The long-awaited "discretionary" drive will become a reality for thousands of Canberra owners of older, collectible vehicles after the ACT government finally gave the go-ahead to changes to its concessional registration scheme.
Two years of patient lobbying by the Council of ACT Motor Clubs has paid off with local transport authorities agreeing to allow concessional registration to fall in line with most other states and territories.
The changes, which were greeted with much enthusiasm and celebration on social media by vehicle owners, provide club members with 60 days' driving within a full year under their concessional registration.
This means they can take their older cars and motorcycles out for a drive whenever they like for up to two months - provided they fill in their logbook beforehand - without having to ring their club registrar and get the go-ahead beforehand, and without being part of an officially sanctioned club event
"It gives owners on concessional registration a broader level of use of their vehicles and the freedom to choose when they want to take their vehicles out for a run," ACT Council of Motor Clubs president Mark Saunders said.
"I think we'll find that many people who have their old cars and motorcycles sitting in the shed and can only look at them because they can't afford full rego will get on the scheme and we'll potentially see a lot more [vehicles] out on the road."
The Council of ACT Motor Clubs will administer the scheme on behalf of its 75 affiliated clubs and about 4000 members. Canberra has one of the highest per capita ownership rates of older and collectible vehicles in the country as a result its inland location and great touring roads nearby.
"Many owners take up periodic three-month registration when the weather warms up, but this concessional registration will cost much the same and allow owners to drive the car all year round for up to 60 days," Mr Saunders said.
With the ACT government now in caretaker mode, getting the regulation implemented will take some time -- although members are keen to see the new rules operating by January 1.
A new logbook would also need to be designed and approved, together with new registration plates with ACT and council logos to identify the vehicles registered under the scheme. Anyone seeking to take advantage of the scheme would need to be a member of an affiliated club, and their vehicle would need to be deemed eligible.
If stopped by police, owners would have to produce their logbook on demand, or risk being fined for driving an unregistered vehicle.