News for MG enthusiasts
Does a car "wanted" advert work when looking for a good classic MG?
One method of finding a good MG is through a “wanted” advert and there are signs that type of advert is proving to be an effective way of attracting interest from owners who are beginning to think of selling their car. As they begin thinking of selling they may feel they do not want the hassle of "tyre kickers" and dealers rolling up at their home but the alternative of their responding to a wanted advert and dealing with an enthusiast who would give the car a good home seems a great deal better. 170707 More
Are some "private" classic car sellers rally traders or dealers?
Cases where traders or dealers advertise classic cars for sale as "private" sales have been seen before but several cases have been seen recently. Why does it happen and what are the concerns for an enthusiast buying a car from them? 170707 More & Commission sale arrangements
Easier access to DVLA's VES
DVLA have improved the entry webpage for their Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES) in two ways - first you can enter the Vehicle Registration Number in a continuous stream of characters and not have to adopt the spacing seen on the number plate and second you no longer need to input the make of the car. See also MOT history service and the V888 information procedure too. 170707 More
Spring Budget 2017 report
The Spring Budget 2017 statement made in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, on Wednesday 8th March provided an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.See a report of the announcements of interest to a classic car enthusiast. 170308 More
DVLA warns public of scams
DVLA says beware of websites mocked up to look like a DVLA online service as scam wretches are operating them. The Daily Telegraph reported "a supercar thief who stole a £97,000 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe from a Saudi prince is facing jail on Friday. Mohammed Humza (photo alongside), 26, conned the DVLA by falsely claiming he owned Sheikh Mohammed Alibrahim's luxury motor parked in London's exclusive Mayfair district". 170308 More
Classic car exemptions from emissions zones in London
See an article on the emissions zones in Central and Outer London. 170223 More
What's a classic car auction like?
The auctioneer with his gift of maintaining the essential momentum of the auction with his confident introduction of the "next lot", encouraging bidding to rattle along, occasionally pausing, then reaching a highpoint as the remaining bidders make their instant decisions whether to bid with a continued determination or shake their head in retreat. Finally down comes the hammer. Lot sold. 170131 More & More
Getting information on your car from DVLA
After contacting the V8 Register for information about previous owners for his MGBGTV8, David Worthington made an application to DVLA under their V888 procedure. Here he describes how it works, what it costs and what information he received. 170123 More
EU court ruling means classics on a SORN may need insurance
In a lead article in this week's issue of Classic Car Weekly the editor, David Simister, reports "classic owners could be forced to insure their cars even when they aren't on the road following a recent court ruling". The Department of Transport (DFT) has launched a consultation into how it should incorporate the outcome of the ruling by the European Court of Justice. 17014 More
EU court judgment could result in increased motor insurance premiums in the UK
The UK Government is reviewing the law governing motor insurance which would provide a route for compensation for victims of accidents involving motor vehicles in a wider range of circumstances whilst trying to keep the cost-burden to a minimum. DfT has released a consultation document saying they "were prompted to review this area of UK law because of a legal case heard by the European courts in 2014 which resulted in what is known as the "Vnuk judgment".161222 More
Autumn Statement on Wednesday 23rd November
The Autumn Statement 2016 made in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, on Wednesday 23rd November provided an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. 161123 More
MOT history search - worth checking when you are thinking of buying a car
You can check the MOT history of a car on the GOV.UK website . The results are always interesting and sometimes they reveal concerns. 161107 More
Modern cars get bigger when compared with an MGBGT
Our research shows the frontal area of a typical modern hatchback like a VW Golf is now nearly a fifth larger (18.5%) compared to that of an MGBGT and in terms of bulk, a surprising 36% greater. That's quite a change and clearly helps explain the feeling when driving a classic MG that modern cars are getting bigger. 161010 More
Best buy dash cams
Since we last looked at dash cams they have continued to improve in terms of functionality and performance. There has also been a surge in the popularity of dash cams, so the results of the latest product test by the leading UK consumer group Which? are a useful guide if you are thinking of getting a dash cam. 160928 More
DfT consultation on roadworthiness testing vehicles of historic interest
We have just received a link to the consultation sent in by Chris Hunt Cooke. DfT says "we are consulting on proposals to implement an exemption from testing for vehicles over 40 years old. 160922 More & More
Check your insurance renewal premium
What was discovered on investigating why the premium had increased so much?
As the V8 member was not prepared to accept that explanation he asked to speak to a senior member of staff whom he had met at a classic car event. From that discussion it transpired the premium increase should have been 3.4% and not 34%! A simple but potentially business losing mistake by the broker. It pays to check. 150821 More
How do I get a valuation for my agreed value insurance policy renewal?
