I am proud to be supporting the newly formed trade association, the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) with a mission to protect and promote the classic vehicles sector and secure its long-term future.
More than 100,000 jobs are in peril as a combination of bureaucracy and poorly-focused environmental legislation threatens Britain’s world leading classic vehicle industry. With economic revival a top priority as the UK strives to recover from the Covid pandemic, highly-skilled engineers, restorers, craftsmen and parts suppliers face uncertainty over their livelihoods.
The ‘not for profit’ organisation intends to campaign on behalf of individuals and companies in the classic vehicle world including specialist restorers, dealers, parts suppliers and a broad cross section of the multi-billion-pound industry.
The sector’s contribution to the UK economy is huge. Annual turnover including substantial international trade is estimated at £18.3 billion, the three-million-strong British classic fleet is valued at over £12billion and annual tax revenue generated for the exchequer is close to £3 billion.
The trade, in which British craft skills and engineering excellence lead the world, supports around 113,000 jobs in thousands of specialist small businesses and supply chain firms. It also provides training places and apprenticeship schemes, giving opportunities to young people.
I am proud that we have classic car trade firms in Wealden. 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. We need to do all we can to support a sector that provides thousands of highly skilled and well-paid jobs in my constituency and across the UK and preserves exemplary skills and craftsmanship. We should be looking for ways to help businesses find solutions to problems and, now more than ever, we should be making it easier – not harder - for reputable high-quality companies to serve their customers. In the current economic climate we certainly can’t afford to risk letting valuable jobs die.
For more information, please visit: www.hcva.co.uk
- Daily Mail, 25 May 2021: "'Boris, save the British classic car sector!' New alliance launched to rally Government to safeguard 100,000 jobs and £18bn-a-year industry" - Available here.
- This is Money, 25 May 2021: "'Boris, save the British classic car sector!' New alliance launched to rally Government to safeguard 100,000 jobs and £18bn-a-year industry" - Available here.
- Express, 26 May 2021: "Classic car industry at risk of 'serious damage' due to Brexit rules and 2030 car ban" - Available here.
Mythbusting 1: CLASSIC CARS ARE JUST RICH MEN’S PLAYTHINGS
In fact there are far more Fords than Ferraris, more Rovers than Rollers, more Austins than Astons, and the industry is populated by more mechanics than millionaires. The average value of a classic is around £5,400.
Mythbusting 2: CLASSIC CARS ARE POLLUTING GAS GUZZLERS
In fact restoration of classics is the epitome of sustainability - the opposite of wasteful energy-hungry discard and replace culture. On average classics are only driven around 16 times a year covering circa 1200 miles, with many doing much less, and producing just 20% of the CO2 emissions from using a computer and a mobile phone for a year.
Mythbusting 3: CLASSIC CAR DEALERS AND RESTORERS CAN’T BE TRUSTED
In fact HCVA members will all sign up to a strict code of conduct committing to reliable common standards, consumer protection and creating a new ‘kite mark’
Mythbusting 4: CLASSIC CARS ARE DEATHTRAPS DRIVEN BY ROADHOGS
In fact the industry is dedicated to high-quality craftsmanship and restoring vehicles to optimum standards of safety and efficient running. Expert attention to braking, steering and suspension ensures exemplary safety standards while remaining faithful to tradition.