DVLA Nightmare, now insurance are cancelled.

TheNV200guy

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Hi all, haven't posted in awhile. Van is basically done so I've nearly ran out of things to ask. Got the under slung gas tank hooked up to the cooker and it works like an absolute charm.

What's not such a charm is the issues I've been having with the DVLA. Back in April I took out an insurance policy that gave me a couple of months to finish my conversion. No problem I thought. It was basically done, and I just had the small bit (so I thought) called the DVLA.

First application took over 5 weeks to get any meaningful response. In fact, I never did have a response and the DVLA simply returned my log book and with a generic template requesting I send in evidence of the work completed.

So again I submitted it with new pictures and descriptions in bullets of everything they require just to be sure. Fixed living accommodation, sleeping, storage, cooking facilities, side window, skylight.

Now weeks later same result. I simply cannot reach anyone who can offer me anything more than a generic response other than resubmit my evidence. Nor was I able to gather any sort of update during the process. I called last week and they sounded very positive and it's on such and such's desk. It strikes me that the goons behind the wire are unable or unwilling to help me reach anyone who can shine some light on my application. Is there any reason why they are so opaque. This combined with my policy is now being terminated has pushed the stress levels through the roof, and to make matters worse this will likely wreck my chances of getting insurance as it technically counts as a cancelled policy which is a massive strike against my record for which I'll have to declare and face refusals and quote hikes. Thank you sh**y DVLA.

I'm also stuck with a vehicle that is not a van nor is it a motorhome. Eo essentially non-insurable. I'm both at the end of my tethers and my ideas. If anyone has any suggestions that would be fantastic including any insurers that would throw me a line (as unlikely as that seems)

Here's some pictures of my van so you can judge for yourselves.
 

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squiffy

Guest
Hi all, haven't posted in awhile. Van is basically done so I've nearly ran out of things to ask. Got the under slung gas tank hooked up to the cooker and it works like an absolute charm.

What's not such a charm is the issues I've been having with the DVLA. Back in April I took out an insurance policy that gave me a couple of months to finish my conversion. No problem I thought. It was basically done, and I just had the small bit (so I thought) called the DVLA.

First application took over 5 weeks to get any meaningful response. In fact, I never did have a response and the DVLA simply returned my log book and with a generic template requesting I send in evidence of the work completed.

So again I submitted it with new pictures and descriptions in bullets of everything they require just to be sure. Fixed living accommodation, sleeping, storage, cooking facilities, side window, skylight.

Now weeks later same result. I simply cannot reach anyone who can offer me anything more than a generic response other than resubmit my evidence. Nor was I able to gather any sort of update during the process. I called last week and they sounded very positive and it's on such and such's desk. It strikes me that the goons behind the wire are unable or unwilling to help me reach anyone who can shine some light on my application. Is there any reason why they are so opaque. This combined with my policy is now being terminated has pushed the stress levels through the roof, and to make matters worse this will likely wreck my chances of getting insurance as it technically counts as a cancelled policy which is a massive strike against my record for which I'll have to declare and face refusals and quote hikes. Thank you sh**y DVLA.

I'm also stuck with a vehicle that is not a van nor is it a motorhome. Eo essentially non-insurable. I'm both at the end of my tethers and my ideas. If anyone has any suggestions that would be fantastic including any insurers that would throw me a line (as unlikely as that seems)

Here's some pictures of my van so you can judge for yourselves.
Hi NV,
I looked at your photo's and I have to say that one of the criteria that the DVLA put out is that it must look like a motor caravan from the exteria as well as the required internals.
Have you actually read their requirements.
Although you have a bed hob and table ect looking at your photo's it does seem as though it would be possible to remove all the internals very quickly and revert back to a commercial vehicle for business use and refit for camper weekend use, as many folk do.
So in effect I can understand their holding back for possible consultation to a higher authority, they may infact in the final analysis ask you to present it for inspection.
If you were to continue to attempt to get it registered as a motor caravan, I would highly recommend that you put some decals on the sides and possibly the rear plus if you can afford it put some more windows in the sides
And the rear doors, I know that it's a tall ask but as you have it at the moment it to all intents and purposes, is what is known as a stealth camper, please don't take it as criticism I'm trying to steer you in the right direction. Of course as it stands the V5 when you get it back, if they refuse to re register it, will be as it's commercial registration, you can always cancel your present insurance and re insure it as commercial till you get it sorted. However most of these insurance companies that insure prebuild campers are usually quite sympathetic and in most cases will extend the policy. Phil
 

misterg

Active Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Location
North Wales
That's tough - my commiserations :(

My comments, for what they're worth:

1st pic: (off side view) - it looks like a van. Don't send them that one.

2nd pic: (near side view) - You've fitted a window. Get a decent picture that makes this really obvious.

3rd pic: (storage area) - not 100% clear whether you're drawing attention to the little elastic net, or the bin behind it. Suggest emptying the net and putting a bucket and spade, or something equally camper-ish in the bin.

4th pic: (cooking facilities & fixed table) - I can't see either. On close inspection I can maybe see that there's a single burner hob. DVLA usually require 2 burners, but I believe this is being challenged. I can't see a table, but presume you're using the worktop area. It doesn't look like a table with seating. Bin this picture and take another one from inside the van, maybe with a pan on the lit hob and the dining area set out with plate, knife fork and spoon. If you're using the bed for seating stick some cushions on it so that it doesn't look like you're sitting on the bed. Maybe consider adding a fold up flap to the "worktop" that looks like a table.

5th pic: (bed) - fine, but maybe mention that it is 6' / 1.8m long

6th pic: (rear view) - dress it up a bit. The shelves are bare - stick some storage boxes on them or something to make it look more camper-ish, or take it from the opposite angle so that you can catch a glimpse of the bed but nothing else.

