The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has crunched the numbers from the 2020 National Historic Vehicle Survey, and there is good news across the board, with the future looking bright for the historic vehicle movement.
More than 15,000 people responded to this year’s survey, a figure that corresponds to ownership of some 32,000 vehicles with all manner of different makes represented. The survey involves vehicles more than 30 years old and of all types – from cars and bikes to tractors and steam engines – and the results show that overall numbers have grown.
In 2016 there were just over one million historic vehicles in the UK, but four years later that number has grown to more than 1.5 million. The last survey also indicated that there were almost 500,000 owners in the UK, but in 2020 that number has risen to nearly 700,000. To put that into perspective, it means that around 1% of the UK population owns at least one historic vehicle. The survey also revealed that each vehicle is used sixteen times a year on average, and covers around 1200 miles per year.
Meanwhile, the FBHVC’s survey also underlines the importance of the historic vehicle movement to the UK economy. In 2016, the estimated expenditure was £5.5 billion but four years later that figure has risen by 31% to £7.2 billion. Furthermore, £946 million was spent in the UK from overseas. In what has been an extremely challenging year, this represents very good news indeed.
It isn’t just about money, though, with people playing a crucial role when it comes to historic vehicles. Some 3820 companies currently operate in the sector, with more than 34,000 jobs directly focused on the trades and skills associated with it, but securing its future prosperity is just as important.
This year’s survey reveals more good news, then, showing that not only does around 12% of those businesses already offer some form of training or apprenticeship, but that a further 39% of businesses are actively planning to offer them in the future. That’s extremely encouraging when it comes to young people entering the industry.
In an exclusive interview with Mike Brewer for the NEC Classic Motor Show Online, FBHVC Chairman, David Whale, and Director of Research, Paul Chasney, expressed their delight with the positive results. The numbers employed in the industry was especially good news, David highlighting the importance of young people becoming involved with the historic car movement.
As Mike says: “This industry adds so much to the economy and its great news for the country.”
The survey is normally undertaken every five years, with the last in 2016, but due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic it was brought forward to 2020 with the data based on information from 2019.
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