As you are aware, the Department for Transport has been seeking opinions on proposals to revise emissions and safety standards for specialist and converted vehicles. Currently, kit cars and reconstructed classic cars are tested to age-appropriate MOT standards, based on the date of manufacture or first use of the engine.
The Government’s consultation has proposed that kit cars must instead comply with MOT emissions standards current at the date of registration, despite the use of an older engine. It is my understanding that this effectively removes the current relaxation for emissions according to the age of the engine.
You raise a number of important issues in your letter, particularly about the harm the proposals could cause to the kit car sector. I am aware that a number of kit car manufacturers and traders have also warned that the proposals could be catastrophic for the industry. I understand that the cost of installing a modern engine could be out of reach to lots of people building a modified classic or kit car, and I am also aware that the older style of engine can be vital to the core appeal of the car. You call for the proposals to be dropped entirely, and I know that other kit car traders have voiced similar concerns that the proposals are heavy handed.
The Government has said it actively engaged with the motor manufacturing industry while developing the consultation proposals, but did not hold any specific discussions with kit car or replica car manufacturers. As you know, the consultation closed on 1 March 2018, and the Government has said that all responses, from all sectors, will be carefully considered in shaping the policy and final regulatory measures. I will monitor developments on this closely.
I appreciate many of the concerns you have raised, however I do believe we must also establish a comprehensive and effective strategy to improve air quality across the country. As you may be aware, poor air quality is the largest risk to public health in the UK, and the relationship between emissions and air quality is a fundamental issue.
I will bear in mind the points you have raised when this is next debated in Parliament.