On the road to resolution: DVLA and Classic Car Groups join forces to solve registration problems

The inaugural meeting of the Historic and Classic Vehicle User Group took place on 7th October 2021. This brought together the DVLA, key membership groups, the Association of Old Vehicle Clubs in Northern Ireland (AOVC), the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) and the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), and the industry representative organisation – the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA).

While millions of people use DVLA’s many online services, it is facing unprecedented challenges through the backlog of paper applications created as a result of Covid restrictions and industrial action. It is also facing significant challenges in relation to the approval of registrations of historic and classic vehicles. This new User Group has been formed to enable the issues to be aired but more importantly to identify how solutions may be found that support the DVLA and the Historic and Classic Vehicle sector.

The meeting was extremely positive and the discussion very open” said Garry Wilson, CEO of the HCVA. He went on to say “We recognise the unprecedented challenges the DVLA faces and also frustrations of our members and the wider classic vehicle fraternity. It was a pleasure to see the collective will to deliver positive outcomes to these challenges and frustrations”.

The meeting saw the DVLA clarify existing processes and policies including the registration of a broad spectrum of historic and classic vehicles. Each of the member associations and the HCVA presented details of their organisations and their top challenges – which were presented positively and received as such by the DVLA. There was enthusiastic agreement to build on this first meeting and to continue with regular meetings.

Guy Lachlan, Director HCVA said “This is a significant step to the sector supporting our vehicle licensing body to help them to support the sector, a win-win”. “We look forward to working with the DVLA, the RAC, the AOVC and the FBHVC on the critical actions”.

Garry further added “These things take time and whilst we will target some short-term positive outcomes, we urge patience as we establish the Historic and Classic Vehicle User Group and strengthen the positive relationship created at this first meeting”.

About the HCVA

The ‘not for profit’ alliance was launched in May with a mission to protect and promote the sector and secure its long-term future. It campaigns on behalf of individuals and companies in the classic vehicle world including specialist restorers, dealers, parts suppliers and a broad cross section of the multi-billion-pound industry.

In just four months HCVA has built a strong membership base across the industry, owners and enthusiasts. It has attracted widespread publicity in mainstream and specialist media and gained the support of politicians, campaigners and leading industry and motorsport figures. Amongst the

HCVA’s early achievements is to open a new dialogue with the DVLA and other key membership groups to explore opportunities for working collaboratively to address some of the issues around the application processes for original or age-related registrations It has also led campaigning to raise awareness of challenges around the introduction of E10 fuel.

The sector’s contribution to the UK economy is huge. Annual turnover including substantial international trade is estimated at £18.3 billion, the three-million-strong British classic fleet is valued at over £12 billion and annual tax revenue generated for the exchequer is close to £3 billion.

The trade, in which British craft skills and engineering excellence lead the world, supports around 113,000 jobs in thousands of specialist small businesses and supply chain firms. It also provides training places and apprenticeship schemes, giving opportunities to young people.

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