DVLA on modifications
T he DVLA has confirmed that it is still writing to owners of classics it believes should be given Q-plates owing to doubts over their age and identity.
The agency says it is contacting owners of vehicles which it believes do not qualify for ‘Historic’ vehicle status because of the amount of later parts used, which has implications for whether these cars qualify for tax-exempt status.
Media relations officer David Whitbread says: ‘ We have written to affected keepers. Where a vehicle is built and presented for registration as a new entity using a mixture of old and new parts, it would be inaccurate for these vehicles to be registered and licensed as historic vehicles. Likewise where the parts are from a multitude of sources.
‘Longstanding guidelines set out the requirements when rebuilding an already registered vehicle, and owners who adhere to these guidelines should be able to retain their original registration marks.’
In 2015 CCW reported on concerns raised by classic owners after a small number had received letters from the DVLA, asking them to prove their vehicle’s identity or risk their vehicles being re-issued with Q-plates. The DVLA has always denied that it targets classic owners, and said at the time that it was contacting a ‘very small’ number of owners whose vehicles were of ‘indeterminate origin’.
It’s also expected that Q-plated classics could be adversely affected when the current MoT system is replaced by a new roadworthiness test – possibly as early as next year – which is expected to exempt unmodified historic vehicles. Owners of more modern classics that don’t yet qualify for taxexempt status have told CCW that owning a Q-plated car can come with financial implications. CCW’s Richard Kilpatrick once owned a Volkswagen Golf GTi 16v that was registered on a Q plate following accident damage. He says: ‘It was worth a third of the value of a proper one, and cost a fortune to insure.’
Despite this, Footman James’ marketing manager Liam Lloyd says: ‘Q-registered cars have all passed an IVA test so we don’t see them as a more significant risk. We’re happy to insure all classic vehicles which wear Q registrations, with no additional premium over the equivalent standard registration.’