Earlier this week, the Out & About Live blog reported a huge increase in camper van refusals by the DVLA. According to the article, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency refused 9,499 applications to re register a vehicle as a motor home in the first eleven months of 2019. That’s an increase of 1,425% since 2017!
As many of us know, in October the DVLA released a new motor caravan checklist. This list details 4 categories a converted vehicle must meet to be recognised as a motor caravan, as well as the external permanent features for a change to the body type.
Therefore, it’s important when you embark on your camper van conversion project that you’re aware of these categories, and ensure your vehicle meets these before requesting a body type change to ‘motor caravan’.
First up, let’s talk about the external requirements.
One of the first things the application will require is the V5C registration certificate (also known as log book). Before anything else, they will only consider changing the body type to motor caravan if the body type shown on the log book is one of the following:
- Box van
- Insulated van
- Light goods
- Livestock carrier
- Luton van
- Mini bus
- Panel van
- Specially fitted van
- Special mobile unit
- Van with side windows
Any applications that are sent that show the vehicle’s body type to be something different from those listed above won’t be processed.
The DVLA will also expect to see certain external features which are commonly seen in motor caravans. These include:
- 2 or more windows on at least one side of the main body (excluding windows on the driver or passenger doors). These windows must provide a ‘reasonable amount of daylight into the living accomodation.
- A separate door that isn’t the driver or passenger door, which gives access to the living accommodation of the vehicle.
- Graphics on both sides of the vehicle
- An awning bar
- A high top roof (this does not include a pop-top elevating roof)
In your application, photographs of the external features should be submitted, as well as photos of the camper van from all angles, with the registration plates visible.
The DVLA also provides guidance on internal features of the vehicle required for reclassification. These categories are:
- Seats and tables
- Sleeping accommodation
- Cooking facilities
- Storage facilities
For each category, you should be able to show at least one example. With the exception of ‘Seats and tables’ where you are required to show 1 example for both.
For the most part, this guidance stipulates that each element must be an integral part of the vehicle and secured as a permanent feature. And, once again, when you submit the application you must ensure that photographic evidence is included of all of these elements.
Why is reclassification important?
For the most part, reclassification of a vehicle’s V5C is only really necessary to help identify a vehicle. Which is why the requirements are so specific on the external requirements for reclassification.
As an owner of a camper van conversion, there are however benefits to you when it comes to re-registering as motor home. For example, cheaper insurance and MOTs. That being said, should your application for reclassification be rejected you can still use the vehicle as a camper van as long as you are certain that it meets the internal features listed in the official guidance from DVLA.
What to do if you’re unsure
If you’re embarking on a camper van conversion journey, it’s worth being aware of all of these rules and regulations and factoring these into your plan. Alternatively, our team at Denby Campervans can help. Campervan conversions are our jam, and we’re so passionate about getting them right for our customers. So if you’re unsure, come and have a chat with us.
Our team knows everything there is to know about camper van conversions and will talk you through the requirements and understand your wants and needs to create a bespoke vehicle you’ll love! As well as our bespoke camper van conversion service, we also offer pre-converted, ready to drive away converted camper vans for sale, and you can browse our current selection here.