Are you converting a panel van into a campervan? If so, there are benefits to registering your conversion with the DVLA.
But how do you register a campervan conversion? In this post we’ll discuss the laws that apply to conversions, and let you know how to register yours.
You should also inform your insurer about any changes you make to any vehicle. This includes converting a van into a campervan.
Want to discuss your campervan insurance needs with an experienced expert? Our friendly team is always on-hand to find you exactly the cover you need at a price you can afford. Call us on 0208 290 9086 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DVLA Rules for Registering Campervan Conversions
The DVLA has an obligation to record vehicle details for road safety and law enforcement. This is why you need to register your campervan conversion: The DVLA needs up-to-date information on what vehicles look like in traffic, to allow the police and other enforcement agencies to easily identify them, if need be.
DVLA Requirements for Campervan Conversions
The DVLA will only register a vehicle as a motor caravan if it meets certain requirements.
First, the body type shown on your V5C logbook should be one of the following:
- Box van
- Insulated van
- Light goods
- Light van
- Livestock carrier
- Luton van
- Multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)
- Panel van
- Specially fitted van
- Special mobile unit
- Van with side windows
On top of this, your conversion must meet certain requirements on both the exterior and the interior.
External requirements include:
- Two or more windows on at least one side of the vehicle (not including windows on the driver’s or passenger’s door).
- An additional door to allow access to the conversion’s living area.
- Motor caravan style graphics on each side of the vehicle – the DVLA do not go into much detail as to what constitutes “motor caravan style graphics”. It could be something as simple as a single stripe.
- An awning bar on either side of the vehicle.
- A high-top roof for added headroom (not including pop-top elevating roofs).
Internal requirements include:
- Seats and a table.
- Sleeping accommodation (including seats that fold into a bed).
- Cooking and storage facilities.
Furthermore, all of this equipment must be rigidly fixed to the living compartment, though the table may be removable.
These are the features that the DVLA says are “commonly seen in motor caravans”. They are things the DLVA “expects to see when considering your application”. So you may not need to tick every box. But the more boxes you can tick, the more likely the DVLA are to approve your application.
How to Register Your Campervan Conversion
First, you need to fill in section 1 of your V5C – or section 7, if you have an older style V5C. This will confirm that your vehicle has one of the applicable body types that we mention above. You also need to complete the DVLA’s motor caravan conversion checklist.
You’ll need to gather certain evidence:
- Interior photos of each of the required features. Be sure to show both the bed and table in use position, and that there are two or more windows on at least one side of the main body.
- Exterior photos from the front, both sides and rear, with your registration plates clearly visible.
- A photo showing the vehicle identification number (VIN), or the chassis number stamped on the plate attached to the vehicle bodyshell, or the original chassis.
Write a short description on the back of each photo, explaining what it shows. Also include the date on which the photo was taken, and your vehicle’s registration number. Please note that the DVLA does not automatically return these photographs, but they will do so if you ask.
Send all of this evidence, along with your V5C and your completed conversion checklist, to:
What Happens Next?
The DVLA will consider all of the information you provide. If necessary, they will request an inspection. You won’t have to pay for an inspection, but you may have to pay for any costs associated with transporting your vehicle for inspection.
If the DVLA approves your conversion, they will allocate an appropriate description based on the changes you’ve made. But if they turn down your application, they will decide that your vehicle’s body type must stay the same.
But if the DVLA turns down your application, it does not mean that it’s illegal for you to use your campervan conversion as a motorhome! Remember, registering with the DVLA only updates your conversion so vehicle’s appearance in their database. You’ll still be able to camp in – or even live in – your conversion so long as you’re happy the interior meets certain standards.
What Are The Benefits of Registering Your Campervan Conversion With the DVLA?
If you can still camp in your campervan conversion even if the DLVA turns your application down, then is there any need to apply in the first place?
There are certain benefits to registering your conversion as a motor caravan. The main one is insurance. Campervan insurance can be cheaper than standard van insurance.
The campervan conversion specialists at Climbingvan submitted a freedom of information request to the DVLA, and found that, between 2019 – 2020, just 5% of campervan conversion requests were successful. So if the DVLA does turn down your conversion request, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Yet this does mean that you may end up paying more for insurance than you should. So talk to us about your campervan insurance needs. Tell us everything about your vehicle, and about how you intend to use it, and we’ll work to find you cover that ticks all your boxes at a price you can afford. Call us on 0208 290 9086 or email us at email@example.com.