red tape blog image

The one where I get caught up in red tape

Nic Esson Information Leave a Comment

Remember how ages ago I bought a van on eBay? Been wondering what’s happening with it now? The answer is… fuck all.

Being a good girl, the first thing I thought I should do is get it registered with the DVLA. That’ll be easy, I thought, I’ll get a wicked retro number plate made up and drive off into the sunset like the coolest cool person ever.

Firstly, I had to decipher the Gov.uk website and find which type of registration to apply for. So V55-5 downloaded I then had to buy a manual for the exact dimensions and basically take a fucking engineering degree and pretend I knew the difference between: make, model, type, type of body, version and variant.

I then had to become a Police Forensics Detective Inspector and try and decipher the VIN plate and the many numbers stamped on the engine to try and figure out where and when it was made (different places and years as it turns out).

TWO WEEKS LATER and I’m ready to post off the half filled-in form to the DVLA, just a postal order (whoooooooo) to purchase and a really expensive stamp and away it goes. I then wait by the letterbox each day for my lovely new registration number…

FIVE WEEKS LATER and a brown envelope drops through the door one morning containing everything I had sent in and a letter of rejection. The reasons are unclear, I had left blank the date of first registration (as I didn’t know it and stupidly assumed the licensing agency would) and there is a hint about an import.

I have to call the DVLA… Rob warned me they can ‘be difficult’ and to ‘be nice’… so you can imagine how it went. The sexist, condescending twat that I speak to tells me ‘eBay is for buying shoes and handbags not cars’ and this is possibly the most angry I have ever been in my life. Somehow I manage not to completely lose my shit (‘be nice’) and the gist of the conversation is that I have to go online to register its importation with HMRC??!! So off I go and try and fill in a form online about something I know nothing about, which obviously doesn’t work and I have to call them again. Achieve nothing. Call HMRC and a very helpful man gives me an email address for the NOVA team and I fire off a message straight away.

A FEW DAYS LATER I get a reply suggesting that I call HMRC and request a NOVA 1 form be sent to me… weird, but OK, I call them back and they too are confused and apparently this form is available for download.

Form downloaded I continue to not be able to fill it in it’s paper version either and write a begging letter to go with it, resisting the urge to stuff the envelope with £50 notes and send it off to the Personal Transport Department.

And that is as far as I have got in the TEN WEEKS that I have owned it. Meanwhile, the boys that work at Robs place are still pushing it in and out of the workshop everyday as it still doesn’t have an engine in it.

Would anyone like to buy a dusty green piece of shit shell of a van from 1974 with some bits and pieces inside it that has never been registered in the UK and may have lived in Malta as a minibus for the last fuck knows how long? No? I’m starting to wish I hadn’t!

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