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DVLA change the rules on campervan conversions

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    DVLA change the rules on campervan conversions

    Although it possibly won't apply to many small conversions, some of you might be affected :
    DVLA's reply to "body type" querry:
    "...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..."

    Copied from UKMotorhomes.net

    So it looks like we will have to not only do "stealth" camping, but also "stealth" conversions.

    Chris

    #2
    So that means a van conversion, unless done before vehicle first registered, will always be a van.

    This also has implications for legal speed limits.

    Comment


      #3
      Where does that put all of us that have Romahome's that have been registered as vans. I suppose we should all be driving around at 60mph on the motorway or get our Roma's reregistered. Why didn't Romahome register them properly in the first place ? Some are some aren't .
      We had a 89 reg Hytop that wasn't and our 96 reg Duo isn't either.

      Comment


        #4
        see:
        Clarification of national speed limits for van

        Chris

        ps I know it is an old website (http://www2.dft.gov.uk), but I can't find equivalent info on the new website (http://www.dft.gov.uk). I guess it is still being re-developed

        Comment


          #5
          From what I can gather on the DVLA site is as long as the maximum mass laden is less than 2 tonnes you can travel at normal car speed limits.
          Hope that's correct.

          Comment


            #6
            Peter - I'm not sure that is quite the correct interpretation -

            There is one (small) group of vans which have the same speed limits are cars by virtue of the definitions in Schedule 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act of 1984. These are vans that are both derived from a car chassis and also have a maximum laden weight of no more than 2 tonnes. This means that the weight of the vehicle and the payload it is designed to be able to carry when added together do not exceed 2 tonnes. The van design must be a derivative of a car body, it is not sufficient that it looks similar to a particular car.

            So merely being under 2 tonnes isn't adequate - you also need to be a derivative of a car body which I don't believe Romahomes or most small campervans are - with the obvious exceptions of the R10 type car-based vehicles.

            Just checked my new R20 is indeed a 'motor caravan'

            Comment


              #7
              If in doubt go to the source: The Highway Code

              Chris

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by peterfowden View Post
                Where does that put all of us that have Romahome's that have been registered as vans. I suppose we should all be driving around at 60mph on the motorway or get our Roma's reregistered. Why didn't Romahome register them properly in the first place ? Some are some aren't .
                We had a 89 reg Hytop that wasn't and our 96 reg Duo isn't either.
                Peter

                I think you will find that the registration process is not the responsibility of Romahome but the dealer who sold you the new vehicle.



                Tony Anchorman
                Last edited by anchorman; 18-07-2011, 16:17.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bambuko View Post
                  If in doubt go to the source: The Highway Code

                  Chris
                  Sorry to correct you, but the Highway Code is not a "source", but a "summary" of SOME of the Law, plus user behaviour and techniques.
                  There are many Legal requirements not mentioned in the Highway Code. There are also inclusions which are not Legal requirements; many of which would cause a driving test fail although not legally binding. One example may be not physically looking behind before setting off.
                  Jim.
                  Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Speed limits

                    When we bought our Mk1 Dimension we were told 30 MPH 50 MPH 60 MPH on dual carriage ways |& 70 MPH on motorways but when we had the Duo which was 99 reg it was classed the same as a car I've got a feeling that this cropped up on Ant's section once.
                    Pete

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Twolitre View Post
                      Sorry to correct you...
                      Jim.
                      No need to apologise
                      Sounds like you know what you talking about.

                      Chris

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Brian,
                        it's all a bit confusing regarding being car derived vans.
                        The old C15 Roma was derived from the Visa car and the Berlingo has a car version.
                        A bit like the chicken and egg argument.
                        It goes on to say the main reason for the difference in speed rates is because vans carry loads. Therefore the argument does not apply to van conversions under 2 tonnes used only as a camper.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Anchorman,
                          our Duo was first owned and registered by Romahome as it was there prototype vehicle. I understand they bought and registered it as a van, but after the conversion/ trials where over and they where ready to sell it on I think they should of got it re-registered as a Motorhome.
                          Most new Romahomes are sold by Freeborn and arent they owned by Romahome ?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Peter - the whole thing is very confusing. Checking Schedule 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the restrictions specifically apply to 'A goods vehicle ...' rather than a van.

                            I am no lawyer but I would have thought it a hard case to press that a commercially built or converted motorhome could be be considered a 'goods vehicle'.

                            Fascinating stuff UK law, until this afternoon I didn't realise there was a different speed limit for vans - er sorry, goods vehicles not exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight which are neither articulated nor towing one or more trailers.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Most Romahomes are coachbuilt rather than van conversions aren't they? so as it says: "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. " then Romahomes will be ok.

                              Als,o I'd have said that the Berlingo & C15 were both "car derived vans", same size as a Ford Escort van etc.

                              I think it's more owners of self built conversions, who won't be able to get the classification changed when they've finished the conversion, that will have problems.

                              Also, I used to have an Autosleeper that had been incorrectly registered as a van - it could affect other brands such as Timberland, Swift, Trigano and any others who have van conversion models.

                              Whoever is responsible will have to make sure that they are correctly registered from the off.

                              Comment

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