Lotus Elan

DVLA and Replacement Chassis

PostPost by: lsdweb » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:04 pm

Hi All

Has anybody got experience of changing their Elan chassis and then changing the chassis number with the DVLA. Based on their points system (link - http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/BuyingAndSellingAVehicle/RegisteringAVehicle/DG_10014199) this should be relatively simple if the original suspension, shell, steering etc are maintained. Having dealt with the DVLA before though I'm not so sure!

Regards

Wyn
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:07 pm

Don't tell'em Pike!

Seriously if you are unlucky enough to get hold of someone in the DVLA that doesn't understand that our chassis is infact a sub frame you will end up in a world of trouble. The DVLA is staffed by lots of people that do not understand cars atall - most opinions are that you don't tell them.
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:15 pm

I agree entirely - DVLA do not need to know about a steel subframe (commonly called a Chassis) change. The identity of the car rests primarily with the body, not the subframe. I spent 6 months rectifying this error on my +2 - someone in the past had changed the 'chassis' and dutifully told the DVLA. This is a common error and the Lotus factory have a standard letter explaining this which they will issue to an owner, for onward transmission to the DVLA if required. Copy of the text of this letter attached, but Lotus Technical will send a signed copy if required.

This error also leads to problems at MOT time in the UK as the guy doing the MOT will punch in the chassis number on the identity plate, which will be rejected - he may then refuse an MOT.

DVLA do not need to know.... Engine number, yes, 'chassis' change, no.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:08 pm

elanfan1 wrote:Don't tell'em Pike!



Somehow we need to get this message across :!:

Why would you want to tell them for goodness sake :?:
John

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:46 pm

JJDraper wrote:DVLA do not need to know.... Engine number, yes

Jeremy,

Please expain the abbove.

We've had this discussion so many times, and the advice is to say nothing to the DVLA unless your car has been "radically altered" - then the DVLA should be advised.

The way the points system is written - my car will have zero points.
* The chassis is not original.
* The suspension is adjustable with modern springs and dampers.
* The rear axles have uprated output shafts and wheel spindles mated to solid driveshafts. The fronts have uprated wheel spindles.
* Transmission is a Lotus 5 speed not the original 4 speed.
* The steering rack is not original.
* The car has had at least 3, if not 4, engines in it's lifetime.

I believe that the link refers to "Registering a radically altered vehicle" for which my car does not belong as nothing has been radically changed.
* The chassis is a copy of the original with some of the known weaknesses addressed.
* The suspension is of the original geometry and fixing points.
* The front and rear axles retain the original geometry with the benefit of improved safety and reliability.
* The transmission could be considered by some as radical, but as some Sprints were fitted with the 5 speed box at the Lotus factory - I take it as progressive and not radical.
* The steering rack is of the original fit and manufacture that came from an S3 that I modified and refurbished to Sprint level.
*The engine is of original design and manufacture.

None of this information should be allowed to fall into the hands of the DVLA pen pushers.

However ALL of this information should be given to the insurance company.
Brian Clarke
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PostPost by: rcraven » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:20 pm

If you don't inform the DVLA that you've changed your chassis what happens if the car is stolen and you need to prove that the possibly burnt out or seriously damaged recovered vehicle with the wrong chassis number is in fact yours? What will your insurers say when they find out you had a new chassis without telling them or the DVLA?
Robert
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:14 pm

Check with Club Lotus
I remember reading several years ago that they had got an agreement with DVLA that
a Lotus chassis was classified as a sub chassis. This avoided the re-registering (new number plate) of your car as a "Q" plate normally reserved for kit cars, imports and cars that cannot prove their age. i.e no chassis number etc.
Clive
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:23 pm

"Explain notifying engine number change":

This may only apply to UK cars

1 - Boys in blue will check this first thing if there is any question over the identity of a car.
2 - Difficult to alter quickly if the car is stolen and, again there is question over the identity and ownership of the car.
3 - If car is stolen and broken up, the engine number can be traced - even if the stamping is ground out, the number can be recovered with magnetic resonance scanning.
4 - On selling the car, numbers match documents, even if they are not original. Gives the punter some reassurance that you are not selling a dodgy motor.
5 - Non matching engine number may be grounds for refusing an insurance payout (this needs to be verified as I only 'believe it to be true') even if you have told the insurance company.
6 - Non matching engine number is an offence (again, needs to be verified) - this may be why the insurance payout could be refused on the grounds that the car is technically illegal and so should not be on the road.

Probably more reasons, but I have lost the will to carry on....

Jeremy
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PostPost by: paddy » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:31 pm

The earlier thread on this topic is here:

elan-f15/modifyed-cars-and-the-law-t19849.html

So just to clarify (for reference the guidance is here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/forms/~/medi ... inf26.ashx).

Brian is right in that the points system that is being discussed applies to "Radically Altered Vehicles". You fall into this category only if you don't fall into one of the more mainstream categories, eg

- reconstructed classics;
- vehicles that have been rebuilt using a mix of new/used parts;
- kit-built vehicles;
- kit conversions.

If you have the original unaltered body and the rest is substantially original (including replacement, but period, parts) the you are in the "vehicles that have been rebuilt using a mix of new/used parts" category. This means that if you notify the DVLA then they *shouldn't* have any reason to require the registration mark to be changed.

Personally I'm quite torn and wouldn't like to give advice one way or the other on whether or not to notify them. I've had a bad experience notifying them of a change (not an Elan) which triggered several months of calls and inspections before being able to get the car insurable again. I would definitely think twice before doing the same again, but I would want to be absolutely certain that the insurance is valid.

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PostPost by: Leo Leentvaar » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:10 pm

I must say I have had no such problems in The Netherlands.
My previous Classic, a 1970 MG-B roadster was reshelled TWICE (once for restoration, secondly after a 70 mph kiss with a crash barrier).
the Heritage shells come unstamped and you need to dye stamp the chassis # in the right place so the MoT can check it.
After the write off(2nd time it was pronounced totalled) it was resurrected around another Heritage shell and offered to the Dutch DVLA for checking.
it passed without a hitch.

Why would Lotus backbone chassis be any different, it's less that a whole friggin'body shell for a B roadster :)???
1971 Sprint DHC
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:22 pm

rcraven wrote:If you don't inform the DVLA that you've changed your chassis what happens if the car is stolen and you need to prove that the possibly burnt out or seriously damaged recovered vehicle with the wrong chassis number is in fact yours? What will your insurers say when they find out you had a new chassis without telling them or the DVLA?

What chassis number????????

The VIN plate is all you need.

And I repeat what I said - ALWAYS tell your insurance company of the changes you've made to the car.
Brian Clarke
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:23 am

elanfan1 wrote:Don't tell'em Pike!

Seriously if you are unlucky enough to get hold of someone in the DVLA that doesn't understand that our chassis is in fact a sub frame you will end up in a world of trouble. The DVLA is staffed by lots of people that do not understand cars a tall - most opinions are that you don't tell them.


Agreed Don't tell them.

I was one of the unfortunate ones who did tell them back in 1978 and had to go through the most amazing bureaucratic loops to get registered again. The special MOT inspector was on holiday & the replacement could not make house calls. Eventually I had to hire a man with Land Rover & trailer & take the car on trailer to Greenwich High Street, where the inspector & his mates gushed over "nice car" then proclaimed it a sub-frame, & then I had to get them to make a COPY (they had to go down street to a public photocopier) of the form that there were going to send to DVLA & then with that copy I finally managed to get a tax disk, just in time to go on my holiday in Eire.

The DVLA (or whatever it was called back then) failed to transcribe the form back into their records, so the whole darnn situation came back to bite me again a year or so ago because the VIN plate no longer matched the DVLA computer records & so the DVLA computer threw a wobbly during MOT, & that took two or three letters to sort out yet again.

Best advice is to also buy a set of number punches and punch your old number followed by a space and letter R onto the chassis where it can be seen (say near the alternator/dynamo).
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:29 am

JJDraper wrote:"Explain notifying engine number change":

This may only apply to UK cars

1 - Boys in blue will check this first thing if there is any question over the identity of a car.
2 - Difficult to alter quickly if the car is stolen and, again there is question over the identity and ownership of the car.
3 - If car is stolen and broken up, the engine number can be traced - even if the stamping is ground out, the number can be recovered with magnetic resonance scanning.
4 - On selling the car, numbers match documents, even if they are not original. Gives the punter some reassurance that you are not selling a dodgy motor.
5 - Non matching engine number may be grounds for refusing an insurance payout (this needs to be verified as I only 'believe it to be true') even if you have told the insurance company.
6 - Non matching engine number is an offence (again, needs to be verified) - this may be why the insurance payout could be refused on the grounds that the car is technically illegal and so should not be on the road.

Probably more reasons, but I have lost the will to carry on....

Jeremy

OK, on reflection I take the point that the DVLA sould be advised of an engine change as the engine number is on the V5 vehicle registration document, and this should hopefully be a simple paperwork exercise.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:59 am

bcmc33 wrote:
JJDraper wrote:"Explain notifying engine number change":

This may only apply to UK cars

1 - Boys in blue will check this first thing if there is any question over the identity of a car.
2 - Difficult to alter quickly if the car is stolen and, again there is question over the identity and ownership of the car.
3 - If car is stolen and broken up, the engine number can be traced - even if the stamping is ground out, the number can be recovered with magnetic resonance scanning.
4 - On selling the car, numbers match documents, even if they are not original. Gives the punter some reassurance that you are not selling a dodgy motor.
5 - Non matching engine number may be grounds for refusing an insurance payout (this needs to be verified as I only 'believe it to be true') even if you have told the insurance company.
6 - Non matching engine number is an offence (again, needs to be verified) - this may be why the insurance payout could be refused on the grounds that the car is technically illegal and so should not be on the road.

Probably more reasons, but I have lost the will to carry on....

Jeremy

OK, on reflection I take the point that the DVLA sould be advised of an engine change as the engine number is on the V5 vehicle registration document, and this should hopefully be a simple paperwork exercise.


Very many Moons ago I replaced the Engine in my Lotus 7 (1 MGA 1500cc for another MGA 1500cc)
Some weeks after informing the, then, presiding Authority they sent a little Man to check all of the numbers.
I've no idea why the change was suspect, so you cannot be certain.
I agree with the "no notify" when changing Elan Frames.
The Identity stays with the VIN plate on the Body.

Have a good Week all of you Workers :wink:
John
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PostPost by: live_ade » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:01 pm

cliveyboy wrote:Check with Club Lotus
I remember reading several years ago that they had got an agreement with DVLA that
a Lotus chassis was classified as a sub chassis. This avoided the re-registering (new number plate) of your car as a "Q" plate normally reserved for kit cars, imports and cars that cannot prove their age. i.e no chassis number etc.
Clive



Yep - that is what CLub Lotus have been advising for 10 or more years. The plate that is attached to bodyshell is the key bit... I agree with the other post about stamping your new chassis. Otherwise you'll end up with a Q plate and presumably SVA ( I would imagine you wouldn't pass this due to the trim/badges/mirrors fitted on the car)
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