the road in 85. Not nearly as much difference between a 1990 car and a 2020 car, arguably it is surprising 'classic' age hasn't been increased rather than decreased in terms of MOT but that could be a different argument to road tax.

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It's 2001 as the cut off. Anything first registered before 1 March 2001 is on the flat rate system, that is £170 a year if under 1549cc or £280 if over. After that it is the sliding scale depending on CO emissions so you'd need something with less than 150g/km for it to be cheaper than a smaller engined car on the flat rate.

As it stands at the moment, anything over 40 years old doesn't need an MoT but you do have to declare it as roadworthy (and original) and if you get a pull from plod who find it isn't you'll still get nicked for it. The tax category is changed on the V5 to Historic and the tax is free, but you still have to tax it, just the fee is £0.00 so they know it is on the road, you don't just ignore it. The 40 year rolling age means that currently it is anything from 1981 or earlier, changing it to 30 years would mean there would be a lot of old dogs that should have been scrapped still being used.

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dave3d wrote:

Also you can't have someone turn up in a Foden steam wagon for an MOT

Actually.. I know of at least one Sentinel where a curious owner persuaded an MOT garage to attempt to stick an exhaust gas tester in the funnel. It melted. I'm pretty sure that's not just one of those stories, although I can't remember who it was that did it.

The DG6 has long been exempt. There are oddities with exemptions.

The ban on solid tyres exceeding 12mph was, for years, in name only. It's written on the cab sides 'Max speed 12' - it's more like 30 (18-20 'cruising speed' according to the Garmin). I think that is now lifted, actually. (Side note - there are 'shower heads' over all 10 tyres as solids can get hot and turn to gel inside).

It's hefty but can be driven on a car licence. (Unlike a roller which requires a road roller licence). I have never known that to be an issue, not many Sentinel/Atkinson/Foden drivers are too keen to damage them for fairly obvious reasons. It would be prohibitive to some owners/drivers if that changed and their insurance (road) is cheap presumably for a reason. As a driver of vintage commercials it is not always in our own interests to rock the boat and remind the powers that be that we exist. The only Sentinel fatality I know of involved the vehicle that is sitting 100 yards from me right now, and was the fault of a car driver attempting to fit between it and the HGV/LGV towing it - years ago now, and under previous ownership, but neither caused by or due to the nature of the Waggon itself nor its age. Same result would likely have happened had it been anything on-tow. By the way they do have particularly good handbrakes.

On the MOT/Tax topic, I have amongst other things an older (than me by 2 years) Citroën which became MOT exempt in 2017. It is in need of some welding, and the brakes need work. Even if it is likely a 'minor' point, I would still like to be able to book it in and have it given the equivalent of an (age appropriate) MOT.

There are lots and lots of debates in vintage/steam/classic/you name it circles -

I have heard the point that not many garages would like to put their name to that, without actually MOT testing it, but that makes little sense - if I took the P38 for an MOT and then cut the brake lines round the corner, that is my problem and not the MOT centre's.

There is also an argument that tax exemption could lead to a future 'well you don't even pay road tax [vehicle excise duty] anyway' type argument if the topic of banning older/petrol/diesel etc ever came up. In truth, if they were to actually do that then they would do it anyway. Many classes of vehicle are tax exempt, not just classics and vintage.

EDIT to add: Re. the Bentley example, I actually got handed a Boat-Tail Auburn to work on back in the late 90's when I was a teenager in a rural garage. 2 speed rear transmission was jammed. Can't imagine that happening today. We had some fun cars come through there from time to time.

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Gilbertd wrote:

It's 2001 as the cut off. Anything first registered before 1 March 2001 is on the flat rate system, that is £170 a year if under 1549cc or £280 if over. After that it is the sliding scale depending on CO emissions so you'd need something with less than 150g/km for it to be cheaper than a smaller engined car on the flat rate.

Has that changed from 2006 or did I just get the cutoff year wrong?

Imports (at least from outside of the EU) are also on the over/under 1549cc scale even if newer than the cutoff? Not only that but some imports newer than 2006 are on a lower rate of Ulez charging than they would/should be if they were EU cars? People are buying 2007 Nissan Elgrand 3.5 V6's to have an old-ish relatively cheap people carrier with a big engine that they don't have to pay as much in Ulez charges for as for a similar age / engine size / emissions none-import.

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No, it's always been 2001. The reason why an import, even a new one, is on the flat rate is because the V5 doesn't show a CO2 figure as it isn't checked at the IVA test. It can work out quite a bit cheaper on some cars. I registered an imported Bentley Continental GT Speed that had to go through the IVA process so no CO2 figure on the V5 meant the flat rate of £280 a year, compared with £600 a year if it had been on the sliding scale. Not so sure about ULEZ though. Before ULEZ there was the T Charge and imports didn't have to pay it as the CO2 details weren't known but I understand under ULEZ no CO figure means they charge it no matter what the emissions are (or they'd be losing out on income).

It also catches people out on cars that were available at the changeover time. A good example is the Honda HR-V which was built between 98 and 06. An early one pays the £280 flat rate (1.6 VTech engine) but a later one costs £340 as the CO2 figure is 205g/km.

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Theres a separate bracket of tax classes that take effect from 2006. Upto then, the max tax class comes out at £340 a year. After that theres 3 further brackets for vehicles producing more co2.

Bands k/l/m here. k covers all over 225g upto 2006, l for 225-255g £585 and m for over 255g £600 after that

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables/rates-for-cars-registered-on-or-after-1-march-2001

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Thanks for answering my questions Gilbert, sorry if I took things a bit off topic.

I'm still thinking about the cutoff date, pretty sure there's been a lot of talk on Subaru and other forums about otherwise identical vehicles, same engine and state of tune, paying different road tax if before or after 2006. Is there just the one cutoff date or could another cutoff date have effected road tax on those vehicles?