A valuation based only on inspecting a set of photos provided by a classic car owner is not a way of providing a reliable valuation of a classic car, but clearly a number of insurers, faced with rising values for even mainstream classic cars like MGBs and derivatives, have decided to use photo evidence and self valuation by the owner with a review by an "in-house expert" as their agreed value procedure. 160401 More
Summer Budget statement on Wednesday 16th March 2016
The latest independent projections for the UK economy from the the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will be released next week, barely a week ahead of the Budget, so thre may be some last minute adjustments to the tax announcements to keep his deficit reduction plan on track. The concern is that after five years of a tax duty freeze and with fuel prices around a £1.00 a litre or less, raising fuel duty may be an option he will have to use. 160307 Budget briefing
Checking VED/SORN, insurance and MOT status for a car
With a classic car, it is very easy to overlook when an MOT test is due or that you need to tax or SORN the car, so here are some useful links to online services which could help you avoid difficulties with the DVLA or police. There is a useful MOT history search which will help you when thining of buying a car. 160307 VES search & askMID search & MOT history check
Controversial LEZ exemptions sought by FIVA
FIVA, an international body for historic vehicle clubs based in Brussels, has defined what it regards as "historic vehicles" - they say "historic vehicles should be road vehicles at least 30 years old, maintained in a historically correct condition and not used as a means of daily transport". The concern is the narrow FIVA definition may exclude many accepted classics, regarding them as "old" rather than "historic", the latter having rights to lower or zero taxation. 160302 More
Beware of DVLA clampers!
Worrying faults with the new system of monitoring road tax after the end of paper discs and the introduction of an automatic VED cancellation system when a car is sold are highlighted in a recent article in the Sunday Times. It's essential reading as a caution. 160118 More
What to do if your numberplates have been cloned
Cloning plates has become a difficulty for many owners of vehicles so be prepared. The first you may be aware of a problem is when an unexpected notice of a motoring fine or a parking charge drops through your letter box. On checking the details of the notice you realise from the description and the time and/or place of the claimed offence that it could not have been your car. What do you do? l60110 More
Classic car auction dates for 2016
Classic car auctions coming up in the period to 11th May 2016 were featured in Classic Car Weekly, Wednesday 6th January 2016. 160108 More
How to buy a classic car with Quentin Willson
Quentin Willson produces a seven and half minute briefing on how to buy a classuc car at auction. It's his usual breezy style but informative as usual. 160108 Video clip
Growing use of dash cams
A feature in the Sunday Times in their Driving section mentioned two related developments with the use of dashcams in cars: first "the popularity of dashcams has soared to the point where the RAC estimates that 9% of motorists now use one in their vehicle - that amounts to 2.9m camera-equipped cars on the road" and second the growth of "dashcam vigilantes" reporting everything from minor misdemeanors to reckless driving. In November 2015 a landmark case based on dashcam evidence of reckless driving resulted in a driver being jailed. See our report. 151207 More & More information on dash cams
Hagerty Classic Index launched
The UK Hagerty Price Guide for classic cars has been available for a while as a classic car valuation tool in the UK that is freely accessible, but monitoring well over 1,500 classic car model values is difficult. So Hagerty has created a series of indices that show trends, both in the market as a whole and in specific sectors. The first of these indices, launched in December 2015, is the Hagerty Classic Index. 151205 More
Autumn Statement 2015 on Wednesday 25th November 2015
As usual we have a prompt report on the Budget Statement within an hour or so of the Chancellor sitting down in the House of Commons. 151125 More
Check the age of your tyres
Tyre safety is a topic we have highlighted on many occasions, not least the age effect on tyre rubber and the consequent reduced braking and roadholding performance. Over time the suppleness of tyre rubber reduces so that by around 7 to 8 years old the ageing effect will have reduced the flexibility of the rubber as it hardens and begins to take on the characteristics of wood. 151022 More & Replacement tyres information gateway
Tax class change to "Historic" can only be processed when a licence application is made, not when making a SORN
A change of tax class from PLG to Historic can only be carried out when a VED licensing application is made, not when a SORN is made. However the Post Office can re-license a vehicle in the Historic tax class if it has previously been under a SORN.
151022 More
Changes to vehicle tax rules - clarification at last?
