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Rules For Converting A Van Into A Campervan. (motor caravan)

Updated: Jun 11, 2022



You may think you can just convert a van into a campervan and that's it But unfortunately its not quite that simple.

There are in fact quite a few rules that you must abide by to successfully register your freshly converted campervan before you can legally take it on the road.


The DVLA will only consider changing the body type to a campervan (motor caravan) if the body type shown on your V5C registration certificate is currently one of the following:


  • ambulance

  • box van

  • goods

  • insulated van

  • light goods

  • light van

  • livestock carrier

  • Luton van

  • minibus

  • MPV (multi-purpose vehicle)

  • panel van

  • specially fitted van

  • special mobile unit

  • van with side windows


This list describes the external features which are commonly seen in campervans (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)

The DVLA will need photographic evidence of the completed conversion.


For a vehicle to be recognised as being converted to a campervan it must meet all 4 categories shown below:


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.


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, 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 body shell

On the back of each photo, write a description of what the photo shows, the date and the vehicle registration number.

Photographs will not be automatically returned - if you want your photographs returned you must request this in your application.

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 Swansea SA99 1BA

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.


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