Cop­ing with com­pli­anc­ing

Classic Driver - - FEATURES - By Roy Hughes, Na­tional Sec­re­tary NZ Fed­er­a­tion of Mo­tor­ing Clubs

For her­itage ve­hi­cle own­ers in the United King­dom, fee-free mo­tor­ing is no longer an April Fool’s fan­tasy but seems to have be­come a re­al­ity.

As from this month, clas­sic col­lecta­bles built be­fore Jan­uary 1974 can be ex­cused from road tax if the own­ers ap­ply to have them reg­is­tered as his­toric ve­hi­cles. Un­der a pre­vi­ous leg­isla­tive change, pre-1960 ve­hi­cles are al­ready also ex­empt from an MOT test, the Bri­tish equiv­a­lent of our WoF.

And the Euro­pean Union is now rec­om­mend­ing cars of “his­toric in­ter­est” aged over 30 years should not be sub­ject to road­wor­thi­ness tests if they are of a type no longer in pro­duc­tion, and are pre­served and main­tained in an orig­i­nal state with­out sub­stan­tial changes to their main com­po­nents.

How­ever, less than two years ago, Bri­tish clas­sic car own­ers were most con­cerned that a re­write of EU road­wor­thi­ness rules would re­sult in MOT re­jec­tions of all her­itage ve­hi­cles fit­ted with up­graded re­place­ments of their orig­i­nal com­po­nents or any other mod­i­fi­ca­tions. So there may still be ad­verse side ef­fects to the new pre­scrip­tion.

For car col­lec­tors around the world, the seem­ingly end­less and re­peated re­vi­sions of the rules and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing the own­er­ship and use of our ve­hi­cles on pub­lic roads has been caus­ing in­creas­ing con­cern and con­ster­na­tion.

Since the for­ma­tion of the NZFOMC in 1994, its pri­mary role has been to rep­re­sent our 130 or so mem­ber clubs in mak­ing sub­mis­sions to govern­ment min­is­ters and agencies to en­sure the rule-mak­ers get it right each time they re­vise and re­write the leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tions which con­trol or limit our use and en­joy­ment of our ve­hi­cles.

But some­times it is not the rules that are wrong but how they are mis­in­ter­preted by the of­fi­cials and commercial agencies re­quired to fol­low or im­ple­ment them. For ex­am­ple, FOMC pres­i­dent Mal­colm Lums­den was re­cently called by a col­lec­tor with a Com­mer whose ap­pli­ca­tion for the re­duc­tion in road user charges avail­able to her­itage ve­hi­cle own­ers was re­jected by the agent he ap­proached. Put in touch with the people with the right knowl­edge to re­solve his prob­lem, he was nat­u­rally most ap­pre­cia­tive when he ob­tained his proper en­ti­tle­ment.

While it is not re­ally our spe­cific role, over the past few years the FOMC has in­ter­vened on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions to as­sist in­di­vid­ual mem­bers of af­fil­i­ate clubs to deal with com­pli­anc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and other is­sues when they were con­fronted with a re­sponse from of­fi­cial­dom which seemed un­fair or un­jus­ti­fied.

Of ma­jor as­sis­tance in solv­ing such prob­lems for mem­bers, has been the vast knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence of a widely re­spected, leading light of the mo­tor­ing in­dus­try, VINZ CEO Frank Wil­lett, who has served vol­un­tar­ily on our ex­ec­u­tive as a tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor for the past five years.

At our up­com­ing an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Taupo in May, Frank has agreed to of­fer guid­ance and ad­vice on how to over­come the com­pli­anc­ing is­sues which can arise when im­port­ing, mod­i­fy­ing or re­turn­ing re­stored “Dead Reg” cars to the road.

Fol­low­ing up on the re­cent changes to the ve­hi­cle li­cens­ing and WoF regimes, our other tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor, NZ Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion Prin­ci­pal Ad­vi­sor - Reg­u­la­tions Mark Stock­dale, will look at all the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the re­cent WoF fre­quency changes and why in­spec­tion pe­ri­ods for her­itage ve­hi­cles should be ex­tended.

While af­fil­i­ated clubs are in­vited to send a nom­i­nated del­e­gate to the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, all mem­bers of our mem­ber clubs are wel­come to at­tend.

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