20/07/2021
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Campervan insurance for day vans

181fa5e2-64c6-41da-bafe-7ed0e51d2709

Words and photos: Richard Dredge

 

One of the trends that we picked up on in our annual insurance survey was the increase in people buying day vans. The reasons for this include the rise in younger enthusiasts getting into campervanning, as well as the increasing number of people buying a small leisure vehicle that they can use on an everyday basis. Those two trends are inextricably linked, with an increase in the second group fuelled by a rise in the first, the intention of those younger motorhomers being to get away at the weekend to indulge in some outdoor pursuits.

So far so good, but such owners aren’t universally welcomed by insurance companies, because a lot of the time the vehicle being covered has been altered – potentially very significantly – since leaving the factory. And the problem with making modifications is that they can sometimes be done badly.

 

DVLA REQUIREMENTS

It’s possible to convert from a van to a motorhome (or motor caravan as the DVLA calls them); there’s a raft of companies out there doing this all the time. But some insurers get the jitters if you try to cover a campervan when it’s still classed as a commercial vehicle (or van) as far as the DVLA is concerned. The key is to check what’s on the vehicle’s V5C (registration document), as that’s what most insurers go by.

 

The thing is, in recent years, it’s been a lot harder to get a van reclassified as a ‘motor caravan’ because the DVLA has been much less inclined to help. Everything you need to know is supposedly available on a gov.uk page helpfully called ‘Converting a vehicle into a motorhome’. The problem is that even the DVLA’s own inspectors have been refusing to reclassify camper conversions – including some undertaken by professional converters.

 

According to the DVLA’s own website, to qualify as a motorhome, a vehicle must have “two or more windows on at least one side of the body” as well as an “awning bar attached to both sides of the vehicle” plus “motor caravan-style graphics on both sides of the vehicle”. Inside, there must be seats and a table, cooking and storage facilities, plus sleeping accommodation (which might be converted from seats). The problem has been that, if the DVLA’s bods don’t think your vehicle looks enough like a motorhome (and there’s seemingly a great degree of subjectivity involved), the computer will say no.

 

BENEFITS OF MOTOR CARAVAN CLASSIFICATION

So, if you’re buying a motorhome that didn’t start out as such, check its V5C or you could find that insurance becomes a problem. Another legal consideration is that motorhomes have different (higher) speed restrictions compared with light commercial vehicles so, if your campervan is actually registered as a van, you could potentially be nicked for speeding if you drive it like a motorhome.

When we’ve done our annual survey before, we’ve come up against our sample motorhome being based on a panel van but converted professionally to become a leisure vehicle instead of a commercial one. Insured as a van, the premium would typically be 10-20% more because theft rates for such vehicles are higher. Also, your contents insurance will be more generous for a motorhome, so it really is in your interests to make sure that your camper is correctly classified by the DVLA.

 

Andrew Evanson of Motorhome Protect comments, “The growth in the popularity of staycations and short day trips, largely caused by foreign travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic, means people of all ages are hopping into a motorhome for a little break.

“Day van owners tend be younger, as they often want to use the vehicle more regularly than just for holidays, making it a more affordable purchase. We recognise the difficulty in registering these vehicles with the DVLA and are able to cover them under motorhome policies, as long as the facilities on board make it suitable for use as a camper or motorhome. In addition, day vans that have limited facilities on board can be covered under specialist policies where the benefits are more like an everyday car policy.”

 

In association with Motorhome Protect Insurance Specialist
Tel: 01865 818331
motorhomeprotect.co.uk/motorhome-insurance


Expert Campervan advice to your door!

Campervan Magazine

Campervan is the exciting monthly magazine that will give you all the inspiration you need to explore the world in your campervan. Every issue is packed with real-life campervanning experiences, inspiring travel ideas in the UK and further afield, the best campsites to stay on, campervan road tests and reviews of the latest models, and much more!

Want to know more about Campervan magazine?

About Campervan magazine  

Back to "General" Category

20/07/2021 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Extend and enhance your stay at the Western Motorhome & Campervan Show with these unmissable attractions ...


Motorhome DIY project: Lithium battery upgrade

Swapping to lithium batteries to improve 12V power performance when away from mains hook-up or wild camping ...


Best non-fixed bed motorhome £70k-£100k in 2022

What Motorhome brings you the best of 2022 featuring the best non-fixed bed motorhome to buy between £70k and ...


HemBil campers

From CMC comes the rather cool HemBil range, here we look at three of its key models


Other Articles

Nottingham-based RoofBunk builds a rooftop tent that’s compatible with any vehicle, offering a cost-effective alternative to a pop-top roof. We ...


Motorhome running costs - saving money with fuel economy

With diesel and petrol prices at a record high, now’s the time to start thinking about measures to mitigate ...


Spotlight on... Orange Campers

This Yorkshire-based converter prides itself on offering value for money with its adventure-ready Trouvaille ...


Why motorhome and campervan owners should consider renting out their campervans this summer

With staycations on the rise, increasing numbers of holidaymakers are looking to campervan and motorhome ...