The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has been in dialogue with the Department for Transport (DfT) regarding the recently released proposals within the DfT’s Future of Transport Regulatory Review.
In particular, there were concerns raised by the historic vehicle community around the implied intent of the review to make it an offence to modify, remove or reduce the effectiveness of an existing vehicle system.
The preliminary view of the Legislation Committee of the FBHVC was that the consultation proposals that the DfT have put forward should be viewed in the context of a number of expected future developments in transport and any future legislation will be applicable to 'tomorrow’s vehicles'. The Federation noted that the consultation document uses phrases that suggest it is forward looking in terms of regulation with phrases such as:
“a modern framework for tomorrow’s vehicles”
“We [the DfT] anticipate a greater range of new and innovative road vehicle designs and associated technologies. We propose a flexible, proportionate and responsive approach to allow safe, secure and environmentally friendly vehicles to come to market. These vehicles need to be registered for use on our roads without undue delay.”
The FBHVC noted also the reference to the Law Commission 3-year review and the fact that this new consultation 'compliments' their work in relation to legal frameworks for automated vehicle deployment. All this is suggestive that the new legal provisions are directed at the next generation of vehicles rather than those of the past. Thanks to the efforts of the FBHVC, new vehicle design, maintenance, equipment and inspection standards do not generally apply to earlier generations of vehicles.
The principle accepted within Government and reflected in the Construction and Use Regulations and Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations is that a vehicle need only conform to the regulatory standards of its time to remain on the road. Subsequent standards are not applicable to it. In addition, where contemporary regulations did not specify a design or build standard, the law has not barred modifications to (for example) ignition, brakes and suspension in older vehicles to improve safety, reliability and efficiency. Thus the main aim of the FBHVC response to the consultation was to ensure that the above principle was maintained and there was to be no retrospective application of any new provisions.
However, concerns were raised by a number of elements within the historic vehicle community around anti-tampering proposals in the consultation, in particular:
“We [the DfT] will create new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on the road. This will enable us to address existing gaps in the legislation, ensuring cleaner and safer vehicles. We will also create new offences for tampering with non-road mobile machinery and for advertising 'tampering' services or products.”
Concern was expressed by some that this may outlaw modifications conducted on historic vehicles and damage the many businesses, either manufacturers or installers, who rely on this trade.
As a benefit of the long-standing working relationship between FBHVC and DfT, the Federation received an early invitation to respond directly to the DfT ahead of the formal Consultation.
The FBHVC used this opportunity to ask for confirmation that the principle of no retrospective effect would be maintained and to address the concerns over anti-tampering proposals. The Federation therefore sought assurances from the DfT on the following points:
a. The DfT would follow the existing long policy principle that the revised regulations will not have retrospective effect; b. The DfT would specifically not apply tampering provisions retrospectively, but confine them exclusively to 'tomorrow’s' vehicles; c. The DfT would consider a specific exemption provision in the regulations allied to the definition of historic vehicles.
The FBHVC has received a detailed written response from the DfT, who have given assurances that they do not intend their proposals to prevent legitimate motorsport activities, prevent restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to vehicles, such as classic cars or motorbikes, or to negatively impact businesses involved in these activities. These assurances are reflected in the recent issue of an updated consultation paper on the DfT website.
The DfT also confirmed older vehicles will not be expected to comply with new type approval standards. The type of activities the DfT want to take more effective action against include tampering activities that prevent a vehicle’s emissions system from operating correctly and as vehicles become increasingly automated, to prevent alterations to a vehicle’s integral software and sensing technologies that create safety and security risks. For example, a badly modified 'autonomous vehicle' has the potential to kill its occupants and other road users.
The prompt action by the FBHVC (as a formal stakeholder) has produced a preliminary response from the DfT that will offer reassurance to those who have expressed concerns about potentially damaging legislation.
Clearly, any subsequent draft legislative proposals will have to be examined carefully. As a formal stakeholder, the FBHVC will be engaged in consultations on any future proposed legislation. The FBHVC will also be providing a full response to the Consultation to ensure that initial undertakings are maintained throughout the process.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is delighted to announce it has appointed Motul in a new three-year deal to collaborate on securing the future of lubricants for historic vehicles, through product innovation and support for the historic vehicle industry and club community.
The Federation represents over 500 of the UK’s historic vehicle clubs, museums and 250,000 enthusiasts. FBHVC covers not only cars, but also motorcycles, buses/coaches, lorries, military, agricultural and steam vehicles. The Federation’s recent research established there are 1,538,927 historic vehicles in the UK which generate turnover of £7.2bn each year.
