A group of leading industry figures has united to form the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) to protect the British classic car industry, which it says has an annual turnover of £18.3b.
The group says that 113,000 jobs are in peril, and is calling on British politicians and regulators to use their post-Brexit independence to help grow this sector of the economy,
It blames ‘a combination of bureaucracy and poorly focused environmental legislation’, plus ‘complex rules around exporting and importing to and from the EU’ and ‘widespread misunderstanding of the environmental impact of vintage motoring’.
The not-for-profit HCVA has set out its intention to campaign on behalf of the individuals and companies in the classic vehicle sector, as well as instilling accountability, common standards and a code of conduct to the members who sign up.
Other key figures released at the HCVA’s launch, citing the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Club’s survey, include that there are 665 apprenticeships within the British classic vehicle industry and 700,000 classic car owners in the UK, and that while the estimated average value of a classic car in the UK is £5400, the estimated value of the entire British fleet of classic and historic vehicles comes to £12.6b.
The average annual mileage for a car in the UK is said to be 7200 miles, but for a classic that dips to 1200. And when looking at carbon dioxide emissions, classic car use is quoted to contribute 563kg a year, whereas mobile phone and computer use are said to come to 1250kg and 1400kg respectively.
“Our sector is a great British success story and has been for decades,” says Harry Whale of Silverstone Auctions and an HCVA director.
“But it’s in serious jeopardy and may not survive to continue providing opportunities for future generations if we don’t act now. We need to ensure the voice of the industry and owners is heard and understood by regulators and those in power. We’re taking the initiative now to address current challenges, clear up confusion and grasp opportunities to find solutions.”
Eagle E-Types founder Henry Pearman, also an HCVA director, adds: “The time has come for us in the industry, owners and enthusiasts to all join together to correct a host of myths and misconceptions and to protect and celebrate the world we love.”
HCVA advisory board member, and Joint Managing Director at Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists Frank Dale and Stepsons, Emma Crickmay expressed similar sentiments: “There is a passion, enthusiasm and devotion to the craftsmanship, materials and traditional skills of the individuals who work tirelessly restoring classic cars. These vital skills preserve historically and culturally important rolling pieces of mechanical artwork which educate and delight owners and enthusiasts, and light up a child’s face in wonder when they glide by. I’ve been that child and I’m now that enthusiast.”
The HCVA has found support from Nus Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden, East Sussex, and a former Department for Transport Parliamentary under-secretary, who has given it “my wholehearted backing.”
“The classic and historic vehicle industry is a great British success story that gives pleasure to millions and it would be disastrous if it suffered serious damage through neglect or ignorance,” she continued.
Another prominent figure to lend their support is Professor Gordon Murray CBE: “The restoration and preservation of classic cars keeps our rich history in the automotive sector alive for future generations. As we move towards electrification and ever more stringent regulations, in my view it will become even more important to support and protect our classic automotive heritage.”
Both businesses and owners alike can join. Find out more here.