CLUBS: WE NEED YOUNGER MEMBERS!
Interest in classic cars is stronger than ever – but the movement needs fresh blood if it is to flourish long-term, a nationwide survey discovers
Anew survey conducted by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has revealed the difficulties that clubs continue to have in recruiting young fans.
According to its data, fewer youngsters than before are keen to share the preservation message – and are less likely to keep older vehicles on modern roads.
Compounded with a still-growing market (capped at just over one per cent by the Hagerty Price Guide Survey 2018), younger motorists are less likely to be able to afford a classic, even if they show an interest in historic vehicles, the Federation’s survey found.
The FBHVC’s director of communications, Geoff Lancaster, said: ‘It’s always interesting to keep an eye on the shift in demographics – this informs us of any looming issues before they become major problems.
‘ We weren’t surprised to see strong divisions in the data by age – it’s an ageing population when it comes to historic vehicles – but so too regionality.
‘There’s a big gap in the perceptions of affordability from north to south, which reflects the economic differences between
‘One thing we have been concerned about is the idea that young people in urban areas aren’t becoming interested in vehicles new or old.
‘I personally feel this is more a trend of talking than reality, likely only to be the case in the most central areas of cities, but we need to look into things more here.’
The contrast between the age groups came despite an upturn in those surveyed declaring an interest in historic vehicles; from the last time people were canvassed (for the National Historic Vehicle Survey in 2016), UK participants who wanted to see classic cars kept on the road in original condition rose steeply from 8 million to ten million.
More interviewees claim to own a historic vehicle, too; the FBHVC found 2.5 million regularly read about them and the number who know someone who owns such a vehicle has grown by half a million to almost eight million.
Geoff said: ‘ We were surprised how rapidly general interest in historic vehicles is growing. However, it’s safe to say that there is an upward trend of interest.’
Research is continuing, with a further investigation into the importance of specialists to be revealed later in the year.
Younger classic car enthusiasts are still needed, says the FBHVC.