I finally got my free road tax, what a hassle it was. See my post above, the Post Office wrote historic in the changes section on my v5 and sent it off. A month later I’d heard nothing. I rang the dvla and they told me they had no record of my v5 coming in to be changed, I spoke to them online and they confirmed my v5 had arrived but had been rejected. Turned out I couldn’t just change my v5 to historic. I had to apply for a years tax and that’s when they change it.
Eventually my v5 came back, so I followed the instructions from the dvla and went back to the post office, this time the main one rather than my local one. I asked to tax my bike under the free historic ruling. It can’t be done they said. The lady on the counter talked with various colleagues and came back to me saying I couldn’t have free tax till 2019 as my bike was not old enough. I had to bring up the Dvla’s website and show them that my bike was eligible. As stated on their site, any bike registered up to the end off 1977 gets free tax, and also any bike registered from 01 to 07 of January 1978 gets free tax. My bike was registered 01/01/78. After handing them my phone, they read the rules and agreed my bike should get free tax but the computer wouldn’t let them issue it. They told me to go and contact dvla.
Again I rang them and explained my situation. Lady on the phone said I couldn’t have free tax as my bike was not registered in 1977. I had to again explain their own rules to them, that any bike registered in the first week of 1978 also gets free tax. She then went into their computer system, which showed my bike as having a registration date of 01/01/78 but then showed the date of manufacture almost a year later as 31/12/78. The lady then said I couldn’t have free tax due to the manufacture date. At this point I was struggling to stay calm, if the bike was in the uk registered on the first day of 1978, it couldn’t then be built a year later on the last day of 1978. I gave up and put the phone down.
I then went back to the dvla online chat system, as the people on there seem to be more helpful than those on the phone line. I explained my situation to the man on there. He knew exactly what was going on, he explained any bike registered in the first was of 1978 would have an assumed manufacture date of late 1977 so would indeed qualify to be historic and get the free tax. He told me to write a covering letter and then fill out a manual form to apply for the tax and post it all off to the dvla along with my v5. I’ve just got a letter back today confirming that it’s all sorted and my bike is now classed as historic and taxed for the next year with zero charge. Very happy to be sorted but it’s been very difficult dealing with staff who don’t know their own rules.