Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group

Classic Motoring Pledge at Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group Annual Dinner - November 2017

The All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group have held their 2017 Annual Dinner at the House of Commons.

The dinner, attended by MPs, Peers, Government Ministers and leading industry representatives has become a fixture in the historic vehicle movement calendar. It brings together legislators and enthusiasts and celebrates the work of the All-Party Group.

This year attendees included Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP, Education Minister Robert Goodwill MP, car fan and member of Pink Floyd Nick Mason and motoring journalists.

Chair of the Group, Conservative MP Sir Greg Knight welcomed Transport Minister Chris Grayling MP. Mr Grayling said there were many big transport problems facing the UK, “but classic vehicles are not one of them”. He said he was a supporter of the Group and as long as he was Transport Secretary he pledged that he would not do anything to undermine owners “getting out on the roads and enjoying using their classic cars”.

Following an address from Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief of Autocar magazine, the Vice-Chair of the Group Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers and also to Sir Greg Knight for his work as Chair.

The event was sponsored by RAC Ltd.

Rolling MOT Exemption for Historic Vehicles Welcomed - September 2017

Sir Greg Knight, East Yorkshire MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group has welcomed the Department for Transport announcement of further MOT exemptions for historic vehicles.

Current rules mean cars registered before 1960 do not need an MOT but a new 40-year-old rolling period has been announced by the government meaning from next year, cars and motorcycles manufactured before 1977 will not have to take an annual test to check if they are roadworthy.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: “After considering the consultation responses, we have decided to exempt most vehicles over 40 years old from the requirement for annual roadworthiness testing.

These classics are kept in good condition by owners and not used regularly enough to warrant an MOT”.

He added that the modern test was not relevant to these old cars and garages would struggle to certify them.

Sir Greg said: “I welcome the plans just announced from the Department for Transport to introduce a rolling 40 year exemption for the MOT test for vehicles of historic interest. This makes sense as the Treasury, for vehicle excise duty purposes, regard a vehicle as historic once it reaches 40 years of age.

The MOT test is becoming progressively irrelevant for historic vehicles, which are exempt from emissions testing anyway and tests are increasingly being performed by young testers who do not know the first thing about old cars.

This change does not mean that people will have carte-blanche to drive un-roadworthy cars and owners will still need to ensure that their historic vehicles are in a roadworthy condition. Furthermore, anyone who wishes will still be able to submit their historic vehicle for a voluntary MOT.”

Sir Greg added: “Figures from the Department for Transport reveal that currently whilst historic vehicles make up 0.6% of cars on the road they are only involved in for 0.03% of road casualties which shows that they are being cherished, maintained and driven carefully”.

Officers Re-elected - July 2017

The officers of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group were all re-elected unopposed at the group’s 2017 AGM.

Pictured, (l-r) are John Cryer MP (Treasurer), Sir Greg Knight MP (Chair), Christopher Chope OBE MP (Secretary)
and Kelvin Hopkins MP (Vice-Chair).

Classic Car MPs Returned - June 2017

The 2017 General Election may have been indecisive between the major parties but it produced a clean sweep of results for classic car enthusiasts.

Sir Greg Knight, the Chair and all the executive of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group were returned at the election with increased majorities.

The cross-party Group led by Sir Greg Knight (Chair, Conservative, East Yorkshire) is Kelvin Hopkins (Vice Chair, Labour, Luton North), John Cryer (Treasurer, Labour, Leyton and Wanstead) and Christopher Chope (Secretary, Conservative, Christchurch).

Sir Greg said: “This election was a good one for the classic car movement. The concerns of classic car owners need to be constantly restated in each new parliament so that well-meaning bureaucrats do not curtail our ability to use historic vehicles on public roads”.

With our full team back at Westminster we will be in a strong position to make our voice heard as the Government develops policy”.

Knight Explains Work of Group at Practical Classics Show - April 2017

The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group, Sir Greg Knight MP was interviewed by Editor Danny Hopkins at the Practical Classics car show held at the National Exhibition Centre in April 2017.

Sir Greg explained the work of the Group and afterwards answered questions. He was welcomed on stage by 'Wheeler Dealer' Mike Brewer.

After touring the event Sir Greg later spoke at the show Awards Dinner and said that there was never a better time to buy a classic car than at present.

Sir Greg and the Group were thanked by Danny Hopkins and Mike Brewer for the work they do at Westminster.

Group Sees Transport Minister About DVLA Concerns- Nov 2016

Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group have met the Transport Minster to discuss concerns about the new attitude and procedures of the DVLA concerning historic vehicles.

The delegation, led by Sir Greg Knight MP, had asked for the meeting to outline his disquiet about the DVLA attitude to those historic vehicles that have been fitted with new parts, following complaints received by a number of MPs around the country.

Following the meeting, Transport Minister John Hayes MP agreed to look into the matter further.

Sir Greg said today: “Just because a historic vehicle has a number of replacement parts does not mean that it ceases to be historic. There is a distinction to be drawn between a brand new vehicle which is a replica of a historic car and a genuine historic vehicle which has been fitted with some new parts to keep it on the road.”

Sir Greg said he hopes anyone aggreived by a DVLA decison will let their concerns be known so that the Minister and his team can look into the matter again.

Historic vehicle Parade celebrates HM The Queen's Life - Oct 2016

Pictured are Sir Greg Knight MP, second right, and Lord Kirkhope, second left, at the start of the event with two familiar faces!

Members of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group have taken part in a historic vehicle display at Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations marking the Queen's 90th birthday.

Led by Chairman Sir Greg Knight MP driving a 1963 Jensen, 90 British cars -one for each year of the Queen's life- .lined up at the Palace for an inspection by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

The display was a huge hit with London tourists who lined the streets nearby.

Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group Run to Westminster -4th July 2016

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group Sir Greg Knight led a group of Parliamentarians and industry figures on a run from Bicester Heritage to the House of Commons.

Sir Greg, the MP for East Yorkshire travelled in his 1963 Jensen C-V8 with other MPs and they were joined by Bicester Heritage Managing Director Daniel Geoghegan, Bicester Heritage Chairman Francis Galashan and others.

Before the run the MPs had a tour of Bicester Heritage to see the development first-hand which has transformed the WW2 airfield site into mecca for all things connected with historic motoring.

The annual Group run to Westminster, which seeks to promote and support the continued use and enjoyment of classic motor vehicles on public roads in the UK culminated with the cars being displayed in the historic Speaker’s Court of the House of Commons.

KNIGHT CALLS FOR MOT EXEMPTION CHANGE -2nd June 2016

East Yorkshire Conservative MP Sir Greg Knight, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, is calling on the Government to look again at the date before which classic cars are exempt from the MOT test.

Sir Greg said today: ‘Currently all vehicles manufactured before 1960 are exempt from being required to have an MOT. However, for tax purposes, a vehicle is categorised by the Government as ‘historic’ once it reaches 40 years of age.

‘This means, in effect, that there are two different date classes of historic vehicle. Those that are both tax and MOT exempt manufactured before 1960 and those that have to undergo a modern MOT but are nevertheless exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty and which are made 40 years ago, which is a rolling exemption.

‘I see no reason for this distinction and am urging the Government to merge the two dates. I believe that all vehicles manufactured 40 years ago should be exempt from both Vehicle Excise Duty and MOT as part of the historic vehicle classification and that both dates should be a rolling exemption.’

2015

Group Chair pays Tribute to ’Tireless Campaigner’ Lord Montagu

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has paid tribute to Lord Montagu of Beaulieu who has died following a short illness. Sir Greg said: ’Lord Montagu was well known for being the first person to open an ancestral home to the public, which he did in 1952. He founded the National Motor Museum on his estate and soon became a leading international authority on veteran and vintage cars.’

Sir Greg, who Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, worked closely with Lord Montagu over many years promoting and supporting the preservation and continued use of historic vehicles on public roads.

Sir Greg adds: ’Even though he was rather frail of late, I am still shocked and upset to learn of his death. He was a tireless campaigner on motoring issues. As a result of his passing, a huge void has appeared in the world of historic motoring which will be difficult to fill. My deepest sympathies are with his family’.

Pictured in New Palace Yard at the House of Commons, seated in Lord Montagu’s historic Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, are Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and Sir Greg Knight MP discussing historic vehicle issues (what else?) with Government Minister Mike Penning MP recently.

2015-2016 Officers Elected

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has been re-elected unopposed as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group at Westminster.

Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) was re-elected Vice Chair with John Cryer being re-elected as Treasurer.

Christopher Chope MP joins the team as the new Group Secretary.

2014

GROUP CHAIRMAN PRAISES CLASSIC CAR CLUBS BUT WARNS OF FURTHER BATTLES AHEAD

Classic car clubs in the UK have been praised for the work they do by the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, Sir Greg Knight MP.

Sir Greg said that classic car clubs across Britain were the ‘unsung heroes of Britain’s historic vehicle movement’

He added ‘the work they do is not truly appreciated by many. Often, it is the clubs themselves who will help to keep Britain’s motoring heritage on the road by their expertise, their enthusiasm, their advice to new and novice owners and in some cases, by the clubs actually stepping in and commissioning the re-manufacture of new parts long unobtainable and obsolete.’

The MP was speaking at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire at the 2014 Beaulieu auto jumble.

Sir Greg, who has been named as one of the fifty most influential people in the historic vehicle movement worldwide, said he had ‘nothing but praise’ for car clubs for their support of the historic vehicle movement. ‘Many car clubs are rather like a family – they are there to help and they provide valuable advice. Sometimes there may even be a family-like falling out, but overall, they are a tremendous force for good and long may they continue to thrive in Britain.’

‘Also, without the work of the clubs, many classic and historic events would not take place. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude’.

Sir Greg also warned that clubs themselves would have to be vigilant against the possibility that ‘over-enthusiastic, environmentally-obsessed, but motoring ignorant local bureaucrats’ may decide to introduce all-encompassing low emission zones in cities across the UK.’

Sir Greg said owners of older cars might be banned from using city centres across the country if an inappropriate and heavy-handed approach to new low emission zones was applied by local councils up and down Britain.

The MP said that a number of local authorities were looking at introducing low emission zones in their areas. He added: ‘Everyone in the historic vehicle movement needs to make clear to their local authority that there is no case for banning historic vehicles from low emission zones. When compared to the emissions from other vehicles, the pollution from historic cars is immeasurable.

Sir Greg adds: “Any blanket ban would prevent classic cars being used for weddings occurring in city centres and would prevent many charitable classic car fundraising events from taking place in urban areas.

Sir Greg added: ‘I believe that enlightened authorities will exempt historic vehicles, but they will make their decisions on a individual city-by-city basis so it will be necessary for classic car enthusiasts up and down the country to be vigilant. If a low emission zone, with no mention of a historic vehicle exemption, is being threatened in your area, the first thing you should do is contact your MP and local councillors to object.’

‘We need to ensure that common sense prevails by the exemption of historic vehicles from any new restrictions’.

Group Visit - 28 April

Members of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, together with friends and advisers to the group, took part in a classic car run from the Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire to the Palace of Westminster.

Taking part were Sir Greg Knight MP, the Chairman in his 1972 Jensen Interceptor, Sir Tony Baldry MP in his 1972 MGB Coupe, Yorkshire MEP Timothy Kirkhope in his Porsche 911 Sport, Lord Cope in his 1935 Bentley and Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins in his classic Jaguar XJ.

Others on the run included members of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and Derek Mathewson from the North Yorkshire Motor Museum at Thornton-le-Dale, in his 1949 Bentley Mark VI.


Pictured: Sir Greg Knight MP and group members at the Bicester Heritage Centre

TAX ROLLOVER VICTORY - 19 March

The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, Sir Greg Knight MP, has praised the Chancellor of the Exchequer for bringing back the historic vehicle ‘rollover’ which exempts classic cars over a certain age from paying Vehicle Excise Duty.

In the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne has revealed that he is to recommence the rollover status of the exemption from paying a Vehicle excise Duty fee for a historic vehicle from April of this year.

This will mean that once a car reaches 40 years of age, it will be entitled to historic vehicle status and consequently be ‘tax free’.

The Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group has long campaigned for the return of the tax rollover.

The Chancellor had already announced a one further year’s exemption to the tax in last year’s Budget so that from next month vehicles registered before the 1st January 1974 will be VED exempt. The new announcement confirms this and means that from this year onwards the exemption will move forward annually once a vehicle has been on the road for 40 years.

ARE MANDATORY MOT EXEMPTIONS COMING? - 28 January

It has been reported by some sections of the press that the EU is planning to exempt all pre-1984 vehicles from any roadworthiness or MOT testing. However, this is not correct says Sir Greg Knight MP, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group.

