LDV Pilot MinibusIf this looks slightly familiar you may have seen our minibus on Fifth Gear many years ago (subsequently repeated quite a few times on Dave). Next page is a mini web write-up I did at the time; but I should explain why we don't still have the vehicle.
Everything I said originally was accurate but later vehicle insurance became a nightmare. The DVLA tax classification 'minibus' introduced a huge penalty no matter who I went to. At insurance renewal I was quoted nearly ten times the cost of our ordinary family car of similar age and value. I had a clean licence, many years of experience and full no-claims discount so was perplexed at the premium rise. The only excuse given was it could carry 9+ people and therefore could result in a big personal injury claim. This is nonsense because two ordinary cars could carry the same number of people and I could insure both cars for a tiny fraction of sum now demanded for the minibus.
In the end I took out another seat and had DVLA reclassify the vehicle as a private car. This change alone reduced the insurance to about one third of the original figure, but it was still comparatively expensive.
Vehicle insurance is quite rightly mandatory, but because of this there must be control to make it fair and reasonable. This looks like the insurance industry working on the basis of 'how much can we profit' rather than 'what is the risk'. Is it another example of how the "free market" fails to deliver? Or perhaps that particular seat I removed is the most lethal seat in ever invented[!]
There was one further reason I moved on from the minibus: I kept getting it stuck! This was not particularly a fault of the vehicle but rather where I wanted to go, it most definitely is not at home off a metalled road. So I bought a Land Rover Defender instead, that has never got stuck.