This is not a happy situation for anyone. Speaking as someone who deplores the removal of original registration numbers from classics, there are obviously cases when issuing the car with an agerelated number is unavoidable.
Mention a Q-plate and most enthusiasts will grumble that they’re for kit cars or maybe an ancient truck mouldering around the back of a local garage. In other words, they’re still a leper of the automotive registration world.
Most people probably wouldn’t buy a classic registered on a Q-plate amid concerns that it’s been hastily shoved together, or at least messed about with.
Hence there is a massive impact on the car’s values, and some insurers may demand considerable evidence of work done to a car before even considering a policy at a grossly inflated price.
Certainly the Q-plate appears to sow seeds of doubt among many people. The DVLA is right to subject certain vehicles to an IVA or inspection by a local garage but to some of the criteria for Q-plate issue is little woolly.
We wonder if the DVLA would be happy at one option for ditching aQ – the car’s owner buying a number from its extensive sales stock!
NICK LARKIN Editor-at-large