Worldwide Ways We Preserve Older Vehicles

September 22nd, 2020

If you own a vehicle that’s 25 or 30 years old and not driven very often there’s a good chance you have discovered the benefits of Concessional Registration. Even if you’re considering buying an older vehicle, joining a club and exploring the availability of ‘Historic rego’ is worthwhile.

Schemes that slash ownership costs for older vehicles have operated throughout Australia for many years and are available to members of motoring clubs that agree to administer them on behalf of members.

Access to registration that costs around a quarter of normal rates has without doubt kept large numbers of historic vehicles in use and delivering enjoyment.

Vehicles must be of a certain age and that varies according to State legislation. They might need to be certified by the Club’s Dating Officer, so locating chassis and engine numbers becomes important. They also need to pass a roadworthy inspection.

Some vehicles that are new or nearly new can qualify, providing they are replicas of scarce older models and faithfully follow the design and mechanical characteristics of the original. Depending on regulations in the State where a concessionally-registered car is kept, some modifications may be allowed, but checking before you buy is recommended.

Some States are very strict regarding the use of concessionally-registered vehicles. They can’t be driven to work or for other domestic purposes. They can be used for family weddings or to transport offspring to school formals, but the member’s Club must be notified and no payment can be involved.

Some registration authorities don’t care much, providing a logbook is maintained for each vehicle and they aren’t driven more often than is allowed.

Other countries, especially in Europe and parts of Asia, have in recent times been looking to restrict the use of older vehicles. In some cases, these bans even applied to 100-year-old veteran models.

Recently in India, groups of enthusiastic owners and the operators of three large car museums banded together to lobby the government to ensure that cars built early in the 20th Century could still be enjoyed.

Japan not many years ago was regarded as a hostile place for older motor vehicles. Moving into the 21st Century, Japan began to undergo automotive cultural change and adaptable regulations have seen historic JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) models released from hiding and to join a bewildering range of automotive activities.

Purists may not agree with some of the alterations made to rare Nissans, Mazdas, Hondas and Mitsubishis. However, when this process of Shakotan – involving extreme lowering, extended wheel-arches and exaggerated camber settings – ensures these cars’ survival, the compromise is worthwhile.

Europe during recent years has been a hot bed of anti-car sentiment. Several countries have proposed restrictions and individual cities already impose bans or fees on vehicles not compliant with Euro 4 emission levels. London is one city where older models aren’t welcome and some British enthusiasts voted in favour of withdrawal from the European Union just to avoid regulations that would limit their use of older models.

The UK in general, though, is kinder to its older motor vehicles than most places. Vehicles more than 40 years old no longer attract an annual tax bill and do not need to undergo annual MOT (roadworthy) checks. However, there are heavy fines for using an unroadworthy vehicle and most are kept in excellent condition.

Finally, we come to the world’s largest consumer of cars and once the planet’s largest source of new motor vehicles. Various legislatures throughout the USA have, since the late 1960s, been at war with owners of older and performance-oriented cars but that has done little to diminish the world’s most intense car culture.

Every weekend in the USA, millions of vehicles participate in family outings, classic car ‘meets’, competition events and auction sales. Millions more disappeared during various ‘cash for clunkers’ campaigns and while a lot of rubbish also went into the crushers, there were owners who had no idea of what a car’s value in 50 years might be but still wanted it to survive.

They would accordingly drench a favoured model in oil, wrap it in a waterproof cover and weld the doors to the shed shut to keep it safe from the ‘guv’mint’. Hence the emergence over recent years of some extraordinary ‘barn finds’ that today are worth many times their 1950s or ‘60s value.

If you are preserving a rare vehicle, or just one whose survival you want to ensure, responsive insurance is important.

Whether a vehicle is locked away, on display at a show, at a repair shop or on a truck somewhere in between you need insurance that will cover any mishap. Enthusiast Insurance can provide that certainty. It can also provide cover for almost any car you own.

To check and compare Enthusiast’s rates and coverage against the policy you have now, log into www.enthusiast.com.au and select Quick Quote.

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