Tuesday 11 Aug 2020
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Letter to David Whale, Chairman of FBHVC from Simon Saint, Chairman of 2CVGB Ltd

Bob Owens article on the London ULEZ (Newsletter issue 2, 2019 page 4) contains comments which I think require explanation because they give the impression of having been made without any thought about their implications.

The self declared purpose of the Federation is to ‘uphold the freedom to use historic vehicles on the road’ and it does this by representing the interests of owners to politicians, officials and legislators. However Mr Owen now tells us that in representing those interests the Federation will be taking the view that historic vehicles ‘are no longer a means of transport as such’.

He goes on state that ‘the Federation cannot really support the use of vehicles claiming to be historic if they are in fact in daily use as transportation’.

I appreciate that these comments are made in the context of a discussion about the impact of ULEZs on older vehicles. However the comments to which I refer are introduced by the words ‘and there is one more difficult matter I need to address’ indicating that they are a statement of Federation policy not necessarily or solely related to the issue of ULEZs. As I read it they are general and unambiguous comments of the Federation’s approach to the definition of historic vehicles and the way in which the Federation thinks they should be used.

It seems to me that this is a redefinition of the Federation’s purpose, in which case how did it come about and how and by whom was the decision made. What is the argument in support of the view that a vehicle should no longer be considered a ‘means of transport’ because of its age and in any case what other purpose could a vehicle have than as a means of transport. Are we to accept a redefinition of the Federation’s purpose as to protect the freedom to use our vehicles on the road except when they are in daily use?

The creation of a category of ‘Historic Vehicle’ was a two edged sword. Clearly there are benefits for the owners of these vehicles. However the placing of a vehicle in that category distinguishes it from the majority of vehicles and it is only one step away from placing restrictions on such vehicles on the basis that they benefit from special privileges and should be treated differently. I could imagine a time when legislators took that view but I was not expecting it from the very organisation that exists to represent our interests.

If I have misunderstood Mr Owen then I apologies but I think it unlikely that I am the only person to have done so. At the very least the Federation should make a clear statement as to how these comments should be interpreted.

Letter to Simon Saint, Chairman of 2CVGB Ltd from David Whale, Chairman of FBHVC from 

Dear Simon,

Many thanks for your letter of today’s date. We very much recognise that Bob Owen’s comments in the last issue of Federation News caused a reaction and Bob has just finished writing a piece to explain in much more detail our perspective. We take the opportunity to share this with you in advance of publication in the next issue of Federation News and very much hope this will provide reassurance.

“A few words in the last edition of the FBHVC News seem to have created quite a storm.

So this might be a good time both to restate some of the Federation’s principles and to explain the environment in which we have to work, and the fine line we sometimes have to tread.

The Federation stands four-square behind its existing principles of protecting, to the full extent possible, the right of its members to use their historic vehicles, of all sorts, without restriction as to frequency or distance of travel on the highways of the United Kingdom.

In the United Kingdom we have been fortunate.

These rights of unrestricted use are not recognised in all countries.

What is more, our Government does not require a formal standard of what is a ‘historic’ vehicle, and again this is not always the case.

Our Government is content to rely on the age of the vehicle without setting more rules for a vehicle to qualify as ‘historic’. They consider that this approach does not create any measurable risk to safety, nor is there any obvious benefit to society, which would justify the effort and cost involved in setting rules. They have chosen a date of forty years old which, while not perhaps ideal, is one we have been able to work with as covering the interests of most of our members across all the types of historic vehicles we cover.

Even when working within EU constraints, on the extent to which they will exempt historic vehicles from MOT tests, our Government has chosen to apply an extremely light touch.

They have again applied a simple, and simply applied, rule of date of manufacture, (nearly but not exactly the same as for registration) with only the most limited of exceptions, though of course for some of our members, notably those whose area of interest is heavy goods vehicles, there are more onerous constraints.

Although there are attractions to the Federation of more strongly favouring the internationally recognised definition of thirty years to qualify as a historic vehicle, that international definition, as expressed by FIVA, does come with limitations as to originality and frequency of use. So while occasionally reminding our Government of the international standard, we tend to accept the current UK position as being a good compromise.

But the world around us is changing. In years gone by we did not have to justify our interest; it appealed to the general popularity of nostalgia and no one really considered it to have any downside.

