NSW Rego Changes

Glenn Torrens

Car Enthusiasts in NSW should now be able to enjoy their classic cars more often thanks to the trial of a concessional registration scheme for cars more than 30 years old. The trial, which begins in October, means that classic car owners – including owners of motorcycles and classic street machines – will enjoy a system similar to Victoria’s successful Historic scheme, where membership of a recognised car club, and use of a vehicle log book, will allow classic cars to be used more often, and with more freedom, than the existing (and continuing) only-to-clubruns system.

The trial scheme comes after four years of effort from a dedicated team of car enthusiasts such as the Australian National Street Machine Association’s Garry Warnes, Australian Confederation of Motor Clubs’ patron Alan Hay, now-retired Shannons’ NSW business development manager Tony O’Donnell and former Street Machine magazine editor Geoff Seddon, among others.

The trial scheme will run in addition to the present NSW Historic Vehicle plate scheme, where vehicles are technically unregistered, but may be driven to and from club events and for maintenance only using a Certificate of Approved Operations. Classic car owners and recognised clubs will have the opportunity to opt-in to the new trial scheme. It will also allow more scope for classic car owners by passing modifications that are not now accepted by many car clubs under the present H-plate Historic Vehicle scheme.

“If the vehicle is able to be engineered for full rego, it’s welcome under the new scheme,” says Garry Warne. “This is not a back-door way to get an unacceptable car onto the roads.”

Although announced by NSW Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight, Duncan Gay (himself a car enthusiast, and so understanding of enthusiasts’ wants and needs), some finer details of the two-year trial scheme were yet to be finalised when Unique Cars went to deadline, such as the type of number plates required to be displayed on the cars. With many classic cars wearing their original '85 (or earlier) number plates, it is – as has been the case with the present H-plate registration scheme – a shame that a part of many classics’ original character is lost when the original number plates are surrendered or stored.

“There’s still some fine tuning to do,” continues Garry. “But the scheme is up: the Minister and his team of public servants have been good to us. They’re making it happen.”