Should I SORN my Campervan or Motorhome?

Should I SORN My Campervan or Motorhome?

  • If your campervan or motorhome is laid up for months at a time, such as over the winter, it may be time to consider applying for Statutory Off-Road Notification, commonly known as SORN. Even though this will be a cost-effective option for many campervan owners, there are still implications that should be considered before taking this route.  

    Registering for SORN is common in the UK, where in March 2020 there were 526,747 declarations alone. Given how common this process is, we explain everything you need to know about registering and taking your campervan off the road (SORN). This includes MOT and insurance requirements, as well as where the vehicle must be kept during this period. 

    What Does SORN Mean? 

    For road users who may be unfamiliar with taking their vehicles off of roads, SORN stands for ‘Statutory Off-Road Notification’ and this process is handled by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).  

    SORN describes when a vehicle owner notifies the government that they have taken their vehicle off public roads. During this time, you won’t have to tax your vehicle or pay for insurance.  

    When a vehicle is laid up (SORN), whether a campervan or motorhome, it will not be allowed on public roads and cannot be parked in the street. Before you can legally SORN a campervan, it will need to be laid up on a private driveway or garage.  

    How Do I SORN My Campervan?  

    Registering for a SORN is a straightforward process, handled via the DVLA. This can be achieved in one of three ways:  

    DVLA,  

    Swansea,  

    SA99 1AR 

    • Contact the DVLA via 0300 123 4321  

    Before registering your campervan for a SORN, you will need to have to hand certain items of information about the vehicle.  

    • The 16-digit number from your V11 (which is a reminder about vehicle tax issued by the government) 
    • Your VC5 11-digit reference number for the vehicle (or your logbook)  

    Why Should I SORN My Campervan? 

    The main reason why people choose to SORN their vehicles is to save money on road tax. It also might make sense to SORN your camper if you know you won’t be using it for a significant period of time, such as during the winter or if you’re renovating it. 

    Commonly, camper owners decide to register their vehicle with a SORN for one of the following reasons: 

    • if they don’t plan on driving over the winter  
    • if the vehicle is in the garage for repairs or restorations  
    • if the driver is recovering from an injury and can’t drive for several months 
    • if they will be travelling abroad for a long period, without taking their campervan 
    • if they have a temporary driving ban 
    • if a change in financial circumstances means they cannot afford to keep their camper on the road permanently 

     

    Regardless of the reason, if you make the decision to SORN your camper, you need to be aware of the legal implications involved. This means drivers are legally prohibited from using public roads, even for parking.  

    Should I Lay-up My Camper During the Winter?  

    Driving a campervan or motorhome during winter does not appeal to everyone. And so, registering to SORN a campervan is a practical way to save money on tax when your vehicle is inactive.  

    For some, winter touring in a campervan can seem impractical or even risky without the right preparation, especially if your vehicle hasn’t been winterised. From challenging driving conditions to trying to keep one warm, you might decide that driving a camper in the winter is not right for you.

Tents with horses in a field (1)

Where Can I Keep a Laid-Up Campervan?  

By laying-up your campervan, you have declared to the DVLA that you will not be using it to drive on UK roads. As a result, your camper needs to be stored off the road. 

Suitable places to keep a campervan or motorhome that has been laid-up, include: 

  • in a garage 
  • on a private drive 
  • on private land
  • in a private parking location 
  • in a private storage facility 

Unfortunately, if the only place you can keep your campervan or motorhome is parked on a public road, then you cannot legally SORN it. 

Does a SORN Campervan Need Insurance?  

After arranging to SORN your campervan because you won’t be driving it, you legally do not need insurance for it. 

However, if you cancel your campervan insurance, this does mean it will not be protected against any damage. While in storage, your camper could still be affected by: 

  • theft 
  • vandalism or accidental damage 
  • fire 
  • floods 
  • weather damage 

For this reason, many experts recommend keeping an insurance policy in place to protect your campervan, even when it’s off the road.  

It’s also worth knowing that some camper and motorhome storage facilities will stipulate how vehicles need insurance cover to use their services. Be sure to check their terms and conditions if you do choose this option.  

Do I Need to Arrange an MOT for a Laid-Up Camper? 

