Five things that can earn your classic a Q-plate
A mix of new/used parts
To retain its original number, a rebuilt car must retain its original bodyshell or a brand new shell, with receipts as proof of purchase. It must also retain two of the following – complete suspension, both axles, transmission, engine, or steering assembly. Failure will result in an IVA and Q-plate.
If you are modifying your classic, you must retain the same proportion of new or original parts as you would during a rebuild. Cars are assigned a number of points in order to determine this (see boxout), so if you’re considering modifying a car, it’s wise to bear this system in mind.
Used parts in a kit car
Even kit cars built entirely from new bits can potentially fall foul of the rules if it is proven that more than one component was used in origin. As a wholly new car with no used parts used in the process of its build-up, however, it would receive a then-current registration number.
It used to be all the rage – take a dead Triumph Herald, Ford Sierra – or indeed any other mainstream car with a tired body but sound mechanics, and use it as a donor to build a kit car. A Herald would keep its registration number if it retained its chassis, but most kits will receive Q-plates.
Where the DVLA can’t verify the provenance of a car, it can ask that it is subject to an IVA test and reissued with a Q-plate. Classic Car Weekly has reported on several cases of owners being asked to prove their cars’ identities, although the DVLA says it does not target classic owners.