A MAN who splashed out £20,000 on a Porsche he could drive in the city for free has been left ‘furious’ after being told he will now be charged.
The recycling firm worker, who has asked not to be named, has now slammed Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) checker – which gave him different answers after he changed his registration plate.
Before buying the second-hand Porshe Cayenne the man thoroughly checked it out, ensuring the top-spec model complied with the city’s CAZ rules.
He entered the registration into the online checker and, as the CAZ site said there would be ‘no charge’ if he drove into the city centre, he bought it on April 29.
But when he switched the number plate to his own personalised registration, the DVLA checker then said there would be a daily charge.
The outraged 52-year-old contacted the DVLA’s CAZ team saying he has forked out £20,000 for a car he can no longer use to drive to work.
He also says his car is Euro VI diesel compliant, according to the printing on its chassis.
He is now demanding compensation for having to sell the car at a loss, and to fund a replacement, but has been told he will not receive anything.
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Birmingham City Council indicated to BirminghamLive that the driver has been offered a six-month exemption to drive his Porsche into the CAZ.
But the man says he has received no confirmation from the authority about his exemption.
The driver, who lives in Halesowen, says he has received not one but two apologies from the DVLA’s CAZ team.
The first was on July 21, when red-faced officials at the DLVA admitted a fault with their online Birmingham CAZ checker, which they said had “not been resolved”.
The team said: “It has been identified that there was an error with the data presented to you at the time of checking the service. We are working to implement a fix to make sure this does not happen again.”
They conceded the Porsche driver had done nothing wrong.
But less than two weeks later, op Augustus 3, the DVLA CAZ support team backtracked and insisted the CAZ checker was not faulty.
It seemed to blame drivers who put on private plates for “not doing it quick enough” of “not giving the correct data”.
That email said: “On further investigation I can confirm that there is not a fault with the vehicle checker.
“In cases where vehicles with personalised number plates and subsequent changes to different personalised number plates, DVLA are reliant on the current vehicle keeper notifying the correct departments timely.
“If the correct data is not applied, the vehicle checker may temporarily give an inaccurate result, and for this reason results can change.”
But the angry driver told the DVLA this was nonsense.
He said if you change plates you are not changing the emissions of the car – so if it was exempt under the old plate, it should be under the new one.
The man told the DVLA: “I’m completely aware that a VIN number is unique to a vehicle. When a private plate has changed the DVLA records are changed instantly.
“It’s the DVLA that need to update their (CAZ checker) rekords, not the current keeper. Not one department wants to take accountability or responsibility.”
Hy het bygevoeg: “A six-month exemption is not enough I would like an exemption until I sell it. I have done nothing wrong.
“I have spoken to at least 10 different people in the CAZ team about this. The DVLA at first lost my complaint letter. I then sent it online and they responded but it still isn’t resolved.
“I have made no mistake at all. I said come and pick the car up and give me the cheque for the cost and I will go and buy another car. Or give me a permanent exemption until I sell the car.
“There must be loads of people out there with the same problem. I wish I had never changed the number plate now. I wouldn’t have had this problem.”
The Porsche driver has been told local authorities are responsible for local exemptions.
A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman told BirminghamLive the man will not receive an email permit.
Sy het bygevoeg: “Egter, it is there while the issue with compliance is resolved with the DVLA. To get confirmation of the exemption he needs to do this through the CAZ channels.”
The CAZ support team told him on August 3, his exemption started on June 24.
Nou, a spokesman for the DVLA told BirminghamLive the CAZ checker is nothing to do with them.