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New Vehicle Tax and 'Camper Van' Classification - HELP!

Hi Everyone,

Trying to establish what other folk taking delivery recently are experiencing re taxation? My van is with the dealer tomorrow and we could collect Friday. HOWEVER he's telling me they need to apply via a paper V55 to tax it and DVLA have said this can take up to 6 weeks??!!! This is to classify it as a 'camper van' for the reduced RFL (now £280 per annum I believe). Has anyone else faced this? He's not sure if he can tax using their usual online taxing system (AFRL) and if he does will it apply the 'MPV' body type which attracts the much higher RFL for the first five years.

Also has anyone paid the higher amount and successfully post registration got a refund and re-classification to camper van? Because we just don't want to wait any longer for the vehicle, certainly not 6 weeks!!
 
Hi, OxfordPaul

It is important to note that the following information only refers to *new Marco Polo campers* (with kitchen, pop top etc) only this is what I am familiar with. My experience, MP camper, purchased April 2021: In my case it was the dealer who registered the vehicle, online. When they do it you receive the V5C virtually through the post, next day (no kidding).

In this respect I give all credit to Mercedes Benz dealership (not purchased from a franchise) who managed everything without reference to me..

They can and do tax it online. Can't see why your dealer is having problems - perhaps he has never had experience of selling MPs before so is a little unsure and trying to play safe for himself? I would be the soul of diplomacy here, you need to keep him on side whilst teaching him how to do it!! Good luck with that! If it helps I recall paying for the vehicle and then he registered it same day online, but maybe that was just a coincidence - I don't think so, thinking about it, as it makes you first registered keeper..

They do do it online let me give you the exact words taken from my V5C.

He states the model of your car in D.3 (say something like V 220 AMG LINE MARCO POLO A) easy enough.

V5C states MOTOR CARAVAN

V5C states taxation class PRIVATE/LIGHT GOODS (PLG)

My dealer put revenue weight 3100KG Gross

Cylinder capacity 1950 CC ETC....

By making sure the dealership do the taxation bit correctly online your second point becomes irrelevant - I do understand the situation at the moment for you, so much going on and this area of taxation appears unclear, but the reality is it was once unclear but it is no longer. Don't lose your hair over this but keep calm. Whatever you do keep the dealership on side - that is your priority in sorting this over the next day. Let us know here if you need further info together we are only too willing to help.
 
Thanks for your reply, the dealer is saying they had a notification at the end of April from MB saying they have to register marco polos using the paper v55. So maybe you were lucky to get in before this bulletin, maybe registering yours caused this bulletin to be produced?! Does your V5 correctly state ‘camper van’? I assume so from what you’re saying and you’re saying that using the online system they have control over a series of drop downs to make the correct selections?
 
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Not sure from their message what Attachment 4 refers to... However, to put your mind at rest: with regards to their entries they appear to be as expected and in line with your paying the lower tax.

"Does your V5 correctly state ‘camper van’?" No, it (correctly) states Motor caravan. Looking at your message yours will too. As I said, over the past months this whole area was a mess but your dealer in this message is correct. People are getting hung up about the use of the word campervan. The information you have received from the dealer is: Motor caravan, PLG, £280, M1SA. All perfectly clear...

Seems to me the only issue you have in this area, and I cannot comment on, is the implication for you when the dealer is saying he is not able to register (and tax) the vehicle online. Maybe try DVLA with this specific question? As it is a new car are there options?? Ask if you can drive from picking it up on Friday...I really don't know the answer to that, but clearly you need to find out.
 
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We cannot take delivery until the van is registered with DVLA as DVLA issue the number plate when they process the application. This can take up to 6 weeks.

Anyone successfully registered with their dealer, paid the premium road tax, and then converted afterwards? The MP ticks all the boxes specified by the DVLA for motor caravan with the exception of side decals and high top roof (pop up roofs not accepted).
 

