If you’ve added seats to your camper van or motorhome, you should be considering the seal belt laws, and how they affect you.
In the UK:
- All vehicles manufactured since 2001 must have seat belts fitted for each passenger. If you have added seats (via a campervan conversion) you are outside of this law.
- Selt belts must be used whenever fitted, with no exception.
- It is highly advised to fit seat belts to all forward facing seats.
- It is highly advised to never let passengers travel in side facing seats, as the effects of whiplash and other impact related injuries are very severe from the side
Do passengers in the back have to wear seat belts?
The short answer is:
- No, you do not need to fit seat belts for passengers in the back.
- However, if you are carrying passengers in the back you must discuss and declare this to your insurance copany. It is very likely that your insurance company will not let you travel with passengers in the back unless they are in forward facing seats and have a 3-point seat belt.
- If there are seat belts they must be worn.
- It is not advised to travel seated sideways in the back.
I contact the Department of Transport in the UK and they gave me these guidelines:
“Our advice is that passengers are safest in a forward or rearward facing seat equipped with a three-point seat belt. Seat belt anchorage points should be designed so that they will be capable of withstanding the high forces of an impact and seat belts must comply with the latest British or European standards and be marked accordingly with either the ‘e’, ‘E’ or BS ‘Kitemark’. We strongly recommend that they are professionally installed by qualified persons (such as a commercial garage or seatbelt specialist).
Although side facing seats, with or without seat belts, are not illegal, we would not advise that they are used. This is because seat belts are not designed to be used with such seats. In the event of an accident, seat belts on these side facing seats may help to prevent the wearer being thrown around the vehicle or from being ejected, but in a frontal crash they can increase injury risk by subjecting vulnerable parts of the body to higher loads than seat belts used on forward facing seats.
If you intend to carry children aged 12 years or under, the seat belt wearing regulations require them to use a suitable child restraint. You should bear in mind that child restraints cannot be fitted to side facing seats. In order to fit the required child restraints, you would need to have forward or rearward facing seats with full three-point seat belts. “
They also advises me that:
The Department [of Transport] cannot give an authoritative interpretation of the law; that is a matter for the courts.
Guidelines for fitting seat belts
Regarding the laws about fitting seat belts, ultimately it comes down to the MOT test.
The MOT tester has to decide if the seat belts are fitted safely. The seat belt test criteria is that each seat that requires one has one, and that its mounting point and the 12″ surrounding it are not corroded excessively. However if it is mounted to a 1/8th plywood floor at cant be corroded, so it passes. This means, in essence that the real serviceability of a mounting is outside the MOT testers remit.
It’s a bit vague isn’t it?
To cover yourself, consider this
- Go to an MOT testing center and ask the tester what seat belt work would be considered necessary for your camper van to pass it’s MOT.
- Most seat belts in the front of panel vans, have a standard belt mounted by the door, and a seat belt receiver (that the belt clips into) on a long arm. You can buy these used seat belts cheaply on eBay.co.uk. You can then fit the long receiver arm through your wooden seat frames, mounting the receiver arm on the metal floor. This is a very solid fitting.
Hi this is probably a stupid question but I have a 2006 ldv maxus and I’m wondering if I can get rid of the double passenger seat in the front and replace with a single seat from the minibus version of the van as there the only single seats I can find to match and probably straight bolt in to floor but would this be for legal mot and insurance?
People tend to forget that you will probably die in a motorhome/campervan in a crash anyway. Microwave ovens, gas ovens, TV/s Hobs, fridges, gas bottles, cans of food, cupboards will just get ripped off a fly forward. And in the early 80s only 10% of people wore seat belts and now everyone goes on about safety.
I believe that seat belts should be worn but in a motorhome it wont make any difference. I know a man who knew a woman who was killed by a laptop bouncing around a car in a crash
I have a slide out in my motorhome that I am going to fit 3 3 minibus seats that have standard factory seat belts what is the law regarding slide out with this kind of configuration
Seats in back of Vivaro
I bought a van 3yrs ago, it has 3 seats in the front & a bench seat of 3 in the back… properly secured, with full working seatbelts, looks like its come from an official crew cab or minibus vivaro …. its all fully lined on the roof & the panel behind the bench seats which separates the rest of the van from the cab…. thing is, my v5 documents & everything still says its a 3seater van… i heard to inform them you need a certificate of having the seats fitted? … they were already fitted when i bought the van…. it was a works van before & previously used as a police van too… how do i go about informing DVLA & insurance about it?
Seats in the back of a Luton
I am looking to convert a lwb Luton van in to a camper. If there is a cut through put in from box to cab, and a side door in box, am I legally allowed to put in traveling seats with belts in the box?
