Extract from the Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs Newsletter - Issue 05/2010

(CCC Note :- All the text below, except that marked as 'CCC Note' (as here) is taken straight from the FBHVC newsletter)


VOSA is undertaking an internal review triggered by both EU proposed revisions to MoT testing and the anticipated autumn budget cuts (although as a government agency they are theoretically self-funded by fees). Ian Edmunds and I have identified several areas which we will be raising with both VOSA and Department for Transport so that the interests of historic vehicle owners are put into the melting pot before policies become too entrenched. Some elements will also be raised with members of All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group at our regular meeting in September and amplified at our board meeting at Beaulieu over the weekend of the Autojumble, to which the chairman of APPHVG, Greg Knight, has been invited as well as John Cryer, Lord Steel, and Malcolm Harbour who is a member of the EU Historic Vehicles Group. Along parallel lines we intend to make representations (via FIVA) to the EU commission.

Review of Waste Policies
This is not a formal consultation but Defra are requesting views from interested parties. This is the response we have submitted:

We are aware that the End of Life Vehicle Directive 2003/53/EC excludes historic vehicles from its scope:
[Recital] (10) Vintage vehicles, meaning historic vehicles or vehicles of value to collectors or intended for museums, kept in a proper and environmentally sound manner, either ready for use or stripped into parts, are not covered by the definition of waste laid down by Directive 75/442/EEC and do not fall within the scope of this Directive.
However, we believe that regulators need to consider the extent to which the existing regulatory framework for handling vehicle waste (primarily designed to protect the environment from pollution) may have the effect of discouraging the recycling of vehicle components at the personal and small business level.

We fully support the government’s commitment to work towards a ‘zero waste’ economy and our members would support the statement in the Terms of Reference that ‘one man’s waste is another’s resource’. Many of our members rely on second hand components to keep their vehicles running and in good order. More would like to be able to do so if such parts could be obtained before the vehicles to which they were originally attached get crushed, but the waste regulations make it impossible for small businesses to dismantle vehicles. At the same time, the kind of careful dismantling that is necessary if parts are to be re-used is generally uneconomical for the authorised vehicle dismantlers. The result is that usable vehicle 'waste' is denied to the individuals for whom it would be a valuable resource. Instead, this waste can only be recycled by the energy intensive processes used for recovering materials from scrap.


In the December 2009 issue of the newsletter we published a table of materials compatible with bio-diesel and diesel blends which was taken from a CONCAWE report. CONCAWE is the (mainly oil industry) association based in Belgium. We now have details of materials which have been found to be compatible with petrol containing ethanol, summarised in the table.

Recommendations for Materials Considered for Use in Ethanol and Ethanol/Gasoline Blend Applications

Material Recommended Not Recommended
  • Carbon steel with post-weld heat treatment of carbon steel piping and internal lining of carbon steel tanks
  • Stainless steel
  • Bronze
  • Aluminium
  • Zinc and galvanised materials
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Lead/tin coated steel
  • Aluminium (may be an issue for E100)
  • Buna-N (hoses & gaskets)
  • Fluorel
  • Fluorosilicone
  • Neoprene (hoses & gaskets)
  • Polysulfide rubber
  • Viton
  • Buna-N (seals only)
  • Neoprene (seals only)
  • Urethane rubber
  • Acrylonitrile-butadiene hoses
  • Polybutene terephthalate
  • Acetal
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene
  • Teflon
  • Fibreglass-reinforced plastic
  • Polyurethane
  • Polymers containing alcohol groups (such as alcohol based pipe dope)
  • Nylon 66
  • Fibreglass-reinforced polyester and epoxy resins
  • Shellac
  • Paper
  • Leather
  • Cork

This list is not comprehensive and the quality of the material must be appropriate for the intended application. It is strongly advised that the manufacturers of these products are consulted before ethanol or ethanol/gasoline blends are introduced.

Additives for use with biofuels
In the last issue of the newsletter we reported that an additive has been developed, designed to be added to the tank when refuelling, to prevent degradation of the fuel in the tank. We appealed for companies interested in selling these products to come forward, and we are delighted to report that three organisations have made contact and have been introduced to the manufacturers of the product.

Study into materials compatibility and carburettor icing
We have received some information from our member clubs and we have passed this on to Stephen Wall at QinetiQ who, as reported in the last issue, is investigating the effects on our vehicles from petrol containing up to 10% ethanol for the DfT. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to report their evidence.

