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Best MoT exempt cars 2018

Cars over 40 years old are now free from the shackles of MoT tests. Here are our ten favourite newly MoT free cars...

Rightly or wrongly, from 20 May 2018 the Government made it legal that cars more than 40 years old are exempt from an annual MoT test. Prior to this, it was only vehicles registered before 1960 that were free from the grasp of the MoT inspector. But now the door has opened to pre-1977 models and swathes of cars have entered the MoT exempt arena.

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The total number of UK vehicles now exempt from an MoT is nearly half a million (up from around 200,000 prior to 20 May 2018). The inclusion of these newer cars follows the DfT successfully arguing two main points. The first is that most classic cars over 40 years old are meticulously maintained anyway, and the second is that applying a modern day MoT to an aging vehicle is becoming increasingly difficult. 

• Cars over 40 years old to become MoT exempt

The move raises concerns over elderly cars being released onto the road free from MoT oversight but it's happened and it has brought a number of interesting classic cars into the MoT free bracket. The question is, what are the best newly MoT exempt cars now the changes have come into force? We’ve compiled a list of ten classic cars that won’t cost the earth and come without the hassle of an annual exam...

10 best MoT free cars

BMW 2002

Part of BMW’s 02 Series, the 2002 was created when the German marque fitted a 2.0-litre engine to the existing 1.6-litre 1600-2. A turbo version – BMW’s first turbocharged production car – was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1973, and only 1,672 were built.

Citroen DS

The Citroen DS first hit the roads in 1955, and almost one and a half million units were sold over a twenty-year production run. Notably, the DS was the first production car to be fitted with disk brakes, and it even won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1959.

VW Golf

Still going strong today, the Volkswagen Golf first appeared in 1974 and quickly became one of the most popular cars of its generation, selling millions of examples across the globe. Interestingly, it was marketed in the United States and Canada as the Volkswagen Rabbit for nine years.

Jaguar E-Type

Widely regarded as one of the prettiest cars ever made, the Jaguar E-Type was initially launched with a 3.8-litre engine in 1961, rising to a 4.2-litre engine three years later. This had increased again by the time the third-generation car was launched in 1971, utilising a 5.3-litre V12 with 268bhp.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a thrilling executive saloon these days, but the original was a modestly powered family car when it was first launched in 1962. Thanks to a gear shifter located on the steering column, it was originally marketed as a six-seater, although this ambitious claim was certainly stretched when the Giulia was occupied by six adults…

Mercedes W123

First built in 1976, early versions of the Mercedes W123 will just about qualify for the new MoT test exemption threshold. The car was an instant hit when it first went on sale, to the extent that a black market formed around it with waiting times for customers operating through official dealers in excess of a year.

Fiat 500

Another model which – after a relaunch in the 21st century – continues to be popular around the world, the Fiat 500 was first introduced as the Nuova 500 in 1957. The two-cylinder engine within produced just 13bhp, but the rear-engined city car endured for more than two decades – not least thanks to its stylish design - eventually selling close to four million examples.

Ford Capri


The Ford Capri was revealed for the first time at the Brussels Motor Show in 1969, and to make it affordable for a wide range of buyers it was offered with the choice of 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre engines in the UK, followed by a 3.0-litre V6 engine – capable of 136bhp – in the 3000 GT version towards the end of that year. Nearly 1.9 million Capris were sold over a production run spanning 18 years, many of which will soon be MoT exempt.

Land Rover

The Land Rover has outlasted so many cars - in more than one sense - although it’s the Series III edition we’re focusing on here. First built in 1971, 440,000 rolled off the production line over the course of the next fourteen years, which included the 1,000,000th ever Land Rover in 1976. The simplicity of the model means that spare parts are in plentiful supply, should yours inexplicably break down.

Saab 99

Sadly Saab is no longer with us having folded in 2012, but its cars live on - and the 99 is just such an example that could soon save you from annual MoT bills. First produced in 1968, it was mated with a 1.7-litre four-stroke engine from British motor company Triumph. By the time production ended in 1984 close to 600,000 99s had been built, during a lifespan that also included a couple of victories in the World Rally Championship.

Not got a car that is exempt from an MoT? Then you should be aware of the 2018 MoT test changes, read all about them here.

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