An MOT remains valid while a vehicle is laid up; however, if it runs out while your camper is off the road, you will need to arrange an MOT before it can be taxed and driven again. 

You are legally allowed to drive any SORN vehicle on UK roads if you are travelling to a pre-booked MOT appointment. If you are stopped by the police while driving, you will likely be asked to give the appointment details, so that the police can verify your MOT booking with the garage. 

How to Cancel a SORN for a Campervan 

A SORN will be automatically cancelled as soon as you arrange to tax your campervan or motorhome, or if you sell it and the registered keeper changes. 

Whether or not you choose to SORN your campervan, it’s important to ensure it’s fully protected at all times with an insurance policy that works for you.  

While it might be beneficial to save money on road tax by laying up your camper, cancelling insurance can end up costing you a lot more if damage occurs whilst it’s in storage.  

Get Competitive Camper Insurance for the Full Year

Stay safe in the knowledge that you’re completely covered, with a competitive campervan insurance policy from Just Kampers Insurance. Our team are experts when it comes to arranging policies to suit individual needs. So whether you have a coveted classic camper or a modern campervan, get a quote today to see what we offer.

Should I Buy A Campervan?

Should I Buy A Campervan? 

Campervans; they’re a vehicle for unlocking travel, adventure and freedom, both literally and figuratively. Whether you’re a VW classic lover, a DIY’er looking for your next project, or a camper looking for a different way to explore, campervans are the answer.  

The question of owning a campervan will have most people – and their families – split indecisively between whether now is the best time to buy a campervan, of if they should hold off for a few more years.  

Existing campervan owners will love to tell you tales of nights spent across the country, or even the world, under the stars, sitting in their campervan with a firepit going outside and the cosiness of a hot beverage in their hands.  

Campervan ownership isn’t all roses, there are some thorns every now and then. However, being a campervan owner unlocks a new way to explore the world, as well as a different way of life.  

So, in this blog, we unpack the answer to the question: “Should you actually buy a campervan?” 

Here’s why you’ll enjoy owning a campervan 

1. The ease of going on holiday 

Campervan ownership has its perks. One of the most enjoyable benefits will always be the ease of getting away and going on holiday without the need to plan, pack or book expensive hotels for the night.  

Going away in a campervan simply requires either getting a pitch on a campsite, or using BritStops if your campervan is self-sufficient, or if you’re in Scotland, ready for wild camping! Most campsites, especially in low and mid-season (September until end of March), will often take bookings up until the night before, and some even allow for drive ups on the day.  

Across the UK, there’s over 1,000 BritStops and nearly 8,000 campsites, so you’ll no doubt have one near you, or within a short drive.  

2. Getting outdoors 

For those who want to surf, mountain climb, mountain bike or generally get more outdoors, a campervan can really unlock these opportunities. You don’t have to use a campervan to purely camp with, but you can use it a base for your adventures, whether that’s for the day or for a longer weekend.  

Campervans have a lot more room than cars, and because you can adapt them to your needs, often with some minimal DIY, they can become a way for you to make adventures more feasible.  Campers, unlike cars, are more practically built for adventuring. 

Think about surfing for a day, and then mid surf, heading back to your campervan for some hot lunch and a nice cup of tea, before heading back out to catch some more waves. Or going hiking and being able to have a hot shower and clean all the mud off, before driving back home and relaxing.  

3. Taking your pets with you 

While some campsites don’t allow certain breeds of dog or animals at all, most will allow pets in all shapes and sizes.  

Whether you’ve got a dog or a cat, a campervan allows you to take your pet with you without needing to find a way to keep them warm at night in a tent, which doesn’t always have the right space.  

Check before you travel, ensuring that your destination or campsite allows pets, and whether there’s an additional fee per pet (we’ve never seen it higher than about £5 a night, but this will depend on where you stay).  

4. Holidays become more affordable 

Depending on where you go (and which season you travel in), you’ll often find that per night, campervanning is much more affordable than hotels, Airbnb’s or other accommodation.  

