Future Proof Classic Cars

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager

Last week, Mark Harper, Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, addressed an event hosted by the Historic & Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) at Bicester Heritage. He called on the classic car industry and its enthusiasts to assist in safeguarding the future of historic vehicles.

During his speech, MP Harper announced an eight-week consultation period, open until July 4th, aimed at finding the best ways to support Britain’s classic car sector, which contributes £18 billion annually to the economy. This comes following criticism from the HCVA and the broader classic vehicle community regarding the DVLA’s handling of classic cars.

The DVLA, responsible for the UK’s vehicle registration system, centralised its operations 10 years ago and closed its 39 local offices, which were often staffed by teams with extensive knowledge of classic cars. This change led to numerous issues for classic car owners who now struggle with registering their restored or modified vehicles due to complicated and unclear forms.

Since 2019, the situation has worsened, with many owners receiving Q-plates for legitimate classic cars and others facing long delays and cumbersome processes to re-register newly restored or upgraded classics.

Now, Transport Minister Mark Harper has reached out to the classic car industry and community for assistance in ensuring the future of classic vehicles.

This appeal for support follows three years of efforts by the HCVA, which has collaborated directly with the DVLA and ministers, as well as through the Historic Vehicle User Group. As Mark Harper emphasised, the success of this initiative relies heavily on the full backing of the classic vehicle community.

The HCVA reiterates the importance of submitting clear and constructive individual responses. The Call for Evidence is complex, featuring 46 specific questions, many of which tend to steer respondents towards agreeing with the existing arrangements and categories.

To assist those interested in crafting a robust response, the HCVA will release its own draft detailed response on Friday, May 24th. They urge all potential respondents to thoroughly review this draft and consider its contents when preparing their individual submissions.

Guy Lachlan, Executive Director of the HCVA said: “The DVLA’s current system treats restoration and rebuilding of historic vehicles as having a negative impact on their historical record and UK registration, a misconception that must be corrected. Maintaining the same registration number is a vital part of the history of the UK’s vehicles and is a viewpoint consistent with those applied to historic buildings, fine art, and other protected heritage industries.”

“Our detailed response to the Call for Evidence will reduce DVLA workload, help to avoid counterproductive legal actions and remove uncertainty around vehicle restoration that currently hinders the UK specialist industry. And it is now vital the classic car industry, and UK enthusiasts come together to do all we can to protect the future of our cherished classic vehicles for future generations.“

HCVA Chairman, Mark Roper said: “We must all act on this hard-fought and welcomed opportunity to respond, as classic vehicle owners and enthusiasts now have a unique opportunity to offer a clear response to Government and the DVLA on the challenges we face. Doing so will enable a bright and confident future for the industry, owners and enthusiasts alike and I ask anyone interested in responding to read our own guidance and draft response first, to ensure the industry and our passionate community delivers effective and concise feedback to Government.“

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this post
Enjoyed this article by Rob Harvey?
Email Rob Harvey