The Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens (FIVA) has come out strongly to highlight the effects of the growing number of ‘Low Emission Zones’ (LEZs) that are fast becoming a hinrance to vintage and classic car enthusiasts.
With the implementation of these LEZs, which are reccommended by the World Health Organisation to combat air quality pollutants through control of emmission standards, heritage and classic cars are ‘lumped’ into the category of ‘old’ cars.
While FIVA acknowledges the need for LEZs and that older vehicles tend to be more polluting than newer vehicles, FIVA firmly believes that the fundamental differences between ‘old’ vehicles
and ‘historic’ vehicles should be recognised.
FIVA president Patrick Rollet explains: “By ‘historic vehicle’, we mean a mechanically propelled road vehicle at least 30 years old, preserved and maintained in a historically
correct condition and not used as a means of daily transport. These vehicles are part of our technical and cultural heritage and, in our opinion, should not be lumped together with old,
badly maintained cars that are used as cheap, everyday transport, when considering the problem of urban air pollution.”
FIVA argues that there are many good reasons why the contribution of historic vehicles to urban air pollution is negligible*:
1. Historic vehicles – whether cars, motorcycles or utilitarian – make up only an insignificantly small fraction of road vehicles and an even smaller fraction of road traffic, hence their contribution to air pollution is proportionately tiny. Since they are
generally used purely for pleasure, they are rarely used in urban areas at peak times
– and for all these reasons, emissions from these culturally important vehicles are statistically irrelevant.
2. Historic vehicles are well maintained, again reducing their impact on the environment. Owners typically spend several thousand euros per year on restoration, purchase of parts and accessories, maintenance and repairs.
3. Historic vehicles are driven carefully – as reflected in their very low insurance premiums.
4. Very few historic vehicles have diesel engines (the primary target of many LEZs).
“Historic vehicle owners preserve motoring heritage and provide the public with a free museum of our motoring history and culture by using their vehicles on public roads. It would be a great shame to see the disintegration of this important aspect of our cultural heritage. Meanwhile, any bans or restrictions on the use of historic vehicles will not only be grossly unfair on owners, but will also impact the thousands of small businesses
that depend on the historic vehicle movement” adds Rollet.
Meanwhile, Malaya Singapore Vintage Car Register (MSVCR) Honorary Secretary Douglas Fox lamented that the vintage and classic car enthusiasts of Malaysia do hope that the authorities will take notice of the negligible output of the emission from these cars as they are not runned as often as a daily use car.
The ruling implemented in Europe which prohibits the operation of these older heritage and classic vehicles in LEZs clearly though meaning well have now caused an uproar.