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30th April 2015

Hundreds of classic cars could soon disappear altogether from UK roads!

  • 638 models of car are down to ten or fewer remaining on the road and could disappear from UK roads altogether
  • For 222 cars, there’s just one remaining
  • recoverMe pledges to support iconic vehicles with free roadside assistance for ten ‘historically important’ cars

Hundreds of classic cars could soon disappear altogether from our UK roads, according to our research.

We analysed almost 30 million vehicle records made available by the DfT to establish which cars were most at risk of extinction. Only vehicles which were licensed were considered, which meant that vehicles which have been taken off the road with a statutory off-road notification (SORN) were not counted.

Our researchers found that 638 cars had ten or fewer models still on the road. The cars on the list ranged from well-loved British classics such as the Bristol 404 to others that might not have the same aesthetic value but are important nevertheless, such as the Datsun 140.

Whilst we highlighted hundreds of cars which may shortly disappear, we also found evidence that an increased interest in certain classic cars might lead to some vehicles becoming more common: just one Daimler XJ6 remained in early 2014, but later that year another had been restored, taking the total to two, and several other cars have increased in number too. Most impressively, there were no Bristol 404s on the road in 1994. Twenty years on, there are seven cruising down UK roads.

Our view is that "We risk losing part of the history and diversity of what makes British roads so interesting. Modern cars are wonderful, but there’s something special about classic cars such as the Citroën Pallas or the Daimler Landaulette that turn heads, even forty, fifty or sixty years later. Better still, British cars like Bristol 404 are tangible links to our own motoring heritage."

Aditionaly, "There are some cars out there that aren’t quite to everyone’s taste – the Hummer H1 is a good example – but it’s still an interesting car and it would be a shame to see it rotting in a garage."

The full list from our research is available to download here, however, we have selected 10 to feature on our own historic register of important cars, and we would like to keep their engines running:

RecoverMe’s historic register of important cars

Marque Model Number remaining
Austin 2200 7
Bristol 404 7
Citroën Pallas 5
Daimler Landaulette 3
Hummer H1 1
Lada 1500 5
Land Rover 127 5
Maserati Bora 8
Skoda S100 6
Volvo 66 7

Ordinarily RecoverMe, breakdown cover is for cars which are less than twelve years old, whilst this can be extended for some vehicles to 20 years, we're unlikely to see any of these as our members vehicles, but we would love to!

So if you own a car on the list above then please do get in touch and we’ll arrange to give you a year’s cover for free, meaning that if you break down – and let’s face it, you probably will – we’ll pick you up and do our best to get you moving again.


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