Of course, having an H license plate provides tax benefits and allows you to prove that you are driving a historically valuable vehicle, but does it always justify the work and the costs? I believe I can almost confidently say “No!”.
For Emma, it’s out of the question. The reason is the planned modifications.
Pros | Reasons to consider an H license plate
An historical license plate immediately identifies the vehicle as authentic and valuable to outsiders. In addition, obtaining the H status often leads to an increase in the vehicle’s value and, of course, in many cases, a tax reduction*
*The tax amounts to exactly €191.73 per year.
There are also many vintage car clubs that require an H license plate for membership, regardless of whether the vehicle is still in its original condition or not.
- Confirms originality and historical value
- Vehicle tax is only €191.73
- No catalytic converter required
- No environmental sticker required
- Cheaper insurance
Cons | Reasons against an H license plate
Considering that there are many safety-related improvements nowadays that are not allowed to be installed in a vehicle with an H license plate according to the inspection regulations, safety is more important to me than historical guidelines. For example, upgrading the lighting to LED (not the main headlights!) increases visibility in the dark. Removing the trunk increases driving comfort, as the noise level becomes noticeable over time. LED dashboard lighting enhances readability of the displays, and so on.
- H inspection costs about €200
- Savings are sometimes very small or even non-existent
- Vehicle cannot be used as a daily driver
- Only original spare parts or OEM parts allowed
No-gos | For vintage cars
Of course, it’s not necessary to lower an older vehicle, install a sports suspension, or cover it with pink wrapping.
However, with the mentioned modifications, it should be noted that there are still contemporary alternative options. Especially for vehicles produced after 1980, the tuning market was already enormous during the production years, and many of the parts were approved for the vehicle during its production or within the 5 years thereafter. There are no problems with these parts from an H inspection perspective!
Ultimately, everyone decides for themselves
For me, the H license plate has currently taken a back seat and is definitely no longer a “must-have”. But I can understand that many still prefer it. If, for example, I had a diesel or a larger gasoline vehicle with taxes amounting to over €300 per year, then that would be a significant financial relief.
Please share your opinions on this topic in the comments.
Collection of links for those interested
- How to Get an H License Plate for Your Vintage Car? – TÜV Association (tuev-verband.de)
- Vintage Car Registration: H License Plate, 07 Registration, or Seasonal Registration? | ADAC
- 25 Years of H License Plates: What Does the Vintage Car Registration Offer? | AUTO MOTOR UND SPORT (auto-motor-und-sport.de)