Would they be safe or would I need to reinforce the box somehow?
I HAVE A 1965 BEDFORD DORMOBILE THAT I RESTORING, & IS FITTED WITH FRONT SEAT BELTS. THERE IS SEATING @ THE REAR FOR UP TO 3 PERSONS, DO I NEAD TO FIT THESE SEATS WITH > A – ALL 3 LAP ONLY . OR >B- ALL 3 THREE POINT, OR >C THE TWO OUT SIDE ONES ONLY WITH .>D LAP >E THREE POINT. SORRY TO BE LONG WINDED.
Hi. The passenger seat on my T5 camper conversion is set on a swivel plate. The mechanism for securing the seat when it’s either front or rear facing is exactly the same, so the seat is equally secure whichever way it’s facing. Does anyone know whether it’s legal to drive with the passenger in the front passenger seat facing backwards? The seat belt seems to work as effectively when it’s pulled in either direction, but I’m not sure whether the seat belts are set for a particular direction. It’d be great if my front passenger could face the passengers in the rear seats when we’re travelling long distance…
do you have to remove the bulkhead when fitting rear seats ?
seatbelts in camper
i have a 1990 trafic with a forward facing seat next to middle passenger side door. it has a lap belt is this ok with law? also i intend to convert a modern ford transit with seat in same place. can i fit a 3 point seat belt is that within the law? and does it have to have a pre tensioner or not as this would make it a problem.?
seating in the back ,
I have a 1974 Bedford cf campervan do I need , safty belts in backto carry 2 12years old its an hour away and for 3 nights theres never been seat belt fitted in it .
No, if the vehicle was originally supplied as such (with rear seats but no rear seat belts) there is NO need to retro-fit them.
Note that If you do decide to subsequently fit seat belts they must conform to modern standards.
Hi I’ve just bot a converted transit van it has side facing seats just wondering if a neaded seat belts read a few comments im a bit confused
Legally, you probably don’t need seatbelts. But the first step, is to ask your insurance company if they will insure you if you are carrying passengers in those seats. If they say no, you can’t carry passengers in those seats.
I just got a 1989 Renault trafic that has 2 front seats and 2 back seats that make up either 2 single or 1 double bed . I want to carry 4 people .. How can I do this … Very confused by the seatbelt laws
I recommend speaking to you
I recommend speaking to you insurance company, and asking them if they will cover you if you have seat belts fitted to the vehicle.
If they will cover you, then find a local garage/motorhome workshop that will fit the seat belts for you.
I wouldn’t recommend driving without having all passengers wearing seat belts.
I have a 1999 VW LT35 partially converted to a camper. I have 3 seats in the front (with seat belts). The rear is converted to seats but with no seat belts. I realise that it is inadvisable to carry passengers on the side facing rear seats, but is it legal?
It is legal if the vehicle
It is legal if the vehicle was not made with the seats. However, insurance companies typically wont insure you when carrying passengers in these seats. So, check with you insurance company to be sure.
An old thread, I know, but
An old thread, I know, but thought I’d add some info about my own addition of seats & belts into my 2006 transit panel van.
I added side &a rear windows when I bought it, but no rear seats as 1. Couldn’t get insurance, and 2. Family was only three.
Fast forward a few years and I bought a rear triple seat from a transit crew cab. Great seat, but no belts.
Fitting the seat was no problem. Drill the floor and weld in some spreader plates made from 3″x5″ 1/4″ thick steel. That’s going nowhere.
Problem is still belt mounts – particularly top mounts.
In the end, I welded up a “frame” from 20x50mm box section. Suitably braced it is rock solid. Imagine looking from the side, a capital letter “A”, rolled over onto its side. One “leg” sits longitudinally along the floor, one leg rises up behind the chair to head height, and a diagonal between them. I have three of these “A” sections with horizontal lengths of box section welded between them to make a really solid structure.
That frame then sits beneath & behind the bench seat, bolted to the floor independent of the seat, with M12 bolts and the same spreader plates as the seat.
I purchased a set of Ford Fiesta seat belts from EBay, and have bolted the “reels” to the frame. The frame also has suitable fixing points for all other seat belt mounts.
So now it’s all fitted, and my insurer still won’t insure it as I fitted it myself.
Apparently it needs to be professionally fitted!!!
Okay. My dad is a professional, so bolts out and take it over to my dad. He puts the bolts back in and now a professional has fitted it and my insurer is happy too!
MOT is due in October, so hopefully that will go without a hitch.
I wonder if my insurance would be void though, if I was to temporarily take the seats out again, if I need to carry a large load?
This gives me mounting points
This gives me mounting points for the top of the 3-point belts without restricting movement between seating area and load area.
