New Threat for “Tweaked Classics”

The Department for Transport are currently running a consultation on plans to legislate on vehicle modifications which may have an impact on our hobby.

The concern is although the aim to prevent owners modifying their vehicles in a way that may be detrimental in  terms of emissions and the steps are aimed at owners of new / modern vehicles, there is no provision for classic vehicles and to pass the legislation in its current form could wipe out an entire industry at the stroke of a pen.

In its proposal “The Future of Transport Regulation”, the DfT says:

“We will create new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road. This will enable us to address existing gaps in the legislation, ensuring cleaner and safer vehicles. We will also create new offences for tampering with non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) and for advertising ‘tampering’ services or products.

This will strengthen our ability to enforce compliance in this area.

We are aware that the Law Commissions in both their first and third consultations on automated vehicles have considered tampering. We await their final recommendations and would welcome views on our proposals, as follows.

Specifically, we would look to create:

  • a specific offence for supplying, installing and/or advertising, a ‘tampering product’ for a vehicle or NRMM – this would apply where a principal effect of the product is to bypass, defeat, reduce the effectiveness of or render inoperative a system, part or component (the product may be a physical part or component, hardware and/or software)

  • a specific offence for removing, reducing the effectiveness of, or rendering inoperative a system, part or component for a vehicle/NRMM and advertising such services

  • a specific offence for allowing for use or providing a vehicle or NRMM that has had the operations described in the previous 2 points performed on it

  • a new power to require economic operators to provide information, where a service/product they have supplied amounts to or enables ‘tampering’ with a vehicle or NRMM – this would apply in any of the above senses and include requirements to provide relevant information on the quantities of products sold or modified”

A number of influential spokespeople representing Owners Clubs, Magazines, STEM bodies and Suppliers have already spoken out over the detail in the proposal and are urging classic owners to make their feelings known on the proposal via the governments own feedback system which you can visit  by clicking the link below:

The consultations runs from 28 September 2021 until 11:45pm on 22 November 2021.

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