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Defender Puma Middle Front Seat - Legal?


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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of an authoritative source on whether a middle front seat in a Puma (2 years old, already registered) is legal or not. Scouring the web brings up a whole range of views. A few points:

- I've spoken to a LR dealer who fits them who says they are both legal and insurable

- I've spoken to an insurer who is happy to insure a 6 seat 110 Utility Wagon

- Plenty of people on web suggest that as the middle seat wasn't an option for the Puma it is therefore not 'type approved' and hence would not be legal

- The points system for the Radically Altered Vehicle test seems to suggest that an extra seat wouldn't qualify as radical alteration and hence doesn't need re-registering

- Possibly the MOT man saying it is ok would be sufficient

- The vehicle registration document would need to be updated to show 6 seats not 5

So it seems to fall into a bit of a grey area and haven't been able to get a definitive answer on legality....obviously don't want to install if illegal but keen to do so if it is legal (and I realise leg room will be awful, gear stick close to seat etc)

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The problem might be seatbelt requirement for that year of vehicle , eg a lap belt not being sufficient for a front seat ,I have noticed even in later vans and trucks with 3 seats in cab that the centre is now a lap and diagonal ? Are you sure that you have the number of seats in your vehicle actually stated on the V5 ?

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Vehicle currently has 5 seats (the pics above aren't of mine). It does seem like it is the seatbelt that is the problem I think - as apparently it is the combination of seat belt and vehicle that has to be type approved and it wouldn't be for the Puma as LR wouldn't have put it through this process. I think I'll have to try and ring the DVLA and understand what, if any, inspection they would want to give it.

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I was under the impression that all the seating changes on the TDCI introduction, which were costly and vastly reduced capacity and flexibility, were due to legislation. As I understand it, all seat belts on vehicles that age need to be three-point, even in the back. That would be the issue, not the seat itself. Best checking with VOSA directly, as it would invalidate your insurance for sure and coulp potentlially lead to prosecution if someone was injured in that seat.

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