Does the bulkhead in a van need to be removed when fitting seats in the back?
vaxhaull midi van
Hi I have a 1994 midi van 8 seater, I’m going to turn it into a crew cab, so removing the back row of seats and building a bulk head behind the middle row of 3 seats, that row has a lap belt in the middle but wanting to change for over the shoulder belt if a steel frame for the bulk head had a mounting point on for the belt would that be Ok? Man thanks
Hi we have a T5 that started life as a panel van. We have a bench seat fitted in the rear but we want to move it back so we have more room and less boot space. We found out we can move the seat as its got fixing points in the van but it means moving the seatbelts which is causing us a headache!! We’ve been told there are no reinforced mounting brackets for them. I’ve watched a vid on YouTube called Amdro Angel seat belt fitting 1. We are thinking of doing this, is it safe? We will be carry kids.
Also I’ve just spoke to a company called “Seatbelt Service” based in London. On their website they say they can fit seatbelts to anything but when asked if it’s crash tested they said they couldn’t do that on every method! Plus they won’t say which way they would use until they’ve come out and had a look which will cost.
In their gallery under minibuses they have a pic of a seatbelt which looks like it is fitted to the seat with no fixing point on the minibuses, this would be ideal but Ive never seen this before or know how safe it is!
seats in campervan
hi i have a 6 bert campervan and dont have seat belts in back can i carry my granchild in the back
Legally you can probably carry passengers in the back without seat belts. However I strongly recommend that you don’t especially children.
It’s worth investigating the cost of fitting seat belts with a local motorhome workshop or engineering company.
Seat belt mounting
Hi ,is it ok to add another anchor point to an exsiting one? ( the upper one of a three point belt) I have a rear facing buddy seat behind the drivers seat and have two suitable lower anchor points but need one for the upper one.
I want to buy a Bedford bambi but not sure how many people I can fit in it, I am assuming my children over 12 can fit in the back seat side facing seats and my younger child will sit in the front in his carseat, my question is can I get rear lap belts fitted In the back?
I would like 4 to be fitted. Any suggestions please? Would it be legal? And would anyone insure me? How much roughly would it cost on insurance?
I think your first step is to
I think your first step is to contact your insurance company and find out if they will insure it.
If so find a local motorhome dealer/garage that will fit the belts.
It’s fine fitting seat belts
It’s fine fitting seat belts with adequate anchorage, but this cannot be satifactory on a Caravan built body of wood and 2mm aluminium, and the 15mm floor plywood which is bolted to the basic pickup chassis. To bolt to any steelwork, the seats which convert into the main bed would have to be removed to accommodate belt anchorages rendering the bed impractical, and lupms of the floor cut out so that anchorages could be made to the chassis.
I drive buses for the last 33 years, and still carry passengers of all ages seated on forwerd, rear and side facing seats – also prams and wheelchairs on the now popular low floor vehicles. Buses have air brakes which stop far more abruptly than the older drum brakes. Seatbelts are only required on these if carrying schoolchildren under the age of 10, or on coaches registered after August 1985 (C-reg)
A motor caravan does not have fixed seats in the rear.
most vans ripe for conversion have anchorage points on the floor from which secure 3 point belts can be fitted and can pass through wooden framed bench seats etc. in complete safety.
forget lap belts be safe and enjoy your camping.
and get a life.
a half competant grease monkey could do it.
seat belts and seats
Hi, we have a glendale talbot motorhome which is 27 years old. It has 1 passenger seat and 2 sideways facing seats in the back.Our daughter always used to travel in her car seat in the front and I travelled in the back seat. We now have a second child and were wondering how safe it would be to replace the single passenger seat with a double and what the best seats would be to use for the glendale talbot.I have tried various people to do the job and have come up against a lot of resistance. Any advice gratefully received thankyou
I have A T5 Vw and it has a rock and roll bed in the back , the bed isnt the same as your standard seat but it is drilled onto the floor of the van…
are there any rules to putting seatbelts on any bed/seat ?
Hi Dan,Just spent quite some
Just spent quite some time looking into this and last week picked the van up after having a R and R bed fitted.
There are lots of forum threads, esp. for VWs, that cover this in great depth – but if your checking in here – and for others I will try and summarise – please don’t shoot the messenger if I miss anything!
So, It seems for the MOT the seatbelt itself must meet set standards (I believe that it has a kite mark and is therefore required to meet legal criteria – ?wear and tear , operation, attached to fixing points). All sounds reasonable…
…but the fixing points are not kite marked and not, perhaps apart from general “road worthiness” subject to any legal requirements. Here I mean that if the fixing point was rusting then I think it might fail an MOT…but the MOT doesn’t require the size and number of the bolts to be inspected and there are no set standards for a retaining bolt to meet.
