National B&B Week – The Petrolhead £7.5bn Perspective
National B&B Week is now in its 3rd year.
March 16th to 22nd will see B&Bs and small independent hotels offering incentives for anyone who, during that week, books a stay from then until the end of 2020. There’s everything from discounts and free extra nights, to wine, chocolates and flowers, sometimes a combination.
It’s a great initiative to help remind the Great British public of the importance of B&Bs and small hotels to the economy of UK plc – £2bn per annum, according to the National B&B Week organisers.
Another huge net contributor to the UK economy is the classic car movement. According to the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBVHC) there are over 600,000 historic vehicles in the UK registered for use on the road, the majority of which are classic cars. As regular readers probably know, they represent our ‘mobile heritage’ and attract nostalgic spectators wherever they go. If you find yourself at a classic car meeting, you’ll find thousands of eager visitors of all ages and socio-economic groups, including children, listening to Dad’s and Grandad’s stories about “I had one of them” and the adventures they enjoyed… from exploration to match-making and everything in between!
We love and care for our classic cars in ways that modern cars can only dream of, like keeping them in heated garages with dehumidifiers installed. That’s perhaps not surprising when you need around £10,000 to buy a ‘humble’ 1960s Ford Cortina that was £600 when it was new!
You may be surprised to learn that the historic vehicle industry is worth £5.5bn pa and attracts the interest of around 10 million people in the UK.*
Owning an historic vehicle is not only nostalgic, but also aspirational with 53% of owners saying they acquired an historic vehicle in order to enjoy the lifestyle that they offer, with events and holidays, the car being cited as the main motivation. *
One of the joys of owning a classic car is exploring new routes away from home. However, whether on a weekend in the UK or a trans-European trip, owners often fret about the availability and suitability of parking for their pride and joy at each stop-over.
That’s of course where we come in rather handy!
We provide information about suitable places to take classic and sports cars, listing hundreds (and growing) of hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodations, most that have been personally recommended by the website’s members. We also include interesting places to visit, like car museums and car meet/coffee morning venues.
We like to think of ourselves as a useful free tool to help Petrolheads get the most from their passion.
We are working with the B&B Association and the UK’s self-catering associations to bring together car lovers and great places to stay… especially in National B&B Week.
But, some might ask, what about the impact on climate change?
In any given year, the total mileage of all roadworthy historic vehicles (including classic cars, buses, military vehicles, traction engines, etc.) is less than 0.25% of all road traffic*.
As an example, the emissions of a 1980’s classic car that’s covered c.30,000 miles in its 35-year life, is equal to about 7 days use of an average articulated lorry. That car, whose manufacturing carbon footprint has long since been washed away by the sands of time, is likely to still be around and loved in another 35 years. Unlike millions of modern vehicles, classic cars won’t be written off or tempted away by some temporary scrappage scheme.
If you own, run or know of a great place to stay that’s suitable for taking a classic car, please tell us.
If you’re a petrolhead (regardless of the type of fuel used to power your vehicle), and you fancy a great British break, have a look at National B&B Week.
The issue of the Coronavirus outbreak and its impact on travel and tourism is unclear. It’s possible that large gatherings of people will be limited, impacting on sports events and possibly classic car meetings. Air travel and cruises may be restricted or at least become less attractive whilst the threat of infection remains.
Having a so-called ‘staycation’ may become increasingly popular using B&Bs, self-catering venues and small hotels.
Perhaps the combined £7.5bn industries of historic vehicles and B&Bs can provide at least some respite from this public health concern.
The Petrolheads behind Petrolheads Welcome supporting National B&B Week (L-R: Paul, Jan, Gillian, Andrew, James)