But two very real issues, related but by no means the same, have come along and attained high importance and recognition in society in general, and particularly among younger people.

The first is climate change; there is now little or no doubt that it is real and potentially disastrous for the World.

It is gradually becoming recognised in the automotive industry that we may be at a point similar to the early 20th Century, when the end of the use of the horse and its replacement by the internal combustion engine happened much quicker than anyone expected. And now, unlike then, there are powerful reasons to proceed as fast as technology will permit from the internal combustion engine to electric power for vehicles. Our valued vehicles may surprisingly quickly become different in kind, rather than simply in state of development, when compared with current transport.

The need to control the speed of climate change led to Low Emission Zones (LEZs).

And the other is a greater understanding of air quality and its effects. The rapid advance of both air quality measurement techniques and of the science of epidemiology has meant that there is a much greater recognition about how the air we all breathe affects our health, both now and in the future. This is perhaps of more immediate effect to those directly affected. Thus we see the rapid development of Clean Air Zones (CAZs).

LEZs and CAZs are going to happen and both have increasingly general support. For various reasons, decisions on how they are to be set up are local. Differences can be quite major.

For instance, most LEZs and CAZs being set up do not affect motorcycles. There are extremely good reasons for this. But the London ULEZ does include motorcycles. Motorcycles which are in the ‘historic’ class are of course already excluded and can enter the ULEZ as they please without paying a charge.

There is a perfectly respectable campaign underway to have the use of motorcycles for commuting into London taken out of the ULEZ regulations. But it covers essentially all motorcycles over around 20 years old, and really has nothing to do with historic vehicles as such. We don’t oppose that campaign but it is not our fight.

Like the London ULEZ, the national Clean Air Framework which affects English local authorities requires them to exempt ‘historic’ class vehicles.  But the situation is more difficult elsewhere.

In Wales their consultation on a framework proposed only to exempt historic vehicles which were incapable of being modified to comply with emissions standards. The Federation protested that this could amount to cultural vandalism and now awaits the outcome of the Welsh consultation, which is, for some reason, delayed.

In Scotland there is a different problem. The Scottish Government framework proposal is not for charging zones, but for actual bans on use within Zones. While they are not unsympathetic to an exemption for historic vehicles, in view of the possible draconian effect of a ban we are attempting to get them to accept a thirty year cut-off for their historic exemption. We are in active discussion with the Scottish Government on the subject.

Which is where we get to the problem to which last month’s brief reference caused such a reaction.

The Federation always needs to make the best case possible for the interests of as many of its members as possible. We emphasise the increasing recognition of the cultural significance of our vehicles. And we are able, using our own extensive research, honestly to say that in general our members use their vehicles rarely and for very few miles for purposes related to their age and significance, and not simply as normal transport on a regular basis. This is a fact, not a projection. We can therefore argue with conviction that the privilege of an exemption will in fact be quite rarely exercised and have little or no effect on either air quality or greenhouse gas emissions.

We of course know a few of our members will wish to use their vehicles on a daily basis. On the basis of our research we consider that they are sufficiently few in number that they also cannot have any measurable overall effect on emissions.

So we would of course raise objections to any suggestion of the imposition of mileage limits. Up to now, none have ever been proposed. If they were, we would oppose them because the cost of policing such a limit to catch a very few unlucky users would vastly outweigh any benefits.

And lastly, there is perhaps the most difficult question. The responsibility of the Federation is to the historic vehicle community. That is emphatically to all historic vehicles. We value the rights of the owner of an Austin Allegro, or an Ariel Leader, or a Leyland Octopus, or a Bedford OB bus equally with those of a Rolls-Royce Phantom III.

We know that there are a significant number of vehicles considered by their owners to be ‘classics’ but which are simply not old enough to be considered historic, either by UK registration rules or by the international standard. The Federation is by no means opposed to the ownership of modern classics. We know they are cherished by their owners. We know many of these classics will become historic as the years go by. When they become thirty years old, they will fall within our remit.

Before then, they are not and cannot be the responsibility of the Federation. Arguments in favour of their use will only serve to dilute the simplicity of our message on historic vehicles. But we do not and will never argue against the use and ownership of modern classics. We will attempt as much as possible, to offer no public comment for or against their use.

