Volkswagen Beetle is the most popular classic car in Germany.

The popularity of officially registered classic vehicles in Germany continues to increase, with the total stock in the country increasing by ten percent over the previous year. The undisputed leader among the currently officially approved 254,053 vintage cars in Germany is the Beetle with 27,002 examples, followed by the Volkswagen “Bulli” – the name given by German fans for the Volkswagen Bus and Transporter – in seventh place with 4,418 vehicles.


In Germany today there are 254,053 vintage cars that are running on ‘H-plates’ – license plates that feature an H suffix indicating ‘historic’ status. Applications for these plates can be made for cars that are over 30 years old and provide owners with tax breaks and exemption from the ban in environmental zones. There are also a further 162,000 cars of the same age which can potentially apply for H-plates but have yet to do so. In addition, the number of classic cars over 30 years old that are temporarily unlicensed or registered off road are in the region of 300,000. Although classic cars are likely to be noticed on the streets or in a driveway, the reality is that they have a share of less the one per cent of the total vehicle population of 43 million in Germany.

It may come as no surprise, but the Volkswagen Beetle takes top spot among the classics, with 27,002 H-approved examples, way ahead of the next popular, the Mercedes-Benz W 123 with 8,869. At number five on the stat’s of classics built up until 1983 is the Porsche 911.  The number of Transporters with H-plates is increasing year on year by 23 percent to 4,418 units, putting it into seventh place. Ranked 15 is the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia with 2,332 entries. The Mk.1 Golf, Mk.1 Scirocco and Mk.1 Passat are not yet included in the top ranks of these statistics because most of these vehicles are currently approved for daily use without H-suffix plates.

Each year on behalf of the Association of German Automobile Manufacturers (VDA), the Federal Motor Vehicle Office issues a detailed analysis of vehicles with H-plates. Eligible vehicles must be 30 years old or more, be in original unmodified condition and well maintained.

Big thanks @ Pete Frost to share this information with us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *