FIVA calls to separate old cars from historic cars – have your say here

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Greg MacLeman
Greg MacLeman's picture
Joined: 2014-03-03

“Historic vehicles are not simply ‘old’ vehicles,” says FIVA

As the number of ‘low-emission zones’ (LEZs) across Europe continues to increase, FIVA –
the international federation of historic vehicles – is lobbying for a clear distinction between
‘old’ and ‘historic’ vehicles, and for a consistent, Europe-wide policy on historic vehicle

The Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) understands the need for low-
emission zones or LEZs, as towns have to comply with targets set in EU air-quality Directives
and to meet health concerns expressed by the World Health Organisation. Clearly, as older
vehicles tend to be more polluting than newer vehicles, LEZ measures often target older
vehicles – but FIVA firmly believes that the fundamental differences between ‘old’ vehicles
and ‘historic’ vehicles should be recognised.

FIVA president Patrick Rollet explains: “By ‘historic vehicle’, we mean a mechanically
propelled road vehicle at least 30 years old, preserved and maintained in a historically
correct condition and not used as a means of daily transport. These vehicles are part of our
technical and cultural heritage and, in our opinion, should not be lumped together with old,
badly maintained cars that are used as cheap, everyday transport, when considering the
problem of urban air pollution.”

FIVA argues that there are many good reasons why the contribution of historic vehicles to
urban air pollution is negligible*:

1. Historic vehicles – whether cars, motorcycles or utilitarian – make up only an
insignificantly small fraction of road vehicles and an even smaller fraction of road
traffic, hence their contribution to air pollution is proportionately tiny. Since they are
generally used purely for pleasure, they are rarely used in urban areas at peak times
– and for all these reasons, emissions from these culturally important vehicles are
statistically irrelevant.

2. Historic vehicles are well maintained, again reducing their impact on the environment.
Owners typically spend several thousand euros per year on restoration, purchase of
parts and accessories, maintenance and repairs.

3. Historic vehicles are driven carefully – as reflected in their very low insurance

4. Very few historic vehicles have diesel engines (the primary target of many LEZs).

“Historic vehicle owners preserve motoring heritage and provide the public with a free
museum of our motoring history and culture by using their vehicles on public roads,” adds
Patrick Rollet. “It would be a great shame to see the disintegration of this important aspect of
our cultural heritage. Meanwhile, any bans or restrictions on the use of historic vehicles will
not only be grossly unfair on owners, but will also impact the thousands of small businesses
that depend on the historic vehicle movement.

Protecting, Preserving and Promoting World Motoring Heritage

“Many countries across the EU have already positively decided that historic vehicles should
be exempt from their low-emission-zone restrictions – including Germany, Italy, Hungary, the
Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and the UK. However, not only do the rules vary
between one EU nation and another, but in some instances the rules can be different even
when travelling from town to town within the same country. This is extremely confusing for
historic vehicle owners.

“In summary, we are lobbying the EU politicians for three things. First, that there is a clear
definition of ‘historic vehicles’ as opposed to simply ‘old’ vehicles. Secondly, that historic
vehicles should be exempt from LEZ restrictions. And thirdly that the exemption is applied
consistently – not only within each country, but across the EU as a whole. We warmly
encourage historic vehicle clubs and owners to likewise lobby their own national authorities
where LEZs exist or are proposed.” 

Joined: 2011-11-11

Another can of worms that probably can go nowhere. "A mechanially propelled vehicle over 30 years old preserved and maintained in correct condition". Are replicas being offered up for sacrifice once more? Will France rescind the ban on cars in Paris? Will I have to take the radials off my E-type and replace with cross plies? Will we now have different coloured fuels so that a roadside test can check if the car is being used more than for a trip in the countryside? The beaurocrats have one goal in mind - to create more work according to Parkinson's Law and thus inflate their already enormous salaried. If we want to counter global warming, may I suggest that strasburg be closed henceforth and that only Brussels is the seat of the European Parliament? That would save a fortune, far more than waving a stick at classic cars.

Joined: 2013-02-06

This is nonsense, who will do the policing of what is and is not "historically accurate"? How many cars have been modified/improved over the years? Does that make them just "old"? Where does this end?. Just more interference from an extremely out of touch Brussels. Let us all eat cake eh?







Joined: 2013-07-29

Just one more reason to get out of the EU

Kenthepipe's picture
Joined: 2011-06-23

  Quite simply just another reason to quit the shambolic cesspit known as the EU !


80, 928 S, 5 Speed

Mark Bostock
Mark Bostock's picture
Joined: 2011-08-24

If an historic car - would a 1964 pull handle MGB count for instance? - has been modified from its original build spec, but nevertheless conforms to what would have been a modification made at the time, whether or not it was done at the time or more recently, would that exclude it from being historic? And who is to decide whether the mod was done in 1964 or more recently?

And... Are they proposing to impose road tax on historic vehicles? A retrospective tax on what amounts to many people's pensions? A collector with 2+ vehicles, in addition to their daily driver, could be hit with £1000+ extra road excise duty. And in addition, the probable drop in value of their vehicles as they become millstones rather than investments.



Mark B

Joined: 2011-08-03

As an EU law this, if passed, will completely over-rule anything the UK government might have to say on the subject.  Therefore a democratically elected (OK, let's not get into that particular argument) government will be powerless to uphold the will of its own people.

This applies to a lot more than classic cars.  It's got to be 'out', hasn't it?

Gerard Clarke
Joined: 2012-08-31

This article is misleading.  The EU has made no proposals.  FIVA, an ubnrepresentative and frankly absurd body that appears to be made up of Eyore and Chicken Licken, has made some daft suggestions.  That's all.  

Eddie Young - France
Joined: 2016-03-09

The FIVA are attempting to stand up for classic cars AGAINST Brussels, which part of that don't you understand ?

If something like this is your rationale for leaving the EU then you deserve to be disqualified from voting !

Joined: 2016-04-25

This is so tragic! 

Even here in Norway they are trying to kill the car hobby with the same ridiculous "rules" stated in this article!

Why would anyone want to be a part of EU?...they are just picking up what Adolf Hitler left....