Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm going to scream

Photo by Torbein

To tax your car you need a valid MOT (Ministry of Transport ) certificate and to be insured. We have a valid MOT certificate and we're insured but our insurance certificate is still in the post.

No worries! We can tax online. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) checks the Motor Insurance Database so you don't need the certificate. They even let you check the MID first yourself and sure enough it showed we're insured. Great! Then I tried to give the government my money for a tax disc by filling out the online form but they declined as they couldn't find my insurance using the very same database they'd just sent me to check on!

There is a helpline you can ring, but they are experiencing a high level of demand and regret that they cannot take my call. Click.

OK then, I can't renew online.

Still no worries! You can use a downloadable insurance certificate, print it off and go to the Post Office. So I rang Direct Line and waited for twenty minutes to talk to someone. The "high level of demand" must be catching. Direct Line don't do downloadable certificates but they do send out certificates many days in advance of the new insurance. Yup, posting on Saturday afternoon to get there on Monday makes a lot of sense with our current postal system. But if I wanted the certificate to arrive when the insurance started I should have told them, so clearly it's my bad.

So, I can't get the government to take the money for my car tax and our car is off the road until a piece of paper arrives through the post. I'm trying not to scream.

We've cancelled our renewal for Direct Line for next year. I think they were relieved as I was being an awkward customer. I wish we could cancel our contract with DVLA.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post today - and have to say that I am so glad that I don't have a car anymore!! I moved to part of London which makes driving a real no-brainer so happily gave it all up. It's a little inconvenient for out of town excursions but there you go (shrug) you can't win them all.

fairyhedgehog said...

jane, thank you! Today I'm wishing we didn't need cars. It's worst for my son; he's grounded now until we get it fixed - and he uses it a lot. (I walk whenever I can.)

SillyBoy said...

Argh! So annoying!

I'm going to add it to my list of reasons to never get a car :)

fairyhedgehog said...

SB, it's a good reason not to get one! It's going to be a pain tomorrow though.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I feel your pain.

My past favorite was the phone menu system that took you deeper and deeper until finally bringing you right back to where you started. They managed to create an infinite system.

Love that photo!

fairyhedgehog said...

Sarah, that infinite loop is worse than the DVLA just cutting me off. At least that was quick!

The photo is creative commons from Torbein on Flickr. I love Flickr!

Stacy said...

Bureaucracy. Gah!!

Old Kitty said...

Talk about Kafkaesque! OH dear!!!!!!!! Just think lovely thoughts, just think pretty flowers...!!

Take care

Whirlochre said...

This is the problem with "things made easy".

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, exactly!

Kitty, I'm trying to think pretty thoughts!

Whirl, you'd think they'd want the money for my car tax!

MorningAJ said...

I have to admit that I've wangled my tax date so that it doesn't clash with renewals for MOT and insurance any more. Just don't ask me about getting my car insurance sorted this year!

fairyhedgehog said...

MAJ, my Beloved had the same idea and today the DVLA accepted my insurance online so we've now taxed for six months. Next time we'll renew for a year and our MOT and insurance will never again be due at the same time as our tax. Thank goodness.

Disgruntled Bear said...

Yikes! Best of luck with the sort-out. Don't ever let me tell you about our health insurance nightmare here in the US--the wonderful system that tried to charge us more than $7000 a year extra because I didn't have the knee surgery that my doctor said I DIDN'T need.

True story.

Simon Kewin said...

Oh dear, oh dear. On the plus side it sounds like a nice little Kafkaesque short story ...

fairyhedgehog said...

Kate, that sounds even worse than the DVLA! I managed to sort it yesterday, thank goodness.

Simon, feel free to use it!

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Oh, man.
I moved once, mid-year, and had to fill out returns in two different states.

State A's form required the bottom line from State B's form in order to calculate the bottom line. State B's form require the bottom line on State A's form in order to-

Can you see where this is going?



fairyhedgehog said...

MRp, that is definitely a screamer!

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