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Legalities

Registration document V5C

Your vehicle when you buy it, will be classified on the V5C as a commercial van or in my case a mini bus. This classification affects, the type of MOT inspection (and its cost) your vehicle will have to have, how much insurance you will have to pay and probably the most important thing what speed you can drive at on the road.

Commercial vans and mini buses have lower legal speeds limits on dual carriage ways than cars or 'Motor Caravans'. 'Motor Caravan' is the official DVLA classification (that appears on the V5C registration document) for a camper van.

The DVLA allow vehicles to change classifications and indeed my vehicle is now reclassified as a 'Motor Caravan' on its V5C. To do this you have to demonstrate to them that the vehicle has been properly converted into a 'Motor Caravan'. The DVLA has a series of criteria that your vehicle must meet to qualify as a 'Motor Caravan'.

When I had completed my conversion I wrote to the DVLA requesting that my vehicle V5C be amended to 'Motor Caravan'. I enclosed my existing V5C (send recorded delivery) and also numbered photographs to show / demonstrate each of the conversion points. Note also ensure that as many photos as possible contain your number plate.

Three weeks later on I received my new V5C. If the DVLA are not satisfied with your conversion or if you are selected at random, then you may have to present your vehicle at the local VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) station. They will inspect your vehicle based on their criteria.

MOT

My vehicle needed an MOT during my conversion. I took it to my local garage who informed me that as it was classified as a 'Goods vehicles (over 3,000 kg up to 3,500 kg DGW) ' it would need a Class 7 MOT.

A class 7 MOT is 58.60 as opposed to a class 4 MOT (for cars and Motor Caravans) which is 54.85. Therefore by getting my vehicle reclassified it is cheaper to MOT in the future. Consider where your MOT falls in your conversion work, you may be able to save your self some money.

Insurance

Insurance for commercial vehicles is more expensive than for Motor Caravans. Its therefore worth getting you vehicle conversion complete and reclassified as soon as you can. When you are converting your van into a camper van you can insure it on a 'Conversion' insurance policy. This type of policy gives you a set time (3 or 6 months) to complete your conversion to a specified level, much like the DVLA motor caravan criteria. This type of policy is provided by camper van and specialist insurers and it is typically cheaper than normal van insurance. This type of policy insures the equipment you are installing during your conversion so is very well worth having.

I planned to have my vehicle on my drive uninsured for 3 months and then insured on a 3 month conversion policy until it was complete. However it did not work out like this. I quickly realised that to get some jobs completed i.e. Window, tinting and engine de-restricting, I would need to drive the vehicle.

To get a competitive insurance quote use a market scanning website, specialising in campervan insurance : click here to get a online insurance quote.

Camper Van Insurance Companies :

Campton Insurance Brokers (UK) ltd
http://www.campton.co.uk/
01883742 460

Adrian Flux
http://www.adrianflux.co.uk/                      
0800 369 8590


Insurance Choice                        
http://www.insurancechoice.co.uk/             
0845 55 77 676


SafeGuard Insurance                        
http://www.safeguarduk.co.uk/
0800 9775953

OnlineCampervanInsurance                
http://www.onlinecampervaninsurance.co.uk/
n/a

Frank Pickles Insurance Brokers          
http://www.frankpickles.co.uk/                    
01943 850999

The Caravan Club                            
http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/insurance-and-finance/
0800 0284809

CaravanWise insurance                 
http://www.caravanwise.co.uk/motor-quote/diy-camper-van.html
0800 3282084


Footman James                               

http://www.footmanjames.co.uk/Other_services.aspx
0843 357 1069

Comfort Insurance                           
http://www.comfort-insurance.co.uk/           
0800 0304206

Staveley Head Insurance               
http://www.staveleyhead.co.uk/motorhome/
0800 023 7208

Saga                                            
http://www.saga.co.uk/insurance/motorhome-insurance/
0800 096 4553

Sureterm direct                               
http://www.sureterm.com/camper-van-insurance/
0800 999 2030

Shield Total Insurance

http://www.shieldtotalinsurance.co.uk/motorhome-insurance
0844 8474 474

Autonet Insurance group

http://www.autonetinsurance.co.uk/motor-home-insurance/?affn=SE05
0800 021 7333

Caravan Guard

http://www.caravanguard.co.uk/
08452 77 70 70

Crusader Leisure Vehicle Insurance
http://www.crusaderinsurance.co.uk/
n/a

Insure Motor Home .com
http://www.insuremotorhome.com/
0800 050 1170

Life Sure Group

http://www.lifesure.co.uk/motorhome-insurance.php
01480 402 460