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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've just bought a Dethleffs Summer Edition 08 privately in France, driven it back and are in the process of registering it in the UK.


I've got the pack from GOV.UK with the forms and guide etc and I'm trying to round up the paper work etc required. What I'm missing at the moment is a Certificate of Conformity. The previous owner did not have it (amongst a big folder of lots of paperwork) and although Ford (it's on a Transit base vehicle) could provide a CoC for the pre-conversion vehicle for £84, it wouldn't cover the final version.


Has anyone had experience of getting hold of a CoC from Dethleffs? - I've tried messaging through their website but had no response after over a week. Next step is to phone them, I suppose...
 

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Not Dethleff's but with Swift when we moved to France, I sent them an e-mail and the CoC came back by return of e-mail and totally foc, whereas Citroen (for the car), charged £100 and took three weeks and three phone calls as well as the e-mail.....

Dethleff's must supply the CoC, no-one else can.

Dave
 

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If a 2008 vehicle then Dethleffs will provide a whole vehicle type approval certificate, which negates the need of separate ones for base, converter and if Alko chassis that as well.

If Dethleffs are anything like the other manufactures I've had to buy then it's likely to cost €130.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
many thanks

Thanks for all those replies. Much as I thought then. I'll pursue Dethleffs more vigorously - someone else suggested Dethleffs France, as they would have supplied the vehicle, through their dealer.

I'll let you know how it goes. At least I have it booked in for an MOT (on just the VIN) and getting the garage to certify that the conversion to UK vehicle regs (speedo, headlights and fog light) is done - so can get the "vehicle approval" process going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Progress!

Well that was uncanny timing! Just heard from Customer Service at Dethleffs Germany. They can supply a CoC for 119 euros and will send it, together with an invoice for me to pay by bank transfer - very trusting, but we're an honest lot...
 

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Since these must be issued by the authorities in various manufacturers' countries are they not a matter of public record and obtainable by by a 'Freedom of Information Act' request or equivalent?

If not, maybe the original purchasers of new vans should insist on one being provided as part of the deal.

OR

Secondhand buyers should make it a condition of purchase.

Otherwise it is a bit like buying without a V5C or MOT, if one, or a subsequent owner, needs to re-register or requires it for any other purpose such as modifications.

Geoff
 

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That's a bit simplistic Geoff.

I don't think they are issued by "the authorities" but by the manufacturers of the van.

I'm not sure of the actual date the change came in but before a certain date (I think 2003) every vehicle (motorhome) had to have issued a certificate of conformity for the base vehicle, the converter and if fitted the Alko chassis all as separate documents, after the date (whatever it was) the converter, in this case Dethleffs are authorised to issue a whole vehicle conformity certificate.

As to new owners insisting on one being supplied for new or second hand, most of the time and most buyers will not even be aware of the document.

Regarding modifications, probably best to be very cautious here as I'm sure some bright spark legal person could suggest that modifications to your vehicle invalidated your original CoC and demand you apply for a very expensive Single Vehicle Type Approval Certificate.

For me best to go with the flow, don't rock the boat and apply for and get the required documentation and then the registration in the country you are domiciled in.

.
 

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Sorry Geoff, but you are incorrect, the CoC can ONLY be issued by the company that carried out the final conversion and bears a large amount of information it now covers the original base vehicle as well as things like the gas system and so on.

IUt is NOT available via a FoI request because the COMPANY produces it and the company is NOT a public body where FoI requests can be made and also they are specific to each vehicle since they bear the VIN number etc.

So as they are not issued by "the authorities" your assumption is incorrect.

An approach to the manufacturer - in this case Dethleff's will normally bring about a rapid resolution, but it does need a direct approach, via a company website may not count as a direct approach. The approach needs to go to the legal department of the company - they will know exactly who is responsible for issuing it and how much it will cost (if anything as I posted earlier).

A telephone call to 00 - 49 - 7562 - 987 881 should take you to the company and they will undoubtedly have someone that speaks English since that is a German phone number for the company.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
An approach to the manufacturer - in this case Dethleff's will normally bring about a rapid resolution, but it does need a direct approach, via a company website may not count as a direct approach. The approach needs to go to the legal department of the company - they will know exactly who is responsible for issuing it and how much it will cost (if anything as I posted earlier).
The response I got today was from Dethleffs Customer Service as a result of my filling in the enquiry form on their webpage last Friday, so I guess that must count as the "direct approach" mentioned. I'll let you know how long it takes to arrive.
 

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I thought all modern vehicles had a CoC printed in the hand book.

Ray.
 

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I thought all modern vehicles had a CoC printed in the hand book.

Ray.
I think that would be mass produced cars Ray, but again you don't always get it.
 

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John and Dave

If the Certificate is issued by the companies without there being a regulator's check that the vehicle conforms with the standards set, then it is self-regulation and we all know that can lead eventually to companies lowering standards. I would therefore suggest that it cannot be a guarantee of conformity; a bit like a vehicle owner conducting and issuing his own MOT. It would not be worth the paper it is written on.

When a new manufacturer starts up, or an existing manufacturer produces a new model, is there really no check by the authority writing the standards that those standards have been met? If there is a check are the records not available?

Geoff
 

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Geoff, I'd not wish to challenge any of your views.


From an individuals point of view that has gone down the road of re- registering a vehicle in a country other than its original country of registration.
I found the first one very frustrating not fully knowing what was required.
Subsequent ones were easier because I knew what was required, however I certainly wouldn't want to increase the difficulty by trying to go down another route for obtaining the required documents than the recommended one.


Maybe me doing it in France where they love a dossier and to complete the process EVERY thing has to be as specified would deter me from trying any other way.


.
 

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A little story on the above.
The certificate of Conformity is a single A4 sheet with the relevant information on; any that are presented have to be originals.


When going through the process for a 2001 Euramobil 810 which is before the converter could issue their own single document, I had to get three separate certificates, one from Fiat, one from Euramobil and one from Alko, the three certificates along with the relevant French immatriculation documents had to be presented along with the vehicle at a designated centre, this was to allow the authorities to check that the vehicle actually conformed to the paperwork supplied.
The inspector went through the paperwork checking dimensions and specification, even down to ensuring the mirrors, lamp lenses etc. were EU marked, after the very thorough check we went to the office, where he cheerily informed me that the vehicle was OK but he could not accept the Alko certificate, the reason for this was because in his opinion it was a copy and not an original.
The format for the certificate is strange in as much as it is a black and white document with a wide red band diagonally across it, looking to the layman for all the world as though it had been cancelled, the one issued to me by Alko was all black and white with the band in black. I contacted Alko explained my problem and they supplied one with a red band by return,bureaucracy at it best.


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The converters have to enter a wealth of details onto a European web site, presumably this somewhere in the dim and distant past or even the recent past, has the opportunity for it to be challenged as Eurajohn said by it being checked at an official testing station (our nearest one is 1 hours drive away), we contacted them as we were having trouble getting through the Sous-Prefecture in Bergerac.......

Agen said they would do a whole vehicle check but they would then pick up which screw was in the wrong place and of course, that our previously UK registered vehicle has UK style electrical sockets, which of course, would be non-compliant in France..... they said that the fault lay with Bergerac, or perhaps with Paris or perhaps with Swift who may have failed to enter the relevant details for that model for that year.....

Back to Swift and it was admitted that it was their fault - they corrected it in the European register (I have those details somewhere with the relevant number to prove it exists) and Paris conformed it was there.....

Paris then went on to explain "in simple terms" to bergerac what they had to do (or else......) and were very insistent that Bergerac did it, while the official on Paris was on the phone so that the appropriate French immatriculation would be issued, and once again the "or else" comment was used....... Bergerac were told to only charge half the fee as it wa the fault of Bergerac that they had failed to find it.....

of course they had failed to find it, Swift had failed to enter it.....

but the system worked (eventually), I wonder what will happen after an exit from the EU?

I am much less certain that a CoC will be issued then as the whole system will have to be separated.......

and of course exactly the same will happen trying to bring a "foreign" vehicle into the UK for registration, there will be much more checking to be done (at the owner's expense of course).........

at present it is speedo, head lights, reversing lights, high intensity rear lights but after a change I wonder what else it will include?

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just to bring this thread up to date from my point of view, in case my experience may be of interest or use to anyone in the future:


As mentioned before, Dethleffs Germany sent me a duplicate Certificate of Conformity, which together with an MOT (done just on the VIN) and statement from the MOT garage about the headlights, speedo and fog light being converted for UK road use, was sent off to the Vehicle Certification Agency in Bristol to be recognised as an appropriate vehicle for UK registration. They were a bit picky about the garage statement being on the correct "letterhead" or "invoice" paper, but otherwise turned it round almost by return of post - for their £100 fee...


So all the paperwork was then ready to fill in the DVLA registration forms (sent with the £55 fee and £235 VED) and again (to give a .gov agency credit where it's due) it took only a week for the V5C to come back to me, with the registration number for me to get some plates made up.


In total the whole process has taken me about 5 weeks - from collecting the van in France, to being UK registered.


So now I'm all legal and on the road - ready for our first trip away in the new van next week. Happy days!


Thanks for the help and ideas everyone.
 

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Glad to hear that it has all worked, threads such as these do help others facing the same problems and demands.

Just as an aside, and it may be irrelevant, was your vehicle registered with the current registration registration code for this part of this year? Or did you get one for an "08" vehicle? Or did you end up with a "Q" style registration (my son has one of those for his kit car)? I believed that the registration issued cannot make the vehicle appear younger than it actually is - hence my question.

Enjoy your new UK registered vehicle.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Reg plate year code

Glad to hear that it has all worked, threads such as these do help others facing the same problems and demands.

Just as an aside, and it may be irrelevant, was your vehicle registered with the current registration registration code for this part of this year? Or did you get one for an "08" vehicle? Or did you end up with a "Q" style registration (my son has one of those for his kit car)? I believed that the registration issued cannot make the vehicle appear younger than it actually is - hence my question.

Enjoy your new UK registered vehicle.

Dave
The van got a "57" plate - presumably as that is the year it was manufactured. It's a bit of a shame it didn't get an "08" as that was the year of first registration in France, evidenced by the Carte Grise - the French log-book/V5C equivalent, which you have to send to DVLA and you don't get it back. From my interpretation of the paperwork, a "Q" plate is only allocated if the age of the vehicle cannot be reliably determined - eg a kit car from various used components or a used import that does not have its original registration documents etc.
 
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