Oldie hit parade
An old flame never dies: Taking in the sight of a polished vintage vehicle leaves our heartbeats racing. We provide you with advice on what you must ensure for obtaining an approval of an old-timer. After all, the tax authorities are also fond of oldies.
The H number for classic car bodies
There has been a special authorisation for vintage vehicles since 1997. You recognise this cult status on the official registration plate: the letter H comes after the identification number.
The tax authorities currently charge a charge a flat rate of 191 euros each year. The vehicle tax for vintage motorcycles is currently only 46 euros per year.
When is an automobile or motorcycle considered an old-timer?
- Your vehicle must have had been started for the first time at least 30 years ago.
- Some registration authorities do not take the exact registration date into consideration, but rather only go by the year of the initial registration. You would be best to ask your registration authorities responsible in advance.
- An officially recognised expert, examiner, or test engineer muss appraise the vehicle. If your vehicle is registered or has valid vehicle documents, a TÜV NORD expert will check the safety condition, for example. This examination complies with the general inspection.
- If you do not have a vehicle title or it is not valid, the examiner must assess the overall condition of the vehicle (full acceptance inspection according to § 21 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO)).
- Your vehicle must be appraised as a vehicle of cultural value
When is a vehicle a "vehicle of cultural value"?
Before a classic car body is allocated the coveted H-plate, the examiner must give it the title of being a "vehicle of cultural value". The conditions for this are regulated in paragraph 23 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations:
- Your vehicle must be in a condition worthy of preservation.
- In this case, the relevant vintage vehicle literature refers to condition 3: The vehicle shows signs of normal wear over the years, only has minor deficiencies, but is fully roadworthy. Your old-timer is not rusted through, and no immediate repairs are necessary.
- The vehicle's originality must be intact. This means that it must look like it did back when it was driven on the road for the first time. If it has been modified, then only within the customary scope at that time. Small tip: For very rare vehicles, it is helpful if you can present the model documentation, manuals, or brochures.
Some of your vehicle's properties may deviate from the original, for example:
- A motor different from the same series of the respective vehicle type
- Retrofitting of diagonal ply to radial ply tyres
- Authentic replica of the exhaust system
Which modifications are approved?
- The modifications must have been completed within the first 10 years of the registration.
- There is an exception for every rule: Catalytic converters or handicap accessible modifications are allowed, for example.
In case of doubt, consult a TÜV expert prior to the examination.