CLASSIC BOUNDARIES TO
Government under public pressure to re-introduce the original rolling
A petition calling for the reinstatement of the 25-year rolling road tax exemption has gathered more than 15,000 names within days – meaning the Government will be obliged to respond to it. It will also need to consider raising the matter in Parliament if that current rate of signatures continues in the upcoming weeks.
According to recent changes in legislation, the Government is required to respond to the issue if more than 10,000 signatures are received on the official petitions website. The appeal reached this target within days of it going online. Should it exceed 100,000 signatures, Parliamentary debate should follow.
The petition was created by Logan Walker on 24 January and will run for six months. ‘I wasn’t expecting anywhere near the response I’ve had,’ says Logan. ‘Classic cars are being priced away from the working man and we need to do something.
‘There needs to be a financial incentive to keep less popular classics on the road so they don’t disappear altogether. If these cars become tax-free, it will be of more help to classic car hobbyists than investors.’
Kilmarnock-based Logan, who owns a Mercedes-Benz R107 SL and a Jaguar XJ-S believes that should his petition be successful in achieving its aims, it would be in the interest for the classic car movement. He says it would keep things going forward, modernising the scene.
He adds: ‘More than 100,000 petitions is way beyond what I was initially thinking, but it’s possible. All I can hope is that something good will come of it.’
In April 2014, the previous Coalition Government announced in its Budget that it would be reinstating the rolling tax exemption for classic cars. This is now set at 40 years, although the changeover each year is in April. The previous 25-year cut off was abolished when Tony Blair’s New Labour Government came to power in 1997.
David Whitbread, spokesperson for the DVLA, says: ‘It’s ultimately up to the Treasury to set rolling tax. The DVLA just needs to implement it.’ He would not comment on if any changes would need to be made at the DVLA, should the 25-year rolling road tax exemption ever come back.
The FHBVC’s stance is that the definition of a classic car should be 30 years old and above, to fall in line with FIVA and UNESCO guidelines. Despite this, it remains on the fence regarding the potential 25-year rolling road tax exemption. Geoff Lancaster, communications director for the FBHVC, says: ‘We remain neutral on Government fiscal policy, regardless of whether it’s about classic cars or not.’ Given that the FBHVC has already backed calls for 30-year exemption of regular vehicle roadworthiness testing, this is a consistent view.
The petition is currently the 75th most popular on the Government website, where the most signed appeal is to ban Donald Trump from entering the UK.
If you would like to see a return to the 25-year rolling road tax exemption, you can visit the website, and share your opinions there.