Explained: in the new policy, what owners can and cannot do with their older vehicles



India will soon usher in a new regime for vintage motor vehicles through further political intervention.

Rather than regulating only vintage cars and two-wheelers with dos and don’ts, the policy also seeks to consecrate the freedom and passion of the owners of these vehicles, which represent a bygone era frozen in their wheels, hood and chassis. The government affirms that the objective is to preserve and enhance the heritage of old vehicles.

What are vintage vehicles and how many are there in India?

Currently, the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), 1989 do not define what vintage vehicles are. The new policy will insert new clauses to bring a standard definition and how these vehicles cannot be used. The term will cover any vehicle, four or two wheeler, which is over 50 years old from the date of first registration after first sale, including any vehicle imported into India. This will be subject to the condition that these vehicles are maintained in their original form and have not undergone any substantial overhaul including modification of the chassis or body and / or engine.

Enthusiasts estimate the number of heritage vehicles at around 5,000 across India.

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What will the new policy allow?

It aims to require that these vehicles cannot be used for commercial purposes or used regularly. This means that you cannot use your vintage vehicle for, for example, commuting to work. Other than that, owners can use their vintage cars as they see fit, like an exhibit or a ride every now and then.

Classic cars cannot be used regularly. (Special photo: Partha Paul, file)

How did it happen?

In November 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released a draft notice for public comments and objections on a proposed older vehicle policy. He was seeking to introduce a strict regulatory regime, such as setting up committees of officers at the state and union level to decide what is vintage and what is not. He also proposed far-reaching restrictions on use. For example, depending on the project, these vehicles could only be used for demonstration, technical research, refueling and maintenance, exhibitions, vintage rallies and back and forth from these exhibitions / gatherings.

After deliberation with all stakeholders, especially heritage vehicle enthusiasts and owners, the new policy removes these restrictions and in fact emphasizes that vehicles can be used but not regularly or for commercial purposes. This allows vintage enthusiasts to indulge their passion without breaking any law.

How to register these vehicles?

Older vehicles already have their registration numbers, which will continue. For new ones, like old imported vehicles or old Indian cars over 50 years old looking to enter the vintage category, a new numbering system will come into effect. These vehicles will carry a license plate showing the state code in two letters followed by VA for vintage, then a series of two letters and finally a series of four digits between 0001 and 9999 assigned by the licensing authority of the state.

Registration information will be done on the Parivahan portal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. New old vehicles can be registered for Rs 20,000; re-registration / renewal will cost Rs 5,000.

Each registration request must be accompanied by an insurance policy, appropriate fees, an entry invoice in the case of imported vintage motor vehicles and an old registration certificate in the case of a vehicle already registered in India.

The registration certificate will be valid for 10 years, renewable thereafter. The sale and purchase of vehicles registered as vintage is authorized; buyer and seller must inform their respective national transport authorities.

Will the next vehicle scrapping policy apply to these vehicles?

No. Old vehicles are isolated from the scrapping policy. If a vehicle is over 15 years old but less than 50 years old, the owner can continue to keep it by passing aptitude tests every five years.

How are old vehicles treated internationally?

Internationally, the term “classic” is used to describe any car that is about two decades old. Cars over 40 in the UK are vintage. All of these vehicles are exempt from paying annual road tax, vehicle excise duty and also the annual UK safety test.

In the United States, the rules for defining classics vary by state, but generally the Antique Automobile Club of America says that motor vehicles 25 years of age or older were built in factories and specially designed and manufactured for use. on public roads and highways. , can be qualified as “classic”.


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