DVLA Nightmare, now insurance are cancelled.

Joined
Dec 23, 2016
You're my new mate. From now on, anybody who passes any sort of comment on the length of time mine is taking, is going to get "my mate Paul took over 5 years, I'm doing great, thanks!".

;)
If I'm "completely" honest it took me 5 years to get it re-registered as a Motor Caravan, but took another year before we were able to use it.

In my defence, I was working very long hours during the build process, but it's each to his own, you take as long as you like.

Regards,

Paul
 

silvermachine

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Location
The frozen north. brr.
In my defence, I was working very long hours during the build process, but it's each to his own, you take as long as you like.
Hey 'mate', I understand completely. I have a tough job, young kids, a demanding house (and wife) and I get tired. It'll take what it takes. It is taking longer than anticipated, though.

Some of the guys at work do vw day vans, quite quickly. But when I ask what solar controller, LPG manifold or water pump they used, they ain't got a clue.
 
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Deleted member 2

Guest
Sadly mine went up from around £250 for a normal van to over £500 once the v5 changed. Not a huge increase in vehicle value, only about 5k.
It might be worth phoning around a few specialist brokers such as SCENIC.
Phil
 
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Deleted member 63

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.

Oh dear, a bit of tough love needed.

I just spotted this thread and even having built my own van if it crossed my desk I would have to reject it sad to say, I would only show the van side with the window in, and although you willn't like this, I would at least make the effort to make it look like it is a motor caravan, not a builders van with some ply in it, open all the doors so they can see inside it, tidy it up and lose the sheet, show the full side with the window in it, the interior pictures do you no favours at all, very dark and dismal, it looks like you are hiding things, where is the table, show the cooking equipment properly, in effect you are selling the van, so be honest, would you buy it as a motor caravan, looking like it does in the pictures you posted.

I apologise for the above but no point in pussy footing around if you want advice.

I hope you managed to get the V5 changed so you can sort out the insurance, and get out and enjoy it.
 
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TheNV200guy

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Oh dear, a bit of tough love needed.

I just spotted this thread and even having built my own van if it crossed my desk I would have to reject it sad to say, I would only show the van side with the window in, and although you willn't like this, I would at least make the effort to make it look like it is a motor caravan, not a builders van with some ply in it, open all the doors so they can see inside it, tidy it up and lose the sheet, show the full side with the window in it, the interior pictures do you no favours at all, very dark and dismal, it looks like you are hiding things, where is the table, show the cooking equipment properly, in effect you are selling the van, so be honest, would you buy it as a motor caravan, looking like it does in the pictures you posted.

I apologise for the above but no point in pussy footing around if you want advice.

I hope you managed to get the V5 changed so you can sort out the insurance, and get out and enjoy it.
I completely get the points made (people have pointed out the interior pictures look dreadful) part of my rationale was my fear of getting caught out for only having a single burner hob. Now that I understand that have a two burner hob isn't strictly necessary, I wouldn't have been quite as sheepish as I was. I know this is sort of heresy here, but I left the kitchenette intentionally non-faced or over panelled as I realised I would lose a lot of space in doing and I'm just not concerned with aesthetics. Thankfully, despite all this the DVLA were satisfied with my interior. I speculate my real boo boo was being a bit too truthful and sending them a picture of my 'stealth' side.

TBH my real vent was why the DVLA were so bloody slow not once but twice. I'll accept my vehicle is not up to scratch if I'm given some explanation of why so I can then act on it. But to sit on my application for weeks leaving me in the dark telling me different things each time, eventually causing my insurer to cancel my policy is disgraceful. I think we all agree we (as van owners) pay over the odds at times for road tax (mine is £240 per year same emissions as my £30 per year car) and to be mucked around so badly just isn't right. Having said all this, on the weekend I took some better pictures demonstrating my modifications and features on the exterior. Take a look. Looks a lot more like a motorcaravan now I say and totally refutes their claim that my vehicle is as it was when it left the factory externally. Cretins thinking Nissan do Seitz windows and skylights. If they reject it again for the same reason, then quite honestly f*** them and their department that's hermetically sealed from the universe and reality, completely secret, opaque and unreachable by any direct method.
 

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TheNV200guy

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Apparently they rejected my van again for the same reason despite sending them those pictures. They're sticking to their guns.
 
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Deleted member

Guest
To date I have not contributed to this thread, but I would suggest that you are more likely to get a better response if you try to comply with their wishes rather than if you try to fight them. Please, just try to speak with them on the telephone and ask exactly what they would like you to do and then try to comply. I am sure that you will get there, but am afraid that the DVLA do seem to hold all the cards. I have converted several vans and have actually found them to be reasonable and helpful. As has already been said there are a few things that you can do to make your van look a bit more like a Campervan although the DVLA generic name is Motor Caravan. Good luck and do not give up. Geoff.
 