We hope that the owners of newer classics will understand our dilemma and recognise that we have to do the best possible, using all the strongest arguments available to us, to serve the interests of our members.”

If you wish to raise any further points, please come back to me.

With kind regards,

David Whale



International Driving Permits.

If you read the Government advice at   https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit you will find it says;  
"Driving in Europe after Brexit"
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, you might need an IDP to drive in all EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, apart from Ireland.
You will need a:
1926 permit to drive in Liechtenstein
1949 permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus
1968 permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland.........
After 28 March 2019, your permit might not be accepted in some countries. Check if the country you’re visiting will still accept your 1926 or 1949 permit after this date. You can check the front of your permit to see which type you have.
If your current IDP is not accepted, you’ll need to replace it with a 1968 permit.
A 1949 permit lasts for 12 months. A 1968 permit lasts for 3 years or until your UK driving licence expires, whichever comes first."
The club is really pleased to announce that the Legless Frogs have snatched victory from jaws of defeat and that the date of the next 2cvGB National will be 03 - 06 June 2021. With your support we are sure this will be the biggest National Event the club has operated in some years and hopefully give us all the opportunity to safely share in each other’s company and celebrate once the lockdown situation is well and truly behind us. We know every one of you will get behind this event and make it an event to truly remember.
Important announcement from the committee.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10th May concerning the next steps. The 2cvGB committee have considered our position with regard to running events during July and August.
As a committee we feel there is still little clarity on what size of events are likely to be permitted beyond 01 July and there is a point beyond which we do not feel that we can continue to proceed with planning events which would either be unable to run, make a significant financial loss, or at worse run the risk of endangering the health and wellbeing of our members. For that reason it is with a huge amount of disappointment that we have asked the National Organisers to postpone the event to summer 2021 using the same venue. We’re delighted to confirm they have picked up the gauntlet and will be announcing a new date very soon. With your support we are sure this will be the biggest National Event the club has operated in some years and hopefully give us all the opportunity to safely share in each other’s company and celebrate once the lockdown situation is well and truly behind us. We know every one of you will get behind this event and make it an event to truly remember.
Of course we welcome comments from the members. Please remember to be respectful, kind and polite.
Thank you.


Most vehicles that have had their 40th birthday will become exempt from MoT testing this year.

Here’s some helpful advice on whether your classic will qualify, how to go about declaring a Vehicle of Historical Interest and guidance on if your motor is “substantially changed”.

From May 20th 2018, classic cars that were registered in 1977 or earlier may no longer have to undergo the annual roadworthiness test if they are declared to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as a historical vehicle.

This MoT exemption is on a rolling basis, for instance in 2019, cars registered in 1978 or earlier can apply for Vehicle of Historical Interest (VHI) status.


To declare your car or motorcycle as a Vehicle of Historic Interest, you must complete a V112 declaration form available from the Post Office or for you to download and print here.

button downloadForm

But remember, just because your vehicle has passed the big 4-0, doesn’t mean it automatically becomes exempt. The responsibility to ensure that your vehicle meets the criteria lies with you, and so it’s important that you make sure your vehicle is not exempt from the new rules.

This can include consulting an expert on your particular marque, or a specialist in historic vehicles. The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has a list of these relevant experts on its website.


Knowing the exclusions that apply to the new rules is essential. These exceptions are:

  • If your vehicle has been substantially changed in the last 30 years, then it will still require its MoT. There is some guidance on this below.
  • If you’re not able to determine whether your vehicle has been substantially changed, you should not claim to be exempt from testing.
  • Buses, public service vehicles, and commercially used vehicles with eight or more seats registered before 1960 are excluded and will require testing.
  • Buses over 40 years old that are not public service vehicles will be exempt from MoT testing from May 20, provided they meet the new definition of “vehicle of historical interest”.
  • A vehicle issued with a registration number with a ‘Q’ prefix that infers it has an unknown registration date.
  • Kit cars assembled from components from different makes and models.
  • A reconstructed classic vehicle as defined by the DVLA.
  • Kit conversion cars that see new parts added to an existing vehicle or older car parts added onto the kit of a manufactured body, chassis or monocoque bodyshell.


Even if your classic car or bike meets the criteria for MoT exclusion and is declared as a VHI, you must still ensure your vehicle is taxed when on a public road – whether it’s parked or being driven.

