If you’re considering buying a campervan or motorhome, it’s not quite as simple as buying a car. That’s because the type of driving licence you have can affect the type of motorhome you can drive.
We explore what type of driving licence you need in order to drive different motorhomes, as well as what you can do to upgrade your licence.
- What factors affect the type of motorhome I can drive?
- Can I drive a motorhome with a car licence?
- Can I upgrade my licence to drive a heavier motorhome?
- What other restrictions are there to driving a motorhome?
- What are the insurance implications if I drive a motorhome with the wrong licence?
Motorhomes come in a number of different styles. From large American style RVs (recreational vehicles) to the smaller motorhomes with pop-up tops that we’re familiar with in the UK.
But when it comes to determining what you can drive, a motorhome’s weight is the most important factor you’ll need to consider. This is measured by its maximum authorised mass (MAM), which is the weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry.
Yes, you can. But what you can drive will depend on when your licence was issued and the MAM of the motorhome.
If you passed your test on or after 1 January 1997
You’re only allowed to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM. The good news is that manufacturers are well aware of this, and most new motorhomes are built within this weight range. In other words, you shouldn’t have any issues driving a reasonably sized newly manufactured motorhome with your standard car licence but be sure to check the weight of the vehicle before you get behind the wheel.
If you passed your test before 1 January 1997
If you passed your test earlier, you’ll be able to drive a vehicle with a MAM of up to 8,250kg. This means you’re able to choose from a wider range of large motorhomes with the exception of the very large RV style vehicles.
Yes, you can.
If you have passed your test since 1 January 1997, you’ll have a licence that covers vehicle categories B and B1. If you want to drive a larger (heavier) motorhome, you can upgrade your licence to include C1 vehicles (up to 7,500kg).
If you want to drive an even larger and heavier motorhome over 7,500kg, you’ll need to upgrade to include category C on your licence.
To add the higher C or C1 category, you’ll need to take and pass another test. To do this, you’ll need to contact DVLA Customer Services.
When you reach age 70 you’ll need to renew your driving licence. However, when you renew your licence it won’t automatically carry over your entitlement to drive C1 vehicles (up to 7,500kg).
If you would still like to be able to drive a heavier weight motorhome you’ll need to apply by post with a D2 form which you can order online. You’ll also need a completed medical form (the D4 form) which your GP can arrange – bear in mind there may be a cost to this. You will then have to send your forms by post to the DVLA at: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BR.
By law you must only drive vehicles according to the categories on your licence. If you don’t you face repercussions which can include up to six penalty points. As a result of any endorsements, your insurance premiums are likely to increase significantly.
If you decide not to tell your insurer about the points (non-disclosure and potentially insurance fraud if intentional) your entire policy can be invalidated. This means claims wouldn’t be paid if you’re involved in an accident and need to claim.
But an invalid insurance policy doesn’t just mean you face covering costs, it could also leave you facing even greater penalties. This is because an invalid policy is equivalent to driving without insurance – which carries a fixed penalty fine of £300 and six points. If you end up in court you could face an unlimited fine and even be disqualified from driving.
Protect your assets with motorhome insurance you can rely on.
At Alan Boswell Group, we understand just how much of an investment your motorhome is – after all, it’s your home from home. To protect your asset, we offer a range of motorhome insurance policies including third party and comprehensive cover.
For more information or to discuss a policy, contact a member of the team on 01603 649650.