Car enthusiasts and industry can now have their say on how to best preserve iconic classic cars like the DMC DeLorean, MkII Jaguar and James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 for decades to come.

Today (9 May 2024), the government is launching a call for evidence to gather views on how classic and historic cars can be preserved for future generations and boost jobs in the £18 billion classic car sector.

Since the 1980s, policies on how classic cars are registered after being restored and upgraded have largely remained the same, and do not account for improving historic vehicles with modern technology.

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The call for evidence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will ask drivers, classic car enthusiasts and the industry to share their proposals to help historic vehicles into the 21st century, while prioritising road safety and retaining accurate vehicle records.

Changes could make it easier to register vehicles to fully recognise their value while protecting prospective buyers, modify classic cars to improve their performance and retrofit them with electric powertrains.

With James Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5, Inspector Morse’s MkII Jaguar and the Belfast-built DMC DeLorean from ‘Back to the Future’ firmly embedded in popular culture, today’s call for evidence is an opportunity for classic car enthusiasts and the motoring industry to have their say on how these and other motoring icons can remain an example of British excellence in the UK and around the world.

Better preserving classic cars can also help drive tourism to iconic classic car shows such as Goodwood Revival. With the classic car industry employing around 113,000 skilled people and worth £18 billion a year, the call for evidence will help support jobs in the heritage car industry and help grow the economy.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said:

The way we restore and protect classic cars has not kept up with the times and evolving technologies, which is why we are calling for industry and enthusiasts to have their say on how to best protect these British classics for decades to come.

Alongside our record £8.3 billion increase to resurface local roads and the 30-point Plan for Drivers, today’s call for evidence is the latest part of the government’s plan to back drivers, support skilled jobs, and grow the economy.

The call for evidence is the latest measure to back drivers across the country, following £8.3 billion to resurface roads across England, the biggest ever funding boost to local road maintenance as we tackle potholes and improve local roads.

The government is also delivering for motorists through the Plan for Drivers, including ensuring traffic schemes like Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and 20mph speed limits have buy-in from local people, consulting on measures to stop councils treating drivers as ‘cash cows’ and accelerating the rollout of electric vehicle chargepoints for those choosing to switch.

Drivers will also be able to enjoy smoother journeys following the introduction of new measures to crack down on disruptive street works, with utility companies that allow works to overrun facing increased fines, which could generate up to £100 million extra to improve local roads.

Julie Lennard, DVLA Chief Executive Officer, said:

As evolving technologies continue to improve the way classic, historic and rebuilt vehicles can be modified and restored, we want to ensure that we keep the policies and registration processes for these vehicles up to date.

This is one of the many ways we are looking to make things easier and simpler for our customers and we want to encourage enthusiasts and those individuals and organisations with a keen interest and expertise to share their views with us.