Sir Greg explains: “Historic vehicles are more widely defined in a new proposed EU Directive than they were in the Directive being replaced and this category may in future be exempt from MOT testing but this will be left to the Member States to decide in due course.

“The definition of ‘vehicle of historic interest’ proposed in the new Directive is:

Sir Greg adds: “The reference to vehicles manufactured or registered for the first time at least 30 years ago is what has stirred talk of pre-1984 vehicles being exempt.

“There will be a public consultation before the British Government decides how it intends to implement the Directive. This will, in due course, set out the government’s view as to whether pre-1984 vehicles that meet the specific requirements in the Directive will be exempt from MOT in the future. There has as yet been no statement in Parliament and no decision has been made by transport ministers.

Sir Greg concludes: “No decision or announcement is expected soon.”

2013

Parliamentary Motion Congratulates Federation

The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group Sir Greg Knight MP has tabled a Parliamentary motion congratulating the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs on the occasion of their 25th anniversary.

The motion reads: “That this House pays tribute to the work of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs in promoting the preservation of historic vehicles and also encouraging their use; notes that the historic vehicle movement contributes £4.3 billion annually to the UK economy and employs 28,000 people; congratulates the Federation on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 2013; and wishes it continued success in the future.”

To date over twenty members have signed this motion and over the coming days more are expected to do so. You can follow the progress of the motion here.

Classic car at Prestigious Party gathering

The Prime Minister and Chancellor George Osborne were the main guests of honour at a London reception to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Conservative Party 1922 Committee this week.

Taking pride of place at the event was a 1923 Austin 12 Tourer, which was provided by the owner of the North Yorkshire Motor Museum, Derek Mathewson at the request of Greg Knight MP, the chairman of the Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group.

Mr Knight praised the Chancellor for his support of the classic car movement and welcomed the extension of the exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty, introduced by the Chancellor and which is due to come into force next year.

Pictured at the event are, left to right, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP,
Derek Mathewson Esq., and Greg Knight MP.

Knight Welcomes Wedding Car Licensing Climbdown

Greg Knight MP, the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group has “warmly welcomed” the decision by the Law Commission to abandon proposals to require the licensing of all vehicles, including classic cars, used for weddings.

In making the U-turn, the Law Commission noted that they had received ‘unparalleled concern’ at their plans and they have now provisionally concluded there are ‘valid arguments to maintain the exclusion from licensing’.

Mr Knight said: “I warmly welcome this change of heart. I am delighted that representations were listened to and that common sense has prevailed”.

Mr Knight added, “In my submission to the Law Commission I said that these proposals were ‘heavy-handed and misguided’. Now thousands of classic car owners up and down Britain can breathe a sigh of relief as they will now not face a ban on doing occasional wedding car hire with their classic car”.

A Good Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has delivered a great Budget for classic car owners

Not only did he scrap the fuel duty rise planned for September 2013 but he also announced an extra year of Vehicle Duty exemption for classics!

From April 2014, vehicles manufactured before January 1974 will now also be exempt from paying road tax! Well done Chancellor!

2012

Historic Vehicle Group Holds Annual Dinner and Reception

The 2012 Annual Dinner of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group has been held at the House of Commons.

The dinner was organised by Conservative MP Greg Knight and attended by group officers, other Members of Parliament and Peers. Also in attendance were other supporters of the group including the actor Leslie Phillips CBE and TV presenters Mike Brewer and Edd China from the programme ‘Wheeler Dealers’

Pictured, left to right, before the dinner are Mike Brewer, Rt Hon Greg Knight MP and Edd China.

Welcome for Scrapping of MOT for Historic Vehicles

The Department for Transport has just announced that MOT tests for pre-1960 cars are to be scrapped.

The decision follows a campaign by the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, led by East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, its chairman. Mr Knight has argued for a relaxation of the unnecessary bureaucratic hurdle the current MOT test presents to many owners of historic vehicles.

Welcoming the announcement Mr Knight said, “I am delighted by this announcement. Accidents involving historic vehicles are extremely rare and the majority of owners are meticulous in keeping their vehicles in good condition. Having to have an annual MOT test for a vehicle which may only travel a few hundred miles in a year was costly and absurd.”

