Classic cars are not only very popular as an investment. With a suitable H license plate, you can also take part in regular road traffic. In this article you can find out which requirements must be met for the special license plate and where these can be acquired.
What requirements does your car have to meet for an H license plate?
Not every car automatically gets an H license plate just because it is old. There are clear conditions that have been set by the Dekra, so that a classic car is considered a cultural asset and may use the so-called H mark.
The most important number for a historic vehicle is the number 30. The car or motorcycle must be at least 30 years old in order to meet the basic requirements for the special registration number. The age must be proven with the first registration or with the year of construction of the vehicle. Because the H in the license plate stands for historical vehicle.
Furthermore, the conditions that a valid operating permit must be available apply. An expert opinion in accordance with Section 21 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations is also possible. This is an individual operating permit which shows that the vehicle is roadworthy and may participate in road traffic. On top of that, an assessment according to Section 23 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations must be available. This means that with this appraisal, a document is handed over that identifies the vehicle as a motor vehicle cultural asset.
The classic car must be in good condition and, above all, in a good condition. It must have original components or, ideally, be in its original condition. Contemporary conversions or conversions carried out within the first ten years after the vehicle was registered are also permitted. The use of new components that are less than 20 years old and that are not part of the original equipment of the vehicle will disqualify the vehicle as a historic vehicle. It is therefore necessary to differentiate and see whether an H mark can really be used.
Our advice: If the vehicle is only used for events, a 07 license plate is often more advantageous. Because it can be used for several vehicles at the same time.
What are the advantages of an H license plate for classic cars?
There are a number of benefits H-plate owners can enjoy. The biggest advantage, however, is probably that you save a lot on vehicle tax. Regardless of the size of the displacement or the emission of emissions - the vehicle tax costs a flat rate of only 191.73 EUR. For motorcycles, the standard tax rate of EUR 46.02 applies. This is particularly worthwhile if it is a diesel vehicle or a car that has no catalytic converter and has at least 700 cc. For motorcycles, the H license plate is worthwhile from a displacement of 600 ccm.
Furthermore, the insurance cover for historic vehicles is significantly cheaper. The insurance company assumes that the vehicle is used less in traffic and that it is handled very carefully. That is why there are various classic car insurance policies that offer particularly attractive terms. In addition, the environmental requirements for classic cars are significantly lower than for conventional vehicles. Vehicles with an H license plate are generally allowed to drive without a catalytic converter and are also allowed to pass through all environmental zones in Germany. Even if they don't have a green sticker.
If the vehicle toll comes into force, a maximum rate of EUR 130 will apply for vehicles with historical license plates. However, this fee is not added to the vehicle tax, but is offset against the tax in a completely cost-neutral manner.
Our advice: When taking out a classic car insurance, the increase in value of the vehicle must be taken into account. This can be decisive in the event of a claim. Therefore, always have it calculated in advance what the vehicle is worth and adjust the insurance accordingly. If the vehicle is insured for a longer period of time, then if necessary correct the value, since classic cars usually experience an increase in value.
What costs do you have to expect when applying?
The costs for an H license plate are quite manageable. The entrance fee is around 40 EUR. If a custom license plate is desired, an additional fee of EUR 13 may apply. The license plate is stamped for 20 to 30 EUR, so that there are no extremely high costs here either.
However, the costs for the classic car report and the associated general inspection must be included. It depends on what the appraiser takes and whether or not improvements are necessary as part of the general inspection. These costs can therefore vary and can turn out to be quite different. The advantage here is that you can get cost estimates in advance and then assess whether the cost is worthwhile or not.