Skip to content
Home Link Logo
Concours Header 2024

Blick Rothenberg at Concours 2024

Blick Rothenberg at Concours on Savile Row 2024



Seminars exploring the future of motoring

How to preserve both motorcars and the planet and will be discussed at two seminars on May 22 and 23 at Concours on Savile Row in London. The seminars will be held at the Royal Academy of Arts and are sponsored by Blick Rothenberg. The moderator will be motorsports journalist Simon Taylor.

Partner Simon Sutcliffe said:

“We are delighted to be sponsoring the two seminars at this year’s Concours on Savile Row. We have always been at the cutting edge of providing the latest tax, accounting and financial advice to classic car collectors, investors, and traders as well as working with manufacturers.”

As the world moves on, we are now looking at how modern fuels will impact not only on the classic car world but how taxes may be levied in the future to sustain road tax and provide benefits to the modern motorist which does not appear to be on the Government’s agenda.

BR Concours 2024 Simon

Restoration and preservation – how tailors, the automotive market and the art world approach sustainability

Wednesday 22 May | 10am

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on how the earth’s resources are consumed and how people around the world are impacted by it – including in the production of traditional and electric motorcars, and the fashion industry.

A panel of experts will discuss the approaches to restoration and preservation that are taken by the art, automotive and tailoring worlds. As well as recycling, upcycling, fast fashion, and sustainability in tailoring and future materials.

Participants are Royal Academy Senior Collections Curator Hannah Higham, Mark Henderson, Chair of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, and Bentley specialist William Medcalf.

Registration for this event has now closed.

The Future of Fuel: The Road to Zero Emissions

Thursday 23 May | 10am

The future of mobility has never been more controversial – in particular, how we fuel our cars and bikes, whether new or classic – and how we minimise their impact on the environment and our wallets.

A panel of experts will discuss short-term versus long-term solutions to our current fuel problems, lifetime carbon impact and classic car conversions. They will also compare hydrogen, electric and synthetic fuels.

Participants are Guy Lachlan, Executive Director of the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA); Simon Sutcliffe, Customs and Excise Duty Partner at leading tax and business advisory firm Blick Rothenberg; Patrick Fairfield, Head of Commercial at Lunaz Applied Technologies, and William Medcalf.

David Lillywhite, Editorial Director of Hothouse Media said:

The long-term preservation and generally low annual mileages of classic cars means that they’re already surprisingly environmentally friendly – but how can we improve upon that? Sustainable ‘E-fuels’ are already being used in historic racing but are they the best answer?

How about carbon-offsetting or even electric conversions? It’s crucial that we know all the facts, which is why we’ve gathered leading experts to discuss the topic at this seminar.

Registration for this event has now closed.

The race to fuel our cars (and how the winner might be taxed)


Revenues from fuel duty in the UK in 2023/24 netted the UK Government a sizeable £24.8 billion pounds. However, as new technologies develop, and governments push forward decarbonisation and net zero emission plans, this revenue from ‘conventional’ fuel sources looks set to fall.

As we know, governments tax for three reasons: to increase revenues, to reduce consumption and to change behaviours. So how will the UK maintain its revenues but still retain its push towards its climate change goals and create a permanent change in how the motorist makes their choice in terms of the type of vehicle they use and how much mileage they undertake?

These goals depend on what fuel source wins out in the race to power our cars, helps meet those government initiatives, maintain revenues and, importantly, captures the public’s imagination. This is very much like the issues of competing technology we saw in the past, VHS vs Betamax, the 8-track vs the cassette tape and any invention that fails to grip the nation (such as Thomas Edison’s electric motor driven by the static electricity produced by wiring two cats together and rubbing their backs!) some will fall by the wayside and become a footnote, and some will be victorious – despite not always being the best solution.


Experience shows that governments struggle to maintain a consistent narrative on these objectives, as seen by the early attempts to modify VAT rules to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles (EVs). This inadvertently discriminated in favour of petrol/diesel vehicles and denied VAT registered businesses legitimate VAT refunds. Due to high prices, difficulty in obtaining reasonably priced insurance cover and a lack of confidence over the longevity of battery packs, we are experiencing a struggling second-hand market, and sales of EVs are currently falling.

However, we do have rapid developments in the world of biodiesel, ethanol for flex fuel cars, the many colours of hydrogen for fuel cell cars, natural gas and propane propelled vehicles and, of course, electricity. However, many of these fuel types are emission free at the point of use and as such they are not taxed in the conventional way as petrol and diesels. However, these same fuels can be resource- and energy-intensive at their production stage. This leaves a future Government with a few dilemmas:

Do we continue to tax vehicles at their initial purchase and beyond based on their fuel type, emissions, price etc.?

Do we use and expand the fledgling Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) lifted from the world of international Customs to tax industries and producers using the most resource-intensive and carbon producing techniques?

Do we use modern GPS/in-car technology to embark on ‘road pricing’ tariffs, where those who drive at certain times of the day or on certain routes are taxed more heavily?

Electric Car Charging

Would you like to know more?

If you have any questions about the above, please get in touch with your usual Blick Rothenberg contact or Simon using the form on this page.

Classic Car Tax Reliefs and Customs Duty Obligations



Susan Spash, Simon Sutcliffe and Simon Newark look at the key tax considerations and Customs Duty impacts of owning a classic car.

Concours Video

The most prized and sought-after classic cars face the same financial and market challenges as artwork hanging on gallery walls.

However, there are some key taxation and VAT exemptions and reliefs to consider, as well as Customs obligations when looking to move your car across borders.

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to discuss the personal tax or VAT reliefs or exemptions for your classic car, or how to best manage potential Customs Duty obligations, please get in touch with our team.

Contact our team