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Reliant Robin now a classic vehicle

Thu, 20 Mar 2014

THE RELIANT ROBIN, a vehicle popularised by Del Boy Trotter in the Only Fools And Horses TV show, is now classed as a classic vehicle thanks to changes in the Budget.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that a rolling 40-year vehicle excise duty (VED) for classic cars will come in on April 1 this year.

Until now, only cars built before January 1 1973 were exempt from VED.

Produced by the Reliant motor company from Tamworth in Staffordshire, the three-wheeled Robin was first manufactured in October 1973.

Somewhat ungainly and an object of scorn from some, the Robin proved popular, particularly in the north of England.

But it was the Only Fools and Horses show, a massive TV hit, that put the Reliant company firmly on the map. In truth, Trotter (played by Sir David Jason) actually drove a three-wheeled Reliant Regal van as he careered around Peckham in south London.

But the link between the show and the Robin was made and the car proved an unlikely success.

Later this week David Beckham will join Sir David and fellow Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst in a special Sport Relief edition of the hit show.

Other cars that come into the classic VED-exemption category now include the Austin Allegro and the MGB V.

By Peter Woodman, Press Association