This is where things start to unravel.
So you can get seat which passes a European Safety Standard – Pull Tested – and have that fitted – thus ensuring your seat will not “fail” in a crash. Except they are not Crash Tested (rammed into a wall at set speeds) – but Pull Tested (increasing strain to a set limit) which, as you can imagine, are not testing the same qualities – as one is a sudden shear force and the other a slowly increasing strain.
Futhermore, they are not pull tested using the fitting to a van, but fitted to a rig. This fitting is probably not going to be how it is fitted to your van due to the nature of the construction of your van.
So you can fit your kite marked seatbelts to a pull tested seat and fit it to your van using the wrong bolts and you are fine – in that you’ll pass MOT and have paperwork to prove your seat meets relevant safety tests – however I don’t think anyone could still reasonable declare it safe…
All three parts (belts (and their fixing), the seat, and the seat fixing points) are all as important as each other. as they are all independant points of (possible) failure.
For the record I have a RnR bed, rated by the manufacturer to be seat belt compatible (but not tested) , with (obviously) kite marked seatbelts and fixed to the floor by the engineer / designer. The chap has been fitting these for over 10 years and has good feedback. Certainly the engineering looks as sounds as that of the cab seats in the front of the van.
No, I can’t tell how good the welds are or the quality of the steel. But this would be the same if I bought a £3k seat that had all the paperwork that could be attached to it…
..and here is my personal observation..
..There was a famous motorcycle helmet that was refused a kite mark – and was therefore not street legal – and therefore became sought after in some cycling circles – think bad boys on bikes 😉 It was refused because the small scale manufacturer couldn’t afford to send 300 – yes 300 – helmets for testing.
..now..how many RnR beds are sent to be pull tested before they get approved…300? or 1?
..I certainly don’t believe it is 300…I rather think it is nearer to 1 – so how can the seat tested be said to be representative of all those that are manufactured? And I also think the manufacturers choose the seat to test. Don’t get me wrong – I do not believe they would take less care of those not tested – but there is variablity on any process. Hence the 300 helmets needing testing..
So i have opted for a reputable, well established, professional to fit my R n R (non pull tested) as I believe the engineering (of all the component parts) to be fit for purpose.
Lastly, I went for extra bolt holes rather than the track as the bolt holes give me the variable seat positions I needed and being “simple” engineering I felt there was less to go wrong.
I do hope this helps!
I am thinking of purchasing a used, 5 Berth Elddis,Peugeot Auto-Quest 130 60 Plate Motorhome. The MH has 4 Seat Belts fitted, i.e. 2 Belts in the Cab, and 2 fitted to the forward facing seats of the Dinette. I was thinking of having either 1 or 2 Lapbelts fitted to the rear facing seat of the Dinette, by a firm called Towtal in Staffordshire. Will these Lapbelts be classed as “Legal” and would the Insurance Companies accept this for carrying the 5th Person? I know this is a very grey subject, as diferent MH Dealers reply differently to this. Why is it that MH Manufacturers make a 5 Berth MH, but only fit 4 Seat Belts? I have seen this on loads of other make and Models. Some MH sleep 4 or 5 , but only have Seatbelts fitted for 2!!!! Am I missing something here??? Many thanks, any reply greatfully appreciated
It is very odd that
It is very odd that motorhome manufacturers don’t always fit enough seat belts.
I suspect the company in question will fit perfectly legal seat belts. One is allowed to fit additional seat belts to a vehicle. At the MOT the inspector will do some very basic checks with the seat belt, which they are sure to pass.
Only your insurance company can tell you if they will be happy with the extra belts. So I sugest that you call your insurance company and confirm it with them.
lap belts- seat belt additions
Following on from your query I am considering purchasing an Elddis 120 which has only 2 belted seats. Can you advise what the outcome was with your insurance company and if positive which company you used?
Thanks Darren, just a thought, if I fitted legal seat belts to the side facing seat would it be legal as a passenger seat for occasional use. The seat would be made of wood but I could find some way to fit belts to the vehicle body. This is not important as I would rarely carry passengers in the back.
Yes, you could satisfy the
Yes, you could satisfy the law doing this. However check with your insurance company to ensure they are happy with this. If they are not then they will not insure you to carry passengers in those seats.
Side facing seat not for passengers
I am converting a Citroen Dispatch (2002) and intend to build a side facing seat/bed that will not be used as a passenger seat, only for sitting sleeping in when stationary. Are these seats legal if not used as passenger seats. My van is registered as having 3 seats (in front). I dont intend to change this. Is this legal?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal.
Yes, it’s perfectly legal.
If you don’t have seat belts fitted in the back, they won’t be tested at the MOT.
