- There are currently almost 340,000 “classic” cars owned in Britain.
- Of these, one in eight is declared off-road by their registered owners.
- Cars from this era qualify for a variety of exemptions due to their tender age.
How many classic cars have survived the test of time? Official figures now reveal that answer.
According to data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, almost 340,000 vehicles over 40 years old are still owned by registered owners, but technically not all of them are still on the road.
Of those, around one in eight are declared offside by goalkeepers.
How many classic cars still exist in Britain today? Almost 340,000, according to the latest DVLA figures
LeaseLoco has discovered the volume of classic cars still owned in the UK.
In response to a freedom of information request from leasing comparison site, DLVA records (correct as of December 15, 2023) show that 338,697 classic cars are still held by motorists in Britain.
Of those, 12 percent are not driven by their owners.
As of the FOI filing date, some 41,217 classic cars have a Legal Off-Road Notification (SORN) declared by the owner, meaning they are off-road.
Many of these are likely projects, rebuilds, or prized vehicles that are not being used by their owners in an attempt to retain (and inflate) their future value.
Although Britain still has 338,697 classic cars, 12% of them are technically not on the road.
Cars that are 40 years old or older qualify for a number of exemptions, including no VED, MOT or charges for clean air zones, such as London’s ULEZ.
While there are several different definitions of what constitutes a “classic” car, the term is best used to describe engines that are over 40 years old and therefore qualify for a number of “historic vehicle” benefits.
Among them is the exemption from annual ITV and special and vehicle taxes.
However, unlike the MOT exemption, avoiding paying road tax does not happen immediately after your vehicle reaches its fourth decade.
Instead, you will have to wait until the first day of April and then, as long as your car is registered 40 years before the first day of January, you can apply for exemption from road tax thereafter.
As for MOTs, the exemption is due to a general understanding that classic cars are maintained by enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles or pay specialists to do so.
Given the love they have for their cars and the maintenance required to ensure they remain drivable, the DVLA believes this is enough to justify not subjecting them to the annual roadworthiness check.
Cars over 40 years old are also exempt from emissions zone fees, such as the capital’s ULEZ, the Birmingham Clean Air Zone and the Scottish Low Emission Zone, which already exists in Glasgow and will begin charging. to drivers of older vehicles within weeks. in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh.
According to data provided by the DVLA, there are 15,492 MG B Roadsters retained by owners in Britain, and a further 12,829 MG B GT coupes.
Among the classics still in circulation today, the DVLA states that there are 28,311 MGB, 10,393 Morris Minors, 5,575 Rolls Royce and 4,508 Triumph Stag.
John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, said: Amid the hustle and bustle of modern roads, almost 300,000 vehicles considered classics are still running more than 40 years after their first registration, each a testament to a unique craftsmanship. durable and automotive history.
‘From the timeless charm of MGBs to the nostalgic allure of Morris Minors and the majestic presence of Rolls Royce, these classic cars evoke a sense of nostalgia and admiration.
“They continue to capture the imagination and enrich our automotive landscape, preserving the legacy of bygone eras for generations to come.”