A new poll carried out by The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (The Federation) indicates that interest by the British public in historic cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and buses has grown since this audience were last polled in 2016. Then the survey indicated that just over 8 million people had an interest in historic vehicles, but this new survey shows that number has grown to nearly 10 million.

Also, more people claim to own a historic vehicle, 2.5 million regularly read about them and the number of interviewees who know someone who owns such a vehicle has grown by half a million to almost 8 million.

This is all good news for our hobby and for the businesses who support it and generate £5.5 billion for the UK economy (ref: 2016 National Historic Vehicle Survey, FBHVC). However, it only scratches the surface in terms of explaining the dynamics of the hobby which are so important to the clubs, businesses and museums that rely on its health and sustainability in the long term.

This national omnibus survey carried out in association with the polling organisation, Kantor TNS, delves deeper into the demographics of this market growth and provides some insights into some of the issues facing clubs and businesses. For example, clubs often complain of the difficulty in recruiting younger members. However the survey shows that an increasing number of younger people are interested in owning a historic vehicle but that they do not think they can afford it.

The research shows that overall a significant proportion of the population believe that historic vehicles are part of the country’s heritage, that they should be maintained in as original condition as possible and that they are an important part of our culture and heritage.  However, it is of considerable concern that amongst younger people the enthusiasm is much less marked. The younger age groups are only half as likely as older people to share the views about heritage and historic vehicles.

As with previous Federation research, this national poll is really just the scene setter for a much larger survey of historic vehicle enthusiasts which was launched at this year’s Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC, by Research Director, Paul Chasney. He comments,

“It’s good news for our Clubs, Commercial Partners, Trade and Museum members that interest continues to grow, but we urgently need more detailed and accurate information about the behaviour of the millions of enthusiasts that sustain this very popular hobby. The survey we are now carrying out looks in detail at cost in use, and will analyse how much and on what, historic vehicle enthusiasts spend. The completely anonymised results will help clubs in their recruitment, commercial partners in honing their marketing plans, in fact a closer understanding of our hobby benefits the whole community.”


If you would like to take part in the research, go to the Federation’s website and click on the link.

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