If no one travels in the seats, the police will not be concerned about them.
rules for passengers
Because of a back problem, my wife has to lie down much of the time, which limits the length of car journeys. If I had a campervan, could she legally lie on a bed in the rear whilst we are travelling? Are there any regulations about this situation?
Lying down or reclining instead of sitting
Hi Jonah, hope you were able to comfortably and safely accommodate your wife in the camper. My problem is similar — I need to at least recline at 135 degrees and the feet must be raised accordingly above the floor. Also I can lie flat on side or back. Hope to hear from you.
Look folks it’s a matter of
Look folks it’s a matter of common sense
Once you’ve addressed the legality.(restraining 12 year olds correctly, I assume as they are too young to decide themselves)
You would all I assume stand up on a bus?
We would all be better off in a 5 point harness.
Be adults and make up your own minds.
Agreed, some people have no
Agreed, some people have no understanding of hazards, risk or probability.
I work in construction, which is a relatively dangerous field. Therefore we undertake risk assessments for our various designs. You need to take into account the severity of the hazard, (so in a crash this is potentially death), then look at the likelihood of it happening (is this everyday or very occassional). Then look to mitigate the risks where possible, you can’t eliminate them.
Many people seem to have a black & white view of risk, viewing things as either safe or dangerous. and don’t seem to think about the probability of it happening, they just focus on the severity of what can happen. And legal doesn’t mean safe, hands free bluetooth kits are legal but distract drivers. A documentary programme I saw the other night claimed someone on a handsfree call is a similar risk to someone who is over the legal drink drive limit.
The driver is the biggest factor influencing the risk of being injured in a camper van. I’d happily travel for limited periods in the rear without a seatbelt if I trusted the driver. It is after all similar to a bus/coach.
Anyway, after some lengthy off topic rambling, I would say if you do a lot of miles with passengers in the rear and it’s a simple upgrade then it’s a no brainer, get them installed. But if you can’t install them easily and you only use the rear seats half a dozen times a year then you’d be better off using the cash to manage the risks elsewhere in your life.
Just my 2p worth!
P.S. Off this weekend with my 2yr old son in a camper van with forward facing seat in the rear with 3 point seat belt and child seat fitted! 🙂
Seatbelts in Bedford Glendale
I have a Bedford Glendale camper which I bought to attend an annual festival.
I have a 42 year old disabled son with MS who comes with me every year. He sits in the front passenger seat, but he has to have a carer come with us.
Travelling in the back and sitting on the side facing seats, has never been a problem for his carer, but we have recently been conscious of the possibility of there being a legal problem with this. Can anyone advise?
Transit Crew Cab Seats & Belts
Hi I have a LWB Transit which came with 6 seats 3 Front 3 back all with 3 point seat belts. I can not get from front to back without getting out and going in the side door. However I have turned the back seats round so they are rear facing as the mounting points were in the floor for this just behind the front seats. These type of seats would do for any conversions as they are anchored to the floor and have 3 point seat belts. One of the beds fits across these seats. Being rear facing is better. Having this kind of seat uses up a bit more space but means I can safely and legally travel with 6 people in the vehicle. Though it only sleeps 4. In addition the bed/cupboard and the cooker/sink units both unbolt form the body so I can use the Vehicle as a van. Which is really useful. It came fitted with side windows as it is a crew cab.
Is it worth having it re classified ?? I haven’t yet.
Install lap belt in transit conversion
Is anyone aware of the regulatory implications of installing lap belts, as opposed to the 3-point seat belt system, on front facing ‘bench-style’ seats in the back of a ’95 transit conversion?
Very useful info found here, thanks.
Hi there please could u tell
Hi there please could u tell me if my 7yr old grandson can be seated that the back of my campervan facing sideways with seatbelt on a booster cushion please ?
Hi, legally you might be
Hi, legally you might be allowed to do this. However, you should know that neck injuries are greatly increased from an impact if one is sitting sideways. I really wouldn’t seat your grandson that way.
The police might also consider it unsafe.
seat belts france??? Advize me lpz
I have a T25 VW camper; 1980s so it doesnt require seat belts in the back and hasn’t got them.
Am I allowed to travel without rear seat belts in france?
I did try to get some fitted but mechanics found it ‘impossible’ to do!
This thread suggests that you
This thread suggests that you do need to have the seat belts fitted to carry passengers in France
rear seats in a van
Hi there im confussed with all of this. i have an 07 plate vauxhall vivario that i have fitted the side windows myself. i bought a genuine vivaro rear bench seat with iso fix fixings, and new seat belts were also supllied (genuine belts and seat)came out of a people carrier. do i have to inform dvla and change the log book (v5) to carry 6 passengers? had a nightmare trying to insure as they wanted a certificate to say it was installed correctly, in the end went through a broker (be-wiser)who got it insured through AVIVA as 6 seater, told them it was modified they said as it was not for business use that was fine……where would i get such a certificate issued? feel i need to still do this as a backup for future insurance…..