Campsites often price based on: 

  • Pitch (where you park) size 
  • Whether the pitch is hardstanding (not grass based, often gravel or tarmac) or grass based 
  • Whether you want hook-up (electricity) or not 
  • The number of people coming with you, specifically how many adults and children you’re travelling with. The more people you have, the more expensive camping becomes, as pitches often have a maximum number of people. 
  • Any animals you’ll be bringing  
  • Whether you’ve got an awning, gazebo or pup tent (a tent used solely for sleeping in, often smaller than 1.5x2m) 
  • The time of year (Low season is November to February, mid-season is March to May and September to October, while high season is May to August) 
  • If you want to bring an additional car with you 

The more of the list above you choose to add on, and the more people you bring with you, the more expensive it will be. And, if you go over a summer bank holiday weekend, or during school holidays, expect it to be more expensive and very busy.  

Even with all these additional factors, four nights on a campsite in August is often around £200 for a family of 4, making it £300 cheaper than the entry level room at Butlins for the same time.  

5. You can use it as a daily driver 

Campervans can be daily drivers, whether you’re using it for commuting or school runs. Many of the Just Kampers team use their campervans as daily drivers and our office car park regularly has a wide array of VW campervans.  

Although you get a lower MPG than you might with a car, the pure joy of driving around in your campervan day-to-day makes it worth it. Similarly, you can also escape straight from work and into an adventure for the weekend.

Here’s why you may not enjoy campervanning 

Campervans are often portrayed online or on social media, thanks to the popular #vanlife movement, as a bit of a rose-tinted experience, where locations are always sunny and desirable like those found on a postcard.  

In reality, owners have to empty a chemical toilet regularly, get creative about showering options, and have to fix their van if it fails mechanically.   

When you are considering buying a campervan, there are still some downsides, and it isn’t always for everyone.  

  1. Fuel costs 

Campervans are notorious for having low MPG. After all, they are relatively heavy vehicles powered by small engines, especially the older models.  

An older VW campervan, if driven mainly on motorways, could get around 27 MPG, but newer ones, even those with diesel engines, are able to get no more than 36 MPG.  

This does mean your running costs will be higher than having a car, especially if you drive in mainly urban areas.  

2. Winter storage and parking 

If you’re not planning to use your campervan in the winter, then you’ll need to store it when it’s out of use, which often means covering it to prevent excess rust, drying it, and removing the gas cannister.  

While this is entirely possible if you’ve got a drive, garage or somewhere secure like a specific winter storage spot for campervans, if you don’t have the means to securely store your campervan in the winter, especially classic models, you can find common issues like rust affecting your camper.  

And, leaving a campervan outside is also a security risk, as the parts and the vehicle can fetch high value in the resale market.  

3. Risk of damage and/or theft 

Campervans have valuable parts in, from gas cannisters to precious metals in older campervan parts that can garner good aftermarket value. The other risk is that campervans are some of the lowest depreciating types of vehicles, so any stolen campervan can be sold for very good value. 

These two combined means that you will need to be able to store your campervan securely, and may need to invest in some additional security measures for your campervan.   

4. The upfront cost 

While campervans will save you money over the years on holidays, the initial cost can be upwards of £50k if you want a new or top of the range rig. It can be cheaper for older or less popular models, but even so, you’re looking at around £10-£15k for a model that’s ready to drive.  

If you’re unsure about buying a campervan, try renting one first for a week or two to see if the lifestyle and way of living would work for you for a holiday, a daily driver or an adventure vehicle.  

How to decide if a campervan is right for you 

Campervans are a burden of love some days when they break down. You might, for example, suddenly hear a strange noise, suggesting a mechanical fault. Then other days, you get home from work on a sunny Friday and have the freedom to pop away for the weekend without any need to worry about packing up the car.  

So, how do you decide if a campervan is right for you?  

Think about: 

  • How often you would want to go away in the UK 
  • The travel style you prefer, as campervans aren’t the same as a hotel 
  • Whether you want to go abroad a lot without having to drive 
  • If you are planning to have a large family (over 4) anytime soon 
  • If you have pets you want to bring with you, as a large dog may struggle in a small campervan.  
  • Whether you’ll replace your daily driver with a campervan 
  • Your MPG. Campervans normally get no more than 35mpg on a good day, even with diesel 

Once you’ve bought your campervan, get insurance 

Just Kampers Insurance are specialists in all kinds of campervan insurance, from self-build, classics and modern models. With over 30 years’ experience in the campervan markets, specialising in VW’s, we know how much joy a campervan can give you. Whether you’re a current owner buying a new vehicle, someone looking to buy and want to understand the cost of ownership, we’re here to help.   

