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Budget 2015: top 5 road-tax-exempt classic cars up for sale soon

In the 2015 Budget speech, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the continuation of rolling exemption from road tax for 40 year old cars. This means that from 1 April 2015 all cars made before 1 January 1975 will qualify for free car tax. And from 1 April 2016 this money-saving benefit will apply to 1976 vehicles.

There are some great mid-1970s cars on offer at auction soon. First up is a 1976 Daimler Sovereign bought in 1977 by Major Hugh Skillen, and passed on to his son after his death. The major was closely associated with Bletchley Park and the Enigma code-breaking work. Paperwork accompanying the car suggests it's covered a genuine 56,000 miles. As well as old MOTs and invoices, the history file includes a letter of condolence from the DVLA regarding the major's death. 

The Daimler is on offer at Silverstone’s Restoration Show auction on 28 March, with an estimate of £14,000-£16,000. From 1 April 2016 it qualifies for free road tax instead of the £230 fee applied to pre-2001 cars with engines larger than 1495cc.

Just as appealing is a Series III Land Rover on offer at Anglia's 4 April sale. The 1975 vehicle has benefited from lots of work in the past five years including an engine rebuild and new seats. The estimate for it is £6,000 to £7,000. 

For those who prefer to travel in more luxury, there's a Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible on offer at H&H's 15 April Imperial War Museum sale. The 1976 car is finished in Marlborough brown with tan leather, Wilton carpets and lambswool over-rugs. The last of the chrome-bumper Corniches, the three-owner Rolls has recently had a new hood and its burr walnut refurbished. The estimate is £25,000-£30,000. 

Alternatively there's a 1975 280S saloon on offer at Bonhams' Mercedes-Benz sale in Stuttgart, Germany, on 28 March. The matching-numbers left-hand drive model has covered just 13,000kms from new and is described as being in excellent, unrestored condition in and out. Although it's being sold without reserve, the estimate is £28,000-£25,000. 

If want go-anywhere ability and rock-solid reliablity you can't do better than a Toyota Land Cruiser. RM Auctions is offering a freshly restored 1976 FJ0 Land Cruiser at its Andrews Collection sale, in Texas, USA, on 2 May. Looking to be in pristine condition, the fully restored 4x4 has an estimate of $65,000-$80,000. 

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By Claire Evans

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