A classic car this autumn? We can help…
How to buy your dream car with help from Logbook Loans …
Downton Abbey fever is here again! For the uninitiated, Downton Abbey is a UK period drama that first aired on ITV in 2010. Between then and 2015 there were six series of the show and it became incredibly popular until its final episode on Christmas Day 2015. Fans are therefore delighted that a new film version of Downton Abbey has recently been released, that continues where the TV series left off.
The Downton Abbey TV series covers the period between 1912 and 1926, and tells the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants. The new film is set in 1927 with the Downton staff and trying to restore Downton to its former glory in preparation for a royal visit.
Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that Downton Abbey has influenced various trends over the years it has been on our screens. Much has been written about its impact on the fashion world, which seemingly was ready and waiting for a new more nostalgic and romantic style. The collections of many designers in the UK and USA were influenced by Downton Abbey when it first came out. Even several years since the beginning of our love affair with Downton Abbey, many of the signature fashion statements – such as trench coats, riding boots, beaded dresses, faux-fur collars, retro wavy bobs and jewelled hair accessories – are still proving popular.
But it isn’t just the fashion world that has been influenced by Downton. We also love the cars! The TV series featured an array of wonderful vintage cars. One of the most frequently used in the early series was the 1911 Renault Type CB12/16hp Landaulette – pictured below left. This car carried Lord Grantham many times to the local Yorkshire train station. In reality the car is completely original and one of the last of its kind. It is thought to be worth over $500,000.
Then below right is the 1927 AC Six, created by the AC Car Company, one of Britain’s most loved builders of sporting cars. Sadly this car crashed at the end of series 3 of Downton Abbey, but in reality still lives to tell the tale.
Images courtesy of https://www.historicvehicle.org/the-cars-of-downton-abbey
Both the Downton Abbey film and TV series were filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire. As you can see below, this is the perfect setting for showcasing more of the wonderful vintage cars that feature in the film.
Photo by Isabel INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images
These cars are beautiful, but what are the practicalities of owning a classic or vintage car in the 21st century? First of all, what exactly is a classic car? The distinction in terms can be blurry, but generally it’s accepted that classic cars are over 25-30 years old, historic cars are over 40 years old, and vintage cars are those built between 1919 and 1930.
It is estimated that there are over half a million classic and historic cars in the UK, and about three quarters of these roadworthy and licensed. Of those that are driven, annual mileage is likely to be low – probably between 1500 and 3000 miles a year.
Because of this, the good news is that if your car is over 40 years old and classed as a historic vehicle, you are exempt from paying road tax on that car. You can find more about this on the Gov UK website.
But what are the pros and cons of owning any kind of classic car? For the majority of owners, it is not their first and only car, but a hobby or sideline. Here are three of the main pros and cons that classic car owners find:
Style and class
For the classic car enthusiast there is simply no contest between the classic car and today’s top models. They may not have all the new technology and gadgets that we now expect from a modern car, but they exude style and class. A classic car will certainly stand out from the crowd and be the centre of attention!
Authentic driving experience
People who love driving classic cars enthuse about the authenticity of the drive. A classic car exposes the driver to much more noise and vibration than our sleek modern cars, as well as that unique old car smell. A classic car may not be as comfortable to drive but it is certainly a more immersive experience than your average drive.
There are two ways you can potentially benefit financially from owning a classic car. The first is that if you need a loan, Logbook Loans will accept your classic car as security for a logbook loan. Read more here about how you can release the value of your cherished car whilst still continuing to drive it!
The second is that you could consider hiring out your classic car. As we have seen, there is a resurgence in popularity of classic cars and there are many hire companies taking advantage of this. So if your classic car is roadworthy then it could be worth investigating whether you could make money by hiring it out for use by others.
Classic cars cost money! And this is not just to buy one, but the ongoing expense and maintenance. There will always be a lot to do on your car, and parts for classic cars can be more difficult to find, and more expensive as a result. If you are not able to do all the work on your car yourself then you may also find that only specialist garages will be able to do it for you: again, at greater expense.
As we saw above, classic cars will not have all the gadgets and technological features that we have come to expect in cars today, so will be less comfortable to drive. Many features that are electronic today will be manual, and they will have very basic heating/cooling systems (if any at all) so are likely to feel colder in winter and warmer in summer than more modern cars.
Being realistic you are more likely to have reliability problems with an old car than a new one. Unless they have been treated incredibly well, the years of use will make an impact. Also, older cars usually contain more steel than modern cars so are more likely to rust.
So there are both pros and cons to owning a classic car and you need to decide what is best for you and your circumstances. If you’d love to own a classic car but it is not currently an option for you then why not consider hiring one out for a day or weekend? This is already a very popular trend, as we mentioned above, and there are many classic car hire companies and gift experience companies offering this option.
So perhaps for Christmas or a special birthday gift you could put in a request and enjoy having fun in a classic car this autumn!
Check back here soon for more lifestyle and money saving tips from Logbook Loans.