TheNV200guy

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
In case anyone was still wondering what ever happened about this, I thought I'd post an update.

Still on going. I have provided updated pictures with graphics / decals on the van. Even had Camper van vinyl lettering on the side of it and they are still refusing. They will not provide any further clarification and as previous posters have mentioned here and I have done my utmost to engage with them rather than argue the toss. It's as simple as this. Computer says no and we won't say why.

I'm fast running out of avenues here, I'm trying to bring my MP in but so far they've fobbed me off with 'go try complaining' to the DVLA complaints which only echo'ed the famous computer says no but only after 10 days clearly to drag things out. This is getting so farcical. Anyone ever approached the media about something like this. Total non story but who knows.

Shafted.
 

Darcar

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2016
Location
East Devon
I do feel for you, and understand your frustration,

Have the dvla asked for you to produce your van for a physical inspection? I believe that they can in some instances.
You could offer to have it inspected by them, if your sure you’ve forfilled all there requirements.

Good luck. Darren.
 
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Deleted member 2

Guest
I second what Darren says.

Way in the past I actually spoke to a man at the DVLA about a concern I had which I hadn't been able to resolve with their on-line questions and answers and this bod was able to give me direct guidance, he even gave me his name so that I was able to write to him directly, but I hasten to add that this was almost 4 years ago and things might have changed.

And whilst we are on the all important DVLA subject, @squiffy (Phil) and I have been in contact with @Jim the owner of this site, asking him to put up a very important locked and no comment post, giving details of the needs of this organisation, but for some totally unknown reason he sees fit to totally ignore our requests to do so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At times, I almost feel like giving up.

Phil
 
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Deleted member 63

Guest
Do we still have local DVLA offices, or is Swansee it now?
 
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Deleted member 63

Guest
Maybe it's worth posting all the pictures you have and the wording you're using all in one post so we can look and hopefully help
 

Wanderer

Active Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Location
Argyll & Bute - somtimes
Yes it would be useful to have a sticky but all the details are available online

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/522756/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motorhome.pdf

Phil
By giving up do you mean trying to get an answer from Jim or totally giving up - your contributions to the forum would be missed if that were the case.

To the OP I would say that having seen your photos, if the DVLA accepted that as a suitable conversion then I would consider it an insult to others who have put in a lot of hard work, time, skill and money to make a proper conversion.
 

Ballcock

New Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
As far as I'm concerned, until the day it is registered as a camper, my van remains a van. It is insured as such and my insurers know that. I really don't understand why UK insurers are so keen for you to do a conversion within a certain time. It takes as long as it takes, surely? (Don't call me etc, etc - for John)
The problem with this is that a lot of insurance companies will start bumping the premiums up when you tell them of the modifications, water tank, gas tank etc. If you don't, you risk having your policy voided. My conversion is still off the road, I have only been converting it for about six years.
 

Coire

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
I'm annoyed at DVLA on your behalf. The fact that someone such as yourself is willing to put the work in to follow their obscure processes and yet get repeatedly knocked back on some technicality that they can't explain is wrong in my eyes. They are encouraging people not to bother doing things by the book but to simply wing it. They should work with you not against you.

Here's the thing.. you were given the reason that the van exterior remained unchanged from factory, which is untrue, but also not a valid reason for rejection.

My Trafic, a similar van to yours, was accepted first time within 10 days and yet is externally identical to a factory crew cab in every way. No decals, no caravan windows, no air vents. It is regularly mistaken as a works van.

So, there is clearly a lack of consistency in their responses to people and that isn't right.

I suspect you are not being told the real reason behind the rejection. From first hand experience I can tell you Government organisations are often disorganised, chaotic, lackadaisical and communication between people never mind departments is fragmented.

I suspect your van has been knocked back because of something in the interior build, but by the time you make contact with someone on the front line they are either making something up or have genuinely misinterpreted another employee.

My gut feeling here is that if you make the interior have as 'finished' a look as you can possibly manage and take the most flattering pictures you can with a decent camera, you'll get a pass. Don't have any rough edges showing, make everything look permanent.. it should be anyway.

If you've got decals, windows and vents then it's definitely not the outside appearance holding you back.
 

mr brown

Active Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
if you sold it to someone , possibly a lady , who sent the v5 in for change of ownership and reclassification, it may be dealt with by a different person/section .
you might then buy it back at some point
 
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