Classic car owners fear environmental pressure as biggest challenge before 2030 car ban

Classic car owners fear environmental pressure as biggest challenge before 2030 car ban

05/26/2022

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According to a new survey, published by Footman James, 49 percent of classic car owners said the main challenge they face over the next decade is the environmental pressure. Enthusiasts were also worried about the availability of suitable fuel for their vintage vehicle.

This concern was exacerbated by the change to standard petrol across the UK when E10 became the default last year.

John, a retired classic car enthusiast, owns a historic Jaguar XK140 and a Jaguar E-type.

He told Footman James, the organisation who released the report, that he was concerned about the transition to a greener transport industry.

He said: “My questions going forward are whether we’re going to be able to continue running our cars, and are they going to slump in value? 

“It takes a lot of money, time and effort to restore these cars. 

“The classic industry is quite large now and if it disappeared there would be a lot of unemployed people.”

The classic car industry is estimated to be worth around £18.3billion to the UK economy, and employs approximately 113,000 people.

Around 11 percent were concerned about the availability of parts, while only four percent selected market uncertainty as a reason for worry.

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Rachel Maclean, DfT minister responsible for transport decarbonisation, spoke about the future of classic cars.

The Conservative MP for Redditch said the Government was supportive of the classic car community and understands its importance.

She said: “It’s important to be clear that while we’re phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, at this stage we don’t have any plans to actually ask people to remove existing or classic cars or older cars from the road.”

According to the report, a classic car notching up the national average of 1,200 miles emits 563kg of CO2 a year. 

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By comparison, a new Volkswagen Golf has a carbon footprint of 6.8 tonnes of CO2 the day it leaves the factory.

It would take the average classic car around 12 years to match that level of emissions.

In another recent survey, 66 percent of enthusiasts said they were concerned about climate change to some degree.

Around 77 percent believed they were already contributing to combating its effects in some way. 

To that end, 40 percent have used carbon offsetting in the past, while 52 percent of enthusiasts would consider contributing to a fully-vetted scheme to offset their classic’s emissions.

One way in which the classic car industry could move forward is by looking into electrification.

Many companies already offer the chance to build an electric classic to a driver’s desired specifications, as well as supplying the parts needed for people to convert their own car.

This is done by stripping the internal combustion engine and running gear and replacing it with an electric powertrain.

Around 70 percent of drivers say converted electric classics should be recognised independently on a DVLA V5C certificate, as a new class of vehicle.

To date, only modern electric vehicles are classed as an electric vehicle on the official documentation, the DVLA’s V5C form.

David Bond, Managing Director of Footman James, said: “EV conversions are dividing the classic and collector industry and our [Footman James] clients.

“With modern EVs counting for 64,000 in registrations this year alone, electric power is a small but growing sector. 

“Classic cars by their nature are increasingly restored, modified and upgraded but interestingly, from the majority of our responders, converting from the internal combustion engine to electric requires more official recognition.”

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