Fibreglass fuel tanks
We have been contacted by a number of motorcycle clubs, and in particular the Greeves Riders Association, whose members have been experiencing problems with fibreglass fuel tanks on their machines thought to be caused by using biofuel. We are currently investigating this and would certainly welcome more information from members.

One suggestion that has been received concerns the use of a tank sealant to protect the fibreglass. Great care must be taken using tank sealants, of course, as it is known that they are not all compatible with ethanol in petrol. We are certainly not advocating that anyone does try this, but we would be very interested to know if anyone has already had first-hand experience of using such a product in their fuel tank to combat this problem.

(Extract from FIVA’s regular update provided by its lobbying service, EPPA)

Inaugural meeting of the European Parliament Historic Vehicle Group
As reported last month, the inaugural meeting of the European Parliament Historic Vehicle Group meeting took place in Strasbourg on 6 July, chaired by Bernd Lange MEP. It was suggested that the Group should meet with FIVA four times per year and that in addition, a vehicle-related event could be organised to enable FIVA to provide a more visible demonstration of vehicle heritage for MEPs. The first working session of the Group has been scheduled to take place in Strasbourg on 19 October. To date MEPs Mario Borghezio (I), Alain Cadec (F), Wim van de Camp (NL), Gaston Franco (F), Jean-Paul Gauzes (F), Malcolm Harbour (UK), Philippe Juvin (F), Brian Simpson (UK), Robert Sturdy and Guy Verhofstadt (B) have expressed their interest in the Group.

ITS Directive is adopted with positive provision on HVs
The EU institutions formally adopted the ITS Framework Directive in July. The adopted text includes the paragraph in the Recitals recognising that historic vehicles may not, and therefore should not, be expected to be able to operate with IT Systems:

‘Vehicles which are operated mainly for their historical interest and were originally registered and/or type-approved and/or put into service before the entry into force of this Directive and of its implementing measures should not be affected by the rules and procedures laid down in this Directive’.

The objective of this paragraph, which was included in the Directive by the European Parliament following dialogue with FIVA – and then accepted by the European Council and European Commission, is to ensure that any retro-fitting ITS measures proposed under the Framework Directive in the future do not cause problems for historic vehicle owners.

Commission consults public on Roadworthiness Testing
The European Commission has published its consultation for its planned review of the Roadworthiness Testing Directive. FIVA will make a submission, but the consultation is being managed on the internet and is open to general public – it can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/take-part/public-consultations...

The consultation comprises a series of questions with yes/no tick answers, and many are not directly relevant for FIVA. However, there is scope for comments to also be added – notably under the final question on ‘Policy Option’. FIVA’s response will include a statement noting that the existing Directive allows member states to apply different conditions for historic vehicles, that FIVA supports this provision, that it is implemented differently in member states but is generally to the benefit of historic vehicle users. FIVA will however make the point that the definition of a historic vehicle in the exemption article of the Directive should be amended so that it is consistent with FIVA’s definition of a historic vehicle. FIVA will also note that if the EU intends to extend the scope of the Directive to motorcycles; historic motorcycles should logically be treated by member states as historic vehicles. FIVA will also note that this principle applies equally to historic commercial vehicles.


New style V5C and Vehicle Scrapping
DVLA are now issuing a new style V5C, which has a red front page. The most significant change is that the ‘self scrapping’ tick box has now been removed.

The standard practice of the scrapping a vehicle is to take it to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) and a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) is issued. Some vehicles won’t be processed in a standard manner. I quote from the DirectGov website:

“If you’re not given a CoD or your vehicle is not being destroyed, then you should complete the V5C/3 ‘Notification of sale or transfer [to a motor trader, insurer or dismantler]’ section of your vehicle registration certificate (V5C), and send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD.

You should get a letter confirming that you’re no longer responsible for the vehicle. If you don’t get this letter within four weeks, phone 0300 790 6802 for further advice. Text phone users can phone 0300 123 1279.

If you have broken up the vehicle yourself, you must either continue to tax it or tell the DVLA that you are keeping it off the public road. You can do this by making a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). You will need to make a SORN every year until you have taken it to an ATF, or told DVLA that you longer have it.”

This means that anyone keeping the vehicle but breaking it for parts etc, should make a SORN declaration to let DVLA know that the vehicle is being kept unlicensed and off the road.

DVLA have indicated that if the scrapping box is ticked on the old style V5C, a letter will be issued about taking the vehicle to an AFT and obtaining a CoD. A disposal will be set on the record to take the vehicle out of the keeper’s name. If the V5C/3 is completed to notify disposal, the former keeper will just receive an acknowledgement letter.

