In the United Kingdom, cars are required to pass an MOT (Ministry of Transport) inspection. This test is mandatory for almost all cars that are three years or older to check vehicle safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions that are required by law. Many governments in Europe have been cracking down on classic cars and have even banned them from the streets in some cities. The UK likely won't be one of these countries after announcing that cars over 40 years old will no longer be required to pass an MOT inspection.
Auto Express reports that the Department for Transport has agreed that any vehicle built or first registered over 40 years ago will now be exempt from an MOT on a rolling basis. Cars built before 1960 were already exempt, but this new rule will affect nearly 300,000 classic car owners. These changes will take effect on May 20, 2018, and anything built or registered before 1978 will no longer need an MOT on that date. Currently, 197,000 cars are exempt from the test in the UK, and 293,000 will be exempt after the rule goes into effect. That number will almost certainly grow each year as more and more cars start to become old enough for the exemption.
This decision was made because the Department of Transport realized that classic cars are usually kept in good condition by owners, and the modern rules are not relevant or realistic for a 40 year old car. The UK government was criticized recently by enthusiasts for its proposed ban on gas and diesel cars by 2040. This initiative may not redress the balance, but it should make British enthusiasts happy for now.