Do you want the Road Tax system to change? Do you have thoughts on the potential changes to the Road Tax system? | No thanks
Old car paranoia - David Millar
Could it happen here? Apparently, more than 20m French cars built before January 1997 could be effectively taken off the road unless they are shown to meet regulations on asbestos-free brake, clutch and exhaust components. The regulations come into force in the New Year and could mean an inspection of all such components before a pre-97 vehicle can be sold by existing owners or even dealers. While few cars built in the 90s used components with asbestos, and most will have had asbestos-free replacements anyway, it is going to create havoc for anyone with a car where the manufacturer is not prepared to certify it was asbestos-free at build. Their only option with low value cars is to keep on driving them until they break.

Classic car owners, in particular, are trying to get exemption or some old cars using original parts stock through necessity will never be able to sell their vehicle. A strict interpretation of the rules means that even cars sold for breaking have to be inspected and certified before they can be sold on.

Not surprisingly the car manufacturers in France seem to think it is a wonderful idea, and no doubt garages are already contemplating the extra business from compulsory inspections.

Now asbestos is nasty stuff and while I would be happy to see it eliminated, a heavy-handed, blanket approach is worrying. From what I can gather, it is purely a French regulation, apparently generally overlooked by the motoring public until this week, but I can see it would be very easy for the EU and its most loyal interpreter of EU rules, the UK government, to take a similar route on this or some other 'unpleasant' material. Think on the old air conditioning systems previously mentioned here.

With the current Millar fleet showing ages of 1932, 1954, 1986 x 2, 1988 and 1993, I am rather glad I don't live in France. But, as they say, 'Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.'
Re: Old car paranoia - Ian Cook

This is certainly going to be a problem, and there'e another one looming on Jan 1st 2002 - refrigerators.

Apparently EU law dictates that from 2002 old refrigerators be classed as hazardous waste. They must be dismantled, the residual CFCs must be extracted from the insulation foams, and the metal must be recycled.

Apparently, we have no suitable plants in the UK and people like Currys and Comet will stop collecting your old fridge when they deliver a new one, because they have nowhere to put it. Nobody wants a pile of old refrigerators, waiting for a facility to deal with them. It could cost up to £40 to have the council take the fridge away (and, presumably, store it).

Where do you think they will all end up? At the side of the road, of course.

Well done HMG.

Re: Old car paranoia - Dan J
Usual kind of EU crap - It has already been proven and noted that CFC's do not escape from insulation foam, and those which were used as refrigerant aren't *quite* as nasty as we were all led to believe.

See what happened was that the patent for CFC production was about to expire, meaning what was previously a lucrative business for the manufacturer becomes a waste of time as countries with lower GNP produce massive quantities at a tenth the cost. So, what better way than to promote the chemical as highly dangerous long term and "damaging to the environment". Like CO, CFC is a "heavy" has and sits at floor level once released and does NOT rise up the the levels associated with ozone. Therefore, company miraculously comes along with new (patented) chemical that is the answer to the problem of CFC relacement and bob's their uncle.

Off topic? Well, it might seem so, but it is the endless "helpful" environmental legislation which essentially means companies, particularly large ones, making a lot more money. Carries on from the HJ speeding post re us all having to confirm as those in the unelected power must be right coz they tell us it's bad.

Bet the French car manufacturers are rubbing their hands together with glee - no prizes for guessing whether or not they'll commit to saying that cars built before date did not include asbestos. (What about all those naughty people who bought non-manufacturer parts - prob made by the same people anyway - they couldn't guarantee THEY did not contain asbestos!)
Re: Old car paranoia - Alwyn
Confirmation of what Dan is saying here.
Re: Old car paranoia - THe Growler
In the Philippines, freon is the gas of choice for all a/c servicing. Nothing to get het up about, breathing Manila air is supposed to be the equivalent of 30 gaspers a day by itself.

As for the asbestos component of cars, what wonderful armchair legislator thought of that one. Presumably the hospitals are choked with people who changed their A30's brake shoes one Sunday back in 1963, not knowing the hazard the evil car manufacturers had put in our midst.

NOt to undermine the well-known hazards of asbestos, but isn't the world facing a few rather greater challenges? LIke the Euromonster itself for one.
Re: Old car paranoia - Andrew Tarr
Sorry to pick nits, Dan. CFC is certainly heavy and settles to the floor (unless it is windy). But CO ? Much the same density as air. Depends on the molecular weight for a gas, remember?
Re: Old car paranoia - Honest John
The UK Government has banned the sale of new fridges in the UK because there is no mechanism to safely dispose of old ones that meets new EU rules. And even worse than that, the Peugeot 307 has just been voted 'European Car of the Year', for goodness sake.

