Four months ago, the House of Representatives passed a bill that aims to grant special exemptions for vintage vehicles. Called the ‘Vintage Vehicles Regulation Act’, House Bill No. 9884 seeks to regulate the use and registration of classic cars, allowing motorists to use them only during weekends, and or holidays.

Under the bill, vintage cars are defined as “30 years old based on the date of manufacturing”. This means, if a vehicle was made in 1992, it is already classified as a vintage. Should the law come into effect today, any vehicle manufactured in 1992 or older can now be considered as such.

Seeing this issue, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante suggested increasing the minimum years in which a vehicle can be deemed as "vintage".

During a Senate hearing regarding the Vintage Vehicles Regulation Act, Galvante said that the LTO welcomes the act because it will clear up the confusion of whether these types of vehicles can be registered with the LTO. Galvante also added that they have no objections to the said bill.

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However, Galvante mentioned that perhaps legislators can reconsider the 30-year minimum for vintage cars. Instead, he wants them to increase the minimum years for a vintage vehicle. But why did Galvante suggest this in the first place?

"Right now, there are a substantial number of [old] vehicles which are being used daily and are registered. If we limit them to 30 years old and will only allow motorists to use them during the weekends and holidays, we might displace them even though their vehicles are roadworthy, to begin with," said Galvante.

"We are suggesting na kung puwede siguro gawin nating mas older pa, not limited to 30 years but rather, older than 30 years pa," added Galvante.

[We are suggesting that if we can maybe make it older, not limited to 30 years but rather, older than 30 years]

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Looking at the number of cars we have in the Philippines, Galvante’s statement rings true. There are still plenty of older vehicles that are still being used by motorists. Despite their age, some of these vehicles are well-maintained by their respective owners.

Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, who authored a Senate version of the Vintage Vehicles Regulation Act (Senate Bill No. 2402), agreed that the 30-year minimum is still too young for a vintage vehicle. Zubiri also mentioned that there is still a lack of guidelines on how a vintage car can be registered. He’s hopeful that the Senate and the House of Representatives will be able to come up with a law that will streamline and give proper guidelines in registering vintage vehicles.

Do you think increasing the minimum years to qualify as vintage will help motorists with older vehicles avoid having to register their cars as ‘vintage’? Let us know in the comments below.