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How and when to re-classify as a ‘motor-caravan’

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.

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 that you’re ready to convert your ‘Panel Van’ to a ‘Motor Caravan’.

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.

You should also include a covering letter, briefly covering what you have done to the vehicle. Also include between 10-20 photographs of your converted vehicle. 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.
Send the paperwork to:

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BA

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.

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.

The DVLA do not publish strict guidelines for the above.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.

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