I would inform the DVLA. I
I would inform the DVLA. I don’t think it will make any different to anything, but they are best to be kept informed.
As you have found out it is the insurance that is a problem.
Not sure about the certificate. Maybe a mechanical engineer?
T 5 VW Motorhome
Just bought a T5 Vw Motorhome 4 berth would like to have another seat fitted with a seat belt has anyone have any suggestions.
I would suggest contacting a
I would suggest contacting a local motorhome dealer. The should be able to point you in the right direction.
I agree with mqroadster. I
I agree with mqroadster. I would let my children travel with lap belts. Adults are OK in lap belts.
If you want children to travel in the back seats then get the lap belts changed to 3-point belts.
My pennies worth…..If I had
My pennies worth…..If I had seats in the camper that I knew anybody was going to sit on whilst travelling, I would ensure it was equipped with safety belts with proper anchoage regardless of the legal requirements.
seatbelts and kids
wow!! still none the wiser after reading all the posts.
I have just bought my first m/h a 1990 swift kontiki which is a coach build. it is a 5 berth with 2 front seats fitted with 3 point belts. in the rear 2 bench seats one forward facing,with lap belts the other rear facing and a side facing bench seat opposite,both without belts.
we have 2 children aged 8 and 4, how does this law affect us and any friends of theirs that come with us on trips. it seems adults are ok in any of the rear seats.
any advice would be appreciated, thanks
Sherpa converted camper old N reg
I have this old Sherpa converted camper van 2 seats in the front and side facing rear seat. I’m a bit confused but have I got it right that as long as over age 12 passengers can sit in side facing seats (legal not moral) and if so does anyone know what the rules are in Europe? and do I need permission from my insurance company to carry passengers in the back? If so does anyone know a good insurance company just incase mine does not allow?
Basically, if the vehicles
Basically, if the vehicles was not made with those rear seats there, you can carry passengers in them, as long as they are over 12.
However, I doubt you’ll get insurance. You do need to tell your insurance company. I suspect they will insist on seat belts.
Also, if the police stop you and consider it unsafe, you could get a fine.
1974 Commer Motor Caravan
We have a 1974 Commer PB Motor Caravan fitted with the C.I Caravan body. It is a 4-berth with two seats in the cab. A third has been mounted onto the engine cover so 3 can ride in the cab. Can the 4th ride in the back legally as this seems to be a grey area.
We also have an identical 1976 model but without the middle seat but engine cowl cover as were fitted with as standard even though they were 4-berth.
Well, the law says you don’t
Well, the law says you don’t need a seatbelt to travel in the back seat.
But, you need to check with your insurance company if they will insure someone in that seat.
If they will insure it, then you need to satisfy the police that it’s safe, should you be stopped.
1. You can fit a
1. You can fit a double seat no problem. It should just bolt in, as the fittings should already be in the van floot. You should inform your insurance company, it shouldn’t change your policy price.
2. You don’t need to re-register the van as a camper. There are insurance companies who will insure the vehicle as a campervan. However these insurance companies ask you you to get an engineers report to ensure the campervan is a good conversion. They look for installed water tanks, seats and beds that are properly fixed. So if you are going to do a simpler conversion by using a futon bed, then I don’t think you will be able to get campervan insurance. You might need to keep the van insured as a van if doing a simple conversion.
To re-register the van as a camper with the DVLA you will need to do a fairly comprehensive conversion. See the information here:
You will need windows to insurer as a campervan, or re-register with the DVLA.
You cannot carry passengers on a futon bed in the back.
You don’t need to re-register as a campervan.
You could fit a popery crash-tested campervan seat to the back, but these cost £2,000, but turn into a bed.
You could fit a standard double van seat in the back, if done properly, which is OK for carrying passengers. This might get in the way of your bed, etc. in the back.
Transit van conversion
I have a couple of questions please.
1- my van (ford transit 120 swb 2.5D) has 1 passenger seat. Can I just swap this for a double seat? What are the legal implications? I pressume I’d have to advise my insurer of this change.
2 – At the moment it is a panel van and insured as such for personal use. I originally bought it as my car went bang and we’re doing the house up so it is saving me a fortune on delivery and skips etc. Once finished we want to convert it into a camper. We will be fixing to the floor a futon kinda bed, (sideways probably) and a double ring camping stove/grill on legs at the back and a small sink/cupboard the other side. As the law has now changed I am a bit unclear on what I have to do.
Do I need to fit a window?
Can I carry passengers in the back on the futon bed? (Legality reasons please, not moralistic).
