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Legal Information, Requirements and Rules for Camper Vans DVLA

Update: July 2012 - The DVLA have reverted to their original policy regarding re-registering of campervans.  The vehicle does not need to have graphics on to be re-registered.  A well converted vehicle with windows is likely to be registered as a Motorcaravan, and not a van with side windows.

Update:  March 2011 - Many people applying to have vehicles re-registered as "Motor Caravans" with the DVLA are being refused, as their vehicle does "Not look like a motor caravan from the outside".  The DVLA are then re-classifying the vehicles as "Vans with windows".  Apparently this is a problem for the Police and other authorities, who cannot identify converted vehicles easily from the outside.  This page will be updated when new information is confirmed.

If you are converting a van to a campervan or motorhome then you need to consider whether you want to re-register the vehicle with your vehicle authority.

In the UK

In the UK you have the option of re-registering your van as a "motor caravan" with the DVLA.  It is not a requirement to re-register the vehicle.  You can continue to use the vehicle as a campervan, even if it is still registered as a "panel van", assuming you have adequate (i.e. campervan) insurance.

Why Re-register as a "Motor Caravan"?

Although you do not need to re-register a campervan conversion, here are the befeits of doing so

  1. Cheaper Insurance - Generally leisure vehicles such as campervans are cheaper to insure the panel vans.  This is because they generally have fewer claims, do fewer miles and are not used for commercial use.  Keep in mind that you can still get your self build insured as a campervan even if the vehicle is registered as a panel van.  Campervan insurance is generally 10% - 50% cheaper than van insurance.
  2. Contents Insurance - Vehicles registered as campervans generally have better contents insurance than panel vans.  This is because a campervan contains personal belongings such as mobile phone, laptops, jewellery, etc.  Whereas a panel van typically contains tools and parts for commercial use.
  3. Might be able to travel faster - Vans with an unladen weight of under 3050kg can travel at a maximum of 60mph on a dual carriageway.  But this increases to 70mph on a dual carriageway for vehicles registered as campervans.  All other speed limits remain the same.  Vehicles with a unladen weight over 3050kg (i.e. all 3500kg vans) have no change in speed limit when re-registering as a campervan.
  4. Cheaper MOT - Class VII vehicles (between 3000kg and 3500kg) registered as camper vans come under the cheaper and less restriction Class IV MOT rules.  When inspecting the vehicle the MOT tester has to test the vehicle "as it is presented".  So if a campervan is presented, that would normally be class VII, even if it is not re-registered as a campervan, the MOT tester should test is as class IV vehicle.
  5. Might get cheaper ferry prices - Travelling on a ferry is typically cheaper for a campervan or motorhome than a commercial van.  Most ferry companies look at a converted campervan and are happy for it to pay the cheaper campervan price.  However, a few ferry companies will use the DVLA log book classification to determine whether to price the vehicle as a commercial vehicle or not.

Change of Vehicle Classification

If you decide that you want to re-register your van as a campervan you should contact your local vehicle authority.  In the UK this is the DVLA.

Before doing this make sure you vehicle meets all of the criteria mentioned below.

What makes a 'Motor Caravan'?

For a vehicle to qualify as a 'Motor Caravan' in the UK in the eyes of the DVLA the following permanent fixtures must be present:

  1. Sleeping Accommodation
    • There must be a bed with a minimum length of 6ft or 180cms
    • The bed must be an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation area
    • The bed must be permanent or converted from seats (the bed can fold away during the day)
    • The bed fixtures must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and/or side walls, unless it is over the drivers cab compartment.
  2. Door
    • There must be a horizontal sliding door or an outward opening rear or side door.
  3. Seats and Tables
    • There must be a seating area for diners to sit around
    • The table can be fixed or detachable
    • The table must mount directly to the vehicle floor or side walls
    • The table mounting must be secured as a permanent feature, either bolted screwed or welded.  The table itself can be detachable.
    • Seats must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and/or side walls
    • The seats must be secured as a permanent fixture, either bolted, riveted, screwed or welded
    • Permanently secured seating must be available for use at a table
  4. Water Container
    Note: DVLA do not state any requirements regarding water storage.  However, most insurance companies state that the water tank should be onboard, or under the chassis.  However, some insurance companies are happy with an external water container that can be moved, such as those used with a caravan.
    • The vehicle must have an onboard or external (e,g, under the chassis) water container
    • Note: The insurer Adrian Flux requires the water container to hold 6 gallons / 27 litres.
  5. Storage
    • The vehicle must have at least one cupboard, locker or wardrobe
    • The cupboard must be an integral part of the living accommodation area
    • The cupboard must be a permanent feature, either bolted, riveted, screwed or welded
    • The cupboard must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and / or side walls
  6. Cooking
    • The vehicle must have cooking facilities powered by fixed gas, electric hob or microwave oven
    • The cooking facilities must be secured directly to the vehicle floor or side wall
    • The cooking facilities must be a permanent feature, either bolted, riveted, screwed or welded
    • Gas and electric hobs must have a minimum or 2 cooking rings.  Microwave ovens must have a power source (don't just fit one that can't be used)
    • Gas cooking facilities with remote fuel supplies must have the gas supply pipe permanently secured to the vehicle structure
    • Gas cooking facilities with remote fuel supplies should have the gas bottle, fuel reservoir secured to the vehicle structure
  7. Outside
    • The vehicle must have at least one side window
    • New! Since 2011 the DVLA are now asking that the vehicle look like a motor caravan from the outside.  The details are yet unclear what is required.  More information will appear here when available.

How to Change a Vans Classification to Camper Van or Motorhome in the UK

In the UK, changing the classification of a van to a campervan or motorhome is fairly straightforward.  The following information is based on real experience, correct at the time of the re-classification.  This serves as a good guide, but please contact the DVLA and/or VOSA to confirm the rules regarding your vehicle.

  1. When your conversion is complete, and your van is now (nearly) a camper van or motorhome you need to contact the DVLA and inform them.
  2. You should change your V5C (log book) document and return it to them.  You need to change the vehicle body type to "Motor Caravan".  Motor Caravan is the term used by the DVLA for campervans and motorhomes. See the DirectGov website for details on changing your V5 document.
  3. You should also include a covering letter, briefly covering what you have done to the vehicle.  Also include photographs of your converted vehicle.  Dont include too many.  Between 10 and 20 are required.  Do ensure that you include the vehicles number plate in a shot of the front of the vehicle, and a shot of the back of the vehicle.  From the photos the DVLA can see if you have done a good conversion to the vehicle, or simply thrown a mattress in the back.
  4. Send the paperwork to:
    SA99 1BA
  5. If you have done a good conversion, and the DVLA are satisfied they will return a new V5 document to you, with the body type changed.
  6. However, if they are unsure of your conversion they will ask you to visit the local DVLA inspection office.  An agent will inspect the vehicle before recommending any change of documentation.
  7. The DVLA do not publish strict guidelines for the above.  However, The Department of Transport do publish a strict 'motor caravan' definition for vehicles that are being imported.  Click here, and scroll down to 'Motor caravan'.  It's likely the DVLA also use the same guidelines.  However, the strict definitions here are, it seems, open to some interpretation.

When to Change the Vehicle Classification

You should change the classification of your vehicle from 'Panel Van' to 'Motor Caravan' when your conversion is nearly complete, once the major fittings are in place (bed, kitchen) and it looks neat and tidy.  Once you think you satisfy all of the conditions mentioned above, contact the DVLA and start the re-classification process.

You don't want any vehicle inspectors to think it is not finished, so ensure it looks finished before you apply for the change.

Don't worry about finishing touches, you can always complete these once the vehicle is re-registered.


Once your vehicle has been officially re-classified by the DVLA, you will need to change your insurance.  Your original insurance will be for a 'Panel Van', and your vehicle is no longer one.  So you need to cancel your existing policy, and get a new policy for a Camper van.

The insurance page has information and links to websites that will help.

UK Vehicle Classes

In the UK small vans, less than 3500kg, are classified as Class 4 vehicles.  Vans between 3000kg and 3500kg are considered Class 7 vehicles.  Class 7 vehicles have stricter MOT tests.  Vehicles over 3500kg would normally go to a VOSA Test Centre.  A bus/mini-bus with more than 8 seats (up to 13) is a Class 5, unless the seats are removed and the vehicle is re-classified as a campervan, then it becomes Class 4.

However, if a Class 7 vehicle is registered for recreation purposes, it becomes a Class 4 vehicle.  Therefore, if you convert a Class 7 big panel van into a campervan or motorhome, changing it's classification to a recreation vehicle will make life easier and cheaper for you.

Also note that you should insure you vehicle based on its classification.  You cannot really insure a camper van as a panel van.  Should you have to make a claim the insurance company are unlikely to pay if your vehicle is wrongly classified.

Let us know about your re-classification experiences in the comments below

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Comments (346)

  • Anonymous's picture

    hey i have turnd my parcel force van into a camper to take to europe, i want to no if there are any legal requiermants for gettinng insured etc please let me no
    thank you ellakioti

    Jun 07, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Have you fitted a bed and kitchen to your van? If so you might want to change the registration of the vehicle from a van to a camper van. This typically means cheaper insurance, ferry coasts and lighter MOT restrictions.

    Jun 08, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, I have acquired a 1987 Leyend tiger coach which I want to make into a motorhome! Is it feasible to get this bus re-registered as a motorhome and drive on a normal licence??

    Oct 22, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    Wow, you have an amazing vehicle there!

    I see no reason why you cannot re-register the vehicle as a motorhome.

    I would suggest contacting your local DVLA to confirm that, and also about the driving license issue.

    Oct 23, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    I am currently in the process of converting a Transit EX Ambulance into a Campervan and its a great experience.

    Nov 01, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi there
    Could you please tell me what the rules are with regards the conversion of a standard panel van into a mobile office l am setting up as an events photographer and will at some stage have to stay on site not sure if this would come under the same rules as a conversion to a campervan

    Nov 17, 2009
  • Darren's picture


    I am unsure of the rules regarding a vehicle as a mobile office.
    I would recommend you contact your local DVLA office.

    Nov 18, 2009
  • Gavin Marshall's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Nov 21, 2009
  • Anonymous's picture

    Why does your requirements for a motorhome include a door and water storage and yet the DVLA requirements do not?

    Dec 04, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    My requirements are in fact the DVLA's. The document was just poorly worded. I have changed this now.

    Dec 05, 2009
  • dannymk's picture

    i passed my test after 1997, but am considering converting a bedford mk 4 tonner into a camper for long trips.would i be able to drive it on a standard car licence once its rating is changed or do i still have to do a class 3 lgv test

    Dec 19, 2009
  • Darren's picture

    I am fairly certain that if you re-register the vehicle as a 'Motor Caravan' it will become Class 4, which means you can drive on a car license.

    Please check with the DVLA though.

    Dec 21, 2009
  • Darren McChord's picture

    Hi, i have a Toyota Previa that i am converting into a camper, i am not fitting any sink so i wont have a water supply, can i still register as a camper or would it be ok just to keep it as an MPV?

    Jan 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    If you don't fit a sink I don't think you can re-register as a campervan. You'll probably have to keep it registered as an MPV

    Jan 18, 2010
  • Darren McChord's picture

    ok thanks for the info

    Jan 18, 2010
  • jetjem's picture

    I have a 2001 LDV Convoy Hi Top in VG condition. I have previously used this as a van or camper. At present everything inside including the folding bed can easily be removed to use as a van. I now have no use for it as a van. 1/ Is it really better to permanently convert and re-register it as a camper. 2/ The present double bed needs only the front legs to move forward when extending from a sofa. If I made fixings so that the front legs would be fixed when extended would this be accepted as permanently fixed?

    Jan 27, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    1. It's better to re-register if you use it as a campervan only. You will get cheaper insurance, possibly road tax, etc.
    2. I think so. It's hard to say without a picture, but as long as the main part of the bed (not the legs) is fixed it may be acceptable anyway.

    Jan 28, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi I am having trouble in getting insurance on the day van conversion I want to do, it is not a full camper van conversion it will just have a lift up roof bed and a 3 seater rib/bed, no kitchen cooking/washing.It will be done professionaly.please advise.

    Feb 13, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    So it doesn't sound like you'll be able to re-register the vehicle as a 'Campervan" with the DVLA?

    If not you'll be limited to who will insure a LGV with a camper modification.
    I would try some of the van insurers and see if they will cover you with the day conversion.

    Feb 15, 2010
  • squizzer fish's picture

    hi,could anyone tell me if there are any insurance companys that would specialise with van covertions, ta.

    Feb 20, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    We have converted a 7.5 ton panel van into a motor home with small workshop at the rear. the weight restriction per axle was originally 3600 front axle 5000 rear axle and 7500 gross weight . Do these restrictions still apply once you have done the conversion to motorhome ? Peter Beer

    Feb 23, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Peter

    I'm not sure. Best to contact the DVLA.


    Feb 23, 2010
  • sparkyshep's picture

    I phoned dvla swansea with my intentions to change my van to a motorhome after compleating all the required fixtures, and to include a photo file of the compleated work.they told me the only way to do it was direct through my local dvla office .Which I did ,i managed to speak to the chap who deals with the inspection at that site he looked at the photos and said the only way to change it was by booking a inspection as my van is over 2.5mtrs high I have to take it to my local hgv/vosa testing station and this was the standard procedure at the portsmouth dvla office he seemed happy with the pictures but did say that I had too many of them.. I have now booked the van in with them for inspection and the dvla office have retained my log book for the van so it would seem that I am just going through the motions will update this after the inspection

    Mar 16, 2010
  • sparkyshep's picture

    had my conversion inspected today dvla inspector was very pleased with the conversion work all signed off just have to wait for the amended logbook he alsochecked the engine and chassis number and was also interested in the gas pipes checking to see if they where secure also that the gas bottles where secure
    He did say if you had a inspection first that it kind of fast tracks your application saves a lot of time

    Mar 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Great news. Well done. Thanks for the info.

