In summary, the proposals are intended to harmonise vehicle testing across Europe, and create a European-wide roadworthiness testing system that has a central database. In endeavouring to create this system, definitions have had to be created which allow the legislation to work. These definitions have the capacity to sink our whole movement in Britain if we are unable to gain exemptions to protect our interests.
So what are the dangers? All cars must be of standard condition when presented for test. All cars must conform to their original type-approval standard when being tested, as any deviance from these specifications would mean the car failing its test. At present we test cars in Britain against a ‘Universal Standard’, without requiring an engineering inspection. Marcus Atkinson, boss of insurer Hagerty added “while no one can be forced to put their car through an MoT if the law doesn’t require it, I’m sure we’ll see sliding scales of charges applied to Historic Vehicle Policies, so if an owner has an MoT, the cost will be less for the insurance”.
David Hurley, Legislation Director at the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs told CCfS “We’re going to respond. This proposal is too proscribed. This first draft that’s been published has a long way to go”. He added that FIVA, the FBHVC’s partner in Europe “will also be taking up the fight”. Rosy Pugh, Secretary to the FBHVC, and herself a driver of a TR commented “It could take up to half of Britain’s classics off the road”.
Greg Knight, chairman of the all-Party Parliamentary Motor Group added “We need to be aware, be vigilant, and ensure we feed in our views while the legislation creation is still flexible”.
After the polarisation of opinion about the relaxing of the requirement of MoT for pre-1960 cars, it’s evident that the proposed new rules for harmonised EU vehicle testing would only apply to cars up to 30 years old, and on a rolling basis. That stands to change the whole classic car hobby in ways we don’t yet know.
• TIMEFRAME 10 YEARS
• INTENTION To reduce road casualties to 50% of current levels by 2022 and to zero by 2050
By Dave Richards