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As of 20th May 2018, most vehicles manufactured or first registered over 40 years ago will be exempt from MOT testing unless they have been substantially changed.

Minor modifications will not be affected by the new MOT rules for classic cars and this has been confirmed by the Department of Transport.

More details can be found here on what is termed as ‘substantial change’

Do you need an MOT and do you need to tax your classic car?

The date your car was registered determines whether you need an MOT and/or pay road tax.

Date of Manufacture

1 January 1978 onwards – (in 2018) you must get an MOT and pay road tax.
Before 1 January 1978 – You don’t have to get an MOT in 2018 or pay road tax. This is a rolling date so if your car was registered 1 June 1979, you won’t have to have an MOT after 1 June 2019.

You do however need to put your vehicle into the ‘historic tax class’ and you can do this by applying for a vehicle exemption which will also stop you having to pay tax.
You don’t have to apply to stop having an MOT for your classic car, but you do need to keep it maintained and in a road-worthy condition. It is worth noting that a fine of up to £2500 could be charged with penalty points on your licence if you do take a classic car onto the road in a dangerous condition.

All cars, vans, motorcycles and tricycles can be made exempt from tax and MOT. You will need to apply for exemption for large vehicles such as buses or lorries. Specialist vehicles such as farm vehicles, steam vehicles and electric vehicles can also be made exempt.

Cars with a Q registration will still need to be tested, whatever the date of registration, as will kit cars assembled from different makes and models, or kit conversions that add new parts to old. This is explained in more detail under Reconstructed Classic Vehicles on

You can apply at the Post Office for road tax exemption and you will need to provide evidence of car registration along with a tax reminder letter and an MOT certificate or evidence that your vehicle is exempt.

Foster & Heanes offer car servicing, maintenance and repair for all makes and models of classic and vintage cars and can arrange free collection and delivery if you live near Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres. For further information, please visit


Chatter Alley 
RG27 8SS

Hesters Garage

Upper Street
GU51 3PE


St James Road
GU51 3QH

VW Autos

St James Road
GU51 3QH