DVLA slammed by drivers for having a 'negative impact' and creating a 'misconception that must be corrected'

DVLA slammed by drivers for having a 'negative impact' and creating a 'misconception that must be corrected'

WATCH: Greg Smith MP on the DVLA's treatment of classic cars

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 25/05/2024

- 10:00

Updated: 29/05/2024

- 08:39

'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'

Classic car experts are calling on drivers around the UK to respond to a Government call for evidence to help modernise the sector and tackle the DVLA treatment of the industry.

The Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) has campaigned for a number of years to get the Government to improve rules that apply to older vehicles, protect motorists and boost the £18billion sector.

Earlier this month, Transport Secretary Mark Harper launched a call for evidence set to last eight weeks to hear how the Government can best protect the historic vehicle industry.

It comes in response to criticism about the lack of new rules helping the sector and the way in which the DVLA deals with classic cars.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch by emailingmotoring@gbnews.uk

Classic car

The call for evidence will end on July 4 - the same day as the general election


The HCVA stated that issues began when the DVLA closed 39 local offices a decade ago as they were often run by teams of experts with extensive knowledge of older, historic vehicles.

Because of this, the organisation believes that the industry has been left behind in terms of modernisation, especially when it comes to registering cars using "unhelpfully-worded forms".

Guy Lachlan, executive director of the HCVA, said it was vital for the Government to look at ways to modernise the sector and make it more sustainable for future generations.

He added: “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.”

A DVLA spokesperson previously told GB News: “DVLA is working hard to help preserve classic cars as an essential part of British heritage and an example of British engineering excellence around the world.

“We know that there are concerns and challenges in this area, which is why we are engaging frequently and directly with a wide range of historic vehicle enthusiasts, and the industry, to ensure that the policies in place help to preserve historic and rebuilt cars for generations to come.”

Speaking previously to GB News, Mark Harper said it was imperative for drivers to get involved with the call for evidence to ensure any proposals they want introduced could be considered by the Government.

Potential topics could include lowering the age of classification for classic vehicles from 40 years to as low as 20, car tax changes for older vehicles and the impact emissions-based charging zones are having on the sector.

Mark Roper, chairman of the HCVA, added: "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."

The call for evidence is set to close at 11.59 on Thursday, July 4, the date of the 2024 General Election, as announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this week.


Mark Harper with a classic car

Mark Harper said great work was being done to support the classic car industry


Many in the classic car industry have been supportive of older vehicles being considered for electrification which would see motorists boosted by lower running costs and a more environmentally conscious drive.

While it remains expensive for the majority of drivers, it would allow drivers to maintain their vehicle for a longer duration and remove the need to pay for expensive premium versions of petrol or diesel.

Lachlan concluded: "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."

You may like