How do you claim VED exemption for a car "built" before 1st January 1974?

Update from Victor Smith based on news received from the Federation for British Historic Vehicles Clubs (FBHVC) and from fellow member Chris Hunt Cooke. 131017

Claiming VED exemption and applying for a NIL value tax disc
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The VED exemption extension announced in an HM Treasury document promptly after the Budget 2013 statement in Parliament in March this year is to apply from 1st April 2014. Members with qualifying cars will need to establish with the DVLA that their cars were "built" before 1st January 1974 and are consequently VED exempt. Previously an application to establish VED exemption status was something that would have been processed as an application to a local DVLA office but as those local offices are due to close by the end of 2013 applications for VED exemption status will now have to go off to DVLA Swansea.

A few weeks ago fellow member Mike Dunlop found the VED exemption extension provision had not been included in the Finance Bill that had reached Royal Assent stage of the parliamentary process in July 2013. On re-reading the announcement of the VED exemption extension in section 2.148 of the support document released by HM Treasury promptly after the Budget statement in March 2013 we noted that section mentioned "Finance Bill 2014". So presumably the provision will be included in the Finance Bill to go through Parliament following the March 2014 Budget. The FBHVC agrees and says "it is our understanding that the Finance Act 2014 will include the necessary clause to enable the VED exemption date change."
See our Budget 2013 report

Update: the Finance Act 2013 received Royal Assent in July 2013 but see our NEWS item on this. 130802 More

DVLA local office closure plans. Link

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Updated: 131101
Posted: 131017

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One thing I have been trying to clarify with DVLA with little success so far is where, how and when our members should make an application to claim VED exemption status so they can then apply for a NIL value tax disc for a car "built" in 1973 and covered by the VED exemption extension announced by HM Treasury following the Budget in March 2013. The response I had from DVLA Swansea was clearly a measured reply and
referred to their needing to address "issues arising from the HM Treasury decision" which I felt indicated there might be some inter-departmental issues. But today we have had some useful news from the Federation for British Historic Vehicles Clubs (FBHVC) and from fellow member Chris Hunt Cooke which begins to clarify the matter.

What is the latest news on how members should claim VED exemption for a car built before 1st January 1974?

We understand from the FBHVC who met DVLA at Swansea last week that DVLA confirmed they are already geared up to make the VED exemption date change for cars built before 1974 so in theory at least things should go thorough smoothly. But it seems no one was very definite about this and there is still some concern that the arrangements may not yet be definitely settled so they can be released as advice for owners wishing to make an application to claim VED exemption status and then apply for a NIL value tax disc. However the view of FBHVC as to how the application process will work is:

Cars registered prior to 1st January 1974 (and in some cases shortly afterwards by concession)

There can be no doubt that these cars were built prior to 1st January 1974, so when the VED is first renewed on or after 1st April 2014 the application for a tax disc at the NIL rate should be accompanied by a request to change the taxation class to "Historic". Chris Hunt Cooke says "I do not know whether a change of taxation class is one of the things that the Post Office will be able to do in future."

Cars "built" before 1st January 1974 but registered later
The evidence that the car was manufactured prior to 1st January 1974 should be assembled and sent to the DVLA with request that the manufacturing date should be noted on the V5C, which is done on the front page in section 3. Chris Hunt Cooke says "my 1800 MGB rally car has a note there "Was registered overseas. Declared manufactured 1963." Then the date of registration on the inside page is shown as "Date of first registration in the UK"."

What evidence will I need to include in my application package to DVLA?
In an earlier contact with the archivist at the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT) at Gaydon he indicated that the date accepted by DVLA as the "built" date for a Factory MGBGTV8 is the "Date through paint finishing". This date is shown on the Heritage certificates that BMIHT produce with the production numbers and data for individual cars. Those Heritage certificates bear the BMIHT seal to authenticate them. So obtaining a BMIHT Heritage certificate will be necessary as part of the application you will need to prepare for DVLA. Details of the various BMIHT certificates and how you can purchase one online are available on the BMIHT website. Link

How can I get a preliminary indication of whether my car was manufactured before 1st January 1974?

You can apply for a copy of the production record for your car produced from a copy of the Factory production control records held by Victor Smith. That copy is based on a handwritten copy made by the late Geoff Allen in his tea and lunch breaks when he was working at Abingdon in the last weeks before the MG Plant finally closed as he was concerned the original records might be binned and lost for ever. As it was a handwritten copy we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data in every case but so far from the checks made comparing that data with the information on several Heritage certificates from BMHIT Gaydon there are few signs of serious variances in key dates like the "Date through paint finishing" for example. So for the modest charge of £5 you can buy a Factory records search for your V8 online on our V8 Grapevine website. Link
V8 Register - MG Car Club - the leading group for MG V8 enthusiasts at