If you buy a car that is currently taxed do you tax it yourself before you drive it home as the DVLA says you should, or drive home with the tax still valid because until the V5C (sent by the Registered Keeper, the seller, to the DVLA by mail) reaches the DVLA, they will not have received notification of the sale which legally cancels the existing VED? 151016 More
Concerns with DVLA stealth tax and the new VED system
The new road tax system introduced by DVLA in October 2014 when the paper disc ended is continuing to raise concerns for motorists. Many motorists are unaware that vehicle excise duty is automatically cancelled when a car is sold, a change that is exposing those drivers to the risk of clamping by the DVLA and large fines. 150504 More
Budget Statement on Wednesday 18th March 2015
Chancellor George Osborne delivered his last Budget statement of the current UK Parliament less than two months before the date of the General Election on 7th May. He announced the RPI infaltion Fuel Duty increase due to apply from September has been cancelled. and VED rates and bands from 1st April 2015 will increase by RPI. 150318 More & More
MG GTS - a five seat SUV
A report in the Sunday Times featured the new MG GTS, a five seat SUV from MG's Chinese owner, SAIC. "It's roughly the same size as a Nissan Qashqai and will compete in the fastest growing segment of the new car market but will face tough competition from the popular Nissan as well as the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. 150106 More & More
Government promises cash to fix potholes
In a report in the Times today "motorists and cyclists are set to benefit from the Government’s record £6 billion spending spree to fix potholes across England over the next six years. The £1 billion-a-year investment will be enough to fill in 18 million potholes, according to the Department for Transport, as well as improving other local road infrastructure. 141223 More
No one is above the law when it comes to CIE
The Motor Insurers' Bureau says "A lot has happened in the world of Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) since we launched the process to manage and enforce The Motor Vehicles (Insurance Requirements) Regulations 2011 which changed the motor insurance landscape forever by making it illegal to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle. 141202 More
Autumn Statement on Wednesday 3rd December
The Autumn Statement 2014 was delivered in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Wednesday 3rd December 2014. As usual we will have a prompt report on the Autumn Statement within an hour of the Chancellor sitting down in the House of Commons. 141202 More
Classic insurance - a case of ‘it’s all in the small print’
A classic car enthusiast with a car insured with a specialist classic car insurer found they wouldn't pay for the ferry to rescue his car from the Isle of Wight. The policy includes UK and European vehicle recovery but "significant exclusions" are included in the small print of a policy booklet sent some years ago when the policy was taken out. 141127 More
Emergency contact disc in place of the old paper tax disc
With the end of paper tax discs in October 2014 this is certainly a useful idea and one which could provide essential information at the scene of a collision or medical emergency. 141122 More
Abolition of the counterpart driving licence
From January 2015 DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence - you can see both alongside. Details of the motor vehicle groups you are licensed to drive are recorded there together with any endorsements you may have picked up. 141118 More
New payment system for the Dartford Crossing on the M25
The new remote payment at the Dartford Crossing over the Thames to the east of London known as the Dart Charge begins on on Sunday 30th November 2014. You will no longer pay for the Dartford Crossing at the barriers. 141110 More
It's gone - but you still need to get VED for your vehicle if it's on the road
From 1st October 2014 you no longer need to display a paper paper tax disc on a vehicle registered in the UK. Even if you have a tax disc with any months left to run after this date, it can be removed from the vehicle and destroyed. 141030 More
Marshal of the Year - Marion Quarrington
With the end of paper tax discs in October 2014 this is certainly a useful idea and one which could provide essential information at the scene of a collision or medical emergency. 141026 More
Getting a replica tax disc for your MG
With end of paper tax discs you can get a replica for the first tax disc your MG would have carried from a great supplier
who provides a customised tax disc by return of post and all for less than £10! 141101 More
Daytime Running Lights or DRLs and classic car lighting
Far from being considered primarily a 'safety feature', many car manufacturers and the motoring press are treating DRLs as a 'stylish addition' to a car, concentrating on the look of DRLs as adding character to a car rather than contributing to its safety. See an article in Safety Fast! 140815 More
What are the key issues to consider when deciding whether to fit 175 or 185 tyres on an MGB?
There are at least four sets of issues you will need to review in assessing your tyre choice: tyre size, aspect ratio and gearing, the subjective issue of how the car appears with a lower diameter tyre and ride height, the available information on tyre performance and the natural concerns over price and availability of the tyres you might wish to choose. 140705 More
EU Roadworthiness Directive
An update from the FBHVC reports the Directive permits Member States to exempt historic vehicles from the new testing regime. It does appear that the UK Department for Transport (DfT) will exempt them. See the full FBHC report. 140613 More & More
Beware the 5 day insurance database update!
