Monday, 10 September 2012

'None of the newspapers checked the facts with us before publication'

At the end of last week, several newspapers claimed the EU wanted to 'ban' classic cars.

The Mail said:

And the Express:

The Mail's Anna Edwards wrote:

Meddling Brussels bureaucrats want to make modified and most classic cars illegal under radical reforms which would affect millions of British drivers.

But the EC Representative in the UK has denied these reports:

Reports in the press that the European Commission has proposed to make modifications to cars illegal, or to ban classic cars unless they are unchanged since manufacture are entirely wrong.

The Commission’s proposals would not, if agreed by the Member States and the European Parliament, make any difference to the current situation regarding MOT testing in the UK except to make most classic cars more than 30 years old exempt from testing if they are not used day-to-day on the roads.

All other cars would remain subject to roadworthiness testing, just as they are now. Whether or not they have been modified is not of itself relevant: what counts is whether they are safe and that is what is assessed by MOT tests in the UK and by the equivalent tests elsewhere.

What the proposals will do is require all Member States to bring their road worthiness tests up to a certain level of rigour, already applied in the UK : for example, motorbikes will need to be tested regularly everywhere, as they are already in the UK. This will make driving safer for UK drivers at home and abroad.

The Commission is writing separately to all the newspapers concerned, none of which checked the facts with us before publication.


  1. Sadly lots more people read the Mail and Express than your blog :-(

  2. So, in fact the change is to make the test in the rest of the EU match the quality of the test we already have in Britain.
    Are the Daily Mail missing a chance to bang the drum for Britain at the expense of Johnny Foreigner? Maybe the 'need' to bash the EU takes precedence.

  3. There's something mildly hilarious about how the Mail makes very tactical usage of inverted commas in it's text. Look at the 'ridiculous' up there, they've managed to insert a highly charged opinion into a report where there really shouldn't be one, and will probably get away with it. A Masterclass in manipulative writing!

  4. Agreed, an example of sloppy reporting, but not because it is completely untrue, as the EU response would have it.
    If you look at the documents involved they do not "make most classic cars more than 30 years old exempt from testing if they are not used day-to-day on the roads".
    They create, for the first time a legal definition of a historic vehicle which goes much deeper than it just being 30 years old, (One aspect being that it hasn't changed it's apperance, another being that it is maintained with original parts0 and also bring in testing to enssure that 'components neet the original type approval' which means, by extrapolation that, should your 30 year old, modified car not match the criteria for Historic it cannot be exempt, therefore it must take the tests, which it could not pass because it does not match the original Type Approved vehicle, it is, by definition 'Banned'.

    It's all about wording

  5. True to the old Daily Mail adage..."Don't let facts get in the way of a good story."

  6. So effectively the EU is saying that those highly modified souped up Yankmobiles that are loosely based on 1950s sedans, seen parading up and down Brighton seafront are NOT CLASSIC CARS ???

    Good for the EU.

    100% RIGHT.


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