Re: Old car paranoia - Honest John
Meanwhile, the EU Court has also stopped Tesco from selling Levis jeans for sensible prices.

Levis - David W
We've been mail ordering our jeans from USA for over 15 years. No hassle and very cheap. Often they have Wranglers (better than Levi but not the same UK image, unless you are into Western horses when they are a must) from $19.99 Also they are genuine made in USA types rather than many of the UK sourced Levis/Wranglers that are made elsewhere.

Order two pairs well in advance and use surface mail for best value. Two pairs at $19.99 + $20 shipping - bargain. Note sometimes customs charges apply.

Have a look at for some ace deals. Could even get yourself a monster hat and belt buckle for the line dancing.


Re: Levis - Darcy Kitchin
never seen you do that before, been reading the emoticon dictionary?
Re: Levis - Tomo
Some years ago a chap heading for Glasgow airport broke down, left the rather posh car at the roadside, in the country but not far enough from one of the "schemes", and went about his urgent business, returning three days later to arrange collection of the car: no, it was not (entirely) nicked, the burnt out shell was there.....

Re: Levis - David W
Well Darcy I was making the comments to all but realised HJ may take the line dancing thing to heart so added emoticon insurance to avoid a thrashing.

So far so good.

Re: Levis - Dave N
When all the developed nations got together to agree the phase-out of CFC's, in particular R12 (freon) used in car a/c, the manufacturers of the stuff dismantled the only plant in the UK and sold it to India, who didn't sign up to the agreement. Therefore, the 'problem' hasn't been solved, just moved to somewhere that will probab;y be less careful about it's release than we were.
Re: Levis - Honest John
What is the nation going to do when its fridges pack up and there is nowhere to legally dispose of the old ones? I expect it will do what it did when cars became expensive to scrap. Either dump the whole show in a layby on the A3, as it usually does with cars. Or hack the old fridge to bits in its backyard and dump the bits at the local recycling centre, thus releasing all the Freon into the atmosphere which the legislation sought to prevent.

Re: Levis - Dan J
I always found the A3 'scrapyard' very amusing. Could never quite get over the number of cars on the hard shoulder that after a few days would suddenly have had bits removed. Remember once such abandoned 2.9 Granada that lasted two weeks before having it's ENGINE removed - amazing that someone would go to the lengths to do that in the middle of the night, still, a free engine I guess!

I often wondered when some cars appeared on the hard shoulder whether they had genuinely broken down with the owner trying to find someway of getting the car home as they didn't have breakdown. A very nice looking E plate Golf lasted 24 hours before all the grill and front lights were removed from it!
Re: Levis - John Slaughter

Used to be common. I recall the odd car being dumped outside my (Engineering) college in the '60's. Once it was clearly accepted as dumped it would be stripped to a shell in days - even the major components being removed. Obviously the engineering we were taught was very practical!

After a couple of weeks the council removed the bare bodyshell - which usual retained only the paint.


Re: Levis - BrianT
The EU 'End of life' Regs that will come into force soon will add £500 to the cost of buying a new car as manufacturers must be responsible for the scrapping of such 'hazardous'waste. Dumping a banger on the street will become a hanging offence no doubt under EU law. The scaffolds are going to get pretty full if you have to pay out a wad to get rid of every collapsed heap! Scrapyard challenge will become the local game. Maybe Mad Max is coming soon!
Re: Old car paranoia - Mark (lost in Brazil)
>>Could even get yourself a monster hat and belt buckle for the line dancing.

Hands up [in the air] all those people considering the image of DW line dancing in a row of Citroens wearing his slippers...............
Re: Old car paranoia - Mark (Not lost, actually)
Damn, forgot to change the name.

Not lost in Brazil, actually sat in a rather nice beach bar with swmbo's laptop.

You have to appreciate some things in Rio; I asked if I could use the telephone line, he asked me if he could send his sister an e-mail and Robert is your Mother's brother.
Re: Old car paranoia - ladas are cool
i would say that DW isnt old enough to be wearing slippers (this coming from the 21 year old who has heated tartan slippers that plugs into the ciggy lighter), i thought DW was about 46 years old???

Ask Honest John Right column

Value my car