Do I have to re-register it as a camper or will it be refused as it isn’t a purpose built one or a coachbuild?
Is there a legal way of carrying more than 2 people as the van is now without having a re-fit/re-test etc?
Ford Transit rear seatbelts
We are travelling from the UK around Europe in a Ford Transit converted motorhome ?? early 1990’s era. There are bench type seats in the back which convert into a bed (both side and forward facing seats).
Would it be possible to install one seat belt? I understand that a 3 -point seatbelt may be out of the question due to a comment read above (window height, no attachment point). If just a waist belt, where would be the best place to get this?? Any idea of approximate cost??
Thanks a lot!
What about a luton box
Can i have seats in the back of a luton box? you can only enter it through the shutters at the back and when your driving they will be down so youl be shut away inside the box…
No. The driver must be able
No. The driver must be able to communicate with their passengers. Therefore they must effectively be in the same space. Passengers cannot travel in the back of a luton style vehicle.
can i fit a double minibus seat in my motorhome conversion?
I am converting a renault master ‘ex ambulance’ van into a 4 birth camper,but for the safety of my son wanted to fit forward facing 2 seat ex mini bus seat.. with fitted seat belts. would i need to get a certificate? would this effect MOT requirements after declassification?
The seats would be mounted on the 1 inch floor with 6mm plate strips under the floor below the mounting points for extra strength. any feed back would be appreciated. Regards Geoffo
I don’t believe you need a
I don’t believe you need a certificate to fit and use seat belts.
However, you need to check with your insurance company whether they are happy to insure you to carry people in seats that you fitted, and have fitted seat belts to.
The MOT is unaffected. MOT testers simply check that the seat belt works, and the area where the seat belt is bolted to the vehicle is free from corrosion.
You mounting idea sounds good and strong, but I am no engineer, so don’t take my word for it.
Good luck though, sounds like you have it sorted.
Hi today i just got my ex
Hi today i just got my ex school bus engineered into a motor home i had to have 6 seats with seat belts as i have a 6 birth motor home and 3 of my seats are side facing which only needs lap belts and the rest of the seats don’t need seat belts but cant be used while traveling i live in Victoria and i will say they are very strict in there checklists as my engineering guy had to take over 40 photos of different areas of the motor home and it took about 7 hours for him to complete this .My bus is a 1985 model
Demountables ie hijet romahomes
I have a 97 Daihatsu hijet pickup & I plonked a demountable 2 berth romahome back on it off a 1983 y reg hijet it can seat 4 to 6 people in rear sideways but it as no seatbelts in the rear. do I have to register it as a camper as it is mostly used as a pickup for the seatbelt laws
That’s an interesting scenario that I haven’t come across before.
I would suggest contacting the DVLA to see what they say.
If you could let us know here what they say it might be useful for other people in the future.
All the best
Did you get an answer
Hi there… I just came upon your post and I am in the same position wit a diahatsu and Romahome….
did you ever contact the DVLA to find out what we are allowed to do…. its a bugger only being able to take one passenger
thanks heidi x
Seatbelts in France
I have an old camper van with side facing seats – I know that I can carry passengers in the UK; does the same apply to travelling in France?
hi there i am restoring an old campervan in the front of it is a double passenger seat can i fit 1 3 point seatbelt and 1 lap seatbelt cheers ann
Yes. You can do this. Many
Yes. You can do this. Many vehicles up to 2001 did this. Most now have 3 point seat belts for all passengers.
I wouldn’t sit my kids in any
I wouldn’t sit my kids in any camper, van or car without a three point belt and seats that have been tested M1/M2 standards, don’t care if the law says it ok I’ll be the judge with my kids safety.
evening,i have vw t25 holdworth vision 1987 with the L-shaped seating in the middle of the camper/kitchen in the back,can my 9 year old daughter travel in the seats as there are no seatbelts and any advise on getting any fitted please thanks.Adam.
I believe if the vehicle was
I believe if the vehicle was not made with seat belts, then people can travel without wearing seat belts.
However this is very dangerous and not a good idea.
Insurance companies generally specify tat everyone must wear a seat belt. If you are stopped by the police they may consider it unsafe for passengers to travel without seat belts.
Ask at your local motorhome dealer or garage about having seat belts fitted.
hi we have a holdsworth
hi we have a holdsworth vision and we have lap belts on the two front facing seats at the back but this does mean we have to take down the bit that joins the front seat(to make up the corner seat) for travel to enable leg space so can only carry two in the back
Yes, they need to wear seat
Yes, they need to wear seat belts, but I’m not sure about side-facing seats.
