Classic mistakes owning a classic – South London News

Summer’s finally here, the sun’s out and now is the perfect time to pull out your cherished old car you’ve had cosied up in the garage all winter and enjoy some motoring action from yesteryear but what are the pitfalls of classic ownership?

Classic cars are beloved by many enthusiasts and collectors but owning these vehicles can come with certain legal challenges, which could leave drivers facing fines or penalties.

Julie Daniels, car insurance expert at Compare the Market has outlined some of the offences that could land classic car owners fines, as well as certain rules they may actually be exempt from.

1. Classic car owners could be fined £2,500 for using the car’s original tyres
Offence: Driving your vehicle in a dangerous condition
Penalty: Up to £2,500 fine + 3 penalty points

Due to age, the original tyres on a classic car may not comply with modern safety standards, which demand that all car tyres have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm. Older tyres are also more likely to have defects, or be more worn, which can make them unsafe.

2. Drivers can face fines of up to £2,500 if any part of their car is not working as it should be
Offence: Driving your vehicle in a dangerous condition (Highway Code Rule 89)
Penalty: Up to £2,500 fine + 3 penalty points

Although classic cars are often treated with great care and attention, due to their age, they are more likely to suffer wear and tear and be more susceptible to repairs.

Failing to properly fix any faults could put drivers in breach of the Highway Code.

3. Engine idling at a car show can land drivers a fine of up to £80
Offence: Leaving the engine running while stationary (Highway Code Rule 123)
Penalty: £20 to £80 fine

Car shows are a staple for classic car owners and enthusiasts, but drivers must make sure to shut down the engine when their car is stationary.

If they leave their vehicle unattended (even standing beside it) with the engine still running, they could earn a fine.

4. Drivers who modify their exhaust to have a loud, rumbling engine can be fined £50
Offence: Exceeding the maximum noise level for vehicle type
Penalty: £50 fixed penalty notice

A deep, rumbling engine is a point of pride for many classic car owners.

Unfortunately, if drivers modify their car exhaust to achieve that classic engine roar, they could be issued a £50 fixed penalty notice if they exceed maximum vehicle noise levels.

5. Driving with children in a car that isn’t equipped with seatbelts can lead to a fine of up to £500
Offence: Violating seat belt laws
Penalty: Up to £500 fine

Many classic car models don’t have seat belts installed, and the Highway Code states if your car isn’t fitted with one you are not required to wear it.

However it is illegal for these vehicles to carry children under three years old, and any children over the age of three must sit in the back seats.

Classic car owners may be exempt from yearly MOTs and paying road tax

Classic car owners don’t need to get an MOT if their vehicle was built or first registered over 40 years ago, and no substantial changes have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years.

They are also exempt from paying road tax if their vehicle was built before January 1982.

Julie Daniels, car insurance expert at Comparethemarket shares top tips for classic car drivers to save money on their insurance:

She said: “To most owners, their classic car is their pride and joy, so it’s important to ensure you’re fully covered when it comes to classic car insurance.

“To get a good deal on your car insurance, it is worth considering an annual limited mileage amount, as this will often result in a discount on your premium.

However, be sure to set a mileage limit that is sufficient for your needs to avoid the risk of invalidating your cover. Increasing the security of your vehicle by installing an alarm and a tracking device can also cut insurance costs.

“It’s also worth reconsidering any plans you might have to modify your classic car, as not only do some insurance companies refuse to cover modified vehicles, those that do will often charge more for insurance premiums.

Even minor modifications, such as adding an exhaust, must be disclosed to your insurer to prevent invalidating your cover.”

The full list of advice for classic car owners can be found here:


Picture: Maciej Lewandowski


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