Department for Transport clarifies motorhome construction requirements

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport (DfT) issued new regulations on construction requirements for motorhomes. It has now released a new information sheet, which clarifies rules surrounding some of the new requirements.

Here is an overview of the main regulations:

Construction and Use, Lighting Regulations

•  Motor caravans must be well-engineered so that it is not likely to fall apart or otherwise cause danger to other road users
•  New motor caravans produced from 29th April 2012 onwards must be approved before sales can begin
•  Conversions of registered panel vans into motor caravans are not affected by approval but it remains the responsibility of the manufacturer or converter to produce a safe vehicle
•  There are no changes to the rules on MOT testing including bed or seat crash testing


•  Type approval must be obtained from the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) before production starts
•  Motor caravans built or imported in low numbers can be assessed individually  by the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) after they have been built or imported


•  All seats intended to be occupied by a passenger when the vehicle is travelling on the road will need to be type approved, including a seat which is capable of conversion into a bed
•  No requirements for testing a fixed bed or seats which are not intended for use whilst the vehicle is travelling on the road

Importing a motor caravan

•  Motor caravans previously registered in Europe will be accepted onto the UK register by DVLA upon presentation of the foreign registration document and supporting documents, plus an MOT will be required
•  Motor caravans imported into the UK from outside Europe (e.g. America) will require an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) before registration unless they are over 10 years old, in which case only an MOT is required.
•  Modifications to the headlamps (they should dip to the left) and speedometer (must read in both mph and km/h) will be necessary for left hand drive vehicles

Coast’s motorhome insurance covers the majority of UK Coachbuilt motorhomes, Class A motorhomes, professional high top and campervan conversions, micro campervans and DIY conversions (subject to an engineer’s report).

For more information on how you can buy motorhome insurance or campervan insurance from Coast, call our UK based sales team on Freephone 0800 614 849.