Let's say that I have a very old car, install scrapped, recicled, off-the-shelf and/or handcrafted components, and effectively create a brand new car, completely different fron the original one, both in terms of specifications, equipment and possibily even aesthetics.

Given that all security, quality, environmental and legal requirements required by the country's legislation are met, does a process to legally register and drive this car on the public road exist? (so obtain a license plate and such)

Clearly car manufacturers have this process, but my guess is that it involves thousands of hours of testing and millons of euros spent, so that makes me raise some doubts on the feasibility for an individual.

I live in Europe, but I'm also interested in the situation in other parts of the world, where I assum there is more "freedom" in this sense.

  • 2
    Too broad; focus on one country. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 14:44
  • I know in the U.S. there is a special license plate for cars that are older than 25 years by model year and they are typically given some exemption from emissions standards (either they do not need to meet standards or they must meet standards as they were in the manufacturing year).
    – hszmv
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:24
  • There was the story of the Porsche 959, the fastest street-legal car at its time. The production was supposed to be 200. According to what I read, two bosses of Microsoft got one, and the boss of Borland was too late. The cars were delivered. Then it turned out that to be legal in the USA, two cars had to pass a crash test :-(
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 14:25
  • Wikipedia article has more and probably more correct details. And laws have changed.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 14:31
  • A friend of mine has built a car from scratch and is driving it legally in Massachusetts USA. So it seems entirely possible to get it street legal with a moderate amount of money and paper work here.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 0:54

2 Answers 2


In the UK (which for now at least is still part of the European Union) then this is possible via Individual Vehicle Approval

This process includes an inspection of the vehicle to ensure it meets the necessary legal standards, which you need to pay for and there are several forms to complete.

From the linked lists, the costs vary depending on the specifics of the vehicle but are in the range of a few hundred pounds - probably a small part of the overall cost of such a project!

  • Exactly what I meant! I wonder if the same procedure is also allowed in my country, but I have many doubts about it
    – Mauro F.
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 11:16

In , this is called "Einzelbetriebserlaubnis" (individual operation permit) or short EBE and is defined in StVZO §21.

I was once involved in getting this for prototype/demonstration vehicles.

In Germany, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Motor Transport Authority) KBA is handling all vehicle approvals.

They require that an accredited authority, e.g. TÜV or DEKRA, check that you fulfill all requirements and present them with the paperwork.

These authorities also have a service to guide you through the process. At least we would have been lost without their help.

The costs for handling a single EBE summed up to 5 or 6 digits because it also includes renting of accredited test labs including accredited engineers.

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