BookMyGarage reveals MOT exempt classic cars

BookMyGarage reveals MOT exempt classic cars has revealed its top 10 classics, which will reportedly become tax and MOT exempt in 2023.

The list includes renowned 80s icons, such as the BMW 3 Series E30, Ford Sierra and Porsche 944, as well as some rare models such as the Renault 9 and Talbot Samba.

Once classic cars reach 40 years old, they no longer legally require an MOT test and they become exempt from Vehicle Exercise Duty (VED) under the historic vehicle tax exemption scheme.

From 1 April 2023, owners of vehicles built before 1 January 1983 can apply for the exemption. Therefore, vehicles which first launched in the UK in 1982 will be joining the list of eligible vehicles this year. Vehicles first registered in 1982 will have a registration number that ends in the suffix X or Y.

From most common to rarest, the list consists of the following:



Estimated number remaining in roadworthy condition1


BMW 3 Series (E30)



Ford Sierra



Porsche 944



Volkswagen Polo (Mark 2)



Reliant Rialto



Volvo 760



Lotus Excel



Renault 9



Austin Ambassador



Talbot Samba




















Although an annual MOT test is no longer needed on vehicles under the exemption, owners are still legally required to make sure their classic is in roadworthy condition and can be fined and receive penalty points for driving a vehicle with a safety-critical defect. For example, an illegal tyre can result in a fine of up £2,500 and three penalty points per illegal tyre.

In 2021, research by found that one-in-five classic cars which underwent a voluntary MOT test failed it. The UK’s leading vehicle MOT, servicing and repairs price comparison site obtained data from the DVSA via a Freedom of Information request which showed more than 120,000 cars aged over 40 years old underwent a voluntary test between January 2019 and June 2021.

The research also revealed the classic vehicle makes with the highest MOT failure rates, with Dodge, Austin-Morris (BMC), Volkswagen and Land Rover respectively ranked as the worst performers.

Jessica Potts, Head of Marketing at, said: “The historic vehicle tax and MOT exemption helps make classic motoring more accessible by reducing costs for owners, and is logical given the majority of these vehicles only cover a small number of miles each year.

“However, it’s crucial owners make sure their vintage car is free from safety defects whenever it ventures onto public roads – whether that means home mechanics regularly inspecting their car themselves, or, for the less mechanically inclined, taking it to a garage for a health check or a voluntary MOT test.”

To see a full breakdown of the list with some background information on the most iconic cars, head over to the blog page.

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