Motul is a core part of transport history, having been founded in 1853 in the USA as part of Swan and Finch. It became a French headquartered company in 1957. The brand remains in family ownership to this day.
Throughout the entire era of motorised transport, Motul has been conscious of its role in not only creating history through innovative product and service development, but also contributing to the heritage of the industry as a whole.
Motul’s credibility and expertise are second to none. Motul supports the preservation of motoring heritage, through Motul’s Fondation du Patrimonie, via museums & exhibitions, as well as through its partnerships across the historic vehicle world (with FIVA, the Tour Auto, Goodwood Revival, Silverstone Classic, Carrera Panamericana and Le Mans Classic). This illustrates the passion of the brand, its owners and staff and their desire to transmit this passion to the younger generation.
Please see the full FBHVC Press Release on the FBHVC website at:
After an After an extensive consultation process, the Department for Transport has introduced legislation to mandate E10 petrol as the standard 95-octane petrol grade from 1 September 2021; in Northern Ireland this will happen in early 2022.
They will also require the higher-octane 97+ ‘Super’ grades to remain E5 to provide protection for owners of older vehicles. This product will be designated as the ‘Protection’ grade.
The change in fuel applies to petrol only. Diesel fuel will not be changing.
Petrol pumps now show new labels designating the grade, the maximum ethanol content and an advisory cautionary notice. Other information regarding the introduction of E10 petrol may also be provided by fuel retailers such as the ‘Know your Fuel’ sticker (shown at the foot of the press release article).
Please see the full FBHVC Press Release on the FBHVC website at:
The Commons Select Committee for Transport met this week to question the DVLA on what their strategy is for overcoming the current backlog of over 1.4 million license applications and also to answer MPs questions around industrial disputes and staff shortages brought about by the pandemic.
Firstly, the FBHVC would like to lend its support to the hardworking staff at the DVLA who have been dealing with a hugely increased workload in the wake of personnel shortages brought about by the pandemic. We think every workplace can relate to the struggles of the past 18-months.
The FBHVC, through our constant dialogue with the DVLA and our close working relationship built up over many years, has managed to put systems in place whereby our member clubs, their representatives and experts on the ground are able to assist the DVLA through the outsourcing of certain elements of registration processes to the historic vehicle community. These have included in the past the V765 scheme but also more recently, the validation of imports and VHI applications. We believe these established processes are key to helping the DVLA deal with the backlog for historic vehicles and effectively outsources much of the investigative process and verification the historic vehicle community.
The FBHVC understand that, although there have been increased turnaround times, the DVLA, for our sector at least, are beginning to get back on top of applications and we have been in dialogue with them to understand how best we can lend our assistance. Our focus is always to ensure that historic vehicles that should be on the road are on the road and being enjoyed by their owners and the public as quickly as possible.
As a result of those recent discussions on how we can assist the DVLA, the FBHVC has now been officially appointed as key stakeholder in the DVLA. The DVLA have put in place and a newly designated relationship manager to work through the various pain points for the historic vehicle community in partnership with the FBHVC.
A spokesperson for the DVLA said:
"We are pleased that the FBHVC has a positive and constructive relationship with the DVLA Vehicle Policy team and I am keen that this continues and is strengthened. We also now have a dedicated Corporate Services team who work closely with our key stakeholders." Speaking specifically on the subject of applications for historic vehicles, the DVLA commented:
"When applications for historic vehicles cannot be processed using the usual methods we consider each case individually on its own merits. If required we also provide guidance to applicants on how best to proceed with their application if further evidence is required. Applications that may not have all the expected historic documentary evidence are considered, taking into account all the available evidence, so as to build a picture of the vehicle’s history so that, where appropriate, these vehicles are able to retain their history."
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) welcomes the announcement from the Department for Transport that it does not intend to amend UK law to widen the requirement for insurance of motor vehicles to include activities on private land, which could have resulted from the decision of the European Court of Justice in respect of the 'Vnuk' case. The Vnuk incident occurred in Slovenia in 2007.
This would of course have had the effect of requiring widespread insurance of motorsport activities taking place on private land, for which motor insurance is not currently required.
The full extent of this requirement within the countries of the EU will not be clear until finalisation of revisions to the European Motor Insurance Directive, which are continuing.
However, the removal in the UK, as a result of the UK departure from the EU, of any risk to motor sport arising from high insurance premiums or, in some cases, possible refusal of insurance, comes as a relief to all of those participating in historic motor sport in the UK.
The FBHVC of course participated directly in discussions with the insurance industry and with Government when the issue first arose.
