Classic car owners may need a vehicle ‘passport’ after Brexit due to new red tape

Classic cars are purchases of passion: Bonhams

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Owners will need an Access / Temporary Access (ATA) Carnet before taking their car across the channel. This acts as a passport for goods and guarantees vehicles will not disappear when they enter the country.

ATA carnets cover all goods leaving the UK and returning within a 12 month period and are said to simplify the customs procedure.

GOV.UK warns an ATA Carnet can set drivers back £325.96 while they will also need to pay a security deposit.

This a returnable payment but is up to 40 percent of the value of the goods being transported.

However, with many classic cars valued at millions of pounds, the fee is not realistic for many collectors.

The new updates will only apply to any historic owner who transports their vehicle across the channel on a trailer or a lorry.

But this is a popular mode of transport for historic owners who visit historic car shows, racing events or auctions.

Peter Bonham Christie, founder of UK historic vehicle transport firm Straight Eight logistics said around 90 percent of his life is now spent working with customs.

He warns the new rules have added a “new layer of cost and complexity” which will come at the expense of collectors.

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He said: “When you load a car onto a trailer or into a lorry, it becomes ‘goods.’

“You need a ‘green card’ from your insurer for each element—the car, the towing vehicle, and the trailer—and as you’re transporting goods, you also need an ATA Carnet.

“It’s not as if we haven’t done this before – the system has been the same for entry to Switzerland for years – but it adds a new layer of cost and complexity to the process.”

The new paperwork is not just affecting owners with many historic vehicle businesses also attacking the new proposals.

Julian Mazjub, owner of classic parts manufacturer Blockley Tyres said the extra “aggravation” would have an “impact” on the firm.

He said the new changes was a “heavy monkey to carry” which was not shouldered by many of his international competitors.

He said: “Blockley would struggle without the volume of its sales to Europe.

“The paperwork, aggravation, increase in costs, real delays and inconvenience to customers will impact us… on top of which, we haven’t factored in the people who will no longer order from British sources, irrespective of the price.

He said the new changes were a “heavy monkey to carry” which was not shouldered by many of his international competitors.

“In a dog-eat-dog world where my competitors have been trying everything to shut me down, well before Brexit.

“So, let’s see what happens.”

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