It’s often said that classic cars are detrimental to the environment, but a recent study has shown that this might not be the case after all. Footman James, a leading classic car insurance company, recently conducted a study to see how emissions from classic cars compared to those of modern combustion engines and electric vehicles. The results were surprising!

The study found that the average classic car emits just 563kg of CO₂ per year, while the average new car has a whopping 6.8-tonne CO2 emission before even leaving the factory.

Of course, classic cars are generally driven less than their modern-day counterparts, which is why their Co2 emissions are relatively low. The average here was worked out on 1,200 annual miles. Many modern cars may cover this in a month. However, if a new car and a classic car were to be used for a year on the same daily basis, the classic would have lower annual emissions. This is because the environmental cost of producing the new car is so great.

We have all got so used to living in a throw-away society with upgrade mindsets that it doesn’t occur to many that the impact on the planet of the manufacturing process is so great.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to classic cars. It is far better to recycle, upcycle and buy used than it is to buy anything new. Clothes, furniture, technology etc., all use resources and have a carbon footprint. So, next time you’re thinking of buying something new, maybe consider giving something old a new lease of life instead. It could be better for the planet and your wallet!

As a classic car has been around for decades, it has repaid its manufacturing debt, so to speak. It, therefore, makes sense to consider converting more classics to electric drivetrains where possible. We now have the technology available to us to do this easily and efficiently.

There are many other benefits to driving a classic car. They can be cheaper to insure and maintain, they often appreciate in value, and they definitely turn heads! Who doesn’t love the sound of a V12 engine? We just need to remember that they aren’t as bad for the environment as we once thought.

The UK classic car industry generates £18.3 billion and employs 113,000 people – perhaps more focus could be put on saving older cars instead of incentives to scrap them. Here they could be retrofitted with more modern technology or electric drivetrains to make them more efficient. Businesses could grow to build and maintain these vehicles.

Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond, explained: “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.

“It’s really about how these vehicles are maintained and used.

So, if you’re looking to do your bit for the environment, maybe a classic car is the way to go! Who knows, you might even have some fun along the way.