How to declare a vehicle for the 40-year MoT exemption

Unsure how to go about declaring your classic as MoT exempt once it reaches 40 years old? Here’s the lowdown – although we’d always recommend an MoT test

Owners of classic vehicles still used on the public highways need to ensure their car is properly taxed. Even if no fee is required, should the car be exempt, you must still re-tax the vehicle every year. This can be undertaken at any Post Office or online.

From May 20, when you tax your classic – either online with the V5 or reminder letter, or at the Post Office – you can declare the vehicle as MoT exempt once it is beyond the 40th anniversary date of first registration. When declaring the exemption you will be asked to confirm that it has not been substantially changed from its original design or specification. You must be 100 percent truthful when doing so.

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This process will be applied to vehicles registered before 1960, which are already exempt from MoT tests, alongside the newer vehicles in the historic vehicle class – currently accepted up until 1978.

If your classic doesn’t have an MoT but you wish to continue using it on public roads, you can choose from two options:

  • Undergo an MoT (which we recommend you do) or...
  • Claim exemption from future MoTs by relicensing to declare your car as a VHI

If this is the first time applying for the historic vehicle class, you cannot claim exemption online. This must be done at your local Post Office. You can find your nearest branch here.

You will be required to complete a V112 declaration form to declare MoT exemption. Currently this can only be done when re-taxing the vehicle – although we have been assured this will be updated in due course.

How to tax your vehicle in the historic vehicle tax class

Where vehicle keepers first apply for the historic vehicle tax class, it must be done at a Post Office.

If you are declaring that your vehicle is exempt from MoT, you will need to complete a V112 declaration form, taking into consideration the substantially changed guidelines. You can find these changes here.

Further re-licensing applications, including making subsequent declarations that the vehicle does not require an MoT, can be completed online.

Further advice on taxing in the historic vehicle tax class can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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