And thus the shakedown continues on the other side of the pond…
A report out of the UK details out how London is squeezing classic car owners for extra cash. In a move which seems like something out of a dystopian novel, vehicle owners will need to pay up to £650 just to drive their classic car once a week in the city. It’s all part of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone charges which come into effect in late October.
Beware, America isn't immune to these kinds of anti-classic car ideas, as you can see here.
If classic car owners don’t pay the big government fees, they could be forced to “face the wrench” or have their vehicle sold by force. Now, those who love government controlling all the intimate aspects of their life, far beyond just requiring a driver’s license and tags to drive on public roads, will see zero problem with this move. In fact, they might be celebrating it right now. But this is horrible news for enthusiasts and not just those in the UK. After all, it seems like bad, totalitarian ideas like this trickle over the Atlantic Ocean and infect North American government officials’ minds as well. It’s most definitely time to push back against Draconian laws targeting classic car ownership and operation on public roads.
The UK report says it’s estimated about 60,000 cars will be affected by the Ultra Low Emissions Zone changes. If you multiply that figure by £650, it starts looking like this might be just as much about shaking down the citizenry for extra cash than cleaning up the air. Those who are jealous they don’t own a classic car might cheer this move on, declaring that those who can afford such a “luxury” deserve to be bled out financially like a stuck pig.
It almost seems like government officials in the UK sit up at night dreaming of new ways to stick it to classic car owners, almost like possessing an old car is something which should be continuously punished. There’s even been talk among bureaucrats of banishing motorcycles from certain portions of the country in favor of electric bicycles.
We wish this kind of thinking were limited to just the UK, but it isn’t. Five years ago, Paris, France banned 20-year-old cars from public roads. Thankfully, it provided a variance for classic cars to remain. But don’t be surprised if that’s stripped away later. The EU has been weighing adopting incredibly strict real-time vehicle emissions monitoring technologies which can force plug-in hybrids into electric-only mode when they enter certain areas. Nevada has looked to enact its own extreme rules for restricting classic cars, among other things, so the US certainly isn’t immune to this sort of thinking.