Whether you want a quote to help you decide whether to buy or are looking for a specific campervan policy, get in touch with us today by calling us on 01256 444546 or getting an online quote.  

campervan by pond

The Complete Campervan Insurance Guide

The Complete Campervan Insurance Guide  

When it comes to insuring your campervan, especially for the first time, it’s important that you understand what campervan insurance entails and how it works.  

Our guide to campervan insurance covers everything you’d need to know, from seasoned campers to those new to the world of campervans.  

What is a Campervan? 

This may seem like a silly question to open with, but campervans require certain parts and appearances to classify as a campervan.  

Classes of Campervan 

In the UK, there are three classes of campervan, A, B and C.  

  • Class A: The kings of motorhomes, these are your RVs and large, luxury campervans 
  • Class B covers all campervans, including self or professional build and converted from a panel van.   
  • Class C: Standard motorhomes that are seen across the UK every summer.  
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DVLA (Re)Classification 

The DVLA classes motorhomes and campervans as the same thing: motor caravans. Motor caravans are seen as the same thing by the DVLA, as they have the same features: 

  • Windows into the living area 
  • Separate door for access to the living accommodation 
  • Awning bar on the vehicle 
  • Seats and a bed inside the vehicle 
  • Cooking access 
  • Storage facilities  

Mark from Just Kampers Insurance says “A large amount of the vehicles we cover are self-build campers, and we’ll always find the right policy to suit you and your vehicle. We cover the vehicle for what you tell us it is, not what the DVLA has it down on the logbook as. For example, you may have a converted van that has a rear seat/double bed, cooker, sink and fridge, but decide you don’t want side windows for security, as you want to carry high value bikes inside. Or you may have a fully converted camper with pop-top, full kitchen etc, but the logbook still says ‘van’. 

How to Get Classification as a ‘Motor Caravan’ 

There’s three main points you need to cover to get classified as a motor caravan:  

  • A body type in your V5C that’s on their list 
  • You’ve made the required external changes to your campervan 
  • You’ve made the required internal changes 

Once you’ve made these, and can prove your conversion should be a campervan, you need to send photo evidence to the DVLA, who can then refuse or accept your conversion.  

It’s important to remember that the classification on your V5C does not impact insurance. If you use your self-build or converted van as a campervan, then you will need to insure it as a campervan, not a van.  

Is a Campervan a Good Investment (1)

Do I need to insure my self build van as a campervan? 

Yes, you will need to insure your self-build van or converted van as a campervan. Insurers need to know about your usage of the van, rather than the outward appearance, unless it affects the performance of the van.  

How do I insure my self build if my application is rejected? 

To insure your self build campervan, if the DVLA has rejected your application, you’ll need to make sure you get specialist insurance. High street insurers are more likely to provide an inaccurate quote. So how do you best pick campervan insurance?  

Choosing Campervan Insurance 

When it comes to choosing campervan insurance, doing your research is incredibly important. You’ll need to look into: 

  • Underwriters and customer experience 
  • Policy benefits as standard and what extras are available  
  • What you can use the campervan for and mileage limits 
  • Agreed value of your camper, especially if it’s a classic or self-build 
  • Security discounts, such as for additional trackers or alarms 
  • European cover and breakdown policies 
  • Contents insurance for your campervan 
  • Gas and explosion cover 
  • New for old policies, if you’ve bought your campervan from new 
  • Transferring NCB (No Claims Bonus) from your car over 

All these factors can be tailored, depending on how you use your campervan, and any modifications you may have made.  

Things to Look Out for When Choosing Campervan Insurance 

Customer service, reviews and underwriters 

When using an insurance comparison tool, or researching potential insurers, it’s important to check existing customer experience and reviews. Defaqto often rates larger insurance companies and provides customers with an idea of what the company may be like. Sites like Trustpilot and Google also provide you with useful feedback.  

With smaller independent brands, they often need underwriters to create their insurance policies, as they may not have the in-house ability to do some themselves. At Just Kampers Insurance, we use Herts Insurance Consultants to underwrite our polices, as we know they are of repute and feel they offer our customers good value.  

