DVLA Guidance on Motorhome Conversions – Converting a vehicle into a motor caravan (motor home)
DVLA is required to record vehicle details for road safety and law enforcement. The body type information held on the vehicle record must describe what a vehicle looks like in traffic. This description, as well as other distinguishing features, allows the police and other enforcement agencies to easily identify vehicles.
The body type does not affect the insurance category of the vehicle, or have any effect on speed limits or other legislative requirements. It is only used for establishing vehicle appearance and identification.
It is important to remember that even if the vehicle’s body type is not changed to ‘motor caravan’, the vehicle can still be used for this purpose as long as the keeper is satisfied the converted vehicle meets the required internal features for motor caravans.
DVLA is responsible for making sure the vehicle record is accurate. To change the body type of a vehicle, DVLA has to be satisfied that the vehicle meets their policy for body types. Requests for a body type change to ‘motor caravan’ require that your vehicle has external features that can be recognised as those of a motor caravan. It is the responsibility of the converter or vehicle keeper to make sure that any alterations made to the vehicle do not compromise its safety.
The body type of your vehicle will not be changed unless its exterior looks like a motor caravan in traffic.
Requirements for changing body type to motor caravan
DVLA will only consider changing the body type to motor caravan (motorhome) if the vehicle meets the following three requirements:
The body type shown on your V5C registration certificate (log book) is one of those shown in the list below
Motor caravan external permanent features
Motor caravan internal features
Current body type shown on your V5C registration certificate (log book)
DVLA will only consider changing the body type to motor caravan if the body type shown on your V5C registration certificate (log book) is currently one of the following:
MPV (multi-purpose vehicle)
specially fitted van
special mobile unit
van with side windows
If the vehicle’s body type as shown on your V5C (log book) under vehicle details point D.5 is not one of these, do not send in your application as DVLA will not process it.
Motor caravan external permanent features
This list describes the external features which are commonly seen in motor caravans, and it is intended to provide guidance on what DVLA expects to see when considering your application:
2 or more windows on at least one side of the main body (this does not include windows on the driver or passenger doors) to provide a reasonable amount of daylight into the living accommodation
a separate door which provides access to the living accommodation of the vehicle (this excludes the driver and passenger doors); a window on this door counts as a separate window on the main body
motor caravan-style graphics on both sides of the vehicle
an awning bar attached to either side of the vehicle
a high-top roof (this does not include a pop-top elevating roof)
DVLA will need photographic evidence of the completed conversion.
Evidence needed to support your application
You must include the following evidence to support your application:
a completed motor caravan conversion checklist
a V5C showing one of the applicable body types as above
interior photos of each one of the required features with the bed and table in the use position (see ‘Motor caravan internal features’ below); the photos must show that there are 2 or more windows providing daylight into the main living accommodation on at least one side of the main body
exterior photos from the front, both sides and rear with the registration plates clearly visible
a photo showing the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the chassis number stamped on the plate attached to the original chassis or vehicle bodyshell
On the back of each photo, write a description of what the photo shows, the date and the vehicle registration number.
If you have a new style V5C with multi-coloured numbered blocks on the front cover, fill in section 1.
If you have the older style V5C, fill in section 7.
Make any other changes, if you need to, and send the V5C with the required evidence to:
DVLA will consider all the information provided. Then they will either decide that the body type must stay the same, or allocate an appropriate description based on the changes made to make sure the recorded body type accurately reflects the vehicle’s external appearance in traffic.
Your vehicle may also require a DVLA inspection. DVLA will cover the cost of the inspection, but any costs associated with transporting the vehicle to the inspection will not be reimbursed. If the vehicle cannot be inspected, the application will be refused and no further action will be taken.
You must provide clear evidence that the vehicle you have converted will permanently be a ‘motor caravan’ and it meets the requirements for the internal and external features.
Motor caravan internal features
Motor caravan means a special purpose M category vehicle constructed to include living accommodation which contains at least the following internal equipment:
seats and a table
sleeping accommodation which may be converted from the seats
This equipment must be rigidly fixed to the living compartment; however, the table may be designed to be easily removable.
These features are defined by the type approval requirements for motor caravans.
See the full definition for required internal features below
Internal features for motor caravans
For a vehicle to be recognised as being converted to a motor caravan it must meet all 4 categories shown below. For DVLA to change the body type, the vehicle must have the external permanent features described in the DVLA guidance for converting a vehicle into a motor caravan.
Category 1: Seats and table (1 example for both)
The seats and table must have the following features:
they shall be an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation area, mounted independently of other items
a table mounting arrangement shall be secured as a permanent feature, although the table top may be detachable
permanently secured seating must be fixed to the floor or sidewall and available for use at the table
Category 2: Sleeping accommodation
The sleeping accommodation:
shall be an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation area
can be either beds, or beds converted from seats
must be secured as a permanent feature, either with the base structure of the vehicle floor or to the side wall, unless the sleeping accommodation is provided over the driver’s cab compartment
Category 3: Cooking facilities
Your conversion must have a minimum of a single ring cooking facility or microwave, which shall be secured directly to the vehicle floor or side wall as a permanent feature.
If the cooking facility is fuelled by an on-board gas supply:
the fuel reservoir must be secured in a storage cupboard or the reservoir secured to the vehicle structure
If the cooking facility is fuelled by gas having a remote fuel supply:
the fuel supply pipe must be permanently secured to the vehicle structure
Category 4: Storage facilities
The storage facilities:
can be a cupboard or locker
form an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation, mounted independently of other items, unless incorporated below the seat, sleeping accommodation or cooker
must be secured permanently to the vehicle floor or side wall except when the storage facility is over the driver’s cab compartment
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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