Gov­ern­ment un­der pub­lic pres­sure to re-in­tro­duce the orig­i­nal rolling

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News Analysis -

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.


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