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
Both my brother and I have had dealings with DVLA this week, he bought a new car and I removed a private plate and sold a car.
In all three circumstances we were quoted the 6 week wait due to delays at DVLA yet he received his new V5C on Monday after the dealer notified them online on Saturday. I moved my private plate onto a retention certificate and received the document 2 days later and sold my car on Friday and checked (by phone) today that it was not registered in my name.

My point is that a lot of DVLA activity is automated and happens almost instantaneously now, you should get your V5C much sooner than the quoted 6 week wait...and a quick call to DVLA might illicit the VRN a couple of hours after your dealer registers.
 

DPS20K

Member
I found out this evening that I am in exactly the same position. Was supposed to pick it up on Friday but now told I can’t as it’s not registered or taxed yet. I am purchasing via Mercedes Benz retail at Watford. They have sent in the paper V55/1 to get the reduced RFL. I called DVLA this evening and they informed me that, due to covid, new vehicle registrations are taking 6 to 8 weeks at the moments. He said it won’t even be looked at for two weeks at least. To make matters worse, the dealer have put vehicle body type of MPV on the paper form, not motor caravan! This means it might well get rejected and they have to apply again - another 6 to 8 weeks wait and there goes summer!
 
Shame on Mercedes Benz - see MB's circulated minute above (dated 30th April 2021) to all managers and directors stating in particular MPs (not Horizons) were to be registered as Motor Caravans . MB Watford clearly knew to do a paper V55.....
Any chance you could try to ask them to rectify? From the looks of things it is a simple mistake....you say!!!! Better they do it now.

I do understand how you feel, though. Since the date of that internal memo new MPs should not be registered by MB as MPVs. But if they are DVLA will not reject on the grounds of MPV for body type - application will just be routinely processed and you receive a V5C stating MPV.
 
Hi, DPS20k,

It seems that Oxfordpaul's original posting has been edited 11.14pm removing MBs internal bulletin. Which renders subsequent posts less comprehensible to anyone coming upon this thread for the first time.
 
Yes indeed I did remove it as it’s an internal MBRG document and I felt in hindsight it should not be shared. But it’s quite simple, MBRG internal memo states all Marco Polo non horizon are to be registered via paper V55 until further notice (dates end April), and the vehicle type on the v55 is ‘motor caravan’. I’m hoping for an update today as DVLA told me they see no reason why they can’t use the automatic AFRL system.
 
Yes indeed I did remove it as it’s an internal MBRG document and I felt in hindsight it should not be shared. But it’s quite simple, MBRG internal memo states all Marco Polo non horizon are to be registered via paper V55 until further notice (dates end April), and the vehicle type on the v55 is ‘motor caravan’. I’m hoping for an update today as DVLA told me they see no reason why they can’t use the automatic AFRL system.

Probably best not to have copied MB's internal document verbatim. But that bulletin/minute/document contained a few relevant facts including the amount of tax dealers have to pay at registration (£280), and confirmation that higher tax for customers in subsequent years is not applicable; PLG; M1SA; and of course registration as a Motor Caravan. All Mercedes dealers know this but buyers of those cars are not always aware and go through hoops searching for clarity and peace of mind, not to mention saving a few quid! So hopefully this thread brings some reassurance regarding the process....

Glad you contacted DVLA - now your dealer has delivery of the car today and you have all the information. Hope they can now look to register the car online for you!
 
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DavieLappan

New Member
Hi Everyone,

Trying to establish what other folk taking delivery recently are experiencing re taxation? My van is with the dealer tomorrow and we could collect Friday. HOWEVER he's telling me they need to apply via a paper V55 to tax it and DVLA have said this can take up to 6 weeks??!!! This is to classify it as a 'camper van' for the reduced RFL (now £280 per annum I believe). Has anyone else faced this? He's not sure if he can tax using their usual online taxing system (AFRL) and if he does will it apply the 'MPV' body type which attracts the much higher RFL for the first five years.

