Veteran cars ordered to undergo vehicle inspection every five years
The authorities have tightened the rules for the roughly 45,000 veteran and vintage cars in Czechia. As of September 2023, they are required to undergo a classic vehicle inspection every five years and will be entered into the national car register.
Milan Belko is a veteran car enthusiast who lavishes time and money on his 1939 Jawa Minor. He says he has had it for 15 years and regularly attends veteran car jamborees and rides around the country. Before the new regulation came into force, his car was checked by inspectors at the veteran car club to make sure it was in good running order. He thinks that the newly-ordered inspections at technical stations will be more or less a formality.
“Veterans require specific attention. You've got a two-stroke, so they won't be measuring emissions. You've got mechanical cable brakes, so they can’t test them in the usual way. They will check that the car brakes, the lights come on, the horn sounds, the wipers wipe and that will be about it. The problem is that the people who will be undertaking the inspection are experts on modern cars, not veterans and vintage ones."
Some stations counter that they are ready for the challenge since they serviced veteran cars in the past. The technical inspection station in Olomouc –a town that boasts a museum of veteran cars and motorcycles - says it is ready to provide the service. Owners of vintage cars have been coming here for inspections for many years, but until September there was no call for technicians to register them in the Transport Ministry's records. The head of the station Vladimir Foukal says owners of veteran and vintage cars can rely on getting a proper comprehensive inspection.
“The first veteran just arrived for inspection today. It is a Buick from 1930. The car will be inspected, photographed and entered in the national register.”
Lubomír Pešák, owner of the museum of historic cars and motorcycles in Olomouc, approves of the change.
“The new regulation makes sense because it is right for the authorities to be informed about veterans that are being driven on Czech roads. Until now the police have not had access to photographs of the veterans registered in this country.”
Milan Belko says he’s confident that veteran car owners have nothing to worry about.
"When we first heard about the change of regulation we were a bit suspicious that there was a hidden agenda behind it, that they would want to get veterans off the road. But the reality is such that vintage cars are often in much better shape than other cars you see on the road.”
According to data from the Transport Ministry, the obligation to pass a technical inspection now applies to about 45,000 veteran and vintage cars.
They are divided into three categories: classic vehicles (produced after 1972), post-war vehicles (produced from 1953 to 1972) and pre-war and war vehicles (produced before 1953). The inspection requirements will vary according to the age of the car in question. Inspection costs range from 700 to 1700 crowns.