I went through this some time
I went through this some time last year and after research there is only one safe way to carry other passengers and that is front facing with three point seats belts and seats that have been tested to UK standards. (Think it’s called N1 standard, or something like that).
Hi, I agree, the problem is with all the 4 berth campervans I’ve looked at, the seats supplied in the back are bench-style seats, not full height and are positioned below window level. This means there is nowhere to mount a three point seat belt – only lap belts are possible. Even if I replace the seats, there will still be no mounting point on the side of the van to mount a seat belt – its all taken up by the windows! What have other people done? this can’t be insurmountable…(ooer that’s a very bad pun, unintentional though :)…)
Seat belts in the rear of a motor home….
Did you get any replies to your question about it not being possible to fit 3 point seat belys in a motor home die to the low back seats and the large window.. My MH is the same It has an L shape sett in the rear. I understand adults can ride in the back OK but IF I add a lap bely I have to have it tested possibly to the point of destruction to have it approved!!! Crazy if true. Kids under 12 apparently have to have the full 3 point belt!!
HIH I just spent 21 tousand pounds to but this 2007 Motor Home and are they telling me it can only carry two passengers? Please reply Paul
seatbelt laws for france
i have a old campervan with side facing seats, going to france with duaghters in back ages 17 and 13. do they need seatbelts in french law?
Lap belts and children
I’ve bought a 1992 renault camper with two rear front-facing seats that only have lap belts. Do I need to fit new seat belts for my 2 kids 7 and 5, who currently use the booster seats with backs in our standard car? Are there alternative car seats I can buy instead?
You need 3-point seat belts
You need 3-point seat belts to secure your childrens booster seats.
See the legals here:
I would suggest contacting a local garage or campervan/motorhome workshop and ask them about fitting new seatbelts for you.
side facing seats
Yes you would have to re register the vehicle with the extra seats otherwise you would be using it for reasons other than it was registered for. Your insurance would probably be void then. You also have to be sure that your license covers you to drive with the amount of seats that the vehicle has. If not your insurance will be void. penalty for not having insurance 6 POINTS AND £200 FINE PLUS VEHICLE SEIZED WITH RECOVERY BILL TO PAY WHEN RELEASED THIS RANGES FROM £150 FOR CARS TO THOUSANDS IF BIG VEHICLES
If a seat is fitted after 2001 you should also fit seatbelts. Case law states that seats fitted after this date have to comply with the law set in 2010 and have seat belts. The police know when the seats were fitted as once the seat and belt has been fitted they have to go for a SEAT BELT SAFETY TEST carried out by VOSA. You then have to re register with the DVLA showing how many passenger carrying seats it now has and how many passengers it can carry. You must then have another MOT as the vehicle has changed (how many passengers you can carry)
The above mention of side facing seats is accurate. You don’t need belts!!! However they can only be used by adults. Children under 12 years old have to be in correct child seats or booster seats, these have to be forward or rear facing with belts. Also please remember that when you register your vehicle with the new number of seats make sure your driving licence allows you to carry that many people. My licence allows me to carry 16 people but my wife who passed her test a year after me can only carry 7 passengers. So make sure you only register the vehicle to carry the amount of passengers that you are licensed for. If you carry to many people then you are driving otherwise than in accordance with your licence. Your insurance will be void and you will end up with hefty fines and points on your license and possibly court or disqualification. No insurance carries 6 points and £200 fine added to vehicle seizure bills you will tot up over £500 in a few minutes.
Would you still have to register with the dvla for the seats on the van if they are side facing, without seat belts ?
so how come i have looked at many 4 and 5 beth new motorhomes which still have no seatbelts fitted in the rear seats of the vehicle!!
Seatbelt Regs 4 camper conversion
My parents bought an x reg renault T35 master LWB already converted was a patient carrying ambulance but was registered with dvla as campervan after conversion basically can they carry passengers in the back as there are no seatbelts, it has hourse shoe shape seats from one side curving round the back to the other.
legally correct advice needed thanks for anyones help.
Hi Dave I have revised the
I have revised the information above, in the first post, after hearing back from the Department of Transport.
Basically you can carry passengers in the back, without seat belts, as long as your insurance company agree it, and the police do not consider it dangerous.
i have a type 25 vw camper and want to carry passengers in the back but it has no seat belts could i get pulled over for this
contact me at : [email protected]
The current guidelines
The current guidelines suggest you will be fine, assuming your vehicle was made before 2001, which I’m guessing it was.
So if I ws to fit 2 seats in the back of my van, rear facing. I don’t need belts to be legal?
I’d like to think i’d put belts in anyway, but with regards to MOT and legalities etc…
seat belts and responsibility
This is exactly why i started with an ex school minibus, factory fitted full seat belts to all seats.
I would recomend sourcing these seats to retro-fit to a van