EV Conversion Laws in the United Kingdom

UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, dropped a bombshell on the car manufacturing industry, hinting at a delay to the ban on new fossil-fueled car sales from 2030 to 2035 [1]

2030 or 2035, one thing remains certain – the UK remains committed to EVs. 

Continued improvements in the EV infrastructure are encouraging more of us to consider the transition to an EV. There are many draws beyond the obvious green factor, such as lower maintenance and running costs, quieter driving, and increasing ranges.  

But what does this push to electrification mean for classic car drivers? Will we eventually have to give up our favourite car to do our bit for the environment? 

The good news for classic car owners is that an electric conversion can give you the benefits of an EV all contained in a familiar chassis. Retrofitting is legal in the UK, provided the vehicle meets the stipulated safety requirements – and the laws extend to EV conversions. 

Here we cover the legal considerations for converting an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle to electric power, so when you embark on your classic Land Rover electric conversion, you’ll know exactly what’s required to get your car back on the road. 

The Paperwork

In the UK, the Vehicle Excise and Registration Services Act 1994 requires all vehicles to be registered with the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). 

Whether a new, used, rebuilt, or an EV-converted car, the initial process is the same. 

Firstly, any car that will be used on the road must be roadworthy and comply with the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 [2]. 

Next, complete the appropriate application form:

  • Form V55/4: New vehicles, including new imports and newly-built (kit) cars
  • Form V55/5: Used vehicles, including rebuilt vehicles, used imports, older vehicles that haven’t been previously registered, and vehicles brought back to the UK after being exported. 

Classic car EV conversions fall under the second category. 

In addition to the official forms, you’ll need to provide supporting documents and evidence:

  • A current MOT certificate (applicable to cars over 3 years old)
  • Proof of vehicle approval
  • Insurance certificate or cover note
  • Documents related to the vehicle, such as build plans
  • Proof of identity

Where exactly in the UK your car will be registered, the age of the car and whether your car has been radically altered all have slightly differing requirements. The gov.uk website is the best source for up-to-date requirements [3

Laws for Kit-Converted Vehicles

Converting a fossil-fueled car is a godsend for classic car owners. It’s the opportunity to prolong the lifespan of our investment in a shifting world. 

Electric conversions are highly technical and costs can soon rack up, especially for niche modes or heavy customisations. An alternative is an Land Rover conversion kit, which contains all the tools, accessories and components to convert your car into an electric vehicle. We offer Land Rover conversion kits, which is why the focus is specifically on the on the Landy make .

A kit-converted EV car is classified as a “kit-converted vehicle” under the UK government’s regulations. In addition to the standard new vehicle registration documents, you’ll need to submit the following to ensure you can legally drive your car:

  • A “Built up vehicle inspection report” (Form V627/1)
  • The vehicle log book (V5C) 
  • Evidence of vehicle type approval
  • Receipts for parts used
  • Build plans
  • Photographs of your vehicle

While a kit conversion is more straightforward, you’ll still require a high degree of technical competency in engineering and electronics to install it safely. That’s why whether you opt for an EV kit conversion or a fully tailored experience for your Land Rover Defender electric conversion [4], we recommend engaging a specialist car conversion company, like Electric Car Converts. 

New & Used Vehicles

New vehicles, including EVs, are typically registered by the dealer on your behalf. 

For used vehicles, the seller should register the vehicle to you via the gov.uk website or a postal application. In either case, the seller will complete the “new keeper” slip (the green section of the V5C) and provide it to you. 

Whether a new or used vehicle, you should receive a V5C from the DVLA within 4 weeks. As the new registered owner, it’s your responsibility to follow up with the DVLA if you haven’t received one within this timeframe. 

Old Vehicles

In the UK, an old vehicle is defined as a vehicle that was built or first registered more than 40 years ago or no “substantial changes” have been made to the vehicle within the last 30 years. 

Classic cars tend to fall into this category. The paperwork is largely the same as standard new vehicle registration, but additionally requires:

  • A V765 form to register the vehicle under its original registration number
  • Endorsement from an authorised vehicle owner’s club
  • Vehicle photos and evidence that links it to the original registration number

Although the original car in a classic car EV conversion usually falls under the “old vehicles” definition, the process of electrifying the car means a significant modification that pushes the car into the “radically altered” category.

Rebuilt Vehicle

A rebuilt vehicle has been reconstructed from new, used, or replica parts. For a car to qualify as a rebuilt vehicle rather than a radically altered vehicle, it must:

  • Use the original unmodified chassis or bodyshell; or
  • A new chassis or bodyshell that has the same specification as the original

It must also have at least two major components from the original vehicle:

  • Front and back suspension 
  • Steering assembly
  • Both axles
  • Transmission
  • Engine

Cars that satisfy these criteria are eligible to keep their original registration number. To register a rebuilt vehicle, you’ll need to submit:

  • A “Built up vehicle inspection report” (Form V627/1)
  • Vehicle log book (V5C)
  • Evidence of vehicle type approval
  • Receipts for parts used
  • Vehicle photos

Radically Altered Vehicles

The majority of Land Rover electric conversions and other classic car EV conversions fall under the “radically altered vehicles” definition. These are cars that have been modified from their original specifications but exclude kit conversions. 

Registration of a radically altered vehicle is identical to the process for a rebuilt vehicle. You’ll need to submit a V627/1 form, your vehicle log book, plus receipts and photos. 

Making Sure Your Vehicle is Registered

As the car owner, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your car is duly registered following any changes made. Be sure to check the gov.uk website for the latest requirements and registration fees. 

At Electric Car Converts, we want you to enjoy your classic Land Rover for many more years. We take the hassle out of classic car electric conversions, from initial consultation right through to the registration process. Get in touch to find out how you can modernise your classic car with an electric conversion. 


  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-66863110
  2. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986/1078/contents/made
  3. https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration/new-registrations
  4. https://www.electriccarconverts.com/our-conversions/land-rover/

Reviewed by Barnaby BirkbeckFounder & Head Electrical Engineer, in 2023.