Coping with compliancing
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.
For more information visit: www.fomc.org.nz