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DVLA’s Consultation on Fee Proposals, issued in August, sees a return to the discredited attempts of the early I980s and mid 1990, to make motorists pay an annual fee even if keeping their vehicles off the road.

This grossly unfair proposal is one of several contained in the consultation whose theme is that an “annual registration charge” should be collected at tax disc renewal or SORN declaration to subsidize the costs of first registration of new vehicles as well as the costs of issuing / replacing driving licences for individuals The proposals suggest that first licences for those under 21 should be free of charge. 

The level of the fees proposed in DVLA’s “preferred option” is £4.50 per VED or SORN transaction, collecting over £155 million extra revenue from vehicle owners, without it appearing to be an increase in taxation. Once authorised, this would be a fee set by DVLA and not subject to annual parliamentary scrutiny in the budget: how long would it be before the £4.50 rose to £10, or £20? 

FBHVC Chairman, Andrew Burt, commented “The proposal affects all motorists, but the suggestion that there will now be a charge for obtaining a nil-rate VED tax disc for pre-1973 vehicles, and a charge to make an annual SORN declaration will hit the historic vehicle movement particularly hard. We have already raised our concerns with the Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Club and will be making our view very clear both to DVLA and the Department for Transport.”

FBHVC Is campaigning to oppose the proposals and invites enthusiasts at the international

Classic Motor Show at I~EC (October 22-23-24) to visit stand 20700 to sign a petition.

Background for Editors:

The full consultation can be found at http// 

In the early 1980s, a proposal to make all vehicle owners keep all their vehicles licenscd continuously, whether they were in use or not, was defeated by a concerted campaign led by the Historic Vehicle Clubs Committee and the Classic Vehicle Clubs Committee. 

These two organisations merged into the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs in 1988. FBHVC has 350 subscriber clubs and represents over quarter of a million historic vehicle enthusiasts. The historic vehicle movement in UK is estimated to be worth over £2 billion per year to the national economy.

Continuous taxation proposals re-appeared in 1995, and again were defeated by a campaign led by FBHVC. The ideas that came out of that consultation, however, led to the creation of the Statutory Off Road Notification system FBHVC has no objection to SORN, providing it remains free of charge. 

14 September 2004 

For further information, contact Jim Whyman, the secretary, as below.

President:- Lord Montagu of Beaulieu

Chairman:- A. Butt                Secretary:- P.H.J. Whyman.

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                                                Tel: 01984 656995  Fax: 01984 656762  E-mail:

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