    Mar 17, 2010
  • Anonymous lin's picture
    Anonymous lin (not verified)

    Hi just wanted to clarify, if you went to your local dvla, did they deal with the entire re-registration or did you do that as an additional,'pre-check' and then later have to still send off pics etc to swansea/
    Also with regards securing the gas bottle, I know that you can get belts that you secure to the 'wall' that then holds the bottle fast, and that the cooker itself should probably be fixed to the surface but how are you to secure the rubber pipes?
    Planning my conversion, and looking for all the safety criteria...
    Thanks any info would be great

    Sep 05, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    What is the difference between a motorhome and a campervan. Does it have any relavance on the V5 or with the insurance?

    Mar 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    I believe all leisure vehicles (motorhomes, campervans, etc) are listed as motorcaravan on the V5.

    Mar 18, 2010
  • sootyboy's picture

    We have owned an American Day Van (originally 4 captains chairs and a 3 seater rear bench - all with seat belts) for a while now and last winter, I boldly removed the 2 passenger seats and rear bench and have built and installed a 'fixed double bed' (approx 6' x 4') transversely in the rear. We have also had an electric hook-up facility added (with RCD box) and 2 x 13 amp 3 pin sockets to power the microwave/kettle etc when on site - plus we carry a 2 burner gas cooker with a small portable cylinder.

    Nothing in the Van is totally permanent - apart from the 2 original front seats and maybe the bed frame, which is very tightly fitted to the van walls!!

    After bookings ferry crossings for years as a 'Campervan', I recently took out an AA European Breakdown Policy, which threw up the reason for my post - which is, after giving them my Reg details, they declared the vehicle was coming up as a 'Motorcaravan' and they would therefore NOT cover us for 'parts and labour!!

    Having checked the V5, I do see that the vehicle was originally imported as a 'Motorcaravan' from new and has remained so ever since!!

    So dear fellow Campervanners, where do we stand on this matter????

    Have we 'made things worse' by 'converting' or does my feeble attempt at converting not add up to much in the Campervan world?

    I do not wish to find out my insurance is invalid if we ever make a claim - but not too bothered if this is not the cheapest way to run the vehicle - as long as we aren't breaking the 'law'.

    May 14, 2010
  • Darren's picture


    You seem to have a motorcaravan, and everyone sees it as such. So perhaps your only problem is with the AA. They won't cover you properly if you have a motorcaravan. Perhaps you should cancel with them and find another breakdown company?

    May 15, 2010
  • molly's picture


    I've started converting my Maestro 500 van into a camper, but because of it's small size, I was planning to have a one-hob cooker, and a small water storage. Do you think the DVLA rules would bend on this one, considering the small size. ?


    Mar 20, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Possibly. I have seen a mini-bus conversion that had a sink with small fresh water and waster water tanks stored under the sink.
    It was simple but passed by the DVLA as a campervan.

    I would guess that the one-hob cooker would also be OK.

    To be sure contact your local DVLA office and ask them. Much better to speak to the people who will actually inspect your vehicle.

    Mar 22, 2010
  • E_T_V's picture

    The maestro came as two different factory converted campervans. Both had small water containers and twin ring cookers. If you need any pics then drop me a line.

    Aug 11, 2012
  • zappa's picture

    hey there!
    i'm thinking about converting a high top transit or similar to a campervan. looking above i've seen it has been said that getting re-registered as a camper can reduce insurance, is this true? i thought it would cost more to insure a van as a camper? particularly as the value is likely to be increased. also i'm only 20yrs old, and a lot of insurance companies seem to only like drivers over 25, can you recommend any companies that would insure me or at least allow me to go on as a named driver.
    cheers for your time!

    Mar 24, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Zappa

    Insuring a campervan is cheaper for some than a van, generally older folk.
    The problem is, if you fit a camper to the back of a van, and don't tell your insurance company, they are unlikely to pay in the event of an accident.

    Try Adrian Flux for young driver insurance

    Mar 24, 2010
  • molly's picture

    CIS is always a good bet for campers, and young drivers

    Mar 24, 2010
  • Chris's picture

    Hi, I have converted a panel van into a camper and plan to re-register it as a camper. I have underbed storeage (with slide in plastic boxes), and a kitchen unit which has shelves for storing food and utensils, neither the underbed storage or kitchen unit has doors, do you think this will meet the DVLA requirement for a campervan to have a cupboard or locker? Also I only have one permanently fixed seat at the table does that meet the DVLA spec? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    Mar 27, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Chris

    It sounds like you are close. The DVLA inspectors are looking to ensure, as one of them out it "that someone hasn't just thrown down a mattress". It sounds like you will be OK. But it's up to your local inspector.

    Do you have running water? And do you have a window in the side in the back area (sliding door is OK)?

    Mar 29, 2010
  • sam pepys's picture

    Please could someone tell me when i convert my panel van into a camper does the dvla insist that the water supply is running by means of a battery or electric hook up or do i just need a water container on board.
    many thanks

    Apr 01, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    The DVLA guidelines state: "A permanent installation to house a water container."
    The water system does not have to be electrically powered. You can use a foot pump, but the water container has to secured to the vehicle, either inside or outside. It can be removed for filling.

    Apr 01, 2010
  • Archie Balantyne-Gow's picture

    A sure way of having a constant supply of water is to glue a water butt to the roof of your camper and connect a hose to it that extends downwards through the side windows of your camper to another water butt - that in turn will collect and store all your fresh water requirements. Simple and quick - and cheap too.

    Jun 19, 2010
  • sam pepys's picture

    another thought do you have to have seat belts on the rock and roll bed or are people allowed to sit in the chair (bench seat) without them while travelling.

    Apr 01, 2010
  • Gaz's picture

    This comment has been moved here.

    Apr 10, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    I was told today that if i make a conversion from a fridge truck to a camper van and put my motorbike in the back it cannot be mot'd as a camper van and the insurance would deem it to be a truck as you would be transporting goods any thoughts....therefore it would not be insured if i had a bump

    Apr 21, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Did the insurance company tell you this?
    If you are transporting your own possessions I don't think it counts as transporting goods.
    Insurance companies might not like you transporting a motorbike with fuel in the tank inside your van,.

    Apr 22, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, We've bought an Iveco Daily 35S12 Luton box van to convert, has anyone done one of these and any ideas or photo's to help us, much appreciated

    Apr 26, 2010
  • lazykev's picture

    I want to put Galaxy seats in the front of my T4 conversion to swivel and need to put them on some sort of stand for 5" of height. The current VW stand is too high, does anyone know of any conversion stands for this or any other info I might need to know if I have to fabricate my own?

    cheers, Kev.

    May 04, 2010
  • Archie Balantyne-Gow's picture

    Have you considered asking your local green grocer for some banana boxes - they should be just the right height for your camper seats to perch on. Or should you prefer some thing a little more substantial - consider then the orange and satsuma crates which are readily available in ply wood fom your green grocer; they would need little if any modification and would be a superb base for your new seats.
    Hope the above is of help to you.
    Archie Balantyne-Gow

    Jun 11, 2010
  • J. Wood's picture

    We have just put similar seats into our van. We had to convert the base of a double seat into one for a single seat. We took it to a guy up the road who makes wrought iron gates etc. He did a really excellent job of cutting down the base, making bolt holes and providing new bolts etc. This cost around £60 but when you look at what you've saved with not having to buy swivel plates, it's a bargain! Good luck.

    Jun 15, 2010
  • Eddie's picture

    I have sent all my photos, covering letter and V5 back to Swansea and not heard anything for 2 weeks. I phoned but all they could say was it was not yet on the system, but that it can take up to 4 weeks! I am again interested about gas bottles, as I wanted to secure mine under the kitchen sink, and later put them into a sealed ventilated box with either inside or outside access. At present I have the pipes and bottles properly secured, but was told by a gas fitter that this is illegal. Were yours passed OK? For my photos I secured a workable microwave oven which has a 240v hookup I then intend to get the gas legally checked. Any comments?

    May 06, 2010
  • Thomas's picture

    Hello there. Thanks for all the useful information. I've just bought a Ford Transit that was once a 7 seat mini bus but has been converted into a camper. Unfortunately it's not been registered as a camper yet.

    As far as I can tell, it meets all the requirements. How many photos do you think would be sufficient? Do all vehicles need to be checked by an inspector? Does my vehicle need to have an electricity hook-up at all?

    At the moment it has:

    Fitted settee in front of a table. The table can be removed and the sofa can be pulled out to make a double bed.

    Floor is laminated

    Sink and cooker installed with cupboards below containing two water containers (fresh+waste) and the gas bottle. Beside these cabinets is a storage cupboard.

    As far as I can tell it fits the requirements. The only thing it lacks is the hook-up. Any thoughts?

    Jun 16, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Thomas

    I would recommend sending 10 photos of the conversion. Ensure you have the registration included in a photo of the front or rear. Don't send too many photos. 10 should do it.

    Not all vehicles are checked by inspectors. Only some are called for an inspection.

    Electric hookup is not necessary.

    That sounds fine. You seem to have the required elements.

    Good luck. Please let us know how you got along with re-registering your vehicle.

    Jun 17, 2010
  • Jason's picture

    Hi I have converted a lwb T5 which has a worktop that is 2m long on the side of the rock & roll bed and it finishes at the top of the back part of the seat and can be eaten from by one person I havent put a fixed bracket for a removable table will I need to for the classification change or is the worktop exeptable? Thanks for any comments..

    Jun 25, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Jason

    Is your vehicle registered as a van or campervan with the DVLA?
    You don't need to register your vehicle as a campervan, but your insurance may be invalid if you're insured as a van, but your insurance company consider your vehicle a campervan.

    Jun 28, 2010
  • Archie Balantyne-Gow's picture

    Jason it really is not a good idea to be eating your camper seats - perhaps youcould consider a packet of Quavers a scuffler or why not opt for pikelets and low fat butter - it has to be an improvement on eating foam rubber - despite the wife1s cooking.
    Archie Balantyne-Gow

    Jun 28, 2010
  • Jason's picture

    Very helpful! wot a nob

    Jul 29, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    I have aquired a ford paramount coach that has been converted to a camper...3 berth, 8 seats with table, cooker, sink, tv, stereo and a loo all fitted in nicely but the logbook hasnt been changed is mot'd till may 2011...and its insured through my bussines how do i get the registration document changed ??

    Jul 06, 2010
  • Darren's picture


    See the "How to Change a Vans Classification to Camper Van or Motorhome in the UK" section above.

    You need to contact your local DVLA office or the main DVLA office in Swansea. They will ask for photos or ask you to visit your local DVLA office for an inspection.

    It's generally straightforward.

    Jul 07, 2010
  • DWR's picture

    Just got the V5 document back, the panel van is now officially a motorcaravan. Straight forward enough just sent 10 pictures plus the V5 with body type changed to motor caravan, took three weeks to return, also recieved back the original receipts and pictures.
    Will now contact the local office to see if the taxation class changes.

    Jul 24, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Good stuff.

    Thanks for letting us know.

    Jul 27, 2010
  • Glen Clark's picture

    Great Site Many Thanks.

    I spotted just one error. Road tax for vans is the same up to 3500kg (3000kg to 3500kg does not cost more)

    Van insurance varies a lot, probably because some insurance companies do not seem to appreciate that not all vans are commercial vehicles. I pay £154 per year to insure my new 3500kg Citroen Relay L4 H2, after all the discounts.

    Aug 11, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Thanks for spotting the error Glen. I have fixed that. Cheers

    Aug 24, 2010
  • Cliffab37's picture

    I have a 1998 LDV convoy hightop converted, v5 shows it as Motor Caravan, Revenue weight 3500Kg, Taxation PLG, MOT shows as class VII
    Can this be lowered to class IV as our neares test station for classVII is over 40 miles away class IV only 8 Miles.

    Aug 14, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    As I understand a Class VII becomes Class IV when going from a goods vehicle to a leisure vehicle.
    I would contact the DVLA and explain your case to them.

    Aug 24, 2010
  • Geoff's picture
    Geoff (not verified)


    I am thinking of buying an Iveco Turbo Daily Hi Cube minibus to convert to a campervan. It is currently classified as 4,500kg GVW with 14 seats and a wheelchair tail lift. My question is once the seats and tail lift are removed and the van converted to a camper, will I be able to get it re-classified as a 3,500kg GVW campervan or is the weight still likely to be over the limit for this?
    Many thanks, Geoff

    Aug 17, 2010
  • Chris Peachey's picture

    I seem to remember that if you fitted widows to a van (with no side windows) you had to pay extra duty unless the vehicle was more than (5?) years old. Does this still apply?
    I am thinking of buying a s/h panel van for conversion to a camper-van.

    Aug 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    I've not heard of this, and have not seen any mention to it on duty forms.
    I don't think this still applies.

    Aug 24, 2010
  • Steve L's picture

    I think you will find this goes back many years to the days when purchase tax was charged for cars and not vans - putting windows in then made you liable for the purchase tax which was charged on a reducing sliding scale depending on the age and value of the vehicle.

    Sep 09, 2010
  • annywhooo's picture

    Hi all, love this site already! :)
    I have just started making a semi hightop transit into a day/camping van...however i have made two sofa boxes that convert to a bed across the width of the van at the it isnt 6 foot long...i also will not be fitting water or sink (instead using a washing up bowl outside). My question is with these things fitted and insured as panel van still will i still be insured if i had a bump?

    Aug 18, 2010
  • Darren's picture


    You need to check with your insurance company.
    Some will cover this sort of conversion, some will not.

    Aug 24, 2010
  • Martin's picture

    I bought a lwb vauxhall movano crew cab which has a kitchen mess already fitted. microwave and a sink and a table with seats around it also has a small eberspacher water heater also an webasto diesel heater
    as its got an extra 5 seats in the back i had trouble getting insurance even if i said i was going to remove them so if i remove the seats and install a rock n roll bed to cover the bed and seating aspect for a campervan. i already have a combo van which i have 1 yrs no claims bonus but that wont help cover the new van as it only transfers to my combo. I also have one accident claim from the year before. are there any insurers which wont quote me silly prices and isure me before i do the conversion of the rock n roll bed?

