A village fete is rarely complete without an array of vintage cars parked on the grass for motoring fans to admire. But now historic car owners are warning the switch to electrification and the red tape resulting from Brexit threaten the survival of businesses that keep these classic vehicles on the road.
The vintage car sector has formed a new group, the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA), to protect an industry it says has an annual turnover of £18.3bn and either employs or supports some 113,000 jobs, including engineers, restorers, craftsmen and parts suppliers.
HCVA estimates there is a fleet of some 1.54m historic vehicles, defined as those over 30 years old, on UK roads. There are a further 1.47m classic cars, which are aged 15 to 30 years old, bringing the total value of these vehicles to £12.6bn.
Despite their old-fashioned technology, these cars are less polluting than expected as they are driven so rarely, covering an average 1,200 miles a year over the average of 16 times they are driven, a fraction of the 7,000 miles most cars cover.