With the latest change in the Motor Vehicle rules, the Indian government plans to preserve and promote the vintage vehicles in the country. Currently, there are no specific rules that promoted the registration and its regulation concerning vintage motor vehicles. With this in mind, the Central government, especially the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, is planning to formalise the entire process of registering and regulating the use of vintage vehicles in the country.
The rules will be added as a sub section of the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1989. The proposed addition aims to only regulate the use and formalise registration but also mainstreams the understanding of what is vintage vehicles, including two-wheelers and four-wheelers (personal use). The vehicles can only be classified as vintage if they are more than fifty years old from the date of first registration. However, vehicles that have “substantial overhaul including modification in chassis or body shell/body, and/or engine” will not be considered as vintage.
The proposal adds that applicants can register with the ‘Parivahan’ portal, and all registering authorities in the states will appoint a nodal officer who will process all applications for registration of Vintage Motor Vehicles. However, it won’t be as simple as the registration of normal categories. A committee, formed by the states, will inspect the vehicle and confirm whether it is eligible to be registered under the Vintage Motor Vehicle category.
Upon verifying the eligibility, the office in question will grant the vehicle a 10-digit identification sequence much like the normal numbers for vehicles. However, the difference is the use of ‘VA’ instead of the district codes. The registration number for vintage vehicles will use the format “XX VA YY ”. VA stands for vintage, XX is state code, YY is a two-letter combination, is a number from 0001 to 9999 as allotted by the state authority. The registration will be Rs 20,000 with a validity of 10 years, and the next registration is Rs 5,000. However, if a vehicle is registered as vintage then it will impose upon the owner certain rules when it comes to resale.
The general usability will also be hindered when the vehicle is legally classified as vintage. A press release from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, claims that a “vintage vehicle is allowed to run on Indian roads only for display, technical research or taking part in vintage rallies, to and for to such exhibition/car rally, refuelling, and maintenance”.