CHAMP NEWS
DVLA, MOT, Exporting

Update September 2015. Site updated February 2016, see "update" bottom of this page.
My Champ's Road Tax (free) came up for renewal, I went to the DVLA's website and it showed that the Champ needed an MOT (see below for story) which it doesn't and, I thought, had been sorted. However I clicked on 'Continue' and the Champ was taxed.
Summary. 17 January 2014. Establishing the date of manufacture for exemption from the MOT for the Austin Champ. The DVLA have accepted that my Austin Champ was manufactured in 1953 and the DVLA have sent a new Registration document (V5C).
Over the last six months I have been sending evidence like the Catalogues of the yearly show by the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment at Chertsey, Surrey and the booklet MV1, etc. but, in fairness to the DVLA, these only proved that the Austin Champ was manufactured from 1952 and not when manufacture finished.
I do not know whether the DVLA have accepted that all Austin Champs were only manufactured from 1952 to 1956 but if it helps you in getting your Champ accepted as manufactured before 1960 then quote my chassis number, 2676 or, if needed, e-mail me for my registration number. The lady at the DVLA dealing with my Champ was, Ms. Jennifer Fry of the Central Casework Group.
Temporarily exporting a Champ MoT News DVLA Scraping a Champ

29 October 2013. This is an update to the paragraph, 3rd. box down, starting, 'Taxing a classic for the first time ...'
Below is part of a letter I received from the DVLA
Austin Champ, letter from the DVLA
This is my reply to the DVLA:
"There are not to my knowledge any manufacturer's records still in existence.
The individual vehicle record cards kept by the army units that had the vehicle at any one time were destroyed by the army when the vehicle was sold off by the Ministry.
The only records kept were by the RAOC (Royal Army Ordnance Corp.), this information was: Date into (military) Service (DiS) Date out of military service called, 'Struck off' and where it was Struck Off, e.g. Germany.
My vehicle's relevant dates: the DiS date was 1 April 1953, the Struck Off date was 31 December 1965.
The Austin Champ was never in Glass's Guide, I confirmed this, if you would like to check e-mail, "Support, Helpdesk"
The authoritative person on Austin Champs and their history is John Mastrangelo, austychamp@aol.com - I believe John is an accredited person to the DVLA.
This problem with ex-military vehicles of the 1950's is going to be an ongoing one for owners and the DVLA, if you wish I can send you a list of books on ex-military vehicles of this age. I enclose one booklet, 'mv1' published a long time ago and it gives the dates that the Champs were produced (1952/56)."

When a reply is received it will be posted here.

Taxing a classic vehicle for the first time after the new regulations on MOT exemption.

The tax on my Austin Champ ran out on the last day of September 2013. In mid-August the usual reminder came from the DVLC and it said that my vehicle required an MOT certificate (which it doesn't). I sent the form back to the DVLC with a note asking for the vehicle details (the MOT requirement) to be amended but I never received a reply.
I tried to renew the tax on-line but, again, it said my vehicle needed an MOT. If my tax had run out then I would have needed to declare SORN (Statutory Off Road Declaration) to be legal.
It's now the last day of September and having not heard from the DVLC I telephoned them. A man said I needed a form, V112, 'Declaration of exemption from MOT' (downloadable from the web) and that if I filled in the form and took it and the Registration Document (V5C) to a Post Office they would renew the tax. To say the least I was sceptical that a self-filled in form was going to convince the Post Office.
I took the Registration Document (V5C) and the exemption form (V112) to the Post Office. The lady said she had never heard of a V112 and went on-line and said, "You need an MOT certificate." In my favour was the V5C which said my vehicle was an, Historic Vehicle. Eventually she said, "Have you got your insurance certificate?", I said I thought the Post Office could check the insurance on line at the MID (Motor insurance database)AskMID, she said she couldn't. I am sure they have in the past but a small detail, I always carry my insurance certificate* so, this problem solved.
Another problem which looked like it might scupper things was she kept asking, "The vehicle is taxed at the moment?, I kept saying, 'Yes.', again I thought she could check that on-line.
She now prodded the computer keyboard for quite a while, and, eventually, stopped prodding the keyboard, tore out a blank tax disc from a book, filled it in, job done.
*In theory all insurance brokers or insurance companies register an insurance policy on the MID and the police and CCTV number plate recognition systems can check whether a vehicle is insured. But, there have been a few cases where an insurance policy has not been registered and if an insurance certificate is not produced by the driver then the police can have the vehicle trailered away. If this happened during a working day it may be possible to telephone the insurance broker to confirm the insurance but what happens at night or weekends?, that's why I always carry my insurance certificate.

Taxing a vehicle at a Post Office
Coming soon: an insurance certificate will not be needed to tax a vehicle at a Post Office as the PO will automatically check the insurance on the Motor Insurance Database (MID). Tip: when insuring or renewing insurance always check the database soon after at AskMID , the insurers should notify MID but mistakes have been made and the authorities can impound a car not on MID if the driver cannot provide proof the car is insured.

PRE-1960 Number Plates
From media reports it seems that number plates on pre-1960 vehicles will not be able to be transferred\changed from 18 November 2012. This date is the same date that pre-1960 vehicles will become MOT exempt.
Many in the classic car world will be very pleased as they say that losing the original number is losing part of the history of the vehicle.
Champ registration numbers: there were no civilian WN1 army version Champs that I know of and when Champs were civilian registered in, mostly, the 1960's they received a dated number - a D at the end was 1966, e.g. GFL 852D.
Personally I would never have changed the dated number on my Champ as that number is part of its history. Some owners put the old army registration number - mine would be 26 BE 76 - on at shows but remember, anywhere the public have access to, from a pub car park to a show, is still subject to the Road Traffic Acts.

Fraud, Vehicles and Number Plates
An owner bought a car, the DVLA was notified, and then letters arrived from the DVLA saying someone was trying to register the car in their name - the DVLA notifies the existing registered keeper that this is happening.
If the rightful owner does not reply within 14 days the fraudster, who is trying to register the vehicle in their name and, of course, ownership of the registration number, succeeds. What if this happened when the rightful owner was away on a long holiday?
In this owner's case the DVLA launched a fraud enquiry but then the owner saw an advert for his registration number! The car had to be trailered to a local DVLA office for verification.

Another case, a classic vehicle owner stored his vehicle in a lock-up garage but did not visit it very often, the vehicle was stolen and the thief succeeded in getting the vehicle registered in his name and sold it - the owner said he did not receive any letters. The rightful owner, eventually, got his vehicle back and the person who bought the vehicle (off the thief) lost his money. As you can imagine it was a long, fraught, miserable story.
Another, a Champ owner was having work done at a garage, the garage owner disappeared and the landlord sold off the Champ, it took 6 months to get the vehicle back.

Tip: if you do anything with the DVLA, either by snail mail or on line, make sure you have a reply, say, buying a tax disc and the tax disc does not arrive then find out why. O.K, in this case it is obvious but, say, sending in a log book (V5C) for alteration then keep track of dates and, of course, in the case of a getting a letter about someone tryng to register your vehicle in their name then, telephone, and confirm the call by a Signed For delivery letter.

Update February 2016
Proving an Austin Champ was manufactured between 1952 and 1956.
A Champ owner has obtained a certifcate from the British Motor Industry Heritage trust stating the Champ's manufacture date, click on the following to go the site, the cost seems to be £55.00!, but it may be worth it. BMIHT