‘NO’ TO ROLLING 25-YEAR TAX EXEMPTION
Government rules out extending Zero VED for younger classics despite petition calling for it
The Government has confirmed that it will not be reinstating the rolling 25-year road tax exemption, scrapped in 1997. A public petition calling for a reduction in the current exemption from 40 to 25 years on the Government’s website has attracted more than 18,000 signatures.
Despite the growing interest in 1980s classic vehicles, along with the potential introduction of a 25-year cut-off for vehicle roadworthiness testing, the Treasury says that the current 40-year rule is sufficient. Retaining the 40-year cut-off means that about 10,000 historic vehicles are liable for zero-rated Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).
The Government has ruled out reinstating the original 25-year road tax exemption for classic cars – despite more than 18,000 of you calling for it in an online petition.
The Treasury says it recognises that classics are an important part of the UK’s heritage, but feels the current 40-year rule is sufficient, allowing 10,000 vehicles to become exempt every year. It also recognises the importance of the historic vehicle movement, and reckons by its own data it supports the livelihood of 28,000 people across the country.
‘The Government is working to deliver a long-term economic plan to repair the public finances and will continue to take the difficult decisions to achieve this goal. Therefore, the Government currently has no plans to re-introduce a rolling 25-year exemption for this category of vehicle,’ a Treasury spokesman says.
He adds that in recognition of the contribution made in the 2014 Budget the Government announced a rolling 40-year Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) exemption for classic vehicles.
The online petition calling for a return to tax-free status at 25 years runs until 24 July, and had attracted 18,063 signatures as this issue of
CCW went to press. Creator Logan Walker – who owns a Jaguar XJ-S and Mercedes-Benz SL R107 – says he’ll continue promoting the petition, but adds there’s a long way to go to reach the 100,000 signatures needed to prompt a Commons debate on it.
‘I was flabbergasted to see it even reach 15,000 signatures but it needs more than me pushing the debate to get any change,’ says Logan.
‘It needs to be a bandwagon that gets more mainstream support – imagine if someone like Chris Evans lent his support to it.
‘It’s not helping rich people who buy classics as investments. It’s about supporting ordinary working people who love bread and butter cars, for whom paying road tax every year might be the difference between them choosing to preserve an old car or not.’ petition.parliament.uk/petitions/119497
A return to a rolling 25-year rule would make 1980s cars like Ford’s Sierra cheaper to run.