‘NO’ TO ROLLING 25-YEAR TAX EX­EMP­TION

Govern­ment rules out ex­tend­ing Zero VED for younger clas­sics de­spite pe­ti­tion call­ing for it

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

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.

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