PETROL AND DIESEL CARS TO BE BANNED FROM 2040
Classics under threat from latest ‘air quality’ strategy
Plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 have been released by the Government. The knock-on effect for classics is that conventional fuel stations could be phased out long before that date, as buyers switch to electrically-powered vehicles.
Another worrying caveat of this new air quality strategy, laid out in a paper published by the Department for Environments, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), is that it gives councils the power to charge ‘older’ vehicles for entering cities. Nothing more has been said about this, but the Government has intimated that these extra restrictions could work the same way as London’s T-Charge and Ultra Low-Emissions Zone – charging up to £10 a day.
One short-term upturn for the classic car fan is that petrol and diesel car prices may nosedive.
Alex Buttle, director of car buying comparison website Motorway. co.uk says: ‘New petrol and diesel car values could fall through the floor well before that deadline – the used car market will be flooded with owners trying to dump their cars.’
In last week’s issue, we reported on a study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research that set out guidelines to reduce use of petrol and diesel cars. Its author, Professor Douglas McWilliams, says the biggest fear for classic owners could be a lack of petrol stations.
Mark Cunningham, a manager at accounting, tax and advisory practice Blick Rothenberg echoes those thoughts. He says: ‘Ultimately we will see “Electric Charging Stations” being run by the current petrol and diesel suppliers; they will need to provide fast charging and that is when the tax regime will change.’
Robert Johnson, partner at law firm Healys LLP, wonders how the proposed ban on petrol and diesel cars will impact on the classic car industry. ‘Could this lead to a new tax on cars that are currently not subject to the current tax regime, such as classic cars? This could result in lengthy legal challenges against the UK Government,’ he says.
Classic car values may fall, but where would you buy the fuel to run them?