Research from a specialist classic and collector vehicle industry report conducted by “specialist” insurance provided Footman James has shown that, compared to modern vehicles, classic cars are less damaging to the environment. 

The 50-plus-page Indicator Report suggests that various areas such as diversity and relevance within the automotive industry require some improvement. The report also shows the environmental impact of classic cars in depth. 

According to the statistics, the “average” classic car (travelling a national UK yearly average of 1 931 km) generates 563 kg of CO2 annually. In comparison to the former, the report suggests that a “typical” modern vehicle, such as the Volkswagen Golf, emits “up to” 6.8 tonnes of CO2 before it even leaves the production plant. The report further suggests that even though a modern vehicle would be more efficient daily, the environmental cost of manufacturing it “immediately” negates this. 

The report also looked at the environmental impact of electric vehicles (EVs). According to the research, battery-electric vehicles have an even more significant impact in terms of their average carbon emissions footprint than internal combustion-powered classic and modern cars. 

For this comparison, the report mentions the Polestar 2, mentioning that it produces 26 tonnes of CO2 during its production process. The report suggests that this emissions figure would take a “typical” classic car 46 years to match. 

“The Indicator Report is extremely useful in determining how much of an impact our beloved classics have on the environment,” explained Footman James managing director David Bond. “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. 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.”