Dispute with H-plates splits vintage scene

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To apply driving bans in exhaust-ridden cities for classic cars? The proposal, the contactor to suspend the end of the H-plates for cars from the nineties, and has divided the classic scene.


Classic car clubs are turning strongly against the initiative, young-timers, the right to a “H-plate” should not be withdrawn.

This had been proposed by a functionary of the General Schnauferl-Club (ASC). After a wave of indignation, the Club has distanced itself from this. The ASC is one of the oldest automobile clubs in Germany.

“The thought of one of our members, the H-mark for ten years for cars that are now 30 years old, was a personal statement of the General Schnauferl-Club Deutschland e. V. does not share,” said ASC President Uwe Brodbeck. Had called for the Moratorium on Rudolf’s body, President of the ASC group of country of Württemberg-Hohenzollern in a contribution to the specialist magazine “Motor Klassik”. The ASC requested the withdrawal of the contribution.

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The body had declared to be “food for thought” with the ASC-the Federal Bureau have been matched. Old used cars for the model years 1990 to 1999 models as Opel Astra, VW Golf III, Ford Escort should, therefore, not a free ride to the driving ban areas, while significantly younger diesel cars would have to remain outside.

This would put the “popular anger” against the vintage car driver, said the body. “It’s not good, if the H-plate-Diesel or the powerful V8 settles his exhaust Unger in the air blows in addition to a Euro-4 or Euro-5 Diesel, and the need to soon stay out”, wrote body in an article for the magazine “Motor Klassik”.

With H-plate cars over 30 years are allowed to drive even without a catalyst in the environmental zones. In addition, a capped road tax per year 191 Euro. In 2018, almost half a Million historic vehicles with H were admitted mark. A total of around 45 million power in Germany, the share of marginal vehicles. The registration numbers of the vintage cars are on the rise. The majority of the increase relates to classics from 1965 to the end of the seventies.

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In many German cities, Car-driving bans are imminent. Are not affected only older diesel cars. Also hundreds of thousands of elderly petrol-threatened, because they emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides. In Frankfurt am Main gasoline should be allowed to the Euro classes 1 and 2 from the spring in Parts of the city centre, not any more. In Cologne the entire environmental zone will be affected.

Although it would qualify in the future, many 30-year-old cars for the H-mark, expected Brodbeck. Test organisations like TÜV, Dekra or GTÜ should ensure that only well maintained vehicles to get the Status. “If that is granted, we need not Worry about the new Generation,” emphasizes Brodbeck. The everyday car with H-plates will remain the exception.

Tax benefits here, and driving bans there

Not an old Opel Kadett from 1990 with H-plates-causing the “popular anger,” said Thomas Sälzle from the Fanclub Zweitakterz Süd e. V. A controversy is, rather, that luxury vintage car tax favours, free travel, the ordinary citizens but in the four-year-old Diesel not to work or to the Kindergarten get.

“Many classic car owners, or investors define their cars on the enormous increase in the values, and communicate, meet these proud”, so Sälzle. Specific models would be celebrated as the value of assets-in-command. The diesel driver will be expropriated by the current driving bans literally “”.

Also in the club forums and social media, there are heated discussions about “worthy” and “unworthy” of vintage cars. “Don’t think that any abgegammelte cart, which is soon 30, and an H-mark”, – was said in the Facebook-group “the cars of the 80s and 90s.” “The above-mentioned Golf 3, for example: How many Diesel in the ‘H’-worthy condition?”

Young-timers, in the future, often with Three-way catalytic Converter

Another says: “The contribution is not based on fact, the back row of the club makes the changes very clearly. A well-manicured Golf III and Opel Astra I haven’t seen in forever.” The great Oldie flood will lack, since most of the vehicles would not reach the 30 years.

Also, the Chairman of the Parliament circle for Automobiles cultural property in the Bundestag, Carsten Müller (CDU), had rejected the claim of the ASC. “A Moratorium on the H-plate only for certain years is not legally feasible.”

As “completely wrong” is referred to Müller, the presentation, the cars from the late Eighties and early nineties would be unfair blow exhaust gases settles in the air. Most of these vehicles would be controlled exhaust systems on Board. 30 years ago – 1. January 1989 – was the three-way catalytic converters will be compulsory in all new cars. The devices filter the exhaust gases including nitrogen oxides from petrol engine.

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