DVLA requirements to reclassify a motor caravan converted from a van

There are no doubt a number of motor caravan enthusiasts who love to get involved in a bit of DIY. So much so, that every year a few are even attracted to converting a van into a motor caravan.

What are the benefits of converting a van to a motor caravan?

There are several with some of the main ones being: –

• It could save you some money in comparison to buying a second-hand or new motor caravan.
• It enables you to personalise the motor caravan.
• It provides you with some inexpensive holidays that you can take more frequently.
• It may result in lower road tax and MOT fee as well as less expensive insurance.
• Subject to its unladen weight, you may be able to travel at a higher speed.

What must you do once your van has been converted into a motor caravan?

One of the most important things is to have the V5C UK Registration Certificate updated with the correct classification of vehicle so you will need to return the V5C to the DVLA for amendment. No fee is payable to the DVLA.

What are the DVLA’s requirements to reclassify the vehicle as a motor caravan?

For a vehicle to be reclassified as a motor caravan it must look like one from the outside and have a number of features as a minimum. These minimum features are: –
• On the side of the accommodation area there must be at least one window.
• The living accommodation must have a door into it.
• It must have the likes of a wardrobe, locker or cupboard for storage purposes that is permanently fixed.
• A bed with a minimum length of 6 feet or 1800mm that is fixed permanently to the bodywork must form part of the living accommodation. It could be converted from a seat.
• An electric or gas cooking facility must be fixed permanently in/to the vehicle.
• A water container or water storage tank must be in or on the vehicle.
• A dining and seating area must be provided. The table must be able to be attached permanently to the motor caravan although it can have the facility to be detached. The seating must be permanently secured to the floor or sidewall of the vehicle.

Do you need to provide the DVLA with any evidence of the conversion?

Yes. In order that the DVLA can amend the logbook you will need to provide them with a description of the conversion works, receipts and photographs of the conversion work. The DVLA could require the vehicle to be inspected.

As a guide, there should be photos of: –
• The outside of the vehicle, showing the entrance door and window to the living accommodation as well as the front and rear number plates being in the photos.
• The inside of the living accommodation showing the cooker, water storage, dining and seating area to include showing how the table/seating is attached to the vehicle, the storage accommodation and the bed and how it is permanently fixed. (If it is converted from a seat send photos of the seat and how it converts).

The DVLA will also require the dates when the conversion work was carried out and see receipts for items purchased in connection with the work as well as any receipts for payment to any tradespeople working on the conversion.

If you comply with all the above you should have no problem in having your DIY converted motor caravan reclassified from being a van. Don’t forget to inform AIB Insurance of the new classification so that we can have your vehicle insurance changed.

For motorhome, RV or campervan insurance call our team on 02380 268351 or visit our motorhome page at www.aib-insurance.co.uk/products/car-insurance/motorhome-insurance