Might be worth re-reading the requirements and coming up with a photo that addresses each point, *but no more*.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registering-a-diy-caravan/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motorhome

Also, have a look at these examples if you haven't seen them:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121112221002/http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/Motor Caravans - Advice.pdf

Pretty crap position to be stuck in, but hopefully you'll find a way through.
 

time4t

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2016
I've had a good look at your photos & I have to agree with Phil it looks like a stealth camper to me too.

This is more than likely the reason they're having trouble reclassifying it, what they want to see is a normal camper type layout that can't be removed in a day.

Panel your kitchen units & show them a proper table, stick some decals on it etc., & you shouldn't have any bother.
Good luck!

Phill
 

Fran Loake

Active Member
Joined
May 18, 2016
From an outsiders point of view I'd agree that you just need to "camper it up" a bit. Panel the kitchen, Make a small fixed table, Hang the bulkhead sheet so that it looks like a curtain. Dress the bed with duvet and pillow. etc

That sort of stuff can only help.

Good luck

Fran
 

Pugwash

Active Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
South Lincolnshire
The previous comments aside, it sounds like the DVLA are leaving you out of the loop. I would expect them to make a decision and get back to you. My van is almost ready to go but it's stored off road and SORN at the moment, so I don't have any deadlines to get this reclassified.
 

Hazlenut

Active Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Location
Mid Scottyland
That's a pretty tough one, sorry mate. Five weeks is getting on for almost half of the 3 months that many insurers give you for the whole build, so that's pretty ridiculous.

I do agree with everything that's been said above, particularly by misterg, squiffy and Fran. You could try and take your photos so they focus less on the bits that don't look quite finished, but really you'd be better dressing things up first and then the photos.

Being more descriptive might be useful. Sometimes words can help guide a reader's interpretation if you have something that's borderline visually.

When my time comes I'm also thinking of sending them one of the outside and one of the inside before the conversion (clearly marked as such) as well as those after so they could see it had substantially changed, but it is the DVLA and who knows whether that might help or not.

This may be too late but you say your insurance is 'being' terminated? If it isn't cancelled yet, phone quickly around and get a new policy today, saying you'd just like to get a better policy.

When I was calling for quotes, BrentAcre and Adrian Flux had no limit for the build and Shield gave 180 days, though I didn't end up going with any of those.

Good luck.
Andy.
 

Chris Shaw

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2017
I'm sorry I have to agree with the others I think it needs dressing up a bit.

I have attached the letter I sent to DVLA for my conversion the V5 change was completed and returned in 12 days (7 working days).

As said by others you can still insure and tax as a van, or you can re-insure as "camper under conversion".

Chris
 

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Edina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
A lot is said about the exterior looking like a motor caravan, but when I changed mine over I found nothing on DVLA websites about this being necessary. Be grateful if someone could show me where they got the information.

My experience was similar to Chris Shaw's, very quick and efficient.
 
D

Deleted member

Guest
Chris, if you check, the DVLA list about 7 items. One clear requirement is that the vehicle should "look like a CV or MH from both the exterior and interior. Geoff.
 

Coire

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Have to agree with dressing it up. Dvla can't tell from the photos what is permanent and what is not, which gives you some leeway to be creative.

Perhaps a fold down table from your worktop, plus showing the bed set up for sleeping with duvet and pillows might help. Clearly show the difference between day and night mode. Set it up with the burners on, table set with some plates and cutlery, etc.

My van very clearly doesn't meet the criteria of looking like a campervan from the outside and yet they passed mine easily in 10 days. So i wouldn't worry about that.

If anything yours is more camper like as the window doesnt look like your average bonded window on crew vans. Its quite obviously a caravan window. Make more emphasis of this.

Good luck. Having your insurance cancelled this way shouldn't result in a black mark, discuss it with your insurer if you're worried.
 
D

Deleted member 2

Guest
The number one thing to do when making any and all applications to the DVLA is to make your photographs tell a true and finished story................... Namely any and all application should show a finished and properly undertaken attempt at the job of converting a van into a loved and cared for motorhome/campervan.

I am sorry to say that any application to the DVLA which doesn't illustrate an attempt at addressing their requirements in virtually any way shape or form needs to be thrown out................... SORRY

Phil
 

TheNV200guy

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Thanks to all for the advice. I've had some good news here. I have sent a through and detailed explanation of my situation and the serious delays at the DVLA to a director at my insurance company, and suprise suprise I had an unexpected call from my broker with some good news!

Extra month and my full years no claim bonus. Really pleased.

In hindsight, I suspect that the delays were actually a positive sign. I want to hypothesise that the DVLA struggled themselves and ewcalated the decision up as it was probably a tough call.

I suspect your assumptions are right here though, must look ''externally' like a campervan. I will take new pictures showing my roof vent open, and side windows. If anyone can recommend a cheap and cheerful decal pack that would be great too. Might just print and pritstik some A4 cutouts on :)
 

mr brown

Active Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
never had a problem with them ,'' here are pics of a van i have converted to a m/home , please change V5 to show this''
your van interior looks unfinished and unconvincing
 

Roadrunner

Active Member
Joined
May 29, 2016
Location
Glengormley
It does not apart from side window have to look like a m/home as the rules were changed again,but it must have things like a wardrobe 6 ft bed ,cooker water,any half done job or one that looks that way will not do.
So finish or box in that sink unit and make the bed up plus put a kettle on the stove etc which will help.
 

Edina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
Chris, if you check, the DVLA list about 7 items. One clear requirement is that the vehicle should "look like a CV or MH from both the exterior and interior. Geoff.
Geoff, can you post a link to that list please?
 
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