Historic tax class moves on by another year  

Posted on March 12th, 2015 by Rob Marshall

Heritage Certificate ResearchFrom April 1st (yes, really), the cut-off point for historic road tax (which is zero rated) moves on another year, which means that all cars manufactured before 1st January, 1975, will be exempt from paying for their annual Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).


The rolling exemption was restarted by the Treasury last year, for all vehicles made over forty years ago. However, it is up to the owners to change the taxation class of their car, from ‘PLG’ to ‘Historic’. To complicate matters further, the rules apply from when the vehicle was manufactured and not when it was registered.

Should a car be registered prior to 1st January, 1975, then changing the taxation class should be straightforward. If your car was made before this date, you will have to provide evidence to the DVLA. This might mean writing to the car manufacturer, to verify the build date of the vehicle.

If the car was made by a defunct British brand, there is a solution; the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust’s (BMIHT) Heritage Certificates are accepted by the authorities as proof. For example, last year, one of my cars was registered on the 20th January but a Heritage Certificate confirmed its build date in November of the preceding year, meaning that my application for Historic nil VED was accepted.

The records are obtained from the original build ledgers, which detail the exact details of a particular car, as it left the production line. However, the BMIHT has advised anybody considering the purchase of a certificate to act fast, because the cost will rise from the beginning of April.