Q-plate con­fu­sion

DVLA on mod­i­fi­ca­tions

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Sam Skel­ton

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.’

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