There’s a growing trend in the UK of converting panel vans into campervans. Not only is it significantly cheaper to do this than buy a factory built motorhome but you also get full control over the design and functionality of your campervan plus you end up with a beautifully unique hand crafted van. With the increase in self build campervans the DVLA recently released it’s guidance on what is required for you to register your panel van as a motor caravan. Here’s a guide on what you need to do as well as why it matters.
Why do you need to reclassify your van with the DVLA?
You don’t need to reclassify your panel van as a motor caravan however there are some reasons why you might WANT to go through the process. The biggest of which is the fact that you will be able to get campervan insurance, which is significantly cheaper than van insurance.
Due to the fact that insurers don’t expect campervans to be in constant use like a panel van or even you car would be, they offer a cheaper rate when it comes to insuring your van. Depending on your circumstances this can be a significant saving. Campervan insurance also provides you with content insurance for things within your van. If you are going to be living in your van and travelling, having insurance for your laptops, phones, cameras and general gear in your van can be a real life saver should the worst happen.
What are the DVLA requirements for converting your van into a campervan?
However the list of requirements are as follows:
- Seats and a table (the table may be removable but must attach to the van)
- Sleeping accommodation (which may be converted from seats)
- Cooking facilities
- Storage facilities
All of the above features (with the exception of the table which itself may be removable) must be secured rigidly to the van.
- 2 or more windows on the body of the van (excluding those already on the cab)
- a door into the living area of the van
- motor caravan style graphics on both sides of the vehicle
- an awning bar attached to either side of the van
- a high-top roof (not including a pop top)
Applying for a change with the DVLA
To make the change with the DVLA to a motor caravan you need to submit the following:
- a completed V1006 checklist which you can download from here.
- your current V5C showing your van’s body type
- Photos of all of the above criteria showing each requirement individually
- Photos of the front, back and both sides of the van making sure your number plate is visible
- a photo of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) found on the chassis of your van (usually in the engine bay on a sticker)
- On the back of each photo write a description of what the photo demonstrates, this can be as simple as which point on the checklist you intend to demonstrate, as well as the date and your registration number for the van
- Fill in section 1 of the V5C
Once you have completed all of the above you need to post it all to the DVLA at:
You will then be sent an updated V5C confirming the change made to your van.
This is a process we have completed a couple of times now and is very easy so long as you meet the requirements. If in doubt we always recommend always looking back at the requirements and make sure you can demonstrate you have met them.