Historic vehicle movement’s £7.2bn economy boost

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Britain’s historic vehicle movement, including some 15,000 buses and coaches, has been making a £7.2bn contribution to the UK economy, according to a survey.

The results of the latest National Historic Vehicle Survey, the most comprehensive of its type in the world, have been announced by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC). Normally carried out every five years, the survey shows figures from FBHVC’s ‘mid-term’ survey, which was undertaken in 2019 to give a more up-to-date picture, rather than those for Covid-ravaged 2020. In the last full survey in 2016, the contribution was put at £5.5bn.

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The figures show that the number of historic vehicles on DVLA database has increased yet again to 1.5 million, 56% of which are off the road. It found that the movement supports some 4,000 businesses employing over 34,000 people, a third of which say they have, or are planning to employ, at least one apprentice.

However, historic vehicles account for less than 0.2% of the total miles driven in the UK, and 35% of the 700,000 owners said they would be willing to contribute to a carbon reduction scheme or are already doing so.

David Whale, Chairman of the FBHVC said: “The significant value to the United Kingdom that the historic vehicle industry generates simply cannot be ignored by those in power. We face the most challenging times ahead over the next few years and these results give us the justification to ensure that our freedoms to enjoy our transport heritage continue unhindered. As a sector we cannot be ignored and will be instrumental in the recovery of our nation’s economy post-Brexit and post-Covid. The most heart-warming news was that there are more enthusiasts than ever who are immersing themselves in our community and that is really positive for the future.”



The historic vehicle movement makes a multi-billion pound contribution to the UK economy every year. NICK LARKIN