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Policy Benefits: Standard and Extras 

For campervans, there will be some policy benefits that you may not see on a car policy: 

  • Contents cover 
  • Personal effects cover 
  • Spare parts cover 

Aside from the above, the policy benefits are largely the same as a standard car policy. This doesn’t mean that a high street insurer is able to cover you, as while the benefits are the same, the nuances that campervans have, such as them being homes and cars at the same time, make high street insurers less willing to provide insurance.  

Use and Mileage Limits  

Many campervan policies won’t cover you for commuting purposes, simply social, domestic and pleasure. Therefore, if you are planning to commute in your campervan, it’s important you specify this to your insurer before you confirm your policy.  

Mark Reynolds of Just Kampers says “Lots of insurers only cover campers for social and domestic use. So, if you drove it to work or to the station to commute, you’d find you’re not covered. At JK Insurance, in 99% of cases, we can tailor the policy to suit your unique circumstances, including using it for work.” 

Similarly, with mileage limits, it’s important to read the small print before you agree to a policy. While you can negotiate limited mileage discounts on a policy if you’re only using it at weekends, for those who want to rack up the miles, it’s best to check this before you get a policy.  

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Agreed-Value Cover 

Agreed-value cover of a campervan is a favoured option for those with classics, especially for those with classics, rare models and self-builds. Agreed-value cover essentially means that you can agree a value of your campers’ true worth when the policy is set, and if the worst happens, your insurer will pay out based on your agreed value rather than another valuation.  

Security of your Campervan 

Some insurers will offer discounts for additional security measures, especially in regularly stolen makes such as Ford or Fiat. By adding in aftermarket additions, such as an alarm or wheel lock, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper policy.  

Similarly, parking it in off-season in secured campervan storage rather than your driveway can reduce premiums as it provides more security against theft. It’s important to consider your regular parking situation when you insure your campervan. 

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European Cover and Breakdown 

While pre-Brexit, it was easier to simply drive in and out the EU, now the insurance side is slightly different. You’ll need a green card, issued by your insurer, to drive, and specialist EU breakdown cover. Where before you may have been able to use one policy to cover you in the EU, its important to check the limits of your policy in the EU, especially now the six-month post Brexit period has happened.  

Contents Insurance for Campervans 

Unlike a car, campervans have higher value contents, as they are like a home on wheels. Things such as TVs, gas bottles, microwaves, storage, any aftermarket additions, even accessories like awnings, all add value to your campervan contents.  

Therefore, getting an appropriate amount of campervan contents insurance is key, and also valuing everything in your campervan is key. Provide your insurer with accurate information before you agree a policy, and you will get an accurate quote based on your information.  

Gas and explosion cover 

While this isn’t something that people might want to think about, considering the risk of any heaters, gas bottles etc, in your campervan before you get insurance will help. By accurately considering this risk, you can ensure that you are covered in case the worst, while unlikely, is considered in your insurance policy.

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New for old policies  

New-for-old policies is only applicable if you bought the campervan from new. It means that the insurer will replace your campervan with the most recent version of the make. There’s often specific stipulations, such as the mileage or age of campervan at point of insurance.  

Transferring NCB from another policy 

If you’re making your campervan your primary vehicle, then you may be able to transfer your NCB, despite it not being a like-for-like policy.  

Some insurers offer this while others may only offer it if you have multi-car insurance with them. It does vary, so do check before you take out a policy.  

FAQs about Campervan Insurance 

How much is campervan insurance? 

As every policy is custom, and campers undergo a lot of customisations, its dependent on individual circumstance and a multitude of factors! You can always get a quote to find out. 

Is it cheaper to insure a van or a campervan? 

Van insurance is more expensive than campervan insurance, as vans often contain more expensive contents when used as work vans. For vans, you’ll often also need business insurance as well, or one that covers you for business use, something campervans don’t need.  

Can you insure a campervan as a van? 

If your campervan meets the DVLA requirements for being a motor caravan, regardless of what your logbook says, you need to insure it as a campervan, if that’s what you’re using it for. This means you get appropriate cover for your use.  

Can I drive a campervan on my car insurance? 

No, you can’t drive a campervan on your car insurance. Your insurance needs to be appropriate for the vehicle you drive, and a campervan isn’t the same as a car. Even if you have a converted campervan, then you need to get campervan insurance, rather than relying on your car insurance.  

