Getting Road Legal

When delivered the truck had not previously been registered and was unknown to DVLA. I reserched the legalities and found useful information from various sources including the UK Unimog, Directgov, DVSA, and Transports' Friend websites. The following is the order in which I did things. There is undoubtedly no absolute right or wrong way to go about the road registration process but what follows worked for me.

Insurance

Vital first step, most insurance companies won't touch vehicles like ours with a barge pole but there are more enlightened ones that will. We personally used Adrian Flux who dealt with our vehicle as if it was the most normal thing in the world. The company will arrange insurance on the chassis number alone as long as they are updated with the registration number once issued.

Test

Here there are several options. We chose to get the truck on the road as quickly as possible and the easiest way to do this was to get it tested as an HGV rather than first trying to embark on the conversion process and then going through the torturous process of an Individual Vehicle Approvel (IVA) examination (something to be avoided at all costs if possible). In order to do this I made application to DVSA using form VTG1 (First Test of a Goods Vehicle). The process was fairly straight forward and the local DVSA test station contacted me with a time and date to present the truck.

Work Required for DVSA

Registration and Tax

All that remained was to complete the fearsomely complicated DVLA form V55/5 (Application for First licence and Declaration of Registration) and trot off to the local DVLA office. The V55/5 isn’t actually that bad once you get over the initial shock, as the vast majority of question relating to type approval etc can be safely ignored. All that is really required is the bare minimum information relating to make / model and weights etc and the guidance notes are pretty easily understood. The documents actually required by the DVLA to complete the process were:

  • Completed V55/5
  • Insurance Certificate (issued against chassis number)
  • DVSA Plating Certificate (issued against chassis number)
  • An original copy of the MoD form 654 (Application for Disposal of a Cast Vehicle – supplied by Witham on purchase of truck)
  • Identity forms (Passport / Utility Bills / Photocard Driving Licence etc)
    • With these forms presented and the fee for new registration / tax handed over it only took about 10 minutes to be issued with a tax disc and permission letter to have some registration plates made. The process was absurdly easy and we were officially on the road, albeit as a goods vehicle and not yet as a motorcaravan.