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XJ Jaguar
XJ Jaguar

Classics easier on the environment, report claims

Riley Riley

Here’s a turn up for the books.

A report claims classic cars are more environmentally friendly than their modern-day counterparts.

The average classic emits 563kg of CO2 per year, yet an average passenger car has a 6.8-tonne carbon footprint immediately after production, the report says.

Conducted by specialist insurance provider Footman James, the Indicator Report shows two-thirds of classic car enthusiasts are already concerned about climate change, with over 50 per cent open to further benefiting the environment with emissions offsetting schemes.

Footman James has been one of the UK’s leading specialist insurance brokers for classic vehicle owners, restorers, collectors, motor traders and competitors for more than 35 years.

The 50+ page report suggests that various areas such as diversity and relevance within the industry require some improvement and goes on to discuss the environmental impact of classic cars in depth.

Statistics show the average classic car that travels a national UK yearly average of 1200 miles (1931km) generates 563kg of CO2 per year.

In comparison, a typical modern car such as a Volkswagen Golf emits up to 6.8 tonnes of CO2 — before it even leaves the factory.

The report says that even though a modern car would be more efficient and use less fuel if used on a daily basis, this is immediately negated by the environmental cost of manufacturing a new vehicle.

It adds that battery-electric vehicles have even more of an impact in terms of average carbon emissions than a classic or modern internal combustion engine car.

As an example, the fully electric Polestar 2 is said to create 26 tonnes of CO2 during its production process alone — an emissions figure that would take a typical classic car 46 years to match.

This shows that despite the enticing prospect of zero-tailpipe emissions from an electric vehicle, classic cars are far less impactful on the environment long-term due to their infrequent use.

The report features a poll that shows two-thirds (66 per cent) of Footman James’ audience are already environmentally conscious and concerned about the effects of climate change.

In addition, over half (52 per cent) of the polled audience said they would consider signing up for a vetted scheme to reduce their classic cars’ impact on the environment through carbon emissions offsetting.

Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond said the Indicator Report is extremely useful in determining how much of an impact our beloved classics have on the environment.

“It’s easy for one to assume that classic cars are more damaging simply because of their older and less efficient engines, however, the data in this report disproves that theory,” he said.

“It’s really about how these vehicles are maintained and used; it is clear that while new modern and electric cars might seem better for the planet day-to-day, the problem is how much of an impact their production causes.”

You can download a full copy of the report report here.


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