The FBHVC has also been active within FIVA in its efforts, which at the time of the UK departure from the EU were achieving a measure of success, supporting limitations of the harmful effects of the revised Motor Insurance Directive on our motor sporting friends within the EU.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has announced the appointment of Nigel Elliott to the Federation's Legislation Team, in the role as Automotive Fuels Specialist, with immediate effect.
The FBHVC currently represents over 500 clubs, museums, independent and trade supporters, encompassing a collective membership of over 250,000 historic vehicle enthusiasts. As the umbrella organisation for the historic vehicle movement in the UK, the Federation seeks to work towards defending the freedoms of historic vehicle owners, whilst also addressing the environmental impact of the community's activities.
Nigel Elliott joins the Federation to take up what will be an increasingly important role in the coming years as the Federation's focus fixes squarely upon ensuring combustion engine powered historic vehicles have a place to co-exist alongside electric vehicles on the roads of the future. The Federation sees the need to assess, study and understand the impact of changing fuel demands and technologies on the historic vehicle community as critical work in the coming years.
Nigel's professional background has seen him enjoy a successful career working in engine and vehicle testing, and fuels product quality and development for a multi-national oil company. In 2012 Nigel set up a fuels quality consultancy. He is an active member of the British Standards Institute PTI/2 Liquid Fuels Committee as a co-opted expert, responsible for petrol, diesel and non-road fuel standards. Nigel was the Convener of the European Fuel Standards (CEN) Diesel Committee and a long-term UK expert member of the Petrol Committee and has been heavily involved in the development of the Biodiesel and Ethanol standards and their implementation in road fuels.
This impressive professional background is set against a passion for historic vehicles and motorsport. Nigel is a keen hill-climber and supporter of Shelsley Walsh Hill climb. A member of numerous clubs, including the MAC, HDLCC, Bugatti Owners Club, HSA and BARC, Nigel competes in a 1979 Triumph TR7-V8 4.6 litre twin Turbo modified production car. Nigel has also owned a number of classic Range Rovers over the years and currently runs a 'modern classic' 2004 Jaguar XKR convertible.
Speaking on his appointment Nigel Elliott said, "I am looking forward to helping the historic vehicle community understand the challenges that we face regarding fuel quality and supply. Historic vehicles are very dear to my heart and so bringing my specialist professional knowledge, built from 43 years of experience in the industry, I hope to contribute to the team tasked with preserving the freedoms of enthusiasts to continue to use and enjoy historic vehicles on UK roads.”
David Whale, FBHVC Chairman said, "The Federation and the historic vehicle community are increasingly going have to face the challenges of fuel supply and quality over coming years. Not only that but we will be required to put our points across to those in power with the backing of professional experience and expertise. We are looking forward to Nigel Elliott joining us and bringing those qualities to our existing team of highly capable volunteers."
The DVLA have requested that the FBHVC share their announcement about important changes, being introduced 01 January 2021, which affect the ability of vehicles registered in the Historic tax class to display the old style pre-1973 number plates with black background and silver or white characters.
Following the change in definition of a Historic Vehicle for vehicle tax exemption purposes in 2015, an issue was identified in the regulatory requirements for the valid display of number plates with black background and silver or white characters. This resulted in an unintended consequence where any vehicle over 40 years old and registered in the Historic Tax Class would be permitted to display old style number plates with black background and silver or white characters. This was despite the law previously requiring all vehicles first registered after 01 January 1973 to only display the yellow and white number plates with black characters.
As this was never the intention, DVLA have sought to rectify this through a legal correction, which will shortly be implemented. The change seeks to prevent any vehicle constructed after 01 January 1980 from the ability to display the number plates with black background and silver or white characters despite being recorded in the DVLA’s Historic tax class. Those vehicles with a construction date prior to 1 January 1980 will continue to be able to legally display number plates with black background and silver or white characters to avoid any undue costs of replacement.
Also note that from 01 January 2021 it will no longer be permissible to fix a new number plate displaying a Euro symbol. Number plates already fixed to vehicles are unaffected. DVLA will also be introducing a new British Standard for number plates produced from 01 September 2021, which will mean all current style number plates that are first fixed to a vehicle from that date must meet the technical requirements contained in that standard.
About the FBHVC:
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) exists to uphold the freedom to use historic vehicles on the road. It does this by representing the interests of owners of such vehicles to politicians, government officials, and legislators both in the UK and (through the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) in Europe. There are over 540 subscriber organisations representing a total membership of over 250,000 in addition to individual and trade supporters. All our directors operate in a voluntary capacity supported by our secretary.
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs Ltd, PO Box 295, Upminster, Essex, RM14 9DG