Whether you own a classic car already or you’re thinking of buying one, Footman James looks at some hidden perks of classic car ownership. Some you may know, but others may surprise you.
Introduced in 2017, government legislation means that if your car was on the road before 1979 you can apply for it to be tax exempt. This tax-free coding is a rolling 40-year fee exemption, and so changes every year. For example, vehicles made before 1 January 1979 were exempt from tax from 1 April 2019. However, you still need to tax your vehicle to legally use it on the road – it just doesn’t cost you anything. Also, you’ll need to pay if a vehicle is used as a taxi or other form of paid transport (bus).
As with tax, if your car was made before 1 January 1979 then owners can opt-out of MoT testing by declaring their car as a Vehicle of Historic Interest (VHI). It’s worth noting that if your car’s been substantially modified then it will still need a test.
If your car’s been on the road for over 40 years, for example, it might have already been ‘recycled’ by a few owners who have updated, maintained, repaired and driven it a few miles. When compared to a new car on sale today, you can say that it’s friendlier on the environment from a manufacturing point of view than buying a new car.
Instilling a new lease of life into a classic doesn’t just have to mean keeping it on the road in its current state. You can also be kinder on the environment by converting it a more modern fuel – from LPG to electricity, for example. Read our article about electricity classic car conversions
Classic car owners living in or around London have had reason to celebrate as the recent Ultra Low Emission Zone charge (ULEZ) for London makes exceptions for older vehicles. In line with road tax legislation, there’s a 40-year rolling system in place which makes driving older cars in and out of the capital fee free. However, those in the historic vehicle tax class must still pay a fee if they are used commercially (for example, coffee vans or street food vans), but all vehicles registered before 1 January 1973 are exempt from the ULEZ, regardless of commercial use or otherwise.
The old saying of cars losing money as soon as they’re driven off the forecourt still rings true for most vehicles. Of course, some new ones command a premium but, with a classic, the general rule is that they don’t depreciate like new cars and, if you buy carefully, you may even make money. Remember the list of the top ten most expensive cars sold at auction last year? There’s also the possibility of cheaper insurance, especially if you limit the miles you plan to cover every year.
Have you got any perks that you think we should add to our list? Let us know in the comments section below.