    Aug 24, 2010
  • Martin's picture

    Thanks for the links. i have saved them and will try them tomorrow

    Aug 24, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    hi i have purchased an ldv convoy minibus. i intend to convert it into a camper eventually and need to know if this is possible, with all the windows.
    but for now i would like to rip out the seats and register it as a panel van just so i can afford the insurance. does anyone know if it is as simple as this or does having windows play a factor in this too.

    Sep 02, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Mini-buses make great camper vans, assuming you want all of the windows.
    The vehicle is registered as a mini-bus on the basis of it's seats. By removing the seats you change its purpose, and thus it's registration category.
    Be sure to contact the DVLA and confirm the correct procedure. It should be
    1. Remove the seats. I think you need less than 8 for it to not be a mini-bus
    2. Send revised V5 document to DVLA.

    I believe windows are irrelevant regarding whether it's a mini-bus or panel van.
    Be sure to inform the insurance company it was a mini-bus though, they like to know this sort of thing.

    Sep 02, 2010
  • hannibal's picture

    Hi i am just doing the same took the seats out and tried to mot . mine is a long wheel base with double wheels. Its over 3500kg so with no seats its commercial ie a wagon test £250 .
    So its put the seats back or convert first sorry

    Dec 09, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    You can down plate the vehicle to less than 3500kg. SVTech do it for £100plus vat. Take the seats out and put it on a weighbridge and send them the ticket. This takes about 2 weeks and they send you a new VIN plate so you can then register it as PLG and have a class4 MOT...

    Dec 14, 2010
  • shawn29cdo's picture

    4 weeks ago i got my T4 back coverted to the standard of a motorhome.
    send all the required information to my local DVLA office.
    3 weeks as past should i contact DVLA in wales, because there is no number for my local DVLA, and ask how long?
    come 17th of this month its due a MOT still under as a pannel van?
    so how long does it bloody well take??????

    Sep 05, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    I would contact the DVLA and ask, either your local office if you can, or the main office. Maybe the main office can give you the local office number?

    An MOT inspector will test the vehicle as it is presented. If you present a motorhome, that is what they will test.
    For a T4 I think the test would be the same for a panel van or a motorhome/campervan, as the weight is still class IV.

    Sep 07, 2010
  • mattnlou66's picture

    Hi, have you had your v5 returned yet, with or without any issues? I sent mine off for the same, 4 weeks ago, and it still has'nt returned. I phoned Swansea, and all they could say was ring us if it has'nt arrived by 6 weeks. Really useful eh?
    Cheers, Matt

    Oct 09, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes it takes months. I would hold on see what happens.

    Oct 11, 2010
  • colin's picture

    We are converting a LDV Convoy and are going to have a gas cooker, can we store the gas bottle in the van if it is secured and also do we need to have a sticker saying we are carrying gas on the outside of the van

    Sep 07, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Yes, you can carry the gas bottle inside the vehicle.
    It must be well secured. It must always be in the upright position, i.e. standing up and not lying down.
    Always turn off the gas when travelling.

    Only commercial vehicles need the gas stickers. Private and leisure vehicles do not.

    Sep 08, 2010
  • colin's picture

    Thanks for that advice, think we are doing well with conversion but need to refine it a bit before attempting re classification, using camping equipment at the moment but its not fixed down

    Sep 08, 2010
  • Alan's picture

    I have a Merc 308D converted camper, it has no windows in the back can i still change my van to a camper with the DVLA?

    Sep 08, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    No. The DVLA insist that there is at least 1 side window. You will need to fit one to get the vehicle re-registered as a campervan.

    Sep 09, 2010
  • Alisjeff's picture

    Hiya i'm thinking of buying a layland daf 45 bus it is 27' long, what class is a 7.5T bus & what class will it become once converted to a motorhome? also does anyone know how much it would weigh once all the seats are removed? can anyone help ??????

    Sep 20, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    If it's any help to you, my 23 foot 1987 leyland cub weighs 5.3 tons,including cupboards, bed etc. I'd assume that newer buses will be lighter, more fibreglass and plastic, Tax class is private HGV.

    Sep 23, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Do you know of any km-36 lite-ace conversions out there ? I will be doing all the work myself so I need a few ideas.I'm in the republic of Ireland and I think we have a min. height rule. Iwonder does a pop-up roof get around this ?

    Oct 03, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Just go to vrt. There a forum there with answers. Seem to be some what conflicting through.

    Oct 16, 2010
  • Wishful Dan's picture

    I'm converting a transit van into a camper but I won't be putting windows in (stealth). If I am stopped by the police and they decide to inspect the vehicle, can I get in trouble for the fact that it is registered as a commercial but there is a bed and cooker in the back?

    Oct 14, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Well, it's not the business of the Police to enforce what you carry in your vehicle. If everything inside the vehicle is safely fitted, i.e. secured well, then the Police do not have a say in what you carry, as long as the contents are legal.

    However, insurance is the problem. If you insure the vehicle as a van the insurance company are almost certainly not going to be happy with you having a campervan fitted in the back. If the Police ever check your insurance they might also not be happy with the fact that you might not be covered insurance wise.

    The only way around it is to find an insurance company that is happy to insure your vehicle as a van, even with the camper gear installed in the back.
    Or find an insurance company to insure your vehicle as a campervan, but almost all will want the vehicle to be registered as a 'motor caravan', which means a window in the side and a DVLA inspection.
    Or, insure the vehicle as a van, drive it around, and hope that you never get checked. Quite a few people do this, but I would legally advise you not to do this (covering myself there).

    Oct 14, 2010
  • daniel's picture

    Dear Darren, I am reading on this page your words: "When your conversion is complete, and your van is now (nearly) a camper van or motorhome, contact the DVLA and inform them." and I would ask you:

    when I am working at the van, while the conversion is not still finished, do I can circulate (I have only my van, no car)?

    Many thanks for all your shared work.


    Oct 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    The issue will be with your insurance company.
    If you have insured your vehicle as a van, your insurance company might not like you driving around with a part completed campervan in the back.
    Some insurance companies, such as Shield and Insurance Choice allow you to insure the vehicle as a van, and then within something like 90 days you can change your policy with them to a campervan.

    Oct 18, 2010
  • johnd's picture

    my Insurance company require i get an independent engineers report - Where do I go, Is there a National organisation?

    Oct 27, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Go adrian flux, they dont need one. i think they require one because they don't specialize in campers

    Nov 15, 2010
  • mattnlou662's picture

    Hi, just to let anyone thats interested know, that we have now received our v5 logbook back from dvla, and was changed from a minibus to motor caravan, with no fuss or bother, although they did take their time!
    Following all the advice Darren had supplied on this site, photos were taken of the conversion, and all sent off to Swansea. After 3 weeks i rang them, and was told it could take 6 weeks in total. On the 6th week i spoke to them again, and was told they could change it over, no problem, and no inspection needed, and the v5 would arrive next week, which it did! Thanks for all the info on this site, it has proved to be really helpful.

    Oct 29, 2010
  • kleky's picture

    Has anyone changed their V5 to motor caravan from a commercial van that has not met the full requirements.

    My van is obviously a motor caravan; given the bed, TV, gas heater, leisure battery, windows. But it has no fixed cooker, sink or water container. I don't have the room as I use it for Windsurfing, so I use a bowl, a camping stove, and a carry water container. Maybe if I screw them to the "table"?

    Nov 15, 2010
  • Rob's picture

    I am getting my van professionally converted to a basic campervan which will satisfy dvla requirements. New vehicles are currently taxed on their co2 emissions. Is the taxation class likely to change due to the change of type of vehicle? It is £125.00 at the moment. Obviously I do not want this to rise. The dvla stated when asked that this will be the decision of their inspector when they document the vehicle. The emissions would be the same after the conversion. Any one had experience of this?

    Nov 22, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    I know other people who have done their own conversions, and had the classification changed with the DVLA have not had the taxation class changed.
    So the chances are the taxation class will remain the same, but I cannot guarantee this.
    The omissions of the vehicle will effectively be the same.

    The DVLA tend to favour vehicles when the stop being commercial and become leisure vehicles.

    Nov 22, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    When you re-register you fall in to the PLG category and not the car scale which is based on CO2 emissions. PLG is a set rate and that can be seen on the DVLA website. Driving under the wrong tax class is an offence so you should change to whatever is appropriate..

    Dec 14, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Good point.

    If the current tax is £125 then it must be taxed as a car, in Band F. See this page:

    If the inspector decides the vehicle will become PLG after the re-classification when you will need to change your tax disk.
    If however the inspecter keeps the vehicle in the same tax class there is nothing to do.

    When people convert bigger vehicles, such as Transit or Sprinter vans, they start as PLG, and generally do not need to change taxation class.

    Dec 16, 2010
  • Sandy Mcc's picture

    Hi Chaps, Ive done a Renault Trafic SWB into a day van it has everything but the kitchen sink for two reasons Ive had two caravans and never used the sink and its a SWB van with little room..I think this is the only thing missing..I dont want a sink, does this mean I can't be classed as a camper/Day Van..? Thanks Sandy

    Dec 06, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Sandy

    To re-register your vehicle with the DVLA you need to pass all of the criteria above.
    There is no middle-ground.
    Without a sink, bed, etc the DVLA wil not consider re-registering your van.

    Dec 07, 2010
  • Matt Pearce's picture

    Hiya. I don't have a van, but I've been looking at the classification criteria at
    and there is no mention of a sink being required in a motor caravan. The four requirements are
    * seats and table,
    * sleeping accommodation which may be converted from the seats,
    * cooking facilities, and
    * storage facilities.
    The document gives a bit more details of what the above should consist of.

    Dec 17, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    You're right. A sink is not mentioned on the official list of requirements. The list on this page above is from the DVLA, and it also doesn't mention a sink.
    However the DVLA are looking for a vehicle that 'looks like' a motorcaravan, as well as ticking all of the boxes.
    Not having a sink is likely to be a problem should you try to re-classify your vehicle.

    Dec 17, 2010
  • simon (from china)'s picture

    what if you stuck a double bed in the back of your van and a camping stove and said you were just bringing them back from the home improvement store or something? down here in china legality issues are hard to figure out cos nobody really knows about anything cos people here just don't like camping.
    all opinions welcome.

    Dec 06, 2010
  • martin's picture

    I have converted an iveco daily 3512 to a motorhome \ race van but need some help on the legality of it as it has a garage for 2 x child go karts.

    it has a bed over the top of the garage and another full width seat \ bed up front so that covers the bed criteria.

    It has hob and sink via a smev combi unit, a toilet and about 4 floor units and 4 smaller roof line bridgeing units.

    Has table has water underneath etc but will it be a motohome with a garge?

    Dec 13, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    It sounds like you have a great van.
    Motorhomes can have garages. A lot of professional motorhomes have garages.
    It seems the only thing missing from the requirements set out by the DVLA is side windows. Does your van have side windows?

    Dec 13, 2010
  • Kirsty's picture

    Hi there,

    I'm after some advise on vehicle classifications, I am looking at buying a Mercedes 608D Motor home, already converted (not sure whether it is classified as a motor home as yet although it does meet all of the DVLA specifications)

    My question is regarding the classification, I have read above that if a Class 7 vehicle is registered for recreation purposes, it becomes a Class 4 vehicle. The Mercedes I am after is 6500kg and I want to know if this will be reclassified and whether this also means that I will be able to drive it on my post 1997 driving license (Class 4)

    Thank in advance for any replies


    Dec 21, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Kirsty

    First thing to do is to check the log book (V5) document for the vehicle. If the classification type says "Motor Caravan" then is has been re-registered as a campervan with the DVLA.

    When a Class 7 vehicle is re-registered as a Motor Caravan is becomes a class 4 vehicle for MOT and tax purposes. However, for a 6500kg vehicle you would still need to have a C1 entitlement on your license. If you passed your test after 1/1/1997 you will not have this entitlement.

    So, you can either take the C1 entitlement test, or you can try and get the vehicle downrated to 3,500kg, which I don't think is possible for a vehicle of that size. So it looks like you'll have to take the C1 test.

    I'd recommend checking with the DVLA though.

    Dec 22, 2010
  • Les's picture

    Hi,I have a double cab pick up truck I use for work and would like to attach a removable accommadation section/cartridge incorparating standard motorhome facilities to the rear for short festival trips and weekends.
    This vehicle would need to be returned to normal use after each trip
    what legal requirments would apply?
    any tips or previous experience?

    Dec 31, 2010
  • Allan's picture

    We have sent off to change our Sprinter to a motor caravan but the MOT is due at the end of January, Is it possible to MOT it as a class 4 before we receive our logbook back or will we have to either wait until it is changed over or MOT it as a class 7?


    Jan 06, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    An MOT tester told me that they have to test the vehicle "as it is presented" to them.
    So they should MOT it as a Class 4.
    As I understand it, even if they MOT it as a class 7, that should still cover you as a motor caravan. I'd recommend you check this with the DVLA though.

    Jan 06, 2011
  • Allan's picture

    Thanks Darren.
    Our local garage can only do class 4. I have asked a chap who works there and he is going to find out if it fits on there ramps first anyway. His only thought was it might say it needs a class 7 when you put the reg number into the computer but he was not 100% on this. I will let you know how I get on.


    Jan 06, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Ah yes, the ramps are often a problem.
    Have the same problem where I live, in Truro. Only 1 garage in town can fit the van on the ramps.
    I am going to another out of town for the MOT.
    The computerised MOT system might indeed insist on a class 7 MOT for now.

    Please do let us know how you get along.

    Jan 06, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, just wanted to say thank you for the information on this website. We just reregistered our Mercedes 813 horsebox as a motor caravan using the information on this page. Sent off photos, letter and logbook, and it came back changed in les than six weeks. Just the insurance to get now...
    thanks again,

    Jan 09, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Very glad to have helped Susanna

    I hope you have many great trips in your vehicle.

    Jan 09, 2011
  • Jodiebadger's picture

    Has anyone put a wood burning stove in and been approved by the DVLA? Are there any rules about this? Or does it make getting insurance difficult?
    I am planning a conversion and am hoping to put in the stove from my old caravan (a gas bottle welded thingy). I have double wall pipe and a paving slab for it to rest on.