The message to note here is take care to renew your insurance cover at least a clear 7 days ahead of the expiry date of your current insurance cover. 140519 More
Buying an MG - don't negotiate to buy any remaining road tax
Anyone buying a car from October 2014 will need to know that an owner selling the car privately will not be able to transfer the “unexpired tax” to a new owner and will not be entitled to offer that as a part of the sale price. 140312 More
Costly penalty for an overdue MOT test
Losing track of the MOT expiry date is very easy to do. With computer based records and number plate recognition systems, driving a car without a current MOT (even unwittingly) can result in a costly fine. 140312 More
Report of the Budget Statement in March 2014
This year the Chancellor's Budget had good news - the VED exemption will become a rolling 40 year concession plus the freezing of a 2p fuel duty rise due in September 2014. 140319 More
How will classic motoring suffer in the Autumn Budget 2013?
See our briefing for the Autumn Statement on Thursday 5th December 2013. More
Continuous Insurance Enforcement caution
You will need to think about complying with the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) requirements if your car is with a restorer for a moderate or an extended period of time. 131203 More
VED exemption extension update
See our NEWS item on the VED exemption extension announced with the Budget in March 2013 and our guide to taxing an MG that qualifies as an Historic vehicle. 131019 Latest NEWS and Guide
Penetrating oils and rust release agents
Faced with bolts that are difficult to release with the consequent fear that increasing effort will result in the bolt shearing so using a rust release agent is a sensible option, but which product is likely to be the most effective? 131015 More
UK fuel duty freeze
Welcome news for UK motorists. The likely combined effect of the fuel duty freeze announcements during the term of the present Coalition Government is around 20p a litre.131001 NEWS
E5 availability extended to 2016
The UK Government is proposing to extend the current legal requirement for a ‘protection’ grade - for engines that are not compatible with E10 petrol - for a further 3 years to the end of 2016. 130829 More
Good news in the Budget in March 2013
This year the Chancellor's Budget had good news - the cancellation of the next 3p fuel duty rise due in September 2013 and the extension of the Classic Vehicle VED Exemption to 1st January 1974 with effect from 1st April 2014. 200313 More
How has classic motoring suffered in the Budget in March 2012?
Sadly the UK Budget statement today had no reduction of the planned increase in fuel duty coming in this August 2012 but the good news was no increase in VED rates above inflation (RPI) - so the V8 rate rises £5 to £220. 210312 More
Members' Area launched on the Club website
The MG Car Club has launched a Members' Area on its website with a range of additional information and services there. To access the Members' Area you need to click the login link and then enter your surname and current MG Car Club membership number. 030112 More
New MoT test certificate
The MoT test certificates have been changed and are now printed on plain paper, but that's not the only change because the document has been switched from a portrait A4 document to a landscape A4 format, it's now monochrome (no longer the familiar light green colour) and there is no small peel off self adhesive data panel which could be attached to the inside of the windscreen to act as a renewal reminder. 121211 More

Accelerated rollout of the new red V5C
DVLA has sent out a notice of the accelerated rollout of the new red V5C (the vehicle log book). The new red V5C was introduced in August 2010 as a more secure and customer friendly document which highlights the need for buyers to check the legitimacy of the vehicle presented for sale. 210911 More
See also the useful advice on buying a used vehicle on the Directgov website including a helpful checklist and video. 220911 Directgov website & checklist & video
Continuous Insurance Enforcement or CIE
The tougher requirements of the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) introduced in June 2011 are being applied by the DVLA. Under the CIE a vehicle owner that has not declared a SORN (statutory off road notice) for a vehicle must have an active motor insurance cover for that vehicle. The DVLA now has systems which enable it to run checks on both their vehicle records database and the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and by comparing the data from the two databases it can very easily identify vehicles that are uninsured but not on a SORN. Firm action is promised by the DVLA on those cases. So what checks and precautions can a classic car owner take? Well our gateway webpage has links to will help you get to the DVLA, DirectGov, askMID and MOT websites in a click. 080711 More
So what vehicle data checks can a classic car owner make online?
Well the link below will help you get to the useful DVLA, DirectGov, askMID and MOT websites, together with links to the online road tax and SORN websites. More
See also Vehicle Data Checks (Experian) & AA Car Data Checks. More
Need a reminder of the key road tax/SORN, MOT and insurance dates?
Keeping those key dates for your car in a place for easy reference seems a good idea, so we have produced a set of credit card sized forms on which you can make a note of the road tax/SORN renewal date, MOT expiry date and the insurance renewal date for your car. You can then cut out the form and slip it in with your cards. 060711
Download a key vehicle data card
and links for tax/SORN online. More
Biofuel concerns with classic MGs
Since the introduction of ethanol in motor fuels in the UK and overseas there have been concerns over the effects of biofuel on older cars, particularly classic cars. There seem to be three areas of concern with biofuel in classic cars - corrosion in classic car fuel storage tanks and fuel supply systems, compatibility issues with rubber components and seals, and combustion issues. See our update. 060711 More

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