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I found this on a motor home site. Thought it would be handy.

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.

See our Motorhome FAQs page for more on the definition of a motor caravan and the 'reasonableness test'.
 

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Hi wish I'd seen this before I posted mine off to DVLA yesterday......without pics.... Will get some ready, and keep you posted into correspondence from them...certainly insurers wanted it classified on V5 before giving me full cover
 

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sorry for being thick, I have tried to find it-but cant- I need to know what form/ instructions etc I need to re register my van as a motor caravan, looked in FAQ s and couldnt find it?
:confused:
 

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filled out my logbook as a motor caravan,took 7 pictures of water tanks sink cooker windows bed cupboard table up and down,wrote on each one what it was,did a letter explaining the conversion took it to oxford veichel licencing office and got my logbook back 4weeks later with the fotos MAGIC.me the missed and collie dog very happy
 

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applied for my "change " couple of months ago supplied all fotos of conversion inside and out together with receeipts but was rejected on the grounds that it did not look like a camper van and they re classed it as a window van only
 

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Thanks for putting that article up, im kinda getting near to the end of my conversion and was starting to think about talking to DVLA. Was wondering how they would refuse "campervan" status when i own a motorhome hire company and the T4 will be hired out as part of my fleet. The Insurance company had no problem with it being a converted van and just said let us know the value difference when we are finished. Good to know there shouldnt be any hassles. Much appreciated!A:
 

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Thanks for the leg work on this. I was a little gutted when I thought I wouldn't get a re-classification when my van gets converted next month, but now I can breathe easy again T:
 

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Great work Snigvan, thanks for posting this info, like others I need to change class to a 'motor caravan' after carrying out a full conversion etc so now I have this info to hand should make life a tad easier for me now.

Thanks again buddy. T:

Tafgriff22
 
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