What won’t campervan insurance cover? 

Car insurance won’t cover the following:  

  • Infestations of rat, mice, bugs or other vermin 
  • Wear and tear 
  • Theft, if you’ve left your keys in it, windows open or door unlocked 

It’s always worth giving your policy a read to check.  

Do I need different insurance if I’m planning to live in my van? 

No, you don’t need different insurance if you plan to live in your van. You will need to ensure you have the correct cover, such as contents insurance, and the insurer is aware you will be living in your van.  

You may want to consider taking out a life or home insurance policy that covers you for van living, in case of an emergency.  

Can I insure a car and campervan on the same policy? 

You can only insure a car and van on the same policy if you have a multi vehicle policy. It’s important that you have the correct policy type for your needs, and that you get a bespoke policy tailored.

With over 20 years of experience, we can source campervan insurance for you that is bespoke to your needs. We understand campervans, and their owners! So, whether you’re living in a van, or wanting to head out for the occasional weekend, speak to us today. 

Filling up a campervan with fuel

The Most Fuel-Efficient Campervan by MPG

For people looking to switch to a campervan, or make their campervan a daily driver, fuel economy is often a concern. Heavier campervans do decrease fuel efficiency and the often-smaller petrol engines don’t help. However, some campervans are more fuel efficient than others, and there’s always ways to increase your fuel efficiency. Read on to learn more.

Fuel Efficiency by Type

With VW campervans, the MPG (miles per gallon) does vary across the different types. This is especially because the original T2s on the road are from c.1960 and modern California’s come with TDI engines that are designed for modern emissions and MPG tests. Finding concrete MPG stats for earlier campervans is tricky, as MPG wasn’t regulated by law then through the WLTP tests, so no one had to release road test MPG. Similarly, customer reported MPG is also tricky to obtain, as dashboards didn’t display MPG until recent years in the VW Transporters.

MPG also varies incredibly in older models, as many owners have mapped their engine to deliver a higher bHP, which will affect MPG. We’ve collated reported MPGs and applied urban and rural driving (city vs motorway driving) to understand what VW Transporter has the best MPG. For the T2-T4 we used data from drivers on fuelly across a variety of manufacturing years to obtain a fair average.

Vehicle-Type-Lifestyle-T2-Split-Bay3

VW T2 MPG

The first VW campervan, the T2 now has a variety of MPGs seen, thanks to extensive modifications and remapping for modern drivers.

Urban/City MPG for T2

An average taken from multiple owners rather than manufacturer figures.

Mean Average: 20.8 MPG

Lowest data point: 16.11 MPG

Highest data point: 24.9 MPG

Rural/Motorway MPG for T2

An average taken from multiple owners rather than manufacturer figures.

Mean Average: 27.27 MPG

Lowest data point: 18.31 MPG

Highest data point: 36.71 MPG

VW T25/T3 MPG

As the T25 and T3 are regularly interchanged, we’ve combined them into one category for ease of averages. Similarly, the T25/T3 has a variety of reported MPGs like the T2, thanks to extensive aftermarket modification and upgrades to keep these vintage campervans on the road for longer.

Urban/City MPG for T25/T3

An average taken from multiple owners rather than manufacturer figures.

Mean Average: 18.73 MPG

Lowest data point: 10.81 MPG

Highest data point: 23.1 MPG

Rural Motorway MPG for T25/T3

An average taken from multiple owners rather than manufacturer figures.

Mean Average: 31.3 MPG

Lowest data point: 23.01 MPG

Highest data point: 36.53 MPG

VW T4 MPG

The T4 came out in 1990 and was a more powerful model compared to older ones. Some drivers fitted aftermarket Subaru engines for extra power and economy, but most stuck with the 1.9-2.4 engines that came as standard.

Urban/City MPG for T4

An average taken from multiple owners rather than manufacturer figures.

Mean Average: 25.22 MPG

Lowest data point: 14.28 MPG

Highest data point: 30.74 MPG

Rural/Motorway Driving

An average taken from multiple owners rather than manufacturer figures.

