British Historic Vehicle Surveys

HOME » Magazine » » » British Historic Vehicle Surveys

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has released one of its periodic surveys into the classic car world of the UK. The independent survey was carried out during 2020 and revealed that the market in, and enthusiasm for, classic cars is growing steadily.

Amongst the findings are the fact that there are 1,538,927 historic and classic vehicles registered in the UK, up 48% from 1,039,950, when the last study was done in 2015. This represents 3.4% of all vehicles registered. The average mileage they cover is 1200 per year, representing just 2% of annual road mileage by all vehicles in the UK.

According to the survey there are almost 4,000 businesses in the historic vehicle sector, employing more than 34,000 people, with a total spend of 7.2bn, up from £5.5bn in 2016.

Another thing the survey covers is public attitude towards historic vehicles, and here too, the response is positive, with 21 million people seeing historic vehicles as an important part of British heritage. See for the detailed report.

HERO-ERA Independent Survey Produced for the HERO rally organisation by the independent Centre for Economics and Business Research, a report entitled ‘The Economic and Environmental Impact of the Historic and Classic Motor Industry in the UK’ was also recently completed and it findings show an even greater economic impact than the report from the FBVA. The study revealed an £18.3 billion turnover growth industry, that has the same economic impact as all the UK’s ports, all performing arts sectors and is double the size of the UK Scotch whisky industry. It is one fifth of the size of the huge UK built heritage sector of historic buildings. The report also claims that the sector provides 113,000 jobs through the chain spread across the UK, and analyses the extent to which traditional craftmanship and manufacturing skills are preserved in the industry in different forms. These heritage crafts have a strong intrinsic value and need to be preserved and, being highly skilled, they command a pay premium and offer greater than normal job satisfaction. Another highlighted factor is that the sector, because it is highly labour intensive and has a low materials and energy input, is much greener than virtually any other type of consumer expenditure. Its carbon footprint per £ spent is less than a sixth of an average consumer basket of spending. The detailed report can be obtained from the HERO web site free of charge at

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.