We often see posts on Facebook with people asking how to reclassify a vehicle to a motor caravan with DVLA. As we have done just that we decided it would be helpful to share our experience.
It is a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are correctly classified on the V5C log book. All campervans, motor caravans and motorhomes fall into the DVLA category of ‘motor caravan’. So if you convert a vehicle into a motorhome you must return the V5C to the DVLA and reclassify your vehicle to a motor caravan.
You can get the full details from this government website.
Having completed the build Nik then took the photos for DVLA. He’d researched the subject in great detail long before we’d gotten to this stage. Therefore, he was aware that one of the mistakes that most people make is to take a photo of the sides of the vehicle.
Many of us self build, van lifers, don’t want our vehicles to look like a shop built motorhome. We prefer the individuality of the vans we bought. Otherwise, surely we’d have just bought a standard motorhome. The DVLA however, would prefer if your vehicle looked like a run of the mill motorhome. They don’t understand that a motorhome doesn’t have to have windows and doors down the side of the vehicle to do the same job. You can have the legally required doors and windows but still not look like a standard camper, so steer away from photographing the sides.
Nik took 4 photos of the inside of the van. Showing our fixed bed, window in the living room, fixed sofa and table. Fixed fresh water storage tank and permanent under sofa storage. Last, our permanent kitchen, complete with window, oven, fridge, fixed sink, kitchen side and under counter storage. Photocopies of receipts for the cooker, fridge, water tank, and windows etc. were included. Along with the receipt for our gas fitting and safety check.
Finally, Nik sent an accompanying letter requesting that they reclassify the van to a motor caravan. In it, Nik explained that he’d built Horatio himself with an awareness of the requirements. Nik then listed what he had sent as evidence, along with the date the build was complete.
Final recap on how to reclassify your vehicle to a motor caravan.
DVLA need photographic evidence of the completed build showing the changes made. Along with a description of the work carried out and any receipts. Fill in section 1 or 7 of the V5C, depending on you which style you have. Send the V5C along with your evidence to DVLA, Swansea.
The evidence provided should be:
- Exterior photographs from the front and rear with the registration plates clearly visible. If the vehicle has a rear door it should be opened and showing some of the interior.
- Photographs of each of the required features with the bed and table in the usable position.
- On the back of each photograph write a description of what the photograph shows. The date and the vehicle registration number.
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