Stock - Car Maintenance
Ian Nicholson/PA Archive

Drivers of cars built 30 years ago or more could soon be excused the hassle of having to arrange an annual MOT test, under proposals put forward by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Currently, only cars registered before 1960 are exempt from the annual safety inspection, but a new EU directive means this privilege could be extended to any vehicle over 30, provided it hasn't been substantially altered or modified.

The reasoning behind the move is new DfT research, which has found classic cars to be generally much better maintained by their owners, resulting in a far lower MOT failure rate. Figures for 2009 show that less than 10 per cent of pre-1960s vehicles failed the test, compared to 30 per cent for more modern cars, Motoring Research reports.

Incidents of classic cars being involved in accidents are also disproportionately low, further supporting the idea that their owners take fastidious care of them.

Currently, new vehicles require an annual MOT test three years after the date of their initial registration. The government had considered looking into making older vehicles subject to a biennial test, though is more likely to extend the exemption currently afforded to pre-1960s cars.

A decision on whether this will occur is still some years away, but the DfT is now gauging the opinion of the public on the matter, and wants to hear from motorists.

Do you think exempting vehicles from mandatory safety testing is a good idea? What do you think the implications will be for road safety? Have your say in the comments section below. You can also inform the DfT of your opinion here.