Also has anyone paid the higher amount and successfully post registration got a refund and re-classification to camper van? Because we just don't want to wait any longer for the vehicle, certainly not 6 weeks!!
My MP (2018) is the full kitchen version and I have been paying the higher RFL as it is classified as a MPV (Body type). This is news to me that it is possible to get it classified as a Campervan.
Update: It seems that I'm scuppered as the change to allow registration as Campervan only applies to vehicles registered after 12 March 2020.
 
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Well the update from my dealer today is they’re still scratching their heads and being told they need to tax via a V55 which is 4-6 weeks
 

ANR

New Member
I'm in the same position with my van being delayed due to this, this was after delivery was booked in for four days time and I've already arranged to get rid of my current vehicle. Poor considering they should know what to do with these vehicles and especially due to that recent memo in April. I'm waiting on an update.
 
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Hi guys, Sorry to hear you've having such a long wait..

Just a suggestion...You could take the opportunity of checking your vehicle over while it is still with the dealer....... Unlikely to be anything major apparent, but look out for things like: items on checklist not present; minor damage/scratches, etc.. In my case there were a number of minor issues which to date are still not all resolved. That said, the car is fabulous! I'm certainly not sorry. A good choice everyone has made..
 
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Grand Tourismo

Active Member
As an extension to Marc's post above, whilst your checking your new vehicle out why not give DVLA a call and get them talking to the dealer about using the online registration process rather then paper?...oh and make sure you get plenty of free posh coffee! ;)
 
I’m receiving a video walk around of mine tomorrow, almost don’t want to see it as will make me more frustrated! There’s obviously some glitch somewhere in the system that doesn’t allow these vehicles to be registered online as motor caravan and so the published rfl in the Mercedes brochure is in effect incorrect. By doing it manually they seem to think they can get around this. They seem to suggest that taxing online will charge the correct tax this first year but that in subsequent years the RFL would be much higher due to mpv vehicle type.
Strictly speaking the DVLA definition of a ‘motor caravan’ does not apply to the MP as they stipulate it must have ‘decals down each side’ and a ‘high top roof (not a pop up roof)’, so I wonder if this definition was written expressly to avoid VW/Mercedes vans such as the MP and Cali attracting a much lower VED? Maybe other folk who have managed it in recent months got lucky before the definition was updated? It’s all very odd.
 

DPS20K

Member
I’m told that they can’t use the online system for this vehicle type and that they have spoken to DVLA who have told them to use the V55 paper form. Looks like we’ll just have to wait and hope DVLA are a bit quicker than they quote. All MBRG said to me today was that they have people looking into it.
 

Samebutdifferent

Active Member
Strictly speaking the DVLA definition of a ‘motor caravan’ does not apply to the MP as they stipulate it must have ‘decals down each side’ and a ‘high top roof (not a pop up roof)’, so I wonder if this definition was written expressly to avoid VW/Mercedes vans such as the MP and Cali attracting a much lower VED? Maybe other folk who have managed it in recent months got lucky before the definition was updated? It’s all very odd.

For years the DVLA allowed the "Reclassification" on the V5 to Motor Caravan as long as "most" of the criteria was met, ie evidence of sink and cooker plus bed etc.

As numbers of van conversions increased there were concerns that Joe public and the police were unable to recognise at a glance that the vehicle was in fact a motor caravan, important if describing a vehicle that had been involved in an accident for example.

In response the DVLA in recent years become more strict and want the conversion to look like a motor caravan as well as being equipped to be a motor caravan. It has nothing at all to do with VED or penalising the MP or Cali.

This of course applies to reclassifying a converted van that had already been registered and not a new vehicle that the manufacturer built as a motor caravan, as such MB and VW should always have first registered their vehicles as motor caravans not MPV.
 
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Ah ok that’s interesting and very informative, thanks! But why was it that up until last year they were taxed as mpv then? I bought a new California in 2018 and paid a fortune for the first year road tax. I recall reading something about the change only to the ocean model (with kitchen etc), and same applies to the MP. And howcome VW can tax via AFRL and Mercedes can’t?
 
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