Classic car needs ‘will be met’ but EV grants may vanish

As the UK moves away from internal combustion engines (ICE) the needs of classic car owners are taken into account, according to Rachel Maclean MP, the minister for transport decarbonisation.

In an interview with Autocar, she stressed that classic cars are always considered when the government makes decisions that could affect the availability of conventional fuels like unleaded petrol, diesel and ethanol mixes like E10.

She told the magazine: “The classic car community is a really important group and a really important part of the whole picture… While we’re phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, at this stage we don’t have any plans to actually ask people to remove existing, or classic cars, or older cars from the road.”

An end to EV grants?

While classic cars are not being forced off the roads just yet, Ms Maclean suggested that grants for new electric vehicles (EVs) could be removed in the years to come.

Already, the cap for the Plug-in Car Grant has been lowered from vehicles worth £50,000 to a purchase price of just £35,000, and the grant itself from £3,000 to £2,500.

Critics have called this a backward step at a time when we should be encouraging EV uptake, but Ms Maclean explained: “It’s right to keep on looking at that, because ultimately we need to make sure we’re not using government money to help people buy cars who could have afforded them anyway.”

Obstacles to EV uptake

Removing EV grants is not the only obstacle to increased ownership during a decade when we are moving away from new ICE vehicles completely.

Aside from the grants, there are several other challenges to EV uptake:

• Higher purchase price of EVs
• Lack of public charging infrastructure
• Broken chargers in many public places
• Confusion over use of smartphone apps
• Need to accept contactless payments

Ms Maclean said progress is being made in some areas – and the total cost of ownership for EVs is now close to parity with ICEs – but she conceded that some aspects, like contactless payments and reliability, need more attention by charger operators.

Getting new vehicles from A to B

At Ontime Automotive we are working hard to meet the needs of new vehicle deliveries, whether they are ICE or EV.

Our electric car transporters can get new EVs from the factory to the forecourt, and ultimately to your door or driveway, without clocking up excess emissions.

As 2030 approaches, we’ll be looking to make more of our movements using our growing fleet of electric vehicle transporters, to support the transition away from ICE.

At the same time, we recognise the unique needs of older vehicles, and our classic car transporters will keep on trucking too, to get your collector’s item to track days, car shows and other events, or wherever else you need it to go.

If fuel availability becomes an increasing concern, this will help classic cars cover longer distances under the safe shelter of our covered car transporters, and without using up what remains of a precious resource for ICE owners.