Mean Average: 32.33 MPG

Lowest data point: 29.2 MPG

Highest data point: 38.01

Vehicle-Type-Lifestyle-T5

VW T5 MPG

The T5 finished production in 2015, so it is a newer model, and therefore comes with a modern engine that produces a higher average MPG than that of earlier models. It’s also diesel, so the engine will be more powerful than earlier petrol counterparts.

Data here is taken from Real MPG on Honest John and Parkers

Source

MPG

Type of data

Parkers (T5 California Beach Edition) 40 Pre-2017 Standard Consumption Test
Honest John (T5 California) 33.1 Real MPG Average from Drivers
Honest John (T5 Transporter) 35.0 Real MPG Average from Drivers

A good average to aim for with the T5 would be mid 30s MPG, but this will vary more depending on what model you are driving.

Just Kampers Insurance Hire cover

 VW T6 MPG

Being the newest model, the T6 is up to Euro 6 standards. It can accept AdBlue, which helps the performance, and is most prepared for modern roads and driving standards. Made from 2015 on, the T6 is the current model available on the market, with the 6.1 now available to purchase from new.

Data here is taken from Real MPG on Honest John and Parkers

Source

MPG

Type of data

Parkers (T6 California Beach Edition) 31.7-34.9 WLTP (Standard Test)
Honest John (T6 California) 37.0 Real MPG Average from Drivers
Honest John (T6 Transporter) 33.9 Real MPG Average from Drivers

For the T6, a good MPG would be 35 as an average, however bigger engines or Sportline models will have a lower MPG if driven harder.

What does the future hold for VWs in the face of stricter standards?

While only just announced, a new Hybrid T7 is on the way, which should improve MPG for greater fuel economy. In early 2022, a new electric VW Buzz with an estimated range of 250 miles is also expected, also boosting the reach into modern motoring.

Which is the most fuel-efficient VW campervan?

Based on our research, the VW T6 comes out on top of all Volkswagen campervans.

However, there’s nothing to say that a driver of a newly mapped and upgraded T25/T3 couldn’t achieve a higher daily MPG based on driving style, route, and attention to detail.

Best ways to improve the fuel economy of your campervan

  • Remove excess weight when not needed. If you’re using the van as a daily driver as well as a family holiday van, then take out what’s not needed. Excess weight increases fuel consumption.
  • Regularly service and check all your campervan parts are up to date. A broken or older part will not work at best performance, which can affect the overall fuel economy.
  • Use the best tyres. While those large alloys may look great in photos, they could be negatively impacting your MPG. The correct wheel size for your campervan will help, thanks to rolling resistance.

Being the specialist supplier of parts for all VWs, we can help you to find parts that will improve your fuel economy. Speak to one of our team today.

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

Campervan conversion refused (1)

Was Your Campervan Conversion Refused By The DVLA?

With the uptick of van life and accessibility to easy campervan conversion “how-tos,” thanks to the prevalence of YouTube and other internet sites, converting a van to a campervan has never been more accessible.

However, stringent DVLA laws and confusing rejections have led to a lot of speculation and uncertainty in recent years. In 2019 alone, the DVLA refused 9,488 applications as confirmed to MMM magazine, and they don’t say why either. In light of this, we’ve put together this guide to DVLA campervan classification.

What is a ‘motor caravan’?

The DVLA recognises motorhomes, campervans, and day vans all under the same classification of ‘motor caravan’. However, if you’ve converted a van, or similar vehicle, into a campervan or motorhome, then you’ll often need to obtain reclassification to a motor caravan.

While classification doesn’t affect insurance, and won’t affect how you drive it, it can be important for licensing and for the DVLA to understand the vehicles on the road.

How do I get re-classification as a motor caravan?

To receive aftermarket classification as a motor caravan, you need to meet all three of the following:

  1. Your current body type, according to your V5C, is 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
  2. You have the required motor caravan external features
  3. You have the required motor caravan internal features

To support your reclassification, you’ll have to submit evidence of the above to the DVLA. This is in the form of photos, a V5C, and the motor caravan vehicle checklist.

The evidence required to submit

In order for the DVLA to even process your application, you must provide the following:

  1. A completed motor caravan conversion checklist, which you can find here
  2. A V5C currently showing one of the body types listed above
  3. Photos showing the required internal features with all features in the ‘in use’ positions, as well as the windows letting light into the living area.
  4. Exterior photos showing the campervan from all angles, with license plates, clearly shown
  5. Photos showing the VIN/chassis number on the bodyshell or original chassis.
  6. All photos must be clearly described on the back, including the date taken and the vehicle number plate

Your vehicle may also be subject to an inspection, and failure to facilitate this will result in a refused application.

