New UK vehicle modification regulations will not affect classics

Concerns over new regulations covering "vehicle tampering" were raised when the UK Government's plans for a consultation as part of its review of regulations covering modernising vehicles, but as the DfT consultation has closed the good work of the FBHVC has obtained useful assurances that the regulations "are not going to be applied to vehicles that have already been built".
So that assurance is very good news from the FBHVC for classic car enthusiasts.

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The Future of Transport regulatory review by the DfT "aims to address areas of transport regulation that are outdated and a barrier to innovation or designed with new technologies and business models in mind". Classic car groups are naturally concerned over proposals in the review concerning "Vehicle Tampering" or modifications.
DfT say this consultation aims to build on our 2019 and 2020 work. The consultation sought views and evidence from all those with an interest in what an innovative and flexible regulatory framework looks like for emerging transport technologies and invited them to put forward specific proposals. The consultation has now closed but the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has been actively involved in discussions with the DfT over natural concerns of classic car groups that any regulations that might come in (broadly referred to as Vehicle Tampering) could apply to older classic and historic vehicles rather than just new hi-tech cars. The active involvement of the FBHVC through discussions with DfT has brought some valuable clarifications for classic car enthusiasts.

Reports from the FBHVC say that "unlike roadworthiness testing, exemptions for historic vehicles were likely not to be needed for the forthcoming regulations because what the DfT has made clear is that any legislation that's from the review is not going to be applied to vehicles that have already been built". The focus of the review has been on future automated and autonomous vehicles that don't exist at present. "What the DfT is trying to avoid is preventing holes in the current Highway Code and current rules and regulations that would allow someone to make an autonomous vehicle lethal by tampering with it".

A report in this week's issue of Classic Car Buyer says "the FBHVC has received a formal response in which the DfT has provided assurances that the proposals are not intended to prevent motor sport, restoration, repairs or "legitimate improvements" to classic cars or to negatively impact business in the sector". This assurance is welcome because just how many classics are now exactly in the form they left the Factory? In many cases the original manufacturer no longer exists or can supply original replacement parts and equally the replacement parts specialists have had essential parts remanufactured, in some cases with improvements for safety or more efficient performance - for example upgrades like electronic ignition packages, engine chip upgrades, electronic fuel pumps, stainless steel exhaust systems, improved suspension bushes and shock absorbers, EPAS retrofits and electronic cooling fans. So the assurance obtained by the FBHVC is very good news for classic car enthusiasts.