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Year Of Registration & Year Of Manufacture...am I Eligible For Free Road Tax?


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Hi guys

Question about my A series.

Log book says year of 1st registration 10th March 1975. However the chassis/frame/VIN no. is 598170471. Am I right to assume that, reading from this no. that my car was manufactured 17th April 1971, production line no. 598?

What do I do if that is the case? Write to DVLA but what would that mean? new number plates? or new log book? or would DVLA automatically include this info on their notification letter when the current tax disc is expired? So if it qualifies for free road tax does that mean having to go to the post office every year still?



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I'm sure that someone here will be able to confirm when it's build date was if it was before 1973 anyway. After that you may need confirmation from classic Opel. Dvla may want something in writing from either the club or Opel.

At the moment you still need to "tax it" every year and I think this will still be the case even when the do away with the discs.

Regarding a refund, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. Probably only get one for the remainder of the year when you notify them

I hope this helps, I realise I haven't answered all your questions

Edited by Mantney
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Hi Thomas, I wish it was as easy as you've assumed . Your chassis number shows that the car was made sometime after August 1973. I don't unfortunately currently have the information to date the car accurately, I'm trying to get the the info but not getting very far with Vauxhall so far. My gut feeling is it is a 1973 build, so will be officially in the Historic Tax class from 1st April this year. However, to get this changed you need to apply to DVLA with the evidence. Once I get the info I am authorised to write a dating letter for this purpose which is something that I do free for OMOC members.

Once you've proved your build date then you can keep the existing reg number, or change to an age related one. As Mantney says, you will still need to apply for tax every year if you want to keep the car on the road, or apply for SORN if not.

Edited by 1900SR
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God, I am going to keep my breath then and hope it is good news. Having owned the A series almost 12 years now I'll be damned if the car qualifies for classic (null) road tax! Steve look forward to hearing back from you. Many thanks in advance! :thumbup

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Hey Tom

Mine is a bit like yours. A late registration but built in 73 and will be going through the same process as having to apply to the DVLA to show its now tax free.

Good luck with getting yours tax free, as you say it would be nice if after all these years you could get it free. I does annoy me that i could buy a brand new car that meets all the euro emissions that gets driven thousands of miles a year and its tax free, and the old manta that might put out a bit of pollution but only does a few hundred a year (when it back on the road!) has to be taxed. it should be on miles driven :-)

Im applying for mine in the next few weeks so will let you know how i get on.


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The rolling exemption is being bought back. Labour got rid of it hence why it was frozen at pre-1973, but it will be reintroduced not catching up all the way to 25 years but will be 40 years, so your car will be tax exempt a few months after it's introduced.. Of course it could end up getting stopped again like it did in 1998 as the general election is next year too!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys

sorry, which authority then will verify the date of manufacture? Do y advise writing to Opel, Germany? or isn't there anyone in the manta club who has records or 'key' for deciphering chassis numbers? Can the club please provide some guidance with this matter? thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Found info on this at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vehicle-excise-duty-40-year-rolling-exemption-for-classic-vehicles

The following is taken from the available pdf file

Vehicle Excise Duty: 40 year rolling exemption for classic vehicles
Who is likely to be affected?
Owners of vehicles built 40 or more years ago.

General description of the measure
The measure extends the exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) to vehicles constructed 40 or more years ago on an automatic rolling basis on 1 April each year.

Policy objective
The VED exemption is intended to support classic vehicle, which the Government considers are an important part of the nation’s historical heritage. According to research by the Historic Vehicle Research Institute and the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs, in their publication The British Historic Vehicle Movement: A £4 Billion Hobby, the historic car industry employs about 28,000 people in the UK.

Background to the measure

Budget 2013 announced a measure to extend the scope of the VED exemption to classic vehicles by one additional year. From the 1 April 2014, vehicles manufactured in 1973 will be added to the exemption for this category. Budget 2014 announced the introduction of a rolling 40 year exemption of VED on classic vehicles. From the 1 April 2015, vehicles constructed 40 years ago will be added to the scope of the exemption.

Detailed proposal
Operative date
The measure will have effect for eligible vehicles presented for exemption from 1 April 2014 and each subsequent 1 April thereafter.

Current law

Section 1 and Schedule 1 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act establishes VED in respect of mechanically propelled vehicles and sets out the rates of duty on vehicles. Schedule 2 of the Act provides a rates exemption in respect of vehicles constructed before 1 January 1973, provided that such vehicles are not used commercially.

Proposed revisions
The exemption cut-off date in Schedule 2 of the Act will be changed to 1 January 1974 to apply from 1 April 2014 as announced at Budget 2013, and to 1 January 1975 to apply from 1 April 2015 as announced at Budget 2014. This will be legislated in Finance Bill 2014. The cut-off date will be rolled forward by one year on every 1 April in each subsequent Finance Bill.

Summary of impacts

Exchequer Impact (£m)
The figures for the Budget 2014 element form part of the motoring tax package set out in Table 2.1 of Budget 2014 and have been certified by the Office for Budget Responsibility. More details can be found in the policy costings document published alongside the Budget.

Economic impact
The measure is not expected to have any significant economic impacts.

Impact on individuals and households
When it is introduced in 2014-15 this measure will have an advantageous impact for the owners of around 10,000 classic vehicles, who will benefit each year as they are currently paying VED but will not under the exemption. Every year thereafter, the number of classic vehicles affected will increase, as additional cohorts of vehicles are included in the exemption. It is estimated that an additional 10,000 classic vehicles will be affected in each year of the scorecard. Most of these vehicles are assumed to be cars or vans giving annual savings in 2014-15 of £145 or £230 depending on engine size.

Equalities impacts
There will be no significant impacts as a result of these changes.

Impact on business including civil society organisations
This measure is expected to have a negligible impact on business and civil society organisations. There may be negligible one-off cost to classic vehicle motor trades associated with familiarisation with the new legislation.

Operational impact (£m) (HMRC or other)
A systems change cost of at least £40,000 will be met by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to revise the qualifying cut-off date for the exemption each year.

Other impacts
Other impacts have been considered and none have been identified.

Monitoring and evaluation
This measure will be monitored through the DVLA vehicle licensing data.

Further advice
If you have any questions about this change, please contact the DVLA on 0300 790 6802 (online: https://www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla).

Edited by andyp
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  • 4 months later...

Just to update this topic, I've had no luck getting the info from GM, but I have now obtained copies of the relevant Glass's Car Check Books, which the DVLA will accept as proof of age.


If anyone needs dating letters for their Opels (or Vauxhalls) I should be able to help. The letters are free for OMOC members or £20 for non-members.

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