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H-license plate oldtimer: new guideline, more specific requirements

Beate Jeske
H-license plate for classic cars
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A As a classic car fan, you are not born, you are born grows into this role. Often a few fleeting, nostalgic memories are enough as an initial spark, for example when you accidentally come across the dream car of your youth or your first own car - interest is already sparked.

The legislature supports this passion because it sees in classic cars a piece of 'cultural asset' that needs to be preserved. He has therefore issued regulations that are intended to facilitate the approval and maintenance of classics. The most important instrument is the so-called H license plate, with which veterans can stay registered all year round, because the tax rate is only around 192 euros regardless of the displacement. In addition, the restrictions of the environmental zones do not apply to them, and many car insurance companies have particularly low tariffs if the car is not used in everyday life.

No more five levels for H license plates

This regulation has proven to be a success, because within the last ten years the number of registered vintage cars on German roads has increased by well over 100 Percent. But in order to get the H license plate, the owners had to overcome some hurdles in the past. These have now been defused with a revised set of rules. In the new 'Guideline for the assessment of vintage cars according to § 23 StVZO' there is no longer a five-stage evaluation system.

So far, the experts grouped the car into the categories 'immaculate condition', 'good.' Condition ',' Used condition ',' Used condition 'and' Condition in need of restoration '. In order to obtain the necessary expert opinion for the H approval, the classic could not be worse than condition three. Now only the following points count for the examiners: age, good state of preservation, appropriate signs of wear, no missing essential parts and original or at least contemporary equipment. beta '> Pass HU and be at least 30 years old

The new guideline is a relief because it gives the test engineers more discretion. This can, but does not have to be a disadvantage for the car owner. Because anyone who seeks a conversation with the examiner in advance, observes his advice and appears appropriately prepared, can also take the report in a borderline caseto get. However, one should not underestimate the effort required, and only if the car is at least 30 years old can it be considered for an H license plate. Even more: it has to withstand a normal general inspection by an expert organization without any problems. This means that the points of preservation status and signs of use can be documented at the same time.

When it comes to originality, make sure that the equipment only includes parts that the manufacturer installed at the time or that were retrofitted from models of the same series. The experts are now taking a closer look at the engine in particular. Conversions are only permitted if they took place or could have taken place within the first ten years after initial registration. This is what is meant by 'contemporary equipment', whereby the customer must provide the evidence for this himself. Previous test reports, sample reports, specialist literature (operating instructions and original brochures), technical reports or even the vehicle registration document for a car of the same type in which the conversion was documented can be sufficient as evidence.

Newly manufactured chassis for Classic cars allowed

But there are no rules without exceptions: non-contemporary changes are also allowed if they can be proven to have been installed at least 30 years ago. And the guideline allows something else: Newly manufactured chassis based on original samples, such as those offered for Ford Mustang or Citroën 2CV, strictly speaking, break the claim to originality, but are not fundamentally illegal. The prerequisite for recognition is that the vehicle manufacturer has licensed the new frame and that a donor vehicle exists for the remaining parts. However, that does not mean that replicas are also entitled to an H mark - unless they are at least 30 years old and come from a registered manufacturer.

The new guideline addresses all of these fundamental questions now more concrete than before. That makes it easier for classic car fans to meet the requirements of the H mark - and for everyone else to become one themselves.


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