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British MOT & License Laws


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Could anyone explain the British vintage automobile licensing laws? I often see vintage cars for sale on thed internet with "full MOT" and number plates worth "over 1500 Pounds", etc. Do antique cars still require mechanical and safety inspections to run in the U.K.? Is there a yearly tax? Can one sell early license plates to collectors?

Phil

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Registration numbers in the U.K. are "permanently" assigned to the car when first registered, and can be used to identify when and where that event occurred. ( See excellent discussion of this on Wikipedia. ) These numbers are owned by the owners of the vehicles in question, and can be transferred between vehicles if desired. The plates are used to display the number, and can be remade by the owner--with the correct number--according to guidelines which varied over time (see above link). People who have particularly desirable numbers, like ones from areas and dates that are desirable or which approximate words, can charge whatever they want for other people for transferring those numbers to their cars. Many thousands of pounds frequently change hands this way.

(<span style="font-style: italic">For instance, say you have a 1963 Chevy 409 and our numbers worked this way. How much would you pay to have plates that made it appear it was registered in 1963 in Hawthorne, CA [residence of a certain famous musical family of Wilson brothers, notably a guy named Brian cool.gif ]. How much would you pay for a set of 1963 California "CAL 409" plates?</span>)

MoT stands for Ministry of Transportation, and is the shorthand name for Great Britain's annual safety/emissions inspection program. It is mandatory now for all vehicles over 3 years old, but up until 2006 only applied to vehicles over 10 years old.

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Of course there are annual fees. They're called "Vehicle Excise Duties". Vehicles are supposed to display an annual "Tax stamp" to prove compliance.

The fees are complex and even the formulae for them vary based on the initial date of registration <span style="text-decoration: underline">or</span> the date of manufacture. ( See Wikipedia page. )

From the outside it seems to me to be one of the most needlessly complex arrangements imaginable. The fees are somewhat higher than they are in most U.S. states.

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Dave

you missed out the best part-any vehicle manufactured before 1st January 1973 does not pay any Vehicle Excise Duty! Hurrah for "our" cars!! The car still has to pass an annual MOT test but it is much more lenient and does not involve nasty things like emissions! provided brakes and lighting works.....

regards

Jules smile.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

MoT stands for Ministry of Transportation, and is the shorthand name for Great Britain's annual safety/emissions inspection program. It is mandatory now for all vehicles over 3 years old, but up until 2006 only applied to vehicles over 10 years old. </div></div>

Dave, please forgive me as this is a tiny point compared to your excellent post, however the MoT test has been required for private cars 3 years or older in the UK much longer than commencing in 2006. In 1960 the annual MoT test was introduced for cars over 10 years old, then in 1967 it became an annual MoT test for any car over 3 years old, and remains that way today.

As previously mentioned there are a myriad of rules, some which would leave you confused to say the least, many would say is more about generating income than safety. The UK is the only country in the EEC that requires annual road tests, the remainder every other year.

My 1957 Chevrolet 210 Sedan has to go through this annual MoT safety check and it can be a real pain if the government examiner isn't sympathetic to the standards of cars built 50 odd years ago.

Merry Christmas, Argyll. wink.gif

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