My first thought was a Morris Minor Traveller or convertible isn't a bad way to get around. Though maybe not with the original A series engine.
Its a terrible way to get around on a 15k commuteit has poor emissions, poor economy.
My second thought was this is a dumb idea as it's carte blanche
for crappy amateurish "restoration" deathtraps to take to the road. The statistic given in the linked article explains that the accident rate with these classics is much lower than the proportion of all cars they represent. That's a meaningless statistic. They must get driven far, far fewer miles than newish cars, and they don't get driven by reckless teenagers. I'd like to know how the accident rate per mile driven, by drivers of a similar age
compares for these cars.
Such alarmist predictions by Statists haven't proven true in the US. Many States are now abolishing Inspections, because they are a waste of time. Canada only has an inspection when vehicles change ownership. Instead, draconian penalties are imposed on irresponsible motorists who cause death and injury through their lack of attention to their vehicles. Its called taking personal responsibility for your actions. Instead, we have motorists happy to buy worn out tyres taken off some Ukrainian hack because they'll pass the MOT. That these tyres are unsafe doesn't seem to occur to them.
In New Jersey, emissions inspections are still retained, and cars that have been tested, get a tag sticker. Tag stickers are visible to the police, and if its expired, you get a pull over, and then heavy fines for presenting an unsafe car.
Your call for alternative stats is also meaningless; 50 year old cars do not have ABS, traction control, HID lighting, stability control, emissions montioring equipment, on-board diagnostics. Few even have disc brakes. Any difference in the accident statistics could also be explained by either the capabilities of the car, or the health of the driver (older drivers; statistically more likely to die at the wheel).
Yes, they are not driven by reckless teenagers. Instead, cars as old as this, are driven by mature drivers who are interested in protecting their investment. They will likely maintain their cars to a far higher standard than most of the members of this forum. They are unlikely to throw on as much cheap, counterfeit parts as many MX5 owners seem to do. They are unlikely to modify their cars beyond the design limits, as many MX5 owners seem to do (eg. uprating power by 50% while leaving the brakes and suspension untouched). They don't need a Government trained busy body telling them, for £50, that their car is in good mechanical order. It is nothing more than a tax imposed on people. I would also remind you having a valid MOT certificate from 6 months earlier is no defence when your bald tyres wipe out a bus queue. You'd be an idiot to buy a 50 year old car, with 2 months ticket left on it, and not to get a proper inspection done by an engineer.
I'm all for a complete abolition of the MOT, and getting serious with the people who take death traps on the road; get in an accident, and you will go to jail, and your family will be living in a cardboard box, after you are relieved of most of your possessions as compensation for your irresponsibility. A properly maintained car will never fail the MOT, because any faults will be detected before the MOT and rectified. Cars are failing MOTs because people don't maintain them. This is never going to happen, because British people love the Nanny State too much, because the Nanny State relieves you of the need to think for yourself.
And MOTs are no indicator of the safety of a car, because they are too inconsistant. I note people have found, in the computerised MOTs, indication of an advisory being included one year, but then not the next, despite no rectification work being carried out. In the end, a MOT is still awarded on the say so of an individual, which means the system is open to corruption. And those that are more likely to corrupt inspectors are people more likely to drive death traps, unlike ordinary motorists. And as garage rates increase, either the fee will have to go up even more, or more garages will feel more inclined to cut corners during the test, because that car in for the £50 MOT is just taking up space that could earn the garage £100 per hour.
And of course, owners are still free to get their cars MOT'd, and they may well wish to do that still, if having a full set of MOT's is the only way they can "prove" to a buyer that the car has been maintained to an appropriate standard. And many buyers, just like now, if buying a vintage car, will stand up the cost of a MOT test. I suspect though, if classic owners want some sort of mechanical inspection to make sure they didn't miss anything, they'd rather pay their specialist classic mechanical engineer £50 to carry out an inspection thats more relevant to their particular car; ie someone who doesn't waste time checking bits that never give any problems, but more marque-specific issues (ie. seperate chassis vehicles; no need to check the whole body, just the box sections and outriggers)
Maybe MOTs ought to cost a nominal fee, but if your car fails, you are automatically fined, so that only the negligant are seriously out of pocket. I'd set the fine at £200 per fault detected.
You could actually submit a FOI request and find out what are the MOT failure rates on pre-1960 cars; the failure rate might actually be less than the failure rate of any car with a MOT that is subject to a spot check. If it is, the MOT is pointless, because the risk of that car causing an accident due to mechanical failure is less than that of a newer car with a MOT. The only reference I have found is in a Penning's statement, which mentioned a less than 10% failure rate.
Of course, that doesn't indicate what those 10% of cars are failing on, though there is a clear demarcation between pre-1960 (<10% fail) and post-1960 (>30% fail). What pre-1960 cars are failing on would be interesting, as it could be on non-critical items (crack on windscreen, a wiper blade needing replacing, beam off a bit). I'd imagine for post-1960 cars, the curve is bell shaped, with the peak occurring with cars that of a banger age (10-20 years old), with newer cars less likely to fail, and much older cars less likely to fail due to increased owner maintenance. And note, the MOT will still be required for first registration of a car; so no danger of unsafe recently imported classics coming onto the road.
Contains VOSA data for prohibitions against cars and light vehicles after roadside inspections (basically, MOT fails). Over 50% of cars stopped were prohibited, mostly for bodywork/glass defects; there could be an element of bias (ie. obviously defective cars are pulled over), but all the mobile checks I have seen seem to just wave over cars at random. Thats stunning, because the MOT fail rate is about 30%.
This file contains the rationale for considering the exemption:
Buried in this is a lot of statistical analysis; worth a read.
The regulations already exempt many classes of vehicles from the MOT; certain electric vehicles for instance. If these can be exempted, then other vehicles could. If other vehicles cannot be exempted, then what makes your Grandad's mobility scooter so important? The basis for why other vehicles are exempted is not because, for instance, Chinese made mobility scooters are inherantly the safest things ever built, but because a MOT would be out of all proportion to the actual impact on accident statistics. That appears to be the position taken by the government; the feeling that older classic cars don't cause an awful lot of accidents. And the data bears that suppostion out.
MOTs are supposed to ensure cars are safe on the road. No it doesn't. It doesn't do one thing, except relieve a motorist of £50, which could have been put to paying for that new windscreen, or new tyres.