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Debunking classic car myths

23rd October 2019 Print

Most car models have a unique feature, whether it’s technological innovation, impressive power, or environmental efficiency – but there are a few special models that offer even more. A few cars across the world have negotiated a long lifespan, and classic car collectors manage to care for and maintain these aging vehicles. Despite what motoring journalists may lead you to believe, cars that were built in 2007, regardless of their F1 like launch control, are not an instant classic. Similarly, what are considered classics by industry experts, have assumed a host of serious myths over the years. In this article, Grange vehicles, who offer the Range Rover Evoque, examine the biggest myths regarding classics and shed some light on the reality.

1. Road tax

What constitutes a classic car? In the UK, the definition of a classic is a car which was registered more than 25 years ago. When considering this, it isn’t actually that old — 1994! However, have you ever heard that a classic car exempts you from road tax? In the past, 25 years was deemed an appropriate marker to define 'classic' and benefit from road tax exemption. Now, the vehicle must be 40 before a tax exemption comes into play. Although you won’t be able to take advantage of escaping road tax with all classic cars, most companies will offer classic insurance. This can save you from a hefty tariff.

2. Mileage

It is a common misconception amid the car buying market that the cliché, ‘less means more’, is particularly worthy. Many potential buyers will often veer away from cars with high mileage as, “it is on its last legs”. We aren’t suggesting that you search the depths of the earth to find a Morris Minor with 350,000 miles to its name. However, often a car with no miles on the clock at all translates into an unknown entity. For example, a used car which has accumulated 30,000 miles has proven its worth, and any potential issues will already have been resolved. On the other hand, a car which has spent the majority of its usable life stored away under a tarpaulin at the back of the garage could quite easily blow a cylinder head on the first ten miles of its trip.

3. Environment 

It should come as no surprise that older cars are more damaging to the environment. Turbo engines that were squeezed with pressure to emit as much power as possible failed to take into consideration the potential damage to the environment. Before catalytic converters came to vehicles, classic car emissions were 10 times that of their modem day marques. However, using an older car isn’t all doom and gloom. In some respects, it is more environmentally friendly than purchasing a new car, as another car isn’t heading to the scrap yard. 

4. One of a kind 

In most other markets in which collectors get involved, ‘unique’ translates into ‘popular’. Whether it be a one-off batch of celebratory coronation stamps, or an uncut edition of a vinyl record, these items will often hold the most value. For cars, however, although this might in some cases be relevant, a one-off doesn’t often hype demand. The DeLorean, made famous by ‘80s cult movie Back to the Future, only had 9,000 models produced worldwide. But the car failed to replicate the success of the film which saw it climb to international prominence. Most classics have cemented their position thanks to the fact they were once a popular automobile of choice.

5. Weather

If you are going to buy a classic car, you are going to want to drive it. The whole point of parting with the sum of money in the first place was to show it off in front of the neighbours. Many car enthusiasts will suggest that you can’t venture outdoors with your precious piece of history in the winter months as the elements will damage it. Take measures such as replacing worn seals, safe guarding the sump of the car, checking the battery, and regularly washing the body. 

Classic cars have achieved their status for a reason. But if you are going to lay your hands on one, this quick guide to quashing methods should go a long way in helping your decision!