    Jan 12, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    I don't believe it's a problem with the DVLA. Although you should double check with them.
    The problem is with the insurance companies. They don't like anything that burns inside the vehicle.
    Speak to your insurance company and check with them.

    Jan 13, 2011
  • Stefan's picture

    i have been thinking of converting an ex council 24 seat minibus into a camper. I wanted to do this in 2 phases. Firstly i wanted to remove the bulk of the seats and just chuck a large matress in the back and then drive round europe for a couple of months. Later on in the year and money permitting i will make the full conversión. The question is could i legally drive this vehicle in the uk and europe before the full conversión? I have a licence from pre 97

    Jan 15, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Stefan

    This can be a problem area.
    Driving it without the seats in is OK with the DVLA. But the problem is insurance.
    As soon as you remove the seats it isn't a mini-bus anymore. Insurance companies won't know how to insure you.
    If you intend to do a full conversion you can get transitional insurance. See this tread:

    Jan 16, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    hi i have a ldv pilot which on the v 5 show as 6 seat panel van iv had no problems with seats at all try van compare

    Mar 01, 2011
  • Knux Vee-one's picture
    Knux Vee-one (not verified)

    Just thought I'd post up the videos of our van conversion, we took a Renault trafic, LWB and turned the inside into a camper van using mainly recycled materials. The van itself cost £150 so it was a total bargain.

    I was just wondering if putting a table fitting infront of the passenger seat would constitute a satisfactory 'table' to get a conversion slip. The driver side already has a table that folds down inbetween the two seats. As it stands my van doesn't have a dining area and it would be difficult to fit one. It was hard enough finding a double ring cooking hob!

    Thanks guys, the videos can be found on Youtube @

    Thanks again people!

    Feb 01, 2011
  • Freddie's picture

    Has anyone else has this?
    Having recently brought a converted panel van, we attempted to reclassify it with the DVLA to a motorcaravan, ticking all the boxs on your website (and the DVLAs) re bed, windows, cookers, water supply etc etc, enclosing detailled photos. Recently received back a letter, and subsequent phone conversation, saying that because our VW T5 Transporter still looks like a van from the outside (albeit with side windows) the DVLA will not reclassify due to "authorities" (the police) cannot tell that it is a campervan from the outside (failing the fact that it has a chequer bonnet bra and chequer strips along the elevating roof!) We did point out that VW produce off the production line a "California" camper derivative that looks identical to our conversion, so we will forward the brochure and corresponding same angled photo of our van to them for consideration. Sorry to waffle, but this seems a lame excuse for non reclassification when clearly the T5 we have IS A CAMPERVAN. We haven't just thrown a mattress in the back to try and screw the system for road tax or cheap insurance. Any advice or similar experiences appreciated. Freddie

    Feb 02, 2011
  • lolbint's picture

    same/similar experience as below, I have been living in my converted 18tonne MAN hgv for past two years and kept it as hgv on v5 and for mot, want it now changed to motor caravan as italian was willing to give me £10,000 but didn't buy due to not being motorhome, looks like I will have to re mot and advertise again, but would prefer class 4 mot as currently have to put 3tonne weight in back to pass braking efficiency test on class 7 mot.

    anyway dvla after initially losing my v5 in their system and getting me to apply for a new logbook the re applying for my changes, only had response the other day, applied beginning of Nov 2010, They have now said that they must protect the integrity of the body type of vehicles on the road and that the reasons for refusal are the size of vehicle and they say no alteration to outside, my photos clearly show a side window and in my covering letter stated I was more than happy to go for inspection. I have already had it unofficially given the ok as motorhome by vosa in regards to mot guidelines and comply with all the dft guidelines for import including size which is 12m long and 2.55m wide, my vehicle is 11m long and 2.45m wide. I have been back on the phone to the person at dvla dealing with it who says that his hands are tied by some policy making dept who I'm not allowed any contact details for and the only way I can proceed is to make written complaint via usual (long wait) procedure.

    what I find laughable is they say they have to protect integrity of body type's, my vehicle is currently listed as "box van" which would make me thinks of transit or luton, not an 11m long, 4.2m high 18tonner!!!!

    any advice appreciated?! feels like climbing a never ending mountain of bureacracy, exactly why I choose to live in a lorry in first place to try and advoid pen pushers!

    Feb 03, 2011
  • Rob's picture

    Hi Freddie,
    I have just had exactly the same reply from the dvla. I now have to write in again to plead my case with the 'planning team' whose decision is, apparently, final. I am now in the position of being in breach of my insurance policy as that is dependent on the registration document showing the vehicle as a campervan.
    Apparently, dvla have been issued with new guidelines which seem to rely on the vehicle 'looking' like a campervan for police purposes.My conversion complied with the details set out in the guidance on this site.

    Feb 07, 2011
  • CHRIS TAYLOR's picture

    i have just had the same conversaion with very rude women she then fobed me of with a phone number for vosa and then vosa gave me a number for depotment of transport and they have given me a email address and they will try and addvise me i will let you know if i get anything changed if you let me have your email

    Cheers chris

    Feb 21, 2011
  • lolbint's picture

    good luck with that, pls let me know how you get on, Richard Underwood (technical officer) at VOSA has conceded that for MOT purposes my vehicle can have a class 4 MOT, even with it still listed as HGV, which is a change of heart as for two years I had a class 7 mot and had to put 3tonne test weight inside for brake test, thus causing at least 4oo quid damage each time as I don't have any fixing points inside anymore, it is my full time home. VOSA will not get involved with it any further. I emailed DfT asking numerous questions and stating my case, they didn't even reply but forwarded my email to DVLA policy making directorate, who have just replied "
    The primary purposes of the vehicle registration system maintained by DVLA is for road traffic enforcement, road safety and revenue collection. It is vital that we do all we can to secure and maintain the accuracy and integrity of the vehicle register from the outset. This includes accurately describing the body type of the vehicle in question to reflect how it actually appears to the general public on the road and to assist the police in identifying vehicles involved in criminal activity.

    The primary purpose of the MoT test, carried out on VOSA's behalf, is to ensure the compliance with roadworthiness standards.

    Based on its external appearance, it is the opinion of DVLA that the correct body type description for your vehicle is Box Van."

    I feel like tearing my hair out, I am in process of making FOI request for guidelines, criteria, policy or regulations that state this new take on deciding body type. any help or breakthroughs from anyone else, please let me know.

    I have a side window, tv aerial, chimney, small door fitted halfway along side(cut within barn door), water inlet valve, 240v hookup all fitted to outside of my vehicle, I don't see how I can do anymore. Does anyone have the definition of "box van" surely it implies that goods will be carried?

    Mar 03, 2011
  • terry a's picture

    Hi mate did you have any luck getting yours changed ?

    Jul 02, 2011
  • terry a's picture

    I have just had a letter from the dvla stating they will only reclassify my citroen relay minibus ,to A VAN WITH WINDOWS" The conversion was painstakingly done ,and pictures supplied.It was a van with windows before,so it seems there is little point trying to comply with the law,and making the vehicle type correct!
    Has anyone been able to resolve this problem with the DVLA as this clearly will cause problems to insure in the future.

    Jul 02, 2011
  • Freddie's picture

    Help needed. If anyone out there has a T5 California campervan as an original from VW (ie NOT converted), could they check there registration document to see what the vehicle is classified as. I am in dispute with the DVLA re my T5 transporter conversion as it does not "look like" a campervan from the outside (despite having an elevating roof!) However, it looks identical to the factory production vehicle (inside and out), so if yours has been classed as a "motor caravan" on the V5 doc, then I have a stronger case for the reclassification. Many thanx for your help. Just post a reply to this comment. Cheers, Freddie

    Feb 07, 2011
  • nickie's picture

    Last october after a self build i registered my vw t4 as a motorhome this made no differance to road tax but did make insurance cheaper through ic
    i have now purchased a t5 and just in the process of designing it in to a motor home
    i am now concerned that people are having problems re registering as a motorhome please keep us posted

    Feb 15, 2011
  • Nick M's picture
    Nick M (not verified)

    I've got a 1982 VW LT31 high top camper van. It's got all the stuff you'd expect (cooker, bed, table, cupboards etc.) and appears to be a professional conversion; it's got a sticker on the side saying 'special edition' but no clue as to who did it.
    However, the V5C registration document says it's a 'Tourer'. Anyone know what that means?

    Feb 15, 2011
  • sailor's picture

    I have a Mercedes Sprinter reg56 lwb panel van and I would like to add 4 to 6 seats and a pair of side windows to it and leave a few meters space at the back to put a mattress when on camping (I'm not into full-on camper conversion because I don't have the money and I'm happy to crash on the floor. Obviously it wouldn't be a 'motor caravan' nor a 'panel van' after seat/window conversion. I understand I need to re-register it but what would the classification be, minibus? MPV? Also would it be hard to find an insurance for a private/leisure purpose 'minibus' or what ever it may be called. Loving the site, plenty help here. Thank you.

    Mar 17, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Mini-buses have 8 to 16 seats by the definition. If you have less seats than that the DVLA will likely re-classify the vehicle as a "Van with windows".
    I have found Campton insurance brokers to be very good in finding insurers who will insure partially converted vans.

    Mar 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    does the the gas bottle have to be ventilated to the outside and the system be certificated by a qualified gas fitter, also similar question on the electrics do they need certification?

    Apr 05, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    No, you don't need to do thee things to have your own home converted campervan re-registered with the DVLA. Only commercial converters have to satisfy these requirements.

    Some insurance companies will ask for a gas safety certificate, and electrical. Others will not.

    Apr 05, 2011
  • Anonymous lin's picture
    Anonymous lin (not verified)

    Hi Darren, when looking to insure my van, I was asked wether there are any modifications to the vehicle. I asked wether they meant modifications to the engine, (big wheels etc.) and was told bluntly, 'any modifications' I told them it was a 'private/self'conversion of a transit and I was told to get an Engineers report done. Do you know if this is called for by most insurers? also where do you get one done, would it be a mechanical engineer and any idea of the cost? You mentioned a safety cert, is this the same thing and where would you get one? Does your insurerer (campton, I think I saw mentioned) require this?
    I guess its just the wireing and relay system and the gas installation that needs to be properly checked off... can't imagine water to be an issue, could there be anything else tho.. I dont know where to find a list of criteria to work from.. any idea, the above definition has been helpful, but with regards these safety aspects that it seems needs an engineer to verify.
    Also what shud I insure it as, a camper or a transit, or can it only be insured under the category stated in the log book? what if I insure as a transit van and if I have an accident... would I be covered? so many questions I kno but any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    Sep 05, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    I'm not sure about the engineers report. I've never seen one.

    Yes, I got my insurance via They sent me a form that I took to a motorhome dealer. They tick off the boxes that indicate that the van has windows, a full bed, water tanks, etc. This informs the insurance company that the vehicle is a proper camper.
    The vehicles is then insured as a popper camper van. It is still a Panel Van with the DVLA though. But this is all legal and OK.
    I did not have to have electrics or gas inspected.

    You need to insure your vehicle properly. If you use it as a camper van, and it's obviously a camper van in the back, you need to insure it as a camper van. if your current insurance is difficult, change to another. Call other insurance companies and see what they say.

    Sep 05, 2011
  • Lynn's picture

    Is there a legal requirement for leisure batteries to be secured? We recently brought (privately) a converted Van (our first 'motorhome') with an unsecured battery under the driver's seat - after driving it for two days we booked it into our local garage for a service - they jacked the van up and the leisure battery (which was unsecured and had a tiny piece of fire retardant material over it) moved, the wires hit the bottom of the chair, this obviously made the driver's chair 'live' then it caught alight. The current went down the handbrake and burnt all the cables. Quick action by the garage saved the van with damage only to the handbrake cables and the leisure battery cables. We phoned the guy we brought it from and told him what had happened(as he was intending to convert another van, it isn't his full-time job) and asked if he would contribute towards fixing the damage caused, the next day he refused point blank to help out with the costs.

    Apr 06, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    All fittings to a vehicle must be safe and secure, especially heavy acid filled batteries. However, the responsibility is with the owner/driver of the vehicle.

    I would think legally the previous owner has no obligation to help you now. But I would like to think they would out of responsibility.
    It's a shame this has happened to you. Whoever converted the van has not taken enough care to ensure the dangerous battery is secure.

    Apr 11, 2011
  • Johnny's picture

    I lost a lovely car a few years back due to a mechanic not properly securing a battery. He paid in the end. The complete wiring loom went up in smoke when the +ve touched the chassis. ALWAYS secure batteries or you will learn the hard way.

    Apr 21, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Darren, thank you for your advice

    Apr 06, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Glad I dropped inon this thread. looking to buy a campervan and I am being steered to a conversion as they seem relativly cheap. Must make sure the vehicle has been re-classified.

    If the only objection is appearence ( and it sort of makes sense, if the vehicle is involved in an incident, a witness needs to be able to say "campervan"so the police can find it on there data base). Why not get a custom paint job or stickers. You know, a full row of false widows, a caravan type door painted on the side door, and "this is a camper van" in big letters down each side.

    (Dont get a custom paint jod with black wooden horizontal and diagonal beams on tho' or the police will spend hours driving around the country looking for a mock tudur VW0

    Apr 08, 2011
  • Liam Printer's picture

    Hi guys

    We are looking to buy a fully converted Mazda Bongo. Does anyone know if we will have similar problems with the DVLA if we are trying to re-register it as a campervan?

    Also, does the amount of road tax change if it is registered as a campervan? Im from Ireland and at home its only 88EUR per year to tax a campervan but if its not classified as a campervan the tax could be as high as 450EUR per year so its obviously a big incentive.

    Any info would be great.

    Apr 13, 2011
  • Darren's picture


    The defining factor seems to be weather you have stickers or graphics on the outside, making it look like a professional campervan conversion. If you have some of these you'll probably be OK for re-registering as a campervan with the DVLA.

    The amount of road tax is based on the size of the van and/or engine, and generally not the use of the vehicle (van vs campervan). So re-registering a Mazda Bongo is not going to change your taxation class.

    Apr 14, 2011
  • Roy's picture

    Hello All

    Would any one here care to comment on how this:
    might fare at the hands of VOSA/DVLA as a 'campervan'?

    As it stands currently, the vehicle would only have MOD release papers, so would be a 'new' civilian registration.



    Apr 20, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    I would assume it would fall under the same rules as other vehicles. I.e. cooking equipment required, 6ft bed, etc.
    I've seen similar things, such as a Uni-Mog be converted to a campervan. I'm not sure if was re-registered as a campervan though.

    May 02, 2011
  • Dom's picture

    I have recently bought a T32 VW Panal van but looking at getting it converted.

    I have taken the seats out and currently have them on e bay. Any idea what sort of price the 2+1 rear seats go for? I dont want to get seen off.

    Currently the TAX is £425 per annum but am I right in thinking that if and when it is converted the tax will drop.

    I got an eye on a company that will convert the van for £2900 -£3500

    Insurance was for a van with 7 years NCB was £488 and left me with no NCB on my car. So was looking at flogging the car. But after I received a call from an insurance co, I have now canceled the VAN insurance of £488 and got it now full comp with a converted camper (as long as its done soon as & I dont use it day to day) for £200. Thats also with no NCB which leaves me with my 7year NCB on my car so i am now keeping the car and van as 2nd vehicle.

    Only down side is the £425 Tax for the road. I just hope they can drop it. But if it goes on the engine emissions then im screwed.

    Apr 29, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Maybe £50 for the seats. It all depends on how many people want them, and where you live, if you're doing collect only. I live in Cornwall and rarely get a good price for collection only items.

    The tax doesn't normally change once the vehicle has been re-classified.

    How is it taxed? It seems high.

    Apr 30, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    I got £800 for the 2 + 1 seats off a 2008 T32 VW.

    I think you'll do better than £50.

    May 12, 2011
  • Rich's picture

    Just had my Nissan Primastar re-registered as Motor Caravan. No inspections required or anything. Apart from the side windows, it does look identical to a panel van from the outside. Maybe they're relaxing things a little bit.

    Just make sure you show all the relevant bits in the photo.s and make sure you get some good shots of the number plate.

    Good luck!

    May 06, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Great news, well done. Did you send your V5 to the national DVLA offices in Swansea, or to your local DVLA office?
    Good advice about the number plates.

    May 06, 2011
  • Rich's picture

    I was unsure about this so I just sent it to the DVLA in Swansea.

    All I included was my original V5 and 10 laser printed A4 pictures of the vehicle, making sure to include a picture of everything that's in your list above. No explanation of the work that was done seems to have been required.

    May 16, 2011
  • terry a's picture

    Mine Actually looks like a campervan ,with toilet access door ,water filler ,water heater,electric hook up etc, but looks like a van with windows according to DVLA.

    Jul 04, 2011
  • Effingtrio's picture

    Hi, I am asking this because I felt sure I had read somewhere online a few months ago... lord knows where... that a converted campervan could not legally tow - whether a trailer or caravan.
    We are converting - have almost got to the stage where we can take photos of all the required elements for the DVLA - a Transit minibus into a campervan for our family of 5 - retaining 6 of the original 12 seats, and managing somehow to squeeze us all in and have a kitchen etc! As I currently still have a little 12ft caravan I am contemplating whether we might benefit from keeping that and having a towbar fitted to extend our camping space as the kids get older... but, like I say, I feel sure I read somewhere that there was some rule about not having a towbar fitted on to a converted vehicle...
    Any info would be appreciated :) Thanks

    May 07, 2011
  • Darren's picture


    I think a converted van to campervan can still tow. I see no reason why it couldn't. However, do the right thing and contact the DVLA. They should be able to confirm it for you.

    May 09, 2011
  • Effingtrio's picture

    Thanks for your answer, just wish I could find the article I found a few weeks ago!
    I will find out and will post my findings here in due course.

    May 09, 2011
  • Tina's picture

    hi there
    we have just finished converting a mercesdes sprinter 311 into a campervan. it s a propoer conversion with two side and tweo back windows fixed bed, kitchen will alliances, leisure batteries, seating area which folds in to a second bed etc but what we didnt put in a fixed table. we have a L shaped seatign area which seats six wich runs behind the driver seat and downt eh side of the van but there wasnt enough room for a fixed table so we have been using a fold up table which we store in the boot of the van. i was wondering if that would effect the re-classification to a Campervan ????

    May 10, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    hmmm, they do ask for a side window, but I know they don't always check everything. If when they look, it looks like a proper conversion they are generally satisfied.

    Some professional motorhomes do not have a fixed table. It is free standing, and put away when traveling. Perhaps you could do the same for the inspection?

    May 13, 2011
  • mandy's picture

    hi, just bought a ldv 400 convoy lwb and it is part converted into camper. It has seats that convert to double bed, with piece of wood like in a caravan. It has a sink but no tap? and a cupboard. I take it to meet water storage requirements i could just place a white and black container in cupboard under sink. The problem is cooking, can i just screw down my own camping hob and put gas bottle in cupboard underneath, i have normal hose and connector is this enougth? insurance say i need gas certificate? or the other alternative is to just buy a microwave and fix it. How do i fix it into place? and then was quoted £500.00 for simple elec hook up with sockets inside and a battery. Is that a good price? any help greatly appreciated, thanks x

    May 15, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi. Are you trying to get the vehicle re-classified as a campervan?
    The DVLA seem to have become more strict recently. They are looking for something that looks like a quality conversion overall. So everything has to look right. You may be borderline with your vehicle.
    Do you need to get it re-classified? I have my Sprinter campervan, but not re-classified. I have proper campervan insurance through
    There is no benefit in me re-registering the van as a campervan.

    For yours, i think you will need a tap. The water containers under the sink will probably be enough.
    Gas hob or microwave are enough, but they have to be secured. Maybe a microwave has some bolt holes in he back on underneath? if it has feet on the bottom maybe they can be removed and the screw holes used again?

    £500 is quite expensive, but if this includes a battery it's no so bad. Pretty good if this includes fitting a split-charge relay for charing the battery from the engine.

    May 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    I just tried campton for insurance but they say they wont insure the van unless its reclassified by dvla as a campervan
    So it now seems I have to reclassify the van to get the insurance

    Jul 28, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Adrian flux will insure it without change of classification. as long as it has been converted to be an obvious campervan. Just done it so know its ok.

    Aug 10, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    yes we have insured our converted lwb sprinter with adrian flux for 5 years now and they are happy that it's not registered with dvla as campervan. Seems like the simplest option and when I did a price search this summer they didn't come out too badly against the companies that will only insure if re registered with dvla. We don't drive in UK much so the speed limit not a major issue and never been a problem getting it through MOT, although appreciate this would be cheaper if reclassified, but the amount of time and effort this would need does not seem worth it.

    Oct 05, 2011
  • blue's picture

    Hi everyone. I've got a different angle to most people.

    I'm self employed and I drive a very boring car to and from work. However back at home I am lucky enough to have a 1956 VW splitscreen campervan. I am also lucky enough to be very, very busy with work. But sadly this has meant I haven't had any spare time to drive my camper for the past 3 years and I'm gutted about it!

    Recently my accountant has advised me to ditch the car and get a van. So brainwave, use the VW as the company van.

    Problem is the VW is registered as a Motor Caravan and the accountant tells me the VAT man won't accept it as a van.

    It's a Kombi (so it has got side windows which I guess might be the main issue) but there is presently nothing in the back and just two seats up front.

    How easy would it be to get DVLA to change it over and can anyone forsee any problems?

    And more important has anyone had hassle from the dreaded VAT man after doing this?


    May 16, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Nice to hear from you.

    Recently the DVLA have been reluctant to reclassify vans to Motor Caravans that did not look like a motorhome from the outside. So I don't think they will have any problem changing the classification of yours to a van with windows. If you submit a modified V5 document to DVLA Swansea they will probably do it no problem.

    Regarding the VAT, I'm no expert. It will depend on your business. If the VW is classified as a van, and you need a van for your business there will be no problem.
    If you need a campervan for your business, which is rare, then you could keep it as a campervan.
    It all depends on what your business requires to operate.

    May 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    any chance of selling vw

    Jul 06, 2011
  • MangoUK's picture

    Hey guys,

    This may seem like a really dumb question (thoughts to yourselves on that one ;) but I have recently converted a FIAT Ducato Ambulance (minibus) and would like to change the classification to motorhome. My question is which/what part of the V5 logbook do I have to fill out?



    May 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    best of luck 2 u i sent mine in 4 months ago with 25 photos they lost them still waiting

    Jun 12, 2011
  • Effingtrio's picture

    We sent off our paperwork early May - I had made a booklet with photos and details of all alterations to our transit bus - retaining 6 seats, removing 6 rearmost seats and fitting kitchen unit, seating, full size bed etc... had a letter back yesterday saying that they required photos (doh, I did send them, they were returned in a hand-written envelope a week or so after with a DVLA comps slip) and having spoken to the woman who dealt with our request she is saying that unless the van is obviously altered externally to look like a camper she cannot re-classify it as such... am soooooo frustrated!
    Having further asked what is required - she said that a complete change of body - as done by a professional, so it has an over cab bed or similar would be the sort of thing they are after "so that if it got stolen the police are looking for something that looks obviously like a motorcaravan" grrrrr
    I am now writing to a customer services dept within DVLA (who are not "customer facing"!!!!) to find out whether we can re-classify it as an MPV, or even WHAT it can be re-classified as...!!! Here's hoping someone can give me a straight answer as my phonecalls this morning have been anything but!

    Jun 17, 2011
  • terry a's picture

    I have tried to get my citroen relay minibus ,reregistered as motor caravan ,but have received the refusal letter,that many others have recently got (DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A CAMPERVAN FROM THE OUTSIDE)!So reclassified as van with windows. The van has been converted in accordance with the guidelines on this site,and is a proper conversion,having used the interior of a quality caravan,ie cooker, gas fire,water heater,shower ,cassette toilet ,zig etc.
    I have today telephoned DVLA and politely asked "what do I need to do to make it look like a campervan from the out side? I was told that DUE TO A POLICY CHANGE IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS OR SO""That I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CHANGE THIS TO MOTORCARAVAN AS IT WAS NOT BUILT AS ONE FROM NEW". WELL The minibus was not a minibus when it was built IT WAS CONVERTED BY A VAN CONVERSION COMPANY.
    So are we now to believe that all the small companies specializing in camper conversions are to go out of buisness,because most camper conversion are done after manufacture as a van!
    I was also told "YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN " but everyone that had ,have received the same reply (SO DONT WASTE YOUR TIME)
    I would like to know the numbers of people involved having applications refused,as I think a fight against this should be organised.As the reasons given for refusal are not logical.

    Jul 04, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Sorry to hear about this.
    Things are very unclear at the moment.
    I haven't re-classified my conversion, as there is no benefit in me doing so. I still have it insured as a campervan, and can legally drive it and camp in it.

    Jul 05, 2011
  • kevin thomas's picture

    if you claim for a rightoff on your VAN insurance you may get the value of the van,but if it is registered as a caravan this may be valued higher after all these insurance companys dont pay out unless they have to and would probably argue that its only a van

    Jul 24, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    It's very important to insure a campervan as such. One must agree the value of the campervan with the insurance company. Always have lots of photographs, and receipts.

    Jul 26, 2011
  • Frank WESTRIP's picture


    Jun 18, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Frank

    I think it's a brilliant idea.
    I'd have a sink, with hot water if possible. If you are staying on campsites then a microwave is great. If you're wild camping you'll need a gas stove/oven. Microwaves don't work well on batteries.
    And a toilet is generally a must, unless you'll always stay on campsites.

    Jun 20, 2011
  • Des's picture

    I am nearly at the end of converting a crew bus into camper van usin an old caravan for parts etc. Pros for the crew bus are that most of the electrics are in place, van is often lined (But not always insulated very well) and in my case had a diesel internal heater and toilet comnpartment already fitted.Also windows already fitted
    Against is that to personalise the van to my needs I had to undo a great deal of the work already done. i.e making the toilet compartment smaller adding/changing electrics.
    On the whole though it now looks a very professional build.

    Aug 10, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Des

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with your conversion, especially considering it's a crew cab.
    I think people would love to see what you have done.
    Why not become a member, for free, and create a photo album and upload your photos.
    Or, use the contact form to email me, then I'll reply and you can email me some photos.

    Aug 10, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    I am considering buying an ambulance which has been well converted with bed/two settees, sink, cooker,fridge,WC, but seller hasn't registered it as a campervan. Am I taking a risk? How much does it cost to reregister?

    Jul 03, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Don't worry. You do not need to re-register the vehicle as a campervan to use it. With the right insurance you can drive and camp in the vehicle legally.
    Right now the DVLA are making it harder to re-register vehicles to campervans. I would wait for now. The cost is free.

    For insurance try

    Jul 05, 2011
  • Jan Childs's picture

    We have recently bought an ambulance/old people's home 8 seater minibus plus wheelchair capacity. LWB Volkswagen LT 31 high top. We have redone the inside but no change to the outside. It is currently registered as am abulance with nil tax. Do we have to register a change of use to a van with winsows or can we simply insure and tax it as a van?

    Jul 28, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, we'd like to buy a van and convert. Are the rules for Ireland the same as the UK? I can't seem to find it on the net. Has anybody experience with buying a van in England an bringing it over? How costly did that get? Also hard to find straight regulations about that on the net. Thanks!

    Jul 14, 2011
  • Anonymous lin's picture
    Anonymous lin (not verified)

    Hi I am also looking relocate to Ireland and am interested to find out about the legalities regarding change of registration (camper - self-conversion) and any info regarding how easy it is to insure a conversion there. One thing I do know is that if you have owned the vehicle for over 6 months then you do not have to pay import tax on it. Is may also be worth noting that for older vehicles, registered before June 2008, road tax is charged according to engine sie (Jan 2011)
    2 401 - 2 500 = Euro 935 /yr 2 501 - 2 600 = Euro 1120 /yr
    2 601 - 2 700 = Euro 1164 /yr 2 701 - 2 800 = Euro 1204 /yr
    2 801 - 2 900 = Euro 1248 /yr 2 901 - 3 000 = Euro 1293 /yr
    3 001+ = Euro 1566 /yr ... quite a lot extra really.
    Do you know if you need an engineers report for insurance purposes if it is a conversion?
    Is camper insurance lower there, as it is in the uk?

