MOT Tests, Classic Cars and the Law
As of May 2018 cars built and registered over 40 years do not require an annual MOT. That means that almost every popular ‘classic car’ is now MOT exempt. This is a rolling exemption, so as soon as your vehicle reaches its 40th birthday you can apply for Historic Tax Exemption and will no longer need a valid certificate to apply for a (free) road fund licence.
As always, with legislation, there is small print. If your vehicle has been ‘significantly modified’ from standard then the exemption doesn’t apply. Basically if you have changed the engine, gearbox, chassis/subframe from original spec you still need an MOT. The DVLA have no way of knowing this, so it is up to you as an owner to declare this and make sure your MOT is kept up to date.
This means that if you fit a 5 speed gearbox to your E-Type for example your MOT exempt car stops becoming exempt. The exemption also applies to kit cars such as Caterham 7’s even if they have the identity of their 40+ year old donor vehicle.