I’VE learned a very important lesson during the past few weeks… when you receive your new car’s paperwork, keep a hold of it, make sure it’s safe, and don’t let it fall down the back of the sofa. A few months back, I bought this fine-looking Vauxhall Cavalier Sports Hatch, and did just that. My being bereft of its paperwork wasn’t intentional, of course – just the result of a senior moment. You see, I posted it off to the DVLA when the car became mine, but when a crisp new V5C didn’t drop through my letterbox a few weeks later, I didn’t bother to chase it up. In fact, I put it out of my mind.
Weeks passed, and before I knew it, I had a couple of weeks left to run, and there was still no sign of my V5C. Now here’s the important bit – although I had resigned myself to the fact that the Royal Mail had probably mislaid my application – I had also managed to lose the green tear off slip, which is the new keeper’s supplement. And my only way of getting a tax disc from the Post Office. Bugger.
So, with three weeks to go ’til ground zero, I filled in my forms, popped in a £25 postal order (crikey, I’ve not possessed a cheque book since 1997), and waited… and waited… and waited. This afternoon, my frustration got the better of me, and I called the DVLA to see what the delay with my logbook was. After ten minutes of holding music (which had been preceded by 17 -yes, I counted them – button pushes) I was finally connected to an operative, only to be told that they have no record of my application. Bugger.
So, I’m now stuck with a car that has MoT and insurance, but no way of being taxed… and therefore, as of Midnight, it’s not legal for the Queen’s Highway. As I said, my fault – and all I can do is wait. But trust me, I did some prize cursing in the office. It actually looked dangerously like I’d be walking to work, too. On Monday, my sheddiest of HH-Rs developed a increasingly bad water leak from the inlet manifold – so I resolved myself to fixing this during the upcoming weekend. However, just before I picked up the ‘phone to order the parts, I noticed a growing oil leak underneath the car. Bugger.
Chalk that one to experience – and decide on which scrap yard to call after taking the best parts off it.
The Range Rover is also out of tax now – and with an MoT fail sheet that includes four ball joints, three tyres, and a wonky steering box, it’s not looking promising for a quick return to the road. But I am sure it will make it back on to the road, as it’s too damned useful.
Thankfully, my work colleague, Neil Campbell, has come to my rescue by lending me his 1976 Triumph Dolomite 1500 while I wait for the Cav’s paperwork to arrive, and although I’ve only driven it home from Stamford so far, it’s not been a bad experience at all. I’ve just discovered the joys of overdrive, and I’m loving it. I’ll keep you posted on its progress – it’ll need to be good, as I suspect I’ll be without my poor Cav for some time to come.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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