EU backs off from anti-modification MOT rulesVauxhall

"If everybody looked the same," a Groove Armada song once said, "we'd get tired of looking at each other." That's obviously a philosophy the EU disagreed with - as it tried to ban any cars modified from their original specifications.

Now though, the proposals have been canned after roads minister Stephen Hammond reportedly talked Brussels representatives down from the deal.

While some owners decide to change cars from the original manufacturer specification - by adding body kits, new alloy wheels and so on - those with classic cars don't have much choice in the matter.

Own a car made in 1960, for example, and it's very unlikely that the manufacturer will still be producing parts. Classic car owners often have to use non-original parts - simply out of necessity - and so would face being banned from the road if the EU had their way.

The EU had previously justified the rules because 'vehicles of historic interest are supposed to conserve heritage of the époque they have been built', but it was feared that the ruling would make not only drivers', but MOT testers' lives hell.

In addition to surveying whether a vehicle was roadworthy, they'd be forced to check whether any parts were different from the original specification - a task that could be extremely difficult.

In addition, it was suggested that caravans and trailers would require MOTs too – costing motorists yet more money.

"This is a victory for common sense," said Hammond. "The original proposals would have hit British businesses and motorists with massive additional costs for no good reason.

"The concessions we have secured will ensure that cost burdens are kept as low as possible, enabling the UK to maintain its proven testing regime and high road safety standards while providing some additional safety benefits across the EU.

"I will strongly lobby the European Parliament to ensure these changes are delivered in the final directive."