The new V5C will now be issued whenever a change to a vehicle record is received (e.g. change of keeper). From next July a gradual rollout to everyone else will start, so that when you tax or SORN your vehicle it will trigger the issue of a new V5C. Anyone with the existing blue version of the V5C need not do anything, as both types of V5C are still valid. For more information on the V5C and the DVLA Buyer Beware consumer protection initiative are at www.direct.gov.uk/buyerbeware

At this point, rather than just commenting on the clerical activities associated with the scrapping of a vehicle, it might be worthwhile quoting from the Environment Agency Position Statement on the physical aspects in this area. Unfortunately the EA lump together the restoring of a classic vehicle in the same breath as stock car racing.

“Some people enjoy restoring classic cars and other vehicles as a hobby. If an enthusiast acquires a vehicle for restoration we would not normally regard the activity as a waste management operation. Obviously, they must store the vehicle appropriately (somewhere where they are entitled to store it), dispose of unwanted fluids and damaged parts responsibly and not cause pollution.

If, however, several vehicles are brought onto a site to strip them for parts for sale, to repair/restore another vehicle (e.g. for stock car racing) or a mixture of the two, this is more akin to a ‘vehicle breaking’ operation. These sites need to be regulated. If the vehicles have already been depolluted at an AFT, then the site can be under a chargeable ‘paragraph 45’ exemption. If the vehicles haven’t been depolluted at an ATF, then an appropriate environmental permit is needed; the site will need to become an ATF and Issue CoDs to the owners of the un-depolluted vehicle accepted.”

The Federation will be seeking clarification on these points with DVLA and EA.

New V55/5 Form
In the last Newsletter I indicated that new version of the V55/5 form was being introduced, and suggested that a club’s V765 scheme signatory would need to obtain stocks of this, and the associated V355/5 guide to filling in that form. Both are only available from a DVLA office. Compared to the previous version, the new V355/5 guide is actually quite useful. For example, one of the new fields on the V55/5 is ‘Manufacturer’, and the guide indicates that the owner should leave this box blank. However, ‘Make’ does need to be filled in. Similarly many fields indicate, ‘take this information from the Certificate of Conformity’. Seeing that historic vehicles predate this concept, then it is reasonable to leave those boxes blank, unless an alternative source of information is indicated.

Press Article on Declaring SORN
There has been some comment in the classic motoring press about owners that have been in dispute with DVLA regarding their SORN declarations. In Newsletter No 6, 2009, I explained the problem relating to declaring SORN on a newly acquired vehicle, and a solution was given. In the motoring press article, where it was possible to identify the vehicles, they were all post-1972 and vehicle excise duty would be payable, unless SORN was declared. There are always two sides to every story, and there is very often more to a case than initially meets the eye. As with all dealings with any government agency, it pays to read correspondence closely, and react in an appropriate manner, and keep copies of all correspondence. The Federation is due to have one of its regular meetings with DVLA shortly, and the subject of how SORN is enforced will be suggested as a topic for discussion.

Researching a Registered Vehicle
One of the options when considering acquiring a vehicle is to look at the website: www.vehiclelicence.gov.uk, then key in the registration number, vehicle make and basic details of the vehicle (excluding, any owner information, chassis or engine numbers). Details of this website have been given in a previous Newsletter. However, this system can only give a positive result if the vehicle maker, as recorded by DVLA, is known. For example with one of my own vehicles, a Morris Minor with the registration number KAS 753, DVLA have recorded the vehicle maker as Morris Minor, (as distinct from Morris) so in a search using ‘Morris’ the vehicle licence website will bring up a nil result. DVLA have indicated that they want to retain registration number and maker in the search criteria.

Where you get a nil result, it is possible to investigate further by going to www.rac.co.uk and click on the link to ‘Car Checks and Inspections’. Then go for a ‘Car Data Check’ and click ‘Go’. Select ‘Buy 1 Check’ and key in the registration number and very basic information comes up on that registration number, including the all important vehicle maker as recorded by DVLA. There is no requirement to progress through to the actual ‘buying’ stage.

Finally, armed with the registration number and the maker, go to www.vehiclelicence.gov.uk and then do a vehicle check.


As a postscript to the article in the last newsletter Martin Emmison at Goodman Derrick LLP reports that HMRC solicitors do not intend to appeal the Tribunal's decision of 10 June, which is good news for trade and private importers.

Jeremy Barker of CARS UK Ltd now reports a noticeable change in the attitude of HMRC to applications for Binding Tariff Information for 97.03 treatment - in other words HMRC are letting more historic cars into the UK under the 5% tax regime.

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