Recent data released by the DVLA and Department for Transport (DfT) has illustrated that the UK car parc is older than it has ever been. Older cars are undoubtedly popular, and as a result aftermarket support will be required for these vehicles long into the future. Klarius Products, the UK’s largest manufacturer of aftermarket emission controls components, has reiterated that in terms of replacement exhaust systems – the support is already there.
According to VEH0207: Licensed cars by number of years since first registration: Great Britain and United Kingdom, the number of cars on UK roads aged over 13 years has grown from 6.3% in 1994 to 19.1% in 2019, an increase of approx. 3,781,900 vehicles. This effective tripling of older vehicles on UK roads shows that motorists are willing to operate older combustion powered cars despite scrappage schemes and financial subsidies from the government designed to incentivise electric cars.
There are a number of reasons for this. The overall build quality of vehicles steadily improved from the 1990s into the mid-2000s, ensuring that cars from this era have an increased service life compared to cars that were more common in 1994. This has naturally resulted in a higher proportion of older cars on the road in 2019. Additionally, car enthusiasts are drawn to models that may deliver a more traditional or involving driving experience. Typically, these owners will maintain their vehicles to a high standard, further increasing service life.
To keep these cars on the road long after manufacturer support has expired, owners often rely on the aftermarket to provide high quality replacement components. However, with such a variance across older cars, in some cases it can be difficult to source an optimum component that fits and preserves the original performance of the vehicle.
Doug Bentley, Head of Research and Development at Klarius Products Ltd, has helped to build an extensive range of quality emissions control components to meet this need: “While developing replacement exhausts, catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters for modern vehicle applications is important; our range of over 11,000 components has also been designed to support older models too. By analysing market data, we can identify older vehicle models that are popular or lack replacement parts.
“We then develop a new component with a test vehicle of corresponding marque, model and production year. This means we have replacement components in stock for older sports cars, saloons, MPVs, SUVs, hatchbacks, estates and vans. Every component features a 2-year warranty and Fit First Time guarantee. We make this possible by fitting new parts to real cars during our development and testing process. This means less time on the ramp for our garage customers. None of our UK exhaust competitors independently test and certify their parts on vehicles with the Department for Transport’s Vehicle Certification Agency. 90% of all orders received by 5:30pm will be delivered before 12pm the next morning, 60% of which may be delivered by 9am.” To add to this, Mark Brickhill, CEO at Klarius, comments ‘“of course cars manufactured in the last 15 years are also made to higher, and ever increasing, environmental standards which our parts meet or exceed.”
Klarius ensures total availability across its range thanks to dynamic stocking procedures. Components are manufactured in Staffordshire to meet current market demand. Extensive stock warehousing ensures that a replacement exhaust system for an old Mazda MX-5 offers the same lead time as a system for a newer Nissan Qashqai. Therefore, older cars do not spend longer on the repair ramp waiting for a component, despite their age.
“At Klarius, we are passionate about older vehicles. Many of us are enthusiasts, so we are very proactive in offering likeminded vehicle owners access to quality components that provide OEM levels of performance. As this data illustrates, it is clear that the aftermarket will need to provide this replacement support for many years to come,” Doug concludes.