Will old cars finally be banned?

Some countries, such as EU members, are considering banning all new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. As the fleet moves to electric, catering, insurance, and even refueling of our classic trucks and cars can get complex. But it’s highly unlikely that classic cars will ever be outright banned.

Does the internal combustion engine have a future?

While some countries are considering a future ban on new internal combustion passenger vehicles, others lack the power grid to support a full fleet of electric vehicles. Engineers are still struggling with electric vehicles suitable for trucking in extreme cold or over long distances. The internal combustion engine will play a role in transportation for many years.

Mechanic repairing a classic car | Nina Mercado on Unsplash

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According to MotorTrend, the future of internal combustion could be smaller engines running on higher octane gas. We may also see advanced systems to recover wasted heat, gas or even vibration. The automaker can even explore unprecedented engine configurations.

In the near future, internal combustion engines will continue to burn gasoline or diesel. One day, biofuels or synthetic fuels could entirely replace petroleum extracted from the earth.

What will happen to classic petrol cars after 2035?

Some densely populated countries may soon require all new passenger vehicles to be electric vehicles. But global automakers will likely continue to offer hybrids and plug-in hybrids in more rural areas. No government has announced its intention to ban classic cars.

Close-up of oil being poured into the internal combustion engine of a Toyota.

Mechanic pouring oil | Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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Current electric vehicle technology can provide efficient, pollution-free transportation in and around cities. But today’s electric vehicles don’t offer enough range for many lifestyles. Electric technology is also not ready to replace internal combustion for other forms of transportation like long-distance trucking and air travel.

Toyota, for example, is developing another generation of internal combustion engines, hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Experts predict automakers will continue to see the returns on new internal combustion research and development for at least a decade. New internal combustion cars will be released every year, although they will not be available in all markets.

The future of classic cars

In the future, classic vehicle owners will need to get creative with restoring, insuring and even refueling their cars and trucks. Additionally, some cities may designate low emission zones and ban gasoline and diesel vehicles. But classic cars are unlikely to be completely banned.

Smiling mechanic holding the hood of a bright yellow Land Rover SUV.

Mechanic repairing a Land Rover | NeONBRAND via Unsplash

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Hagerty spoke with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official about the future of classic cars. The anonymous official insisted that the Agency does not concern itself with classic car collectors.

“Public policy is focused on the future fleet.”

Unnamed EPA official

That said, local lawmakers could severely limit classic car owners. London and other cities are studying low-emission zones in business districts. In the UK, these rules only target delivery vehicles and actually make exceptions for classic cars. But that could change.

State legislators and insurance companies can also affect enthusiasts. In Nevada, many car collectors avoid smog inspections by opting for classic car plates. But these plates require you to have old car insurance. And antique auto insurance, in turn, imposes an annual travel limit of 5,000 miles.

In the future, classic car enthusiasts will need to band together. Protecting our hobby from regulators, securing a parts supply, and even wholesale synthetic fuels can take a team effort. But if we work together, there’s no reason our hobby can’t continue for generations.

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