What comes under the guidance for external features?

For the DVLA to consider your conversion a motor caravan, they expect to see certain features. These are guidance features, not required features.

You could need features such as:

  • Two or more windows to let light into the living accommodation. The driver and passenger side windows do not count.
  • Separate access to the living area, excluding the driver and passenger doors.
  • Motorcaravan style graphics on both sides of the vehicle, such as seen on motorhomes
  • Awning bar on the vehicle
  • High top, not a pop-top, roof

Any external features must be permanent and need to be shown completed in the photos.

Internal features for motor caravans

Internal classification is different to an external feature. To meet DVLA requirements you have to meet all of the four categories.

Category One: Seats and a Table

The seats and table must have the following features, and you must have one example for both seats and table:

  1. Be a core part of the main living area, and be independently mounted of other parts
  2. The table mount must be permanent, even if the tabletop is not
  3. The seating must be available for use at the table and fixed to the floor or wall

Category Two: Sleeping

Sleeping areas must be:

  1. A core part of the living area
  2. Permanent beds, or beds that are converted from seats such as a rock and roll bed
  3. Must be a permanent and secured feature, either to the floor or sidewall, unless it’s over the cab

Category 3: Kitchen and cooking

To be even classified as a motor caravan, you have to have a single ring hob or a permanently secured microwave.

If your cooking is powered by an onboard gas supply, then you must secure the gas in a secure storage cupboard or fix the reservoir to the vehicle structure. If your gas supply is fuelled by a cannister remotely, then the supply pipe must be secured to the vehicle structure.

Category 4: Storage facilities

Your campervan conversion must-have storage, which:

  • Can be a cupboard or a locker
  • Forms a core part of the main living area, mounted independently unless it’s below the seat, sleeping area or cooker.
  • Must be secured to the vehicle floor or wall, unless it’s over the driver cab.

Sending off Evidence to the DVLA

The DVLA requires that you send all evidence to:

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BA

At the time of writing, there’s no alternative online method to submit evidence. You can find more information on submitting evidence here on the DVLA site.

Why did the DVLA refuse my campervan application?

Truthfully, no one knows. Reasons given are often vague and don’t match up with the regulations given.

Want to insure your converted campervan?

Speak to Just Kampers Insurance, and we can help you source insurance, before or after you have sought campervan classification from the DVLA.

Get in touch today.

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

Is a Campervan a Good Investment (1)

Is A VW Campervan A Good Investment?

As any well-versed campervan enthusiast will tell you, a campervan is for life not just for Christmas. A campervan can be a long-term passion project, including ongoing customisation and personalisation.

However, for someone looking to begin their journey into campervans, including modern VWs, the initial price can be off-putting. We discuss whether campervans are a good investment, and the key things to look at when deciding whether to buy a campervan.

Before You Invest In A VW Campervan, Consider:

There are many things to consider when choosing a campervan, and it’s not just the vehicle itself.

  • Where will you be parking the vehicle? Off-street, such as a driveway or garage, is a better option. Older models are especially liable to corrode, and it can be costly to repair or replace panels as they must be made, rather than coming from the factory.
  • Do you want a project or a daily driver? Older models, especially rare types, are more likely to retain, if not maintain, value if well cared for. These are, typically, more of a project camper. Modern campers, such as the T5 or T6, will depreciate at a slower rate but are more likely to be able to be driven regularly without needing much maintenance.
  • Your family situation. Whether you have young children or want a vehicle to drive off into the retirement with, different campervans have different uses and sizes. Modern VW California’s, for example, come with four seats as default, and while a fifth can be added, it does restrict the flexibility of the interior of the van.

Is A Campervan A Good Investment?

There are many factors that make a campervan a good investment, and these all depend on what you judge an investment by. It could be an investment for you with the resale value or one for the enjoyment of having a car and a holiday vehicle all in one.

Key Factors That Determine A VW Camper Value

Popularity/ Unique Models.

Some models, such as the VW Kombi, or rