View Full Version : Advising DVLA of engine changes

05-05-2010, 04:08 PM
I've recently sent my V5C to DVLA to advise them of an engine change, from the V6 3.0 engine to a 1.6l engine, I filled out the V5C with the new capacity and the new engine number and I've got a letter back from DVLA. It says that I need to provide them with evidence of the engine change from the following

Receipt of purchase on headed paper from a garage
Inspection report from a body such as RAC or AA
Inspection report provided for insurance purposes
Written confirmation from the manufacturer showing the enigine number and size

Now I had the engine hanging around in my garage for about 3 years after I scrapped the Ford Escort that I took it out of, but as I cant remember the Reg number of the Escort, neither DVLA or Ford can confirm the engine details!

I've been told by DVLA that if I can get an independent garage to verify the engine fitted is the engine that I say is fitted, and they will confirm this on headed paper, then that should suffice!

05-05-2010, 05:13 PM
I'm afraid them's the new rules. You can't even change an engine yourself now without some sort of official confirmation. This new ruling is at the heart of the current "right to repair" campaign.

I guess all you can realistically do is get an inspection done, either by an independent garage, or one of those AA/RAC insurance jobs (assuming they are agreeable). Good luck!


05-05-2010, 06:05 PM
How do the powers-that-be keep managing to make doing things so pointlessly difficult? - in some ways we need a depression that forces people to 'make do and mend' in the traditional British way rather than this STUPID nanny state nonsense............ Rant over (for now) :blushing:

05-05-2010, 07:42 PM
Because law-makers are hired to make laws, and by golly, thats what they're going to do! Otherwise, they'd be forced to find real jobs. You know, the kind that actually provide a service or product that somebody is willing (not forced) to pay for. Glad to see those of us in the States arent the only ones with this problem. Rant done here as well.

Vasco Da Gamer
05-05-2010, 10:58 PM
I had the exact same letter when I updated the DVLA after buying mine.

I had the car inspected by a local aircooled Beetle specialist - who could only give his best guess at what the engine size is exactly since the heads have not been off yet, but he came up with a (nearly) suitable letter.

Your post has reminded me - the letter they sent could not be used since it stated Nova specifically and I would really rather not get into all that yet - the V5 still states Beetle. I have asked them to do me one referring to my VW and the license plate instead, which I think is fair - I don't want them to have to "lie" as it were since they could be picked up on it later. I need to remind them though...



05-05-2010, 10:59 PM
Hiya JemP

Take your engine number to a Ford parts department and ask them for a price for a new head or cranckshaft. Then ask them to print it off. you should have what youd Need to keep DVLA happy. It is a HGV Now LGV new rules. Standard practis for parts but usualay use the VIN Number.


05-05-2010, 11:11 PM
Hiya Vasco Da Gamer

The V5 did not state Beetle wen I had the v5 it was just volkswagon saloon.


06-05-2010, 07:51 AM
The reasoning given by the DVLa was that people are reporting engine changes to avoid higher road tax. I can understand that, but we're talking historic vehicle here!! No Tax!
Ben, I'm not sure that would work, as they don't want just confirmation of the engine details, but that it has been fitted to the car. Having said that, the recommendation was "have a word with a "friendly local garage mechanic and get him to write a letter" There was no inference that the mechanic necessarily needed to see the car, or the engine :)

06-05-2010, 08:04 AM
So you just need to find a 'friendly local garage mechanic' that can write........ :lmfao:

06-05-2010, 09:04 AM
Easier said than done :rofl:

06-05-2010, 09:11 AM
Damn you Alex!! I hadnt thought of that one LOL!
Maybe if I wrote the letter for them in advance, they could then just sign it, and I could print it off on one of their headed letter sheets. A big X would do, which is quite apt considering the number of big X's being written today!!

Thinking laterally here, would there be any reason why I couldn't use a letter heading of one of my companies? And get one of the other partners to sign it? Theres a guy on a VW forum who does Subaru conversions, he's offering his services to anyone who sends him a couple of pics and the engine details, and he'll put together the letter :)

06-05-2010, 10:14 AM
Thought this all only applied to those changing engines for a smaller size (for said tax reasons)? I thought if you enlarge the engine they had no problem with it?

06-05-2010, 10:19 AM
Damn you Alex!! I hadnt thought of that one LOL!
Maybe if I wrote the letter for them in advance, they could then just sign it, and I could print it off on one of their headed letter sheets.

I did a similar thing when my son broke the neck off my acoustic guitar. I typed up a letter saying it was beyond economical repair and took the guitar and letter to a music shop repair guy who signed a blank headed sheet for me to reprint the letter onto. All for the price of a pint.


06-05-2010, 09:26 PM
Although it was about 3 years ago the DVLA had no worries accepting my engine change from 4 to 6 cylinders & 1.2 to 2.5l, 4 seats to 2 and green (sorry Lauren) to black.

Do the DVLA verify the engine installer/Garage? If not just create your own Garage headed paper (Go Slow Motors perhaps) write your own letter, sign it & bob's your uncle!!


07-05-2010, 07:58 AM
Thought this all only applied to those changing engines for a smaller size (for said tax reasons)? I thought if you enlarge the engine they had no problem with it?

I am changing it for a smaller size, although it is tax exempt!! According to DVLA this applies for all engine changes.

07-05-2010, 11:23 AM
I think we need to play the game here guys - you wouldn't want our nice Mr DVLA man to think we would do anything underhanded now, would you?

(hint, hint :D)

But I agree the system is a draconian one, I'm glad I haven't made any engine changes recently...


08-05-2010, 08:44 AM
I had a similar problem when I upgraded my engine. I wrote in and had the same letter asking for proof. I wasn't in the UK so I asked my mum to go to the garage that rebuilt the engine with a photo of the engine stamp for them to do the letter.

Problem was that they only put the first line of the engine number (split over two lines) on the letter which my mother sent off. So now it doesn't match the engine number! Given all the DVLA changes and recent posts I'm not going to try to change it again for the time being as I don't want to cause more problems :wink:

23-06-2010, 05:18 PM
Okay, really nothing to worry about with the engine size change. I just found a garage who wrote a letter saying that the engine number XXXX was fitted to vehicle reg XXXX XXX and that the capacity of the engine is XXXX
On headed paper, signed and dated, sent off to DVLA - and in return? A brand new V5C :)

23-06-2010, 07:52 PM
Excellent! Nice to see a satisfactory result can be obtained by following the rules!


21-07-2010, 06:50 PM
On the DVLA web site it states:

Change to engine and cylinder capacity (engine size)

DVLA will need written evidence of any changes to engine number and cylinder capacity (cc). Written evidence can be:

•a receipt for the replacement engine
•written evidence from the manufacturer
•an inspection report provided for insurance purposes
•written confirmation on headed paper from a garage if the change in engine size took place before you bought the vehicle

•an inspection report provided for insurance purposes

Surely Club Nova coul therefore provide a report - insurance companies typically accept valuation/descriptions from owners clubs.

Just a thought for those needing this in the future,

21-07-2010, 07:05 PM
Club Nova should happily be able to perform such services, so long as we were not being asked to lie/endorse untruths....Paul Fryer use to provide written valuations for insurance companies based on his knowledge of build costs.

21-07-2010, 07:34 PM
Club Nova should happily be able to perform such services, so long as we were not being asked to lie/endorse untruths....Paul Fryer use to provide written valuations for insurance companies based on his knowledge of build costs.

That's what I thought Alex - I remember Paul offering to support me with Nena's valuation.

Having just read this thread I do think there is a little over reaction, as I have found on various other car forums. It seems to me not unreasonable for DVLA to ask for evidence of a non visible change (as opposed to colour which is pretty obvious!). I have seen evidence being accepted on other forums including:

Receipts from breakers for replacement engines
Log books of scrapped cars which have donated them, or even reference to the scrapped vehicle
Owners club reports
Independent garage reports
Engine receipts
and even self build manuals and photos

A fair bit to work with there I think !

22-07-2010, 07:21 PM
As my engine was an ebay sale, would the sales receipt be enough for them. As without a capacity test there is no other way to tell the cc, if only VW stamped a number on the barrels but then they can be rebored or other mods to make that useless.

22-07-2010, 07:50 PM
IF that was a question, I would doubt an Ebay receipt would do UNLESS it had the full engine number on it - then it would become the sellers problem to prove provenance if they wanted to follow it up.....

23-07-2010, 10:35 AM
Jim , the receipt from ebay won't do. I went through this in some detail with the DVLA. The receipt should be from the garage who fitted the engine - I explained that I fitted the engine! They seemed to be amazed that anyone can do a DIY engine change!
Anyway, the best route is to take the car to a garage, if you have a regular mechanic then use them. All they need to do is to write out a letter saying they can confirm the engine number xxxxxxx is fitted to car reg XXXXXXX
They are only really interested in road tax band dodgers, so with a historic Vehicle it is a formality. i just sent a covering letter with5 the letter from the garage and within a few days, all sorted.

13-06-2011, 07:43 PM
I think I'm going to cry... my car has been off the road for 20 years or so...(!) since the original engine died, I fitted a type four engine bought second hand, which 'aledgedly' had been rebuilt from 1700 to 2000 by Haslock. I have no proof of this, so no idea what the engine size actually is. I'm sure dvla must know the 'declared' size by its engine number.

Prior to going to mot, found that the chassis had rotted at the front, do has now been a total strip and rebuild...

I'm guessing to stand any chancw of getting the document changed I will have to get my mechanic to write a letter... but what do I do about the capacity? I had though to say it was the original 1700, but don't know whats correct!

If I have to strip this down and buy a new base 2000 type four, to fit all the refurbished bits and items sourced from the states, then I'm definatly going to cry!


(tried to upload a file of a pic of the engine, but din't seem to work?!?)

13-06-2011, 07:53 PM
Martin, if your car is registered as a historic vehicle, i.e. before Jan 1973, then DVLA don't need any proof of engine fitting detals and will just change it. The regulations were changed afte some serious lobbying by Danny hopkins at Practical Classics magazine, and many others.
If it is registered after 1973, fear not, let me know and i'll PM you what to do

13-06-2011, 08:07 PM
Thanks for that! not sure the exact date... its an old 'J' reg? (I need to find my reg doc!)
(Do you mean before 73...)
I had read the bits in practiacl classics, but never saw the outcome!

Big Birds Car
13-06-2011, 08:12 PM
Yes before 73 so if yours is a J reg then that would be around 71 so you would be ok, DVLA may still ask for proof but you just have to tell them they need to read their own regulations, not all the DVLA personel are clued up on it, or weren't just a couple of months ago.

13-06-2011, 08:39 PM
not all the DVLA personel are clued up on it

Understatement of the year!! :) I'm not sure what they're clued up on really, not a great deal

13-06-2011, 08:44 PM
Great, thanks for the info! still a long way to go, but at least the work so far won't have been wasted!

Big Birds Car
14-06-2011, 08:57 AM
Understatement of the year!! I'm not sure what they're clued up on really, not a great deal

The local offices appear to be worse than the main place in Wales, (and that is crap) but next year they won't be as they will have closed them down (or that is the plan at the moment anyway) and then all inspections in the future will be dealt with by VOSA or the Police, not sure if that is better or worse, and everything else will be dealt with by the welsh lot!

14-06-2011, 01:30 PM
I think if VOSA do it, it will be on a par with how it is today or a bit worse. If the Police do it, it will be a total nightmare. They'd have to learn the law, and a whole load of it. Although the flip side of that is of course, the Police don't have and never will have the resources to get themselves properly trained up in legal matters, and would never be able to act as a pro-active enforcement body. The Welsh lot just like fining people for no good (or legal) reason. They are a bunch of chancers, send enough enforcement letters and fines out to enough people and a percentage will pay without question! And they'll sell your details to anybody for £2.50 a pop!!