Applying for historic tax exemption

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Rob Marshall

taxIt was no April fool. Yet, from the beginning of this month, approximately 10,000 owners of cars will no longer have to pay for their tax discs. Buried in the 2013 Budget, was a codicil that extended the Historic taxation class by a year, to incorporate cars made before January 1974.

Yet, when re-taxing a pre-1974 car, owners will have to overcome a bureaucratic hurdle, by applying to the DVLA in Swansea for their classic’s taxation class to be changed from PLG (Private Light Goods) to Historic, before a zero-rated tax disc is granted.

If the car were registered in early 1974, but you are sure that it was made in 1973, the DVLA will require credible dating evidence. Should you own an old British vehicle, it is likely that the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust will hold the manufacturers’ production records and will be able to trace the production date for you. The Trust’s Heritage Certificates, (cost of which starts at £41.00), an example of which is illustrated at the top of this post, will be accepted. Should you own a foreign-made car, you might try contacting the manufacturer for any records that are held against your vehicle’s chassis number or, if the carmaker were defunct, deal with an owners’ club for advice. The DVLA also advises that it will accept an extract from the trade publication, Glass’s Guide, and, if the car were imported to the UK and produced earlier than its registration date, the original foreign registration certificate would also be accepted.

Obviously, if the car were registered in 1973 (or before), there would be no need to provide the authorities with any additional proof of the car’s age. You would also be required to submit a valid MoT Test certificate, as well as your log book, with section 7 filled out and section 8 dated and signed. Finally, you will need to fill out and send a V10 form, which applies for a tax disc. These documents should be posted to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DZ. Expect an updated log book to arrive in between four to six weeks, with a tax disc arriving within a fortnight, presuming that your application is accepted.

History of TAX exemption

The Historic VED class was introduced in the 1990s, to support the classic vehicle movement and had a continually-moving cut-off date, for cars aged 25 years-old and over. In his first Budget, Gordon Brown removed the cut-off point, which fixed the ‘tax exemption’ class for older cars to pre-1973. In 2013, the taxation class was moved forward by 12 months, to include pre-1974 cars and, in 2014’s Budget, it was announced that the historic taxation class would roll forward again. Therefore, in 2015, pre-1975 cars will be included, then in 2016, pre-1976 vehicles, and so on.

The UK Treasury reckons that the move will be revenue-neutral, because the loss in VED revenue would be recovered by gains in fuel and taxation from the classic car industry, which is estimated to be worth at least £4bn annually, excluding the many charity events that the older car fraternity supports.