    Sep 04, 2011
  • Dean M's picture

    I there, I've been thinking about getting a small van and converting it into a weekend camper. With all what has been said about being refused re-licencing to campervan, I was wondering if I fit my van with a pop-top, would this be enough to say it looks like a camper from the outside? All the other hoops I need to jump through are not a problem, It's just this one.

    Dean M

    Jul 18, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    The best way to make it look like a campervan is to add graphics. This seems to be what the DVLA and police are after.
    A poptop is not so easy to see when it's down. It may not be enough.
    It is worth checking with the DVLA.

    Jul 18, 2011
  • mick's picture

    hi , anyone know if i can use an aquaroll plugged in to inlet housing on side of van , just like normal caravan, ie , is it ok for requierments?

    Jul 18, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Generally no. The DVLA and insurance companies are generally looking for a "fixed" water tank, this never moves from it's position.
    However, some people have had vehicles re-classified by the DVLA without checking the fittings very well.

    Jul 19, 2011
  • geeza's picture

    i have spent the last three years 365 days a year in my van i stayed in my mums the other night but could not rest i went back to my camper and sweet dreams houses are over rated

    Aug 01, 2011
  • Exit's picture

    Beware using your camper to live in as my insurance company told me i'm only covered for holidays using the camper.. not for living in it
    In that case they told me i would not be insured.
    This was advice they gave me during taking my details to calculate the Premium.

    Dec 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    Just to let you know that the link to motor caravan import regulations now points to an archived page and is no longer current. I haven't been able to track the document down elsewhere.
    Please feel free to delete this comment!

    Aug 15, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Thanks. The government website had archived the page. But I managed to find it on their archive site, and have changed the link.

    Aug 26, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    I have a Merc Vito panel van that i've kind of converted to a dualiner. I've took the 3 seats out the front and replaced them with 2 single seats. I've also fitted 2 single seats in the back, with seat belts on unwin rails. And I've just had windows fitted in both of the sliding side doors. I don't need a van for work, its basically my car that I can chuck mountain bikes in the back and go away for a weekend and also sleep in.

    What I would like to know is should I inform DVLA on my alterations and my insurance is due in Oct. Do I inform them aswell and can it be insured as a car rather than a comercial vehicle???


    Aug 24, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Vinnie

    Yes. Inform the DVLA and your insurance company. It probably won't change your insurance, but if you don't tell them of the alterations they won't cover you.

    Aug 25, 2011
  • malcolmsmill's picture

    just a word on vito conversion.

    I bought a vito and converted it to dualiner, the insurer doubled the premium and excesses and refused to cover more than 3 people (as per standard van) they then decided to up the premium AGAIN because the old policy said VAN and the new one VITO and vitos are more expensive than vans,,,,,,,,,,, how the hell do they make a difference on the SAME vehicle insured BY THEM for 4 years with the SAME REG......... HOW CAN IT BE DIFFERENT this argument is NOT the dualiner bit.

    Oct 06, 2011
  • Liam's picture

    Hi all

    I thought I'd share this on here as I've pulled a few great bits of info from here in the past and thought I'd share this. After finishing an Iveco 35-10 disabled access minibus to a camper conversion I started looking into the ramifications of changing the class and insurance. The first thing I did (and beware all!) was notify my current insurance company of the modifications-they instantly cancelled my cover as they don't cover campers, they then had the cheek to charge me a cancellation fee (which I'm still refusing to pay). I got replacement cover from a company called "Insurance Choice" for a substantial discount, the one premise was that within 90 days I had to have the DVLA re-class the vehicle as a camper, having read all the prerequisites for this I prepared a 2 page document covering all the work done, before and after pictures, filled out the form (V62 I think?) and waited in the queue at the local DVLA office. The main thing I was worried about was this "new" policy that it must "look like a camper" as mine is basically just a big minibus with blacked out windows, however after standing in line for 35 minuets the girl just stamped the forms, never even glanced at my carefully prepared work and sent me on way after about 60 seconds-the lesson I think is go to the local DVLA office at lunchtime on the very last day of the month, absolute pandemonium and huge queues but at least they didn't take any time to look at my paperwork....

    anyway thanks for all the great info on here


    Aug 31, 2011
  • chris's picture

    i drove my renault trafic conversion to lincoln dvla with the intention of changing the log book to motor caravan , i was told as of the 1st of september all aplictions have to go through dvla swansea , you need a covering letter listing all the work done , pictures of all 4 sides and the inside of van , and the reciepts for the items you bought for the conversion , they will then decide if your conversion is worthy of a new clasification.

    im going to struggle with the reciepts as i normally throw them away lol


    Sep 05, 2011
  • chris's picture

    how long does it normally take from submitting your application to getting it back , i sent mine 2 weeks ago and have had no reply yet , im getting worried its lost , i have checked online and the database shows no changes yet , also my insurance is sending leters threatening to cancel my insurance , allthough they said i had 3 months to submit my v5 i had a reminder after 6 weeks and then a letter with a threat to cancel after 8 and 9 weeks , i currently have 2 weeks to go till the 3 months is up and have a letter stating if they do not recieve v5 by tomorrow they will cancel insurance.


    Oct 03, 2011
  • Liam's picture

    Hi Chris

    it was over 5 weeks before my V5 came thru, had the same letters from insurance company but when I phoned them and explained they were very reasonable and told me not to worry.


    Oct 05, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Great news. Well done. Thanks for letting us know.

    Sep 06, 2011
  • Johnny's picture

    I just sent all the info away and got my new V5 through the post. I included my email address in case they need any more info/pics to speed things up if there were any problems. They were obviously happy and didn't need anything else. I dont think there's anything to worry about as long as you have done a decent job and meet their criteria. I was also changing over from disabled tax to PLG and the insurance savings being a motor caravan just about make up the tax I now pay - should also add a few quid to the value of the van.

    Sep 10, 2011
  • Johnny's picture

    Forgot to say that I wasn't asked to provide receipts so there might be a bit of inconsistency from DVLA.

    Sep 10, 2011
  • Alex's picture


    Sorry if this is a stupid question but I have recently bought a camper still reistered as a 'panel van' the insurance company have told me I have to re-register it as a motor caravan within 30 days. Does anyone know which forms do I need to fill out for this?


    Sep 02, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Read the section above titled: How to Change a Vans Classification to Camper Van or Motorhome in the UK

    Some insurance companies allow you to insure a camper van that has not be reregistered with the DVLA. Mine is like this. A full camper van but still as a panel van on the V5 document.
    The insurance company send a form which you take to a camper van dealer. They tick boxes on the form, indicating to the insurance company that the camper is a proper one.

    I used for my insurance.

    Sep 04, 2011
  • campermanc's picture

    I own a mercedes sprinter 308 which started out life as a panel van, the previous owner converted it to a campervan, so i thought id re reg it as a campervan as i thought a good job had been made to the conversion and the colour was wrong on the v5.
    Anyway i sent 2o images of vehicle to dvla, on high gloss paper,front and back images, n/s of vehicle,o/s of vehicle,drivers cab,showeroom etc etc, it has 240v hook up, 30 ltr water tank,gas,12v battery,bed which turn into l-shaped seating area, table with fixed base,12v lighting,skylights,fride,cooker,shower, fixed high storage cupboards etc! although i dont have the reciepts i thought the v5 would be no problem!

    6 weeks later, various phone calls to check up on progress of v5 dvla swansea recieved new v5 with correct colour yes! but still panel van on log book- no explanation at all feel fed up as spent time presenting vehicle and written itemised list to dvla, thought at least they would have asked be to go local office, the vehicle is insured as campervan like yours ed!, but like to play by the book, think dvla rules are all over the place- the vehicle is metallic,has graphics,window,chrome trims!

    Oct 05, 2011
  • curly's picture

    just fill your v5 in and send in photos to dvla

    Oct 23, 2011
  • Kieran's picture

    Hello all, I am thinking of buying a LWB sprinter to convert to people carrier cum camper i intend to fit a cooker, fridge, oven, shower,toilet but i also want up to 11 or 12 seats( from VW sharans so they are removable foldable and can change layout, I intend to use seatbelts and mounts from doner VW sharans. my current VW T5 Shuttle(9seats) is great but a bit cramped when you are on hoiladay with 9 people in it. The T5's V5 says it is a MPV and taxed as a diesel car. I dont want to have to psv as a minibus or pay the extra for minbus insurance and tax, any ways around this? It will look like a minicoach from the outside, so going by you problems in getting camper status i might have to pay the extra. Or put beds in and go for camper status and then make them removable after change?

    I am in Norther Ireland, so unsure if your curent problems apply.


    Sep 07, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    what year is your sprinter

    Oct 17, 2011
  • Anonymous's picture

    i have a vw 1999 t4 2.5cc tdi its on the log book as a motor caravan but the log book dose not state the weight,dose any one no the weight of a t4 short wheel base the low emission booklet states moter caravans that have to pay £100 a day if they are 2.5 to 3.6 tonnes gross vehicle weight is there any way my van being exempt from the emission charge. thanks

    Oct 17, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    VW T4 vans are at least 2.8 tonnes I believe.

    Oct 17, 2011
  • RICH G's picture

    HI THERE, I HAVE CONVERTED MY MAstervan minibus to a full campervan and can deal with the paperwork for the dvla. The problem i have is that it originally was a 17 seater@3900kg, the previous owner, removed two seats and got a class 4 mot for me but it still says minibus and is still rated at 3900kg. Can i convert it back to 3500kg easily so that the AA will relay me in??
    thanks Rich

    Oct 26, 2011
  • Alias Anon's picture

    Congratulations on the excellent article, and on the very useful info submitted by those having issues.

    I think I may be in a fortunate position. Having taken my van out of the country for >1 year, I was obliged to declare it exported, and therefore when I brought it back recently, it was regarded as being imported. I will therefore be registering it 'from scratch' unlike the majority of contributors who are seeking a change in classification. I will let you know how I get on as I try to get it registered Class 4.

    However, I am appalled by the way DVLA seem to be playing fast and loose with the regulations. The 'looks like a motorcaravan' requirement does not seem to appear anywhere in the regs. If that is the case, why hasn't anyone talked to their MP about what appears to be a flagrant abuse of power? And don't tell me that MPs are useless: some are, but generally, if an MP follows up a constituent's concern with the relevant dept/agency (which most do), the latter take note big time!

    Oct 31, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Interesting to hear of your different position.
    Please do let us know how you got along.

    Nov 03, 2011
  • Alias Anon's picture

    Very informative, and encouraging!


    DVLA revise their rule change on campervan conversions

    [last updated 13th September 2011]
    Up until recently anyone who converted a commercial vehicle to a motorhome or campervan could apply to the DVLA for the 'body type' classification on the V5C Registration Document to be changed to 'motor caravan'. However we heard that recent requests to change the body type classification were being refused by DVLA.

    We asked them what new criteria were being applied, this is the response we received:

    When describing the external appearance of a vehicle DVLA applies a 'reasonableness test' which is based on how a member of the public or police would describe the vehicle in traffic or if parked on the road. This is a longstanding procedure. Whilst vehicles kept or used on public roads in Great Britain must meet both domestic and European regulations such as Type Approval, DVLA body type descriptions are a separate entity to approval requirements.

    However, as DVLA have recently seen an increase in the number of applications to change the body type description on the vehicle registration document (V5C) to motor caravan, we reviewed the body type description 'motor caravan' in conjunction with the police and the ABI.

    There was a clear consensus that the body type should reflect the outward appearance of a vehicle rather than its internal fixtures and fittings. As a result only vehicles first registered as motor caravans or those fitted with a custom coach built bodies, in addition to meeting the internal 'checklist' should be described as 'motor caravan' on the V5C.

    We are aware that some motorists have complained that insurance premiums can be higher if the body type for converted vehicles does not show motor caravan. However the ABI have advised that insurance premiums would normally be calculated based on the information provided by the customer. They further advised that customers should make their insurers aware of any modifications made to the vehicle and this would be taken into account when the premium is calculated.

    This seemed to us to represent a very narrow interpretation of the term 'motor caravan' and appeared to impose much stricter requirements than those required by EU Type Approval legislation. Taken at face value it seems to mean that NO conversions of any type of vehicle that has been previously registered will be able to re-register with a change of body type to motor caravan (unless they have had a coachbuilt body fitted), even bone-fide professional conversions that any reasonable person would consider to be a motor caravan.

    It had implications for speed limits, since the term 'motor caravan' is used to determine that passenger vehicle, rather than goods vehicle, speed limits apply. MOT tests are another potential problem area where the type of test which is applicable may be affected if a vehicle is not described as a motor caravan on the V5C. For vehicles over 3500kg GVW it is possible that the regulations relating to drivers hours and the fittment of speed limiters and tachographs may also apply if the vehicle is not described as a motor caravan on the V5C.

    We now hear that, following many complaints about the new policy, they have re-examined the issue. We asked for an explanation of the revised policy and received the following:

    Apologies for the delay in replying we have been further reviewing our policy around the allocation of bodytype descriptions for motorcaravans taking into account the views of customers/key stakeholders like yourself. Recognising the impact the policy may have on professional converters and our customers who self build I am pleased to inform you that following a further review the policy will allow greater flexibility for vehicles which have been modified both internally and externally from the manufacturers original specification after first registration and consideration will be given to conversions which have been carried out professionally where the customer can provide documentary evidence from the converter or a self build conversion where the customer can provide documentary evidence of the build.