At the Palace of Westminster in a 1914 Rolls Royce Alpine Eagle are
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu (front driving), Transport Minister Mike Penning MP (front passenger)
and Rt Hon Greg Knight MP, (rear) Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group.

Transport Minister Mike Penning said, “Historic vehicles are treasured by their owners who want to ensure they are well maintained, and in most cases they use them irregularly.”

Mr Knight added, “The modern MOT test has increasingly become irrelevant to historic vehicles which do not have ABS brakes and catalytic converters. Some do not even have brakes on each wheel! Today’s announcement is great news for historic vehicle enthusiasts.”

Owners of vehicles which are exempted from the MOT test will still be legally required to ensure that their cars are safe, roadworthy and in a proper condition to be on the road.

Mr Knight dismissed the concerns of critics who claim that the annual MOT test was a regular ‘safety check’ for older vehicles and should not have been scrapped. He said, “Those owners lacking mechanical knowledge will still be able to submit their classic car for an MOT test. However, I am sure that many garages will also be prepared to offer a short ‘classic car safety check’ by looking at the essential items such as steering, chassis and brakes at a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost of the current MOT.”

“This red-tape cutting decision is a victory for common sense.”

2011

Knight Calls for MOT Exemption for Classics

The requirement to have an annual MOT test for pre-1960 cars should be scrapped according to Greg Knight, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group.

Mr Knight said, "Accidents involving historic vehicles are extremely rare. Having to have an annual MOT test for a vehicle which may only travel 100 miles in a year is an unnecessary bureaucratic hurdle".

If Mr Knight's proposals are accepted by the Government owners will still be required to ensure that their pre-1960 cars are safe, roadworthy and in a proper condition to be on the road. Mr Knight also says that any exemption should not relate to historic vehicles that are used commercially.

Mr Knight added, "Maintaining a vehicle over 50 years old is all about maintaining our heritage - not cheap motoring. The vast majority of owners are meticulous in keeping their vehicles in an excellent condition, even to higher standards than that required by MOT testers".

Mr Knight said his proposals do not seek to change the MOT testing regime for cars manufactured after 1960.

Mr Knight has already had meetings with Transport Ministers on the issue and is pressing for change soon.

Historic Vehicle Run to Westminster

Members and supporters of the group took part in a classic car run to Westminster on the first day back after the Parliamentary Summer Recess.

The Group started the day with a tour of the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire and then set off for Westminster in their classic vehicles.

Led by Chairman Greg Knight in his Jensen Interceptor, eleven cars took part in the 95 mile journey, culminating with a classic car display in Old Palace Yard, opposite the House of Lords.

Joining in the run were Karl McCartney MP in his Mini, Tony Baldry MP in his MGB Roadster and former LibDem Leader Lord (David) Steel in his convertible Jaguar. Labour MP John Cryer MP arrived in a Mark VI Bentley, followed by Timothy Kirkhope MEP in his Porsche 911.

Afterwards the group met for dinner in the Commons and were joined by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and other group members.

Attendees were given a keynote briefing by Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Transport Minister Mike Penning.

Some of the cars in the run, pictured in New Palace Yard afterwards.

Historic Vehicle Campaigners Hold Parliamentary Reception

The Annual Dinner of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group has been held at the House of Commons.

The dinner was organised by Conservative MP Greg Knight and attended by Transport Minister Mike Penning MP and other Members of Parliament, Peers and Members of the European Parliament. Also in attendance were other supporters of the group including the actor Leslie Phillips CBE and radio presenter Mike Read.

Speaking at the dinner roads Minister Mike Penning MP said he was already looking at ways to reduce red tape and bureaucracy for classic car owners. He said he appreciated that classic car owners played a vital role in preserving our motoring heritage.

Greg Knight said, "The Historic Vehicles Group is not just a social club but an active campaigning body working on behalf of the owners of historic and classic vehicles and I am delighted that the new roads Minister is listening to us".

Afterwards film actor Leslie Phillips spoke about the 1960's film The Fast Lady and how today he still regretted not buying the Bentley car featured in the film, which sold at auction last year for £550,000.


Pictured after the dinner are, left to right, Rt Hon Greg Knight MP (t),
Leslie Phillips CBE (guest speaker), Derek Mathewson (guest) and Mike Read.