|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.