New classic car laws may ‘impact the liberties of owners’ with possible black box mandate

Richard Hammond discusses his love for classic cars on GMB

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Earlier this year, the Government launched the Modernising Vehicle Standards public consultation which sought to prevent “tampering” of road vehicles, citing safety and environmental reasons. With these proposals, it would create “create new offences with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road”.

Many drivers are fearful that this proposal could have really serious consequences for the classic car industry.

This is because many of the cars need modification to remain road legal, whilst still sticking to their historic origins.

The classic car community have made their voices heard by setting up a petition on the Parliament website, which has since garnered more than 105,000 signatures of support.

The Historic and Classic Vehicles alliance (HCVA) have called on the Government to make clarifications over how it will affect classic car owners.

They are asking for an exclusion to be made for historic and classic vehicles to any new rules.

A statement from the HCVA requested: “All historic and classic vehicles, and all the owners and businesses who work on them, are excluded from the proposals about new technical regulations for road vehicles which include requirements for safety, security and ‘in-use monitoring’.

“This is straightforward.

“We’ve asked that all the rules apply only to new cars, and not to cars already on the road.

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“Also, we’ve asked that all of the existing garages, engineers and owners as well as all other businesses in the sector are exempted from any requirement to enforce these new rules on historic vehicles.

“This is probably what the legislators were going to do anyway, but there are a few things we need to keep an eye on.

“For example, the requirements on ‘in-use monitoring’ might involve fitting black boxes to all vehicles, which would both require vehicle alterations and impact the liberties of owners.”

The focus on the black boxes has been highlighted by many drivers, not just classic car owners, highlighting how the new laws could be seen as interfering with drivers.

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