June 28, 2018

Government rules out saving classics from scrappage

Government officials have responded to a petition by classic car enthusiasts, by ruling out a move that would protect certain classic cars from scrappage schemes.

The petition, which collected over 14,000 signatures, was submitted to the Department of Transport (DfT) on June 21.

The appeal sought to make it illegal for vehicles that have ‘Historic Vehicle’ on their V5 documents to be processed through any scrappage scheme.

But in a move that will anger classic car fans, DfT officials responded by saying it was up to manufacturers to decide whether to save classics from scrappage.

Serious consideration

The decision is at odds with the views of Sir Greg Knight, the MP heading up Westminster’s All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group.

On hearing the news, Sir Greg reiterated his backing for excluding historic vehicles from scrappage schemes.

He said: “If vehicle manufacturers do buy back historic cars through scrappage schemes they should give serious consideration to what they do with them.

“Many older cars will be worth much more than their scrap metal value as a source for spare parts.”

Passing responsibility

Danny Hopkins, editor of Practical Classics who started the petition, said the DfT response would not make happy reading for classic car fans.

He said: “As I expected, the DfT passes the responsibility of managing scrappage back to manufacturers.

“It also confirms that it is the manufacturers choice whether to scrap or not; all current scrappage schemes are not voluntary so not statutory. It’s good to have that in black and white, at least.”

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, which had a mixed reaction to the original petition, welcomed the move.

The Federation’s communications director, Geoff Lancaster, said: “We felt uncomfortable about calling for legislation to constrain owners of historic vehicles when our central philosophy is all about protecting freedoms.

“We would prefer that manufacturers make provision for preserving historic vehicles in their scrappage schemes.”

Let's just hope that the manufacturers realise the worth of our classic car industry and the importance of keeping the classic vehicle movement going forward.