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Dear All,

Some time ago I drew the Forum's attention to a Written Parliamentary Question which confirmed that we can take advantage of the 40 year historic vehicle exemption from the ten year tyre rule even if the vehicle was being used laden.

The relevant part of the 10 year tyre rule (The Construction and Use Regulations) say this:

Nothing in paragraph (1)(i) to (k) applies to a vehicle of historical interest used for non-commercial purposes, and for this purpose “vehicle of historical interest” means a vehicle which is considered to be of historical interest to Great Britain and which—

(i)was manufactured or registered for the first time at least 40 years previously;

(ii)is of a type no longer in production, where “type” in relation to a vehicle has the same meaning as “type of vehicle” in Article 3(32) of Regulation (EU) 2018/858(2) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles; and

(iii)has been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and has not undergone substantial changes in the technical characteristics of its main components.;

By using the words "non-Commercial use" and staying silent on the issue of being loaded or not, it is implicit that being loaded or not is irrelevant.  It was therefore not surprising that the PQ confirmed this in clear language.

Unfortunately, some believe that this also means that you can use a goods vehicle exempt from testing as being a Historic Vehicle, loaded either fully or in part.  Unfortunately, each piece of legislation can define what is meant by a historic vehicle and so it can vary slightly.  The Construction and Use Regulation above does not interfere with regulations concerned with testing and their exemptions.  Furthermore easily accessible government guidance makes it clear that an MOT exempt goods vehicle can only be used unladen.

The words from the guidance are:

Large goods vehicles

Large goods vehicles are generally exempt from testing, if first used before 1960 and currently used unladen, unless ‘substantially changed’. However a small number of pre-1960 large goods vehicles may require testing.

If your goods vehicle has never been tested you may apply for a first test using a VTG1 application form.

Other testing exemption

And the link to the Government site is:

Historic (classic) vehicles: MOT exemption criteria - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The good news is that I understand that our camping equipment does not count as a load.  It obviously should not because it would be far too light to have any impact on the safe operation of the vehicle.

As I understand it, apart from very short journeys, agricultural purposes and use on certain islands the only significant exemption from testing when a goods vehicle is to be used loaded is if the vehicle is running EXCLUSIVELY under a Special Types Order.  Special Types is a complex subject and outside the scope of this post. Furthermore, the legislation is relatively imprecise and there are quite a few oddities within in it.

This may not be what some want to read but it would be remiss of me not to make these observations because I would not want to see anyone get in a muddle over it.








By using the words "non-commercial use" 

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How would this apply to the unlikely scenario of someone wanting to carry a load on a vehicle with solid tyres as no date on the tyre would mean no MOT? Also, is there a dispensation for solids not having any tread?

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This is not an unlikely scenario! I have crewed Mr Edgar Shone's Sentinel DG6 steam lorry driven by the late Dan Doncaster. We were loaded with coal but I cannot remember why!

If a vehicle over 40 years old is not being used commercially it will pass its MOT despite having 10 year plus tyres.  Another way of looking at it is that a vehicle is caught by the new rules if: either it is less than 40 years old OR it is being used commercially.

Solid tyres came before these new fangled pneumatic tyres and I have never heard of a regulatory problem with them.  Obviously they are only suitable for low speeds..

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