Classic car industry worth five and a half billion pounds

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The historic vehicle industry generates revenues in excess of £5.5b per year – an increase of 27.9% over the past five years – while classic car usage has quadrupled, according to the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs National Historic Vehicle Survey. 

The survey, which takes place every five years, has found that the historic vehicle industry in the UK is in rude health: “To those closely associated with the historic vehicle community this may not be a great surprise, one only has to look at developments over the period,” said FBHVC chairman David Whale. “We now have much wider historic vehicle ownership and based on the number of events and publications, a much more active body on enthusiasts.

“The survey clearly demonstrates the whole movement is evolving and is in extremely good health with individual segments increasing generally in line with the overall outcome.”

The study found that 8.2m people in Britain have an interest in historic vehicles, with 34,900 employed directly within the industry. A staggering 1,039,950 historic vehicles are registered, more than half of which are currently on the road. The value of these vehicles? £17.8b. 

Encouragingly, the report also indicated that classic car usage is also on the rise. In 1997 the average mileage per annum stood at 516, dropping to 350 in 2006 and 288 in 2011. The most recent survey found that average to have increased to 1124 miles. 

Though the overall outlook is positive, the report highlighted a number of challenges for clubs and enthusiasts. “For some, the average age of members is steadily rising and they are experiencing problems reaching out to younger members. Others see a bright future with a growing membership base.” said Whale. 

“Rest assured the future of the historic vehicle movement looks very positive, let us get out onto tomorrow’s roads to enjoy yesterday’s vehicles!”

In summary

8.2m people in Britain have an interest in historic vehicles

23m people see historic vehicles as part of Britain’s heritage

16m people think it’s important to use historic vehicles

£17.8b – Estimated value of historic vehicles in Britain

1,039,950 historic vehicles in Britain

£5.5b – National expenditure on historic activity

£662m – Annual value of income from overseas

More than 6 in 10 businesses are concerned historic vehicle regulation will cause them problems

34,900 jobs related to historic vehicle activity

c500,000 people own historic vehicles

1124 miles the average distance travelled by a historic vehicle per year

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