    In addition to documentary evidence customers will still be required to provide external and internal photographic evidence of the conversion/build and also return their V5C for amendment. As previously advised cases can vary significantly and DVLA deals with each case individually, based on the photographic and documentary evidence provided by the customer/registered keeper. DVLA will continue to consider applications requesting a change of body type description but we will need to consider both the internal and external appearance of a vehicle. I should advise you that conversions will still be required to meet the internal criteria required for a motorhome/motorcaravan but greater flexibility will be applied to the external appearance of a vehicle.

    We submitted photos of a panel van, which had been converted some years after it's original registration, to them for appraisal. Under the 'original' revised policy, as far as we can tell, it would have been classed as a 'van with windows', now they have confirmed that it would be classified as a 'motor caravan'.

    It seems to us that there should now be no difficulty in registering a conversion as a motor caravan, providing that the conversion meets the 'reasonableness test' and that the exterior has been modified by at least having windows fitted.

    Oct 31, 2011
  • Peter Lloyd's picture

    Hi have a t5 vw window van 56 reg. My question is, On the v5 states it is a window van. But it has 9 seats, So insurers will only insure it as a minibus. Costing me £800 per year. I asked dvla and was told they cannot comment on insurance or say if ok to take seats out to alter from minibus. I would like to change it, by putting a hightop on and converting the inside to a campervan. Will I be allowed to do this and if I do will it be classed as a motor caravan and bring my insurance down? Will, as I have been reading here, I need to change the exterior in some way?

    Nov 01, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    You are perfectly allowed to convert the vehicle, as long as it's consider safe on the road.
    The important thing here is the insurance. You need to get the right insurance, that will cover you from mini-bus to van, and during the conversion.

    I have found to be a very good broker.

    To re-register the vehicle as a Motor Caravan you need to satisfy the DVLA of the requirements on this page, and it also has to look like a motorhome from the outside.
    You dont need to re-register it though, as long as you have the right insurance.

    Nov 02, 2011
  • Peter Lloyd's picture

    Thanks for that. Will be contacting Campton a.s.a.p. Converting inside first I think, cheapest bit. Roof will need more expert work than I can give. Will be glad just to get insurance down to what I think it should be. Only 6 seats in now. So will work from there. Will let you know how I get on Thanks again.

    Nov 03, 2011
  • J. Bird's picture

    G'deve all....I have a merc 508D i bought it two years ago for a steal, was told it wont last more than 6 months, was getting sluggish. So it became a project. I fitted bed, kitchen, sink, clothes storage, seating plan, and a wood burning fire. I have been enjoying it for 2 years now, many delicious meals have been made in my oven. We travelled far my 4 yr old and i, part business part pleasure. I want to take it to europe. And was wondering if changing the classation on it from a private van to a motorcaravan, i know the costs for insurance may vary. There is little luck out there to travel for more than 90days on my current insurance, without it costing the earth, plus breakdown cover. Should i insure as a motor caravan and begin the long process to declassify it, whilst im in motion in europe, will i be accepted to cross boarders without correct very confused....and am seeing that the time for the process to be underway could take more than running out of time...
    Some light on the situation would be very grateful...

    Nov 13, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    You have little reason to change it to Motorcaravan.
    For insurance try a broker like I insure my van, not re-registered as a campervan, for a good price through them.
    You should have no problem at borders with the insurance. They will not worry about the classification of the vehicle.

    You should just concentrate on the insurance. Try the brokers, they can probably find you an insurance policy for more than 90 days,

    Nov 14, 2011
  • tommyjumbo's picture

    I have a Panel van converted to a camper. I have put a window in the side and checked with my insurance company about window vans and they said they do not insure vans with windows! I have got a decent quote from camptons to cover me as a camper van but i need to prove that the conversion fits their criteria within 3 months. Did they ask you to do this and if so how did you get it approved. I am thinking my MOT garage but worried they might refuse the responsibility?

    Jun 07, 2013
  • Darren's picture


    My insurance is with Campton. I had to get the form completed also. I went to a local campervan dealer, and he was happy to sign off the form for me.
    I also contacted a motorhome dealer and they were also happy to complete the form.
    A local MOT centre didn't want to do it as they said they couldn't comment on the value of the vehicle.

    Jun 07, 2013
  • tommyjumbo's picture

    Thanks for the reply. I will find out frommy MOT people first then find some local campervan dealers and ask them!


    Jun 10, 2013
  • Eli's picture

    i dont really understand. at the top of this page is says.
    "you have the option of re-registering your van as a "motor caravan" with the DVLA. It is not a requirement to re-register the vehicle. You can continue to use the vehicle as a campervan, even if it is still registered as a "panel van", assuming you have adequate (i.e. campervan) insurance."

    And on the insurance page it says this....
    "ensure that you have re-classified your vehicle as a camper van, and then get it insured as a camper van (see above). This is important to ensure you are covered legally, but you will also get other benefits such as cheaper road tax."
    These appear to be completely conflicting pieces of advice. i personally have insured my van as a camper and they said i have 3 months to get it changed. It is ready to be done officially but now with this new thing about looking like a camper from the outside, i am afraid to send off the forms until i have more info my three months is nearly up and i wont be around for the next six weeks to do it so its now or never. does this mean i am breaking the law, or wont be covered in the event of an accident. because the first bit seems to say i am fine because I'm ensured as a camper but not switched under the dvla. and the second says i may not be covered. any comments or clarifying info would be most appreciated.

    Dec 06, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi, sorry about that. The second section you quote is a little out-of-date, and not entirely clear.
    You don't have to re-registrer your van as a campervan to insure it as a campervan.

    Whether you are insured or not is between you and your insurance company, and nothing to do with the DVLA.
    Your insurance company might give you an extension to the 3 months to convert.

    It seems now that the DVLA have relaxed the rules about re-classifying vehicles as campervans, so it is worth trying to re-register yours.

    I haven't re-registered my campervan, and have it insured as a campervan via

    Dec 22, 2011
  • Harry's picture

    I hope someone can help please, I have a land rover discovery, which I know use for my company, I want to change it to a commercial vehicle, how do i go about this???

    Dec 17, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Harry

    What do you want to do?
    Who currently owns the landrover, you or the business?

    Dec 20, 2011
  • voodoojunkgirl's picture

    Thank you for all the advise on this site!!

    I brought a 1990 Merc 208D, that had had a 'coach built' interior, as a day van, a few years ago, but she is still registered as a LGV.

    Due to the introduction of the LEZ where I live, (which is well outside of london - may I add!!!) from Jan 2012, I have followed the above advise- remove the additional seats, and fix a 6ft sofa bed etc, and taken photo's ++ with a letter identifying the evidence to the requirements, and sent the V5 off to Swansea,(4+ weeks ago) and apart from changing to a motorhome on the V5 - we are hoping to also downplate to 2.5kg,

    otherwise I will have to try and find £2.5K to get a particle filter fitted to comply with the (money making) LEZ regulations.

    I brought my van / specifically looked for a Merc with the knowledge that they are 'bullet proof' and sound engines, she passes each and every MOT without problems, (I have all the paperwork since 1990) I can not understand how it is greener for me to scrap a (much loved) fully working van - with years more life in her and to buy a new one?

    So fingers crossed we receive all the paperwork changed from the DVLA, will let you know!!

    Dec 17, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Great to hear you are re-classifying your vehicle.
    Please let us know when you hear back.
    The LEZ is such a silly scheme. You are so right about scrapping the van. It makes no sense.

    Dec 20, 2011
  • voodoojunkgirl's picture

    Well, I got the V5 in the post this am, they have re-classified her to a motor caravan, with out any problems, but only down plated to 2.8KG, not 2.5KG, which means the van is still not exempt from the LEZ..... so, I will be ringing them up and questioning why they have not reduced to 2.5KG and try and push for this to happen!!

    Dec 22, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Well done on the V5.
    Downplating might require an inspection.
    See what they say.

    Dec 23, 2011
  • voodoojunkgirl's picture

    So the down plating went through smoothly, I sent to certificate SVTECH provided me with, and the DVLA changed the V5. unfortunatley the TFL low emissions website said my van was still not meeting their requirements - so I contacted SVTECH and they asked me to fax over my V5 - and they would contact TFL for me - same done and with in 10 mintes my van was coming up as **EXEMPT** I can not thank SVTECH enough for their service!! I am so so so happy that I dont need to scrap or sell my much much loved camper!! She is legal now!!!

    Feb 23, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    I think the issue is that the weight of the van is classified as unladen. so removing extra seats would not effect the weight. but let us know if they cave in. I have similar issue my van is 3k kg unladen however my van is 2002 so im safe for now.

    Jan 19, 2012
  • voodoojunkgirl's picture

    Well, we've ended up going to a company called SVTECH that we heard about on a few other forums, they have down plated her to under 2.5 ton (sorry!! not KG as I've previously posted!!) really easy - sent in copies of V5, some photos of the conversion, origional weight plate, and the weighbridge certificate and a cheque and they sent back a new plate, certificate for us to send off to the DVLA, so still waiting as only sent it off to DVLA this week but will let you all know how we go. (Cant wait to drive her again, its been months!! but she still started first time last sat when I checked!!)

    Feb 17, 2012
  • tonyalive's picture

    hi there im about to embark on converting a toyota estima / Lucida into a campervan but its classed as an 7 seater car, its obviously not a van so not too sure where i stand with that, i have plans for a double bed, cupboard with cooker sink all the requirements , would this be a good vehicle to convert to be re classified as a camper and will insurers insure it as a camper, cheers for creating this great site by the way !

    Dec 24, 2011
  • Darren's picture

    Hmm, tricky one this. I an not sure if you can re-classify it as a campervan. The DVLA might want to keep it as a car.
    Regarding insurance, you need to check with the insurance companies if they are happy to insure it.

    So I would recommend.
    Contacting insurance companies to see if they will insure it. They may be happy to insure it as a car, or they may be happy to insure it as a campervan, without you having to re-register it as a campervan. Try, I have found them a very useful broker.

    If you do need to re-classify as a campervan, which I doubt you will, then contact the DVLA and see if they are happy to do that.

    Dec 24, 2011
  • orca's picture

    Dont know if this will help but I've owned a 1994 registered estima seven seater for a number of years having bought it from a friend who'd bought it from the importer. It came registered as a motor caravan. We always assumed it was because it has factory fitted curtains and the hot/cool box as many of the older ones do as a standard option.

    Jan 30, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    im half way through a build and am at the cooker stage,
    i have a gas bottle which will be secured to the van wall and a cooker that will be secured on top of a built unit next to the bottle,
    i was going to have a flexi pipe connect the two as its only what 30 cm away?,
    can i use this or would i need rigid copper piping fitted? and would i need the bottle in a sealed gas locker?

    great site by the way!

    Jan 04, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Flexi pipe is fine. If your pipe is more than a few years old replace it. The pipe starts to crack after a while.

    Jan 04, 2012
  • Nkorki's picture

    I am currently working on a Transit long wheelbase 1999 that I purchased from a friend in November. It is registered as a panal van and ive been trying to get it upto scratch as a Campervan on the V5. Ive installed suitable wardrobe\cupboard space and Just finnishing the Table. The Bed needing to be 6 foot though is a problem as when folded out its 5 11 by 5 foot though the diagonal is way over 6 foot. Can I use the diagonal length? It will save me purchasing more wood.

    Jan 09, 2012
  • Nkorki's picture

    I am currently working on a Transit long wheelbase 1999 that I purchased from a friend in November. It is registered as a panal van and ive been trying to get it upto scratch as a Campervan on the V5. Ive installed suitable wardrobe\cupboard space and Just finnishing the Table. The Bed needing to be 6 foot though is a problem as when folded out its 5 11 by 5 foot though the diagonal is way over 6 foot. Can I use the diagonal length? It will save me purchasing more wood.

    Jan 09, 2012
  • Craig's picture

    High I have recently purchased a self build from a friend and am currently getting it to DVLA regulations to change V5, The bed having to be 6 foot is causing problems as I have to extend it by a foot as width van is 5, 11 so to short, can the diagonal measure be used as this is over 6 foot and if so would save me purchasing more wood for an extension of the bed.
    Many Thanks

    Jan 09, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Craig

    These guidelines are often just guidelines, rather than strict rules that the DVLA will adhere to.
    Chances are, than an inspector would not measure the bed. If the bed looked big enough, they will probably be happy.
    If I were you, I would not worry about it, as it will probably be fine. However, just be prepared for them to reject it, just in case.

    Jan 17, 2012
  • ChrisC's picture

    Hey people.

    Here's a little story to keep in mind when setting out on a camper van conversion. You can't (according to Adrian Flux)insure a camper van if you are unemployed. Lets just kick a guy when he's down shall we.

    Also, what is with not being able to add a extra seat in the back of a van, Auto Net Insurance won't touch any van that has been modified in any way, Even if the seat is fitted by a reputable company etc... But they are cheap insurance.

    Anyway, not having a good day with the insurance bods. Think I'll be posting my nearly finished converted van on fleabay and be done with all the stress.

    Regards. Chris.

    Jan 13, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Can't insure if you're not employed? That's discrimination really. There are lots of people with lots of money who are unemployed. I used to be regularly unemployed, as I worked irregular contracts, and enjoyed time off. But always have enough money to pay my van insurance.

    Jan 15, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Adrian Flux lol, they would not take as no claims proof, a letter from my previous company ( saga )stating 4 yrs with saga and 45% no claims or a new re-newal policy from saga to me offering 45% no-claims from previous policy, good job i were nt unemployed then !!!!

    Apr 27, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi try campton insurance 01883 742460 their prices are competitive and they are very helpful and will insure the vehicle whilst the build is in progress, I think the build has to be completed within 3 months

    Apr 08, 2012
  • john's picture

    Just to let every one know how easy it was to re classify my panel van to a moto caravan just sent pics of the conversion and a letter telling what had been done to the van and got my new v5 with in two weeks..

