Click here for the Inter-club International Weekend Tickets

There is a new self-declaration process to be carried out as part of annual licensing by DVLA by a keeper of a qualifying vehicle who does not wish to submit the vehicle to an MOT test. By making this simple declaration you are confirming that your vehicle is at least 40 years old and has not been substantially changed in the previous 30 years.

For advice on the process, you should consult the legislation pages previously published on these news pages, in TR Action magazine and within the FBHVC's newsletter.

The Department for Transport, (DfT) has published a set of guidelines to assist owners in deciding which, if any more recent changes to their vehicle would be considered as "substantial".

The DfT understand that owners may feel they need to consult a specialist prior to making this declaration and have asked the TR Register to provide such a contact to our members, you will find his details in TR Action Magazine, page 82 under Technical Editor.

Please be aware that our VHI specialist is a volunteer and undertakes the service free of charge to club members. Therefore it is your responsibility to accurately describe your vehicleas no inspection will be made. Also please be patient whilst awaiting a response.

Before approaching our VHI marque specialist, you should study the DfT guidelines very carefully and make your own judgement regarding your vehicle: DfT Guidelines

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and MoT exemption. A guide for Triumph TR Register members.

Implementation detail surrounding the legislation changes for the rolling 40 year exemption from VED and the MoT has been somewhat unstable but at the time of going to press the situation had become much clearer.

Whilst the two changes are from a common initiative they are entirely separate and administered by two Executive Agencies:

DVLA – Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency

DVSA – Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (Roadworthiness responsibility)

Follows a general overview of related subjects and a flow chart that hopefully will clarify the process for taxation and MoT exemption through the creation of the Vehicles of Historic Interest (VHI) category of vehicles.


Q plates (FYI)

These are issued for "radically altered" vehicles which do not pass the DVLA's 'Eight Point Rule' or it is not possible to provide satisfactory proof of age or history for a vehicle. This vehicle classification is unchanged by the introduction of VHIs and is unrelated to it.

Licensing (Historic Vehicle tax class).

Owners (keepers) will pay zero VED if the vehicle was first registered before 1st January 1978 and will need to apply for the Historic Vehicle Tax Class if not already in possession of a V5C with this confirmed.

The online facility for Licence and VHI application has not yet been seen so some changes to our understanding remain a possibility.

Standards & Testing.

Testing (Roadworthiness tests, the MoT)

Owners can optionally declare a car as a Vehicle of Historic Interest and so become entitled to a MoT exemption, although may voluntarily continue to be submitted for testing. Pre-1960 vehicles currently MoT exempt will not continue to be so and ALL owners will need to apply for exemption but only if the car qualifies….

A vehicle qualifies as a VHI if it was manufactured or registered for the first time at least 40 years previously, is of a type no longer in production and has been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and has not undergone "substantial changes" to the technical characteristics of its main components during the last 30 years.

The owner takes full responsibility for correctly declaring VHI status, incorrect claims of compliance could potentially have serious consequences.

The current guidance recorded by the FBHVC and the Department for Trade (DfT) and summarised here is that a vehicle is VHI compliant if:

  • • The Chassis or Monocoque bodyshell is of the original pattern. (as with all parts, it may have been replaced or remanufactured).
  • • Axles, running gear type, method of suspension and steering are as original unless altered for safety, efficiency or environmental reasons.

(Gear boxes have not been cited as the DfT recognise that changes will have been made for efficiency reasons).

  • • Alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines are not considered a substantial change. (Power output restriction proposals were withdrawn).

If the number of cylinders is different from original, it is likely to be, but not necessarily, the case that the current engine is not alternative original equipment.

  • • Any substantial changes were made over 30 years previously.

(Note that a currently MoT exempt pre-1960 vehicle may not now be if it has been substantially changed in the last 30 years).

  • • Is not a 'reconstructed classic' (defined elsewhere), certain types of kit car or a Q-Plated vehicle.


Our flowchart is the simplest way we could conceive for delineating the process and particularly during the next 12 months of transition. There are concerns that the Police will not have access to an up to date data base and transition period exceptions so the TR Register advice to all is, if in doubt, get an MoT on the normal anniversary, at least this year.

VHI Process for Triumph TRs

Words and chart by Mike Jennings

There are 1 comment on this thread

Steve Cook

Hi, I guess not, but does there appear to be any potential change in the need to MOT an imported TR prior to the issue of an age related number by the DVLA under the VHI class.