You are required to declare that your vehicle is MoT exempt when you apply to the DVLA for your Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) each year.

If your car or bike has a current MOT certificate but is likely to expire within the year, and will then fall under the new rules for exemption from future MoTs, at the time of relicensing you’re required to declare that the vehicle is a VHI.


If a VHI is deemed to have changed considerably from its original spec then it may still require a roadworthiness test, even if it meets the age criteria for exemption.

The definition of “substantially changed” is if the technical characteristics of the vehicle’s main components have changed in the previous 30 years.


The Engine

If the engine has been changed to one that is different from its original, this is considered a substantial change. One way of identifying this is if the number of cylinders in an engine is different from the original. However, if it is the same basic engine with alternative cubic capacities then these are not considered a substantial change.

Chassis or Monocoque Bodyshell 

This includes any sub-frames. However, replacements of the same pattern as the original are not considered a substantial change.

Axles and Running Gear

If the type and or method of suspension or steering is altered then this constitutes a substantial change.

Unless they have been kept in pristine condition, the age of many classic cars means they will usually have undergone some work to bring them to a roadworthy standard.


  • Different parts being used to preserve a vehicle when original type parts are no longer reasonably available
  • Changes to axles and running gear aimed at improving efficiency, safety or environmental performance
  • Type changes that took place during the model’s production years, or within 10 years of the end of production
  • Changes made to commercial vehicles at a time they were being used commercially


In addition to the Historical Vehicles class, there are other exemptions from full or part MoT testing.

For instance, steam-powered vehicles are fully exempt and all spark ignition (petrol) vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are not required to undergo the metered check in the test.

If a heavy goods vehicle weighing more than 3.5 tonnes was first used before 1960 and used unladen, it will be exempt from testing, providing it has not been substantially changed.

However, some pre-1960 large goods vehicles will require goods vehicle tests. If they have never been tested, owners will need to apply for a first test using a VTG1 application form.

If you require more guidance, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency can provide advice over the phone and via email.

FBHVC Press Release (23/01/2019)

DVLA Statement on VHI Declaration

The outcome from the ‘Roadworthiness testing for vehicles of historic interest’ consultation was released on 14 September 2017.

The Government have decided that most vehicles over 40 years old (on a rolling basis) will be exempt from MOT testing from 20 May 2018.

Those that have been ‘substantially changed’ will still require yearly testing. We have now published final guidance as to what constitutes ‘substantial change’ in the context of old vehicles.


For information on how to register your vehicle as VHI and further guidance on this matter, please click on the below link.

Click Here >>>


We wanted you to be one of the first to know about exciting changes to Footman James’ classic vehicle insurance. Footman James has conducted intensive research with customers and some of its strategic vehicle clubs in helping to design the cover available.
As part of the acquisition of Footman James by Towergate Insurance Group at the start of this year, Footman James has teamed up with insurance group Ageas to bring the products to life.

Ageas has the in-depth knowledge of our market and understands the passion that comes with owning a classic car – as well as the time and investment needed to restore and maintain a vehicle.


Budget 2014

There's good news for classic car owners in the 2014 budget. From April 2014, the classic car exemption from VED will begin rolling from 40 years, with cars built before January 1974 eligible for a zero-rated tax disc. Then, from January 2015, the formerly fixed cut-off, will become a rolling one. .

Citroen Dyane inner rear wing replacement panelsSPOG has been working very hard over a number of years to bring this project to life, and we are very happy to announce that the first batch of 100 pairs of Dyane inner rear wings is expected to be ready for shipping in October 2012.

These panels have been designed and manufactured from scratch, including commissioning all the design drawings and custom machine tooling required to manufacture them. SPOG has gone to great lengths to ensure that they are as good as (in fact, we believe better than, as they are of a thicker gauge steel) the original Citroën part, which is no longer available. They have been extensively quality tested, and are assured to fit perfectly.

This item is eagerly awaited both in the UK and abroad. They are available to order now, so don't delay!
NOTE: This price is only for the first batch - regrettably, subsequent production runs will cost more (this is down to our suppliers, not SPOG).



Getting insurance if you're under 25 is already enough of a headache, but recent reports of Footman James now refusing to take on such drivers on their classic car policies is affecting 2CVGB members. So what's up with that?! We find out...


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