antique historical vehicles
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Legislative developments regarding seniority

Currently, it is Royal Decree 1247/1995, of July 14, which contains the current Regulation of Historic Vehicles. In Chapter I / Cataloging / Article 1 / Concept and conditions, the fundamental requirements are clearly expressed:

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“The following may be considered historical vehicles for the purposes of this Regulation: 1. Those that are at least twenty-five years old, counted from the date of their manufacture. If this is not known, the date of its first registration will be taken as such or, failing that, the date on which the corresponding type or variant was discontinued.

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But, it seems, next December a Royal Decree will be published which will modify the current General Circulation Regulation, also approved by RD 1428/2003 of November 21. This new regulation, in addition to other modifications introduced in the 90 pages that make up the text, includes, in point 42, that of Annex II called "Sports events, cycling marches and other events", which is now entitled "Sports events , cycle tours and other events ”and which consists of 33 articles.

Legal news regarding the age of classic vehicles 2014
The changes introduced could affect the age of the historic vehicles (Photo: Alberto Ferreras)

In Section 3, that is, the one that mentions the “other events”, Article 32 says, verbatim, the following:

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“Participation of historical vehicles. Events for historical vehicles are considered those in which historical vehicles classified as such participate, in accordance with Royal Decree 1247/1995, of July 14, which approves its regulations, or more than 35 years old in number higher than 10, for the celebration of tourist events or manifestations, concentrations, conservation or elegance contests and, in general, any kind of event in which no classification is established based on the movement of vehicles, either based on its speed or its regularity. "

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A progressive increase in seniority

As a result of the possible new Royal Decree, and apart from the much brought up issue of regularity that we will deal with in another moment, there is talk in various forums about the progressive increase in the date of the minimum age of a vehicle to be considered as historical / classic, passing from the month of December 2014 to 30 years, until reaching, in 2020, the 35 announced by the DGT. Be that as it may, it is clear that, after the hypothetical change in the legislation, a classic vehicle that lacks a historical license plate will not be able to participate in a special test for these vehicles if it does not meet the 35 years old mentioned in the conditions of the previous paragraph.

Legal news regarding the age of classic vehicles 2014
A "purgatory" between 10 and 15 is a long time, don't you think? (Photo: Alberto Ferreras)

Therefore, it is easy to assume that, at "only" 30 years old, a vehicle is not going to have any privilege as a classic. Or what is the same: the new 35-year rule will be applied without any progression for a vehicle to become part of the Olympus of the classics. It's too much time; more if we take into account that in the rest of Europe the regulations that regulate the age of a classic, even if only by convention, is established at 30 years.

To finish tangling dates and add to the confusion, Insurance intended to cover classic vehicles in Spain can be contracted after 20 years of antiquity, since it is considered that their use decreases a lot thereafter. On the other hand, and in coherence with the Regulation of Historic Vehicles, the town councils of some municipalities exempt from paying the road tax from 25, although the latter is something that may change with the new legislation.

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Questions, unnecessary?

In short: insurance and exemption from road tax from 20 and 25 years respectively; it seems that its classification as classic or historical from 30 and progressively 35; and it is also probable that, if nothing changes, participation in tests and / or events for these vehicles, starting at 35. As a recognized expert in this type of procedures comments verbatim, it is “A complex issue that always ends where it started: when does a vehicle become a classic? If the objective is to save as many of them as possible, his thing is to be as soon as possible, there is no doubt about that. " In practice, it will be when the legislation marks it, that is, 10 or 15 years after being insured as "classic" or being exempted by the local councils more sensitive to this type of historical heritage.

Legal news regarding the age of classic vehicles 2014
The future of "youngtimers" like this Renault could be called into question (Photo: Alberto Ferreras)

All this legislative maze, how could it affect the context that surrounds a vehicle when the 'machinery' that makes it go from simply old to classic starts up? More directly: will there be owners who get discouraged (for more than obvious reasons) and dispose of their precious vehicles? Will they keep them, will they sell them to a good fan, or to the highest bidder? Will the prices of those vehicles in no-man's-land rise at the prospect of being classic, or will they depreciate from “near-classic” to old overnight? Will the PIVE plans - scrapping after all - that have done so much damage to the historic automobile fleet, will they once again be the unforeseen fate of some of them?

To speak of an unpredictable future without having approved the aforementioned Royal Decree is speculative, and some or all of the questions posed in the previous paragraph may be unnecessary, illogical or simply crazy. However, what is evident is that the shadow of doubt hangs over the conservation of our future classics.

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Finally, the Royal Decree was not put to a vote at the end of 2014. Read more by clicking here

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Albert Ferreras

Written by Albert Ferreras

Alberto Ferreras (Madrid, 1968) developed his professional career in the newspaper El País since 1988, where he worked as a graphic editor and editor of the supplement Engine until January 2011. Graduated in Photography, he was a finalist for the Ortega y Gasset Award of ... Read More

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