    Jan 18, 2012
  • Max's picture

    Hi John,

    Can I ask how you filled out the V5, any pointers would be really apreciated. Finding this bit harder than converting the van lol



    Jan 27, 2012
  • Ady's picture

    I did exactly the same. 10 photos which I numbered and a note that corresponded to the photos, telling the DVLA what each photo was depicting. Got my new log book back 2 weeks later with the body type changed to "Motor Caravan".......Simple's

    Aug 04, 2012
  • Craig's picture

    Hi many thanks about the bed, it will save me some much needed money not having to convert it to 6 foot exactly as Me and my wife are not 6 footers. Another issue I have is does the Gas bottle have to be in its own Safety box to satisfy DVLA or is it ok just being strapped down in a cupboard, at moment water tank is in there to. Ive had gas and elec check for insurance and it past though the guy did mention that i should move bottle to back doors and fit it in a metal safety box to change v5. Ive looked at some other conversions that past and they only seem to be strapped into a cupboard like mine.
    Many thanks Craig

    Jan 19, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    No, the gas bottles does not have to be in its own safety box.
    It is recommended to put it in a steel sheet lined box, accessible from the outside.
    However, this is only a guideline. Even professional conversions have it inside sometimes.
    You would be very unlucky for the DVLA guy to pick up on the gas bottle.
    Make sure it is securely strapped in.

    Jan 19, 2012
  • Max's picture

    Hi Guys

    Can anyone please help me on the V5 section I have to fill out. I looked at section 7H (Changes to current vehicle) and the part ''Tax Class'' and it says,... ''The tax class shown in section 4 can only be changed when taxing. Please apply at your local DVLA office.''

    Does this mean that I have to phsically go down there or should I just send the form.

    One other point is what exactly to fill out in the V5:H7, Do I have to fill out the new weight? How does one find out?

    Sorry for all the questions but there seems to be nowhere that helps/guides you to fill out this section of the V5 when doing a conversion.

    Thanks a lot


    Jan 27, 2012
  • john bellis's picture

    Hi Mate
    Dont know about filling in v5, but if you need to know the weight, all local councils have a weighbridge, you can use.
    Thanks jack

    Jan 05, 2013
  • Darron's picture

    Hi, I'd like to pass on my thanks for this article. It spurred us on to get our Mazda Bongo fitted with a rear conversion and then reclassify it with the DVLA as a Motor Caravan.

    As it met all the criteria, a letter, some photos and a revised V5 were sent off. Photos were returned and the new V5 arrived shortly afterwards!

    We completed section 7 of the V5, changing the Body Type to "Motor Caravan" and the number of seats to 5 (was 8).

    Thanks again for the article! (We're insured with Campton too - great service and price!!)


    Feb 08, 2012
  • Chris U's picture

    Hi Thinking of getting a 2007 new shape Peugeot expert LWB high roof to convert.
    I am time served coach/bodybuilder, will the build be classed as professional build.
    Also anyone had any dealings, problems, converting an expert van.
    Thanks in advance for any info,
    Cant wait to start.
    Chris U

    Apr 01, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Hi Chris

    I don't think your conversion will fall under a professional conversion, unless you are using the premises, stock and brand name of a professional campervan conversion company.

    Not done an expert van, but not heard any problems.

    There are quite a few example Expert conversions on the link below, under the Micro camper heading

    Apr 02, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi, Does anyone know if the double camping type stove which you insert the gas bottle directly into the cooker (like a Campingaz bistro but a double one) can be used as the main cooker, and still comply with the DVLA regs for changing the panel van to a camper?
    They can be easily stored safely away and would be better for me as I want the kitchen to be right at the back of my van conversion, which will be accessed only from outside of van via the open back door. I have seen these cookers used in rental campervans such as the ones from wicked campers and getaway campers etc. Those rental companies vans are similar to the basic type of conversion I want to do. Also would I get insurance if I used that type of cooker? Thanks for any advice.

    Apr 09, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    The DVLA guidelines say a twin ring cooker. But they also like to see the fittings as being permanent and fixed down. It will probably be fine if you make the cooker look as if it is going to live in it's spot permanently, and not stashed away.

    Apr 10, 2012
  • John Daniel's picture

    Thank you for this very useful summary. I am about to start the re-registration process. Under your heading of "Why re-register as a camper-van", I would suggest you should add ferry fares:

    I heard recently from another campervan conversion owner that Calmac had charged him (on a trip to one of the Scottish Island) £200 as a commercial van instead of £70 as a camper because his DVLA record still showed it as a van.

    Has anybody else come across this problem?

    May 04, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Thanks for the information John. I haven't heard of this problem. I have a campervan that isn't re-registered, and have never been charged as a commercial van. This sounds like the ferry company trying to profit from customers.

    I have updated the page with your comments.

    May 08, 2012
  • Jammy Jim's picture

    hi there, me and my partner snapped up a bargain just before the low emission zone charging in London set in early this year and are the proud owners (i say that loosely) of a 93 LWB transit Dormobile. We live on the very outskirts of the emissions zone but due to family, friends and work it would be extremely handy to enter the M25 in the future. Checking the transport for London website it states only campers over 2.5tons are excluded. i believe when initially built with wheel chair lift, seats etc the bus weighed 3.5, with the fear of asking a stupid question does any one possibly know if it is possible/feasible to re register the weight of the vehicle? at the moment it is still deemed as a standard mini bus but is now fully stripped and ready for conversion, knowing if it is possible to register the vehicle under the 2.5ton emission zone limit would obviously influence the way in which we convert the interior initially. Any advise would be >hugely

    May 14, 2012
  • Darren's picture


    Here is a useful tool for checking how your vehicle is affected inside the LEZ:

    I think you mean vehicles under 2.5 tons are excluded, not over 2.5 tons.
    Just to clarify, it is not how much the vehicle weights, but how much it is allowed to weight, when fully loaded.
    It is possible to reduce the listed weight of the vehicle. This is called downplating.
    However, your van is about 2 tons when empty. So if you downplate it to 2.5 tons, you will only be able to carry 0.5 tons (500 kgs). With this 500 kgs you have to include a tank of fuel (80kgs) 2 people (at least 150 kgs) and everything for you campervan.
    I don't think you can do it.
    2.5 ton vans are always small, because they can only carry so much.
    Big vans really need to stay rated at 3.5 tons.
    A newer van (made after 2002) would allow you to go inside the M25.

    May 15, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Hi yep that can be done easy , do a web search for SVtech they charge £100 will do all the paperwork and sort the downplating for you

    Jul 23, 2012
  • T4 owner's picture

    hi i have started my conversion of a t4 and have opted for a side on 3 seater/bed so i can transport my motorbike in the back too.
    i was wondering if anybody knew about rules/laws on carrying passengers in the rear?
    i havent re-registered it as a camper yet or having extra seats as there are no seat belts fitted, it is listed as a two seater panel van, can i carry an extra passenger or two in the back? or is that asking for trouble?

    May 14, 2012
  • T4 & T5 Camper Interiors's picture

    As far as i'm aware you cannot transport people on side facing seats for new conversions. Major motorhome companies and even Landrover now have forward or rear facing seats only.

    Jul 09, 2012
  • Big H's picture

    Ive gone in depth looking at converting a panel van or mini bus into a camper van.
    However thinking outside the box! What are the legalities of perminantly attaching a small caravan to a chassis cab (Preferably a double cab) I would propose removing the axle & draw bar, from the caravan. I would think that the caravans im looking at would weigh around 600 to 1000 KG.
    Any advice would be gratly appreciated

    Jul 19, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    I think this is fairly straightforward legally. if the caravan is attached safely, then you should be fine.
    In terms of insurance, you might want to know you can get insurance first.
    Try who are a good broker who should be able to tell you if there are policies available for you.

    In terms of weight, I just looked at this document for a Sprinter chassis cab:

    It shows the double can can take 1374 - 2688 kgs, depending on the body fitted. As you wont actually fit a body,that should give you the full 2688 kgs. So with a 1000 kg caravan that's quite a lot of weight to play with.
    Other makes of chassis might carry less weight, but it should be similar. Seems like a goer :)

    Jul 24, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    Thanks for the positive comments
    I will look into it further and let you know how I get on :)

    Jul 25, 2012
  • Lee renwick's picture

    I made a fold out bed for my sedona, made a great camper, Ive now bought a vw sharan for my car and thinking of doing a full conversion to the sedona to make a two birth camper. what are the issues with converting a people carrier instaed of a panel van? anybody know ? thanks.

    Jul 22, 2012
  • Richard Purley's picture

    This occurred to me last week, so have bought 2005 Sedona, and going to take rear seats out to do same. But have never seen a mpv converted. So also interested in any existing cons or ideas.

    Jul 27, 2012
  • Vik's picture

    Hi, Lee.

    I have seen such conversions and do believe they are classed as ROMA HOME. This is all can help with at the moment but I believe this is a good start - at least now you can research it more.

    Aug 05, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    I am about to purchase an original Peugeot Boxer X250 3.0 HDI van 2007 which has had a top grade conversion to a motor caravan. Engine size 2999. It is amazing inside but the owner has no paperwork from the conversion company and sadly they have now gone out of business. The V5 document currently states that it is now a Motor caravan but the vehicle tax category is still listed as N1 and not M1, so much higher vehicle tax. I have read all posts and one person did say that this could not be changed. Please can anyone help as taxation for an N1 would be over £400 per year. Thanks in advance.

    Aug 05, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    I am about to purchase an original Peugeot Boxer X250 3.0 HDI van 2007 which has had a top grade conversion to a motor caravan. Engine size 2999. It is amazing inside but the owner has no paperwork from the conversion company and sadly they have now gone out of business. The V5 document currently states that it is now a Motor caravan but the vehicle tax category is still listed as N1 and not M1, so much higher vehicle tax. I have read all posts and one person did say that this could not be changed. Please can anyone help as taxation for an N1 would be over £400 per year

    Aug 05, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    I would assume the vehicle should be considered a light goods vehicle for tax, category TC39, which is £215 per year. That's what my 2002 Sprinter is classed as. Maybe you can contact your local DVLA office to found out the options?

    Aug 06, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    its done on exhaust emissions after 2001 i think and not the cc of the engine. so i dont think you can change it

    Sep 11, 2012
  • Allan's picture

    i recently gave my old bedford cf campervan to my 22 year old son,he has had no accidents and held a full licence for 4 years with no endorsements,but unfortunately it seems no insurance companies will insure him until he is 25 some even say 30,they say this is their policy for campervans,adrian flux did give a quote of £980,rather excessive for a limited mileage of 2000 miles per year and considering the van is only worth £1600. i only pay £121 p.a. and they wont insure him as a second driver, anyone had this problem or know of an insurance company for young drivers, failing that is there another van he could buy to get insurance for.

    Aug 16, 2012
  • john bellis's picture

    Can you tell me the insurance company you use please £121 sounds very good.

    Jan 05, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    I have recently purchased a renault master swb base which is now due an mot. The interior has been converted to a camper van so off i trot to get it an mot, a class 4 not its original class 7. 6 mot stations later I finally find one that will mot its as a class 4. even explaining the rules in varies stations they insist it is illegal to mot it as a class 4 even when presented as a camper. the 7th looked inside said yes its a camper no problem. The moral is you need an mot station that has common sense and truly understands vosa rules. Was wondering should i complain to vosa about the other 6 for not understanding mot rules as i thought this was funamental to the mot testers to understand vosa rules!

    Aug 21, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    Yes, I would inform VOSA.

    I took my Class VIII for an MOT at the local BT van centre, who MOT'd it as a Class IV, and updated the DOT computer system, all without me asking.
    THis is what all stations should do.

    Aug 22, 2012
  • andy1962's picture

    just converting renult trafic could any one tell me if its ok to feed gas pipes under the van (outside) conected to the chassis thanks

    Nov 21, 2012
  • Darren's picture

    I've seen other people do this, and think this is fine. It is possible to get gas pipe with a plastic type covering. This is probably best to use outside of the van to reduce corrosion and damage from the road.

    Nov 22, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture


    Does anyone know if there is a way of finding out how many campervans are registered in the UK at present?


    Dec 18, 2012
  • Anonymous's picture

    I was making inquiry's with a local conversion company about a diy T5 conversion and was told that I would have to fit a pop top if I was going to be fitting a gas cooker, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get it insured. I was planning not to fit as as many of the T5's I have seen don't have one fitted.

    Mar 02, 2013
  • Darren's picture

    I don't think that information is correct. Lots of people make conversions, with gas cookers, don't have a pop-to and get insured.
    Check with an insurance company. are a good broker. There are others in the sidebar on the right --->

    Mar 02, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    According to the fitting instructions that SMEV issue for their cookers, there must be a minimum distance of 500mm between the top of the hob and anything above it, cupboards or vehicle roof in your case. Maybe that's what they are refering to, or possibly the requirement for adequate ventilation.

    Mar 10, 2013
  • Margi's picture

    You must have a vent in the floor to allow any gas fumes to escape. Otherwise you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. Always best to get a professional to fit anything to do with gas. I'm guessing that insurance might refuse to cover any gas related accidents if not professionally fitted. I don't know anything about height rules.

    Oct 09, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    i am converting a extra long wheel base iveco daily into a race van anhe or td want 2 put a 3 way caravan fridge in it. anyone know about what vents are needed for the outside of the van

    Mar 17, 2013
  • mark wilson's picture

    we may be just about to buy our first camper but we are not sure on the law as far as carrying passengers in the back with no seat belts, we have 2 children aged 1 and 5yrs

    Mar 20, 2013
  • Darren's picture

    Quite often you don't need to have seatbelts in a campervan. You can read more in this article

    However, you should always have seatbelts for children. Also, you insurance company is unlikely to cover you if everyone is not wearing a seatbelt. Also, the Police might consider it unsafe if anyone is traveling in the vehicle without a seatbelt.

    I suggest you get some to be safe.

    Mar 20, 2013
  • Anonymous's picture

    As i have a large family i am in the process of converting my van into a camper i have been able to make space in the van for a bed that folds away into the roof which still allows for a table with seating around it for us all ( i must add the children will sleep in a tent it will be my wife and i in the camper ) and an area in the back which 2 x dog cages will be for when we take our dogs. This however has meant that i have not been able to put a cooker in so was wondering is this a must to re register as a camper van? If so i was thinking of putting an elec one in the back door which would fold out when needed but would be tucked away when not in use and traveling would this be accepable??

    Mar 28, 2013


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