DVLA ac­cused of not mak­ing 40-year rule clear

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -­b­vjssw

Own­ers of ve­hi­cles made in Jan­uary 1975 are be­ing re­minded that their cars aren’t ex­empt from Ve­hi­cle Ex­cise Duty un­til 1 April 2016 – fol­low­ing a run of com­plaints.

Some own­ers of th­ese cars say they have been left with un­ex­pected and hefty bills, as they were un­der the as­sump­tion that the rolling-road ex­emp­tion cov­er­ing cars of 40 years and over came into ef­fect from the start of 2016. In fact, cars man­u­fac­tured be­fore 1 Jan­uary 1976 will be able to be reg­is­tered as his­toric ve­hi­cles and ap­ply for VED ex­emp­tion only from April 2016.

A post­mas­ter, who asked not to be named, had crit­i­cised the DVLA for not mak­ing the rules clear. He says: ‘A cus­tomer came in want­ing to tax his Rolls-Royce which was reg­is­tered in Jan­uary 1975, but our sys­tems wouldn’t let him get it VED-free, and we’re given no ex­pla­na­tion as to why by the DVLA. I’ve seen this sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion hap­pen to three other peo­ple.’

Post of­fices sim­ply scan bar­codes and act on com­put­erised in­struc­tions. ‘This is the first I’ve heard about when the VED ex­emp­tion comes into place,’ says the post­mas­ter. ‘The DVLA hasn’t told us any­thing. It’s not good enough.’

Den­nis Rick­ets of Presteigne, Powys re­ports he has been told by the DVLA that his 1975 Ford Cortina 1.3 MkIII, reg­is­tered on 6 Fe­bru­ary 1975, does not qual­ify for his­toric tax free sta­tus. By his reck­on­ing, his car is 41 years old.

David Whit­bread, me­dia re­la­tions of­fi­cer for the DVLA ex­plains: ‘If a car was made be­fore 1 Jan­uary 1975 then it could be reg­is­tered as a his­toric ve­hi­cle. Also, if the ve­hi­cle’s V5C shows that the car was reg­is­tered from 1 Jan­uary 1975 up to and in­clud­ing 7 Jan­uary 1975, it could be reg­is­tered as a his­toric ve­hi­cle – based on the as­sump­tion that the ve­hi­cle would have been made in the pre­vi­ous year.

‘From April 2016 cars made be­fore 1 Jan­uary 1976 will be able to be reg­is­tered as a his­toric ve­hi­cle.’

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