SALLY SORTS IT: DVLA drove me mad with licence delays that’s stopping me from picking up my motorhome!

I’m having a nightmare with the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) renewing my driver’s license so I can pick up an RV I’m buying.

It is now well past the three weeks required by the DVLA to issue the permit. The package was signed on 6 June.

I sent it to the over 70 renewal office (I’m 73) but apparently since I also enclosed a clean medical exam as requested, it should have gone to another office.

But couldn’t this have been resolved internally? Basically, I am at risk of losing my £5,000 deposit, and even the van itself, because of these delays.

The DVLA says it’s trying to get the paperwork, but it looks like I’ll have to start the whole process over again, including paying for another medical exam.

Road trip: A reader has been waiting for more than three weeks for the DVLA to renew his driver’s license so he can pick up his new RV

I have photos of all original forms, but they will not be accepted unless the photo is certified by the same doctor, which is not possible to arrange within the time given.

The grandchildren are now on school holidays and we have booked and paid for two trips in the new van for £1,300, including going to Loch Ness to do a bit of monster hunting. I’m afraid to disappoint them.

YES, Musselburgh.

Sally Hamilton replies: You were driven around the bend to reinstate an authorization that allows you to drive vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons. You previously had this authorization, a so-called C1 accreditation, on your driving licence.

But because you turned 70 three years ago, the authorization was automatically revoked. You didn’t reapply then because you didn’t expect to drive such a large vehicle again.

But recently you decided it would be fun to take your grandchildren on holiday in a motorhome and started hunting for a suitable six-berth vehicle.

You found the perfect one, paid your £5,000 deposit and completed the forms (in what you thought was plenty of time) to restore your right to drive a motorhome.

The process should have been simple, but you soon hit a roadblock. As you described, the DVLA claimed not to have seen your forms – or your current driver’s license and the necessary medical records to prove you are still fit to drive. You disputed this because you had a Royal Mail confirmation that it had been received and signed on 6 June.

You called the DVLA every day after the three-week deadline passed to check on progress, but you got nowhere. At the end of your tether you asked for my help. This was the Friday before the Monday you were supposed to pick up your new bike, so you were desperate.

I went to the DVLA and asked him to pull out all the stops and get your paperwork done before the end of the game.

It sprang into action and put a manager in charge to deal with you directly. But the day passed without resolution. I have contacted the organization several times to get it.

In the end it said you would have to resubmit the forms along with a new medical exam.

Although you felt your blood pressure was reaching boiling point, you managed to set up (and get it) a private doctor with a doctor a few miles from where you live, for £50. You scanned the report and together emailed with new forms to the DVLA contact person.

You and I thought everything would finally be okay. Not so. On Monday morning, as you were getting ready to travel to pick up the new van, it turned out that the doctor hadn’t filled out the medical forms correctly. At that time, the DVLA used its discretion to accept a photo of the original medical report (as a temporary measure).

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, you left for Crewe to collect the vehicle.

Finally, before you arrived at your destination, an email arrived in your inbox confirming that your application had been processed and the deal went through.

I can report that you are now behind the wheel of your new purchase and on the hunt for Nessie with happy grandchildren in tow.

Motorists wishing to drive larger vehicles should consult for the rules. Essentially, they can drive a van up to 3.5 tons with a standard driver’s license, but anything over that weight requires drivers to have an additional authorization. Driving without it can result in a fine of up to £1,000, or three to six penalty points on a driver’s license.

Drivers aged 70 should be aware that they must renew their driving license every three years. This can be done online for standard licenses, but where additional categories such as C1 are required, as in your case, the application must be completed by mail.

In many cases, drivers can continue to drive while a license is being renewed, but only if they are driving under the terms of their previous license (and if they have not been disqualified). This exemption did not apply in your case because your category C1 was withdrawn.

Straight to the point

On 23 May British Gas replaced my gas meter after it stopped reading.

When I received the final bill for this meter, I was shocked to discover that my energy consumption had increased by 1,200 percent compared to the same period last year.

I have contacted British Gas who said they would send me a revised bill but it still has not arrived.

IH, Devon.

British Gas says it used an estimated value when it replaced your gas meter, which caused the inaccurate bill.

It apologizes for the mistake and has now updated your meter readings and sent you a revised bill.


Last October my husband paid £38 for a mattress and bed frame to be collected by Kingston Council but it was never collected.

We have called and written to the municipality several times, but have had no response. Please help.

ML, Kingston.

The City of Kingston collected the mattress from your home on Monday, nine months after your original appointment.


Earlier this month my neighbor bought a Montpellier cooker from Currys but when it arrived it was faulty.

Currys says it needs a code from Montpellier to replace the cooker, but Montpellier says it will only give the code if the machine has been inspected by a technician, which costs £98. My neighbor can’t afford this. Please help.

JR, Chepstow.

Currys apologizes for the delay in resolving this issue and has replaced the cooker free of charge which your neighbor is happy with.

Who spent my 5000 Nectar Points?

I am absolutely desperate. I have been having a problem with my Nectar account since June 2022 when I discovered on my return from a river cruise abroad that two amounts in excess of 5,000 Nectar points had been spent from my account somewhere in the South of England.

I live in the northeast. I called Nectar who said it would investigate and a few days later it said the points would be reinstated but I would get a new card.

I went to register the card online and was told a code would be sent to the phone number ending in three certain digits – but these didn’t belong to my phone.

I called to complain but was told this was the number they linked to my Sainsbury’s account. I don’t have a Sainsbury’s account.

I went back and forth on the issue and even called in Gateshead Trading Standards as I was getting nowhere.

Someone there alerted the boss of Sainsbury’s who did respond and added 3,000 points to my account for the inconvenience. I tried the new card at an Esso gas station and got an email from Nectar congratulating me for swiping my card there.

I thought the card was finally registered. But no, I still couldn’t access my account because I encountered the same problem with the phone number.

Almost a year later, this has still not been settled. Please help as I calculate I have £70 worth of points I can’t access.

PG, Ryton-on-Tyne.

Sally Hamilton replies: Sensing your frustration, I asked Nectar, owned by Sainsbury’s, to solve the phone number riddle.

Your original account was fraudulently taken over by someone else or a lucky Nectar customer accidentally received and spent your points.

I couldn’t get to the bottom of what had happened initially, but the good news is that within a few days of my intervention the situation was resolved, you had correctly activated your new card and finally had access to your account, where you as an apology Nectar had added an extra £100 in points to the £70 that had been out of reach for so long.

A spokesperson for Nectar says: “We have reached out to your reader to apologize for her experience and have offered her a gesture of goodwill.

“Our technical team has been in touch to finalize the registration of its new Nectar card.”

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email – include telephone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organization giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send any original documents, we cannot take any responsibility for that. The Daily Mail assumes no legal liability for answers provided.

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