You should ensure that you hold the correct licence to drive a motorhome/campervan, as well as checking that your vehicle comes under the UK’s size limitations.
What Are The Licence Requirements?
The requirements of your driving licence vary depending on how old you are and the maximum authorised mass of your vehicle (this is also sometimes referred to as the MAM). The MAM is the weight of the vehicle as well as the maximum load it is permitted to carry.
If you have a motorhome that has a MAM between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you will need to hold a category C1 licence. If your motorhome has a MAM that is above 7.5 tonnes, you will need to ensure you have a category C licence.
Please remember that if you are planned to drive a motorhome in Northern Ireland, there may be different licence rules and regulations you need to abide by.
What Are The Rules For Importing A Motorhome?
If you decide that you want to import a motorhome to the UK, you will need to make sure you register it.
To register a motorhome you have imported, you will need to make an application. This involves filling in either a V55/4 or V55/5 form, depending on the sort of motorhome you are importing, as well as having to send your photocard driving licence off as proof of your identity and other supporting documents.
After you have made your application, the DVLA may decide that they need to inspect your vehicle. If not, you will be sent your V5C certificate (more commonly known as a logbook).
If you haven’t heard from the DVLA after 6 weeks, you should contact them. If you leave it longer than 3 months to investigate, the DVLA will not be able to do so properly.
What Are The Size And Height Measurements That Are Allowed?
There are restrictions on the size of motorhomes in the UK. You are not able to register a motorhome that is longer than 12 metres and 2.55 metres in width.
Please note that these measurements do not factor into account any additional driving mirrors, bumpers on the rear, lamps or reflectors.
There is no limit on the height of a motorhome, but if it is taller than 3 metres, there has to be a notice displaying the height in a position that the driver can see it easily.
Are There Different Rules For Motorhomes And Caravans?
The main (and obvious) difference between a motorhome and a caravan is that a carvaan needs to be towed, whereas a motorhome can be driven.
For both types of vehicles you will need to make sure you have the correct level of entitlement on your driving licence, which varies depending on when you passed your driving test. There are weight limits that must be complied with and you may even find that your car isn’t capable of towing your caravan.
If you need to determine how much your caravan weights (especially when loaded) there are two different methods:
- Visit a weighbridge. You can find your local one here
- Weigh everything individually and add it to the “Mass in Running Order” of the caravan
Using Your Local Weighbridge
If you decide to use your local weighbridge, there are some things you should be aware of.
Bear in mind that most weighbridges are operated by private businesses so it recommended that you contact the weighbridge operator before you plan to visit. You should also find out:
- If there is a cost to use the weighbridge and how much this is
- How to get to the location. Remember, a postcode might not take you directly there
- What hours they are open and if there are any restrictions you should be aware of
If you have an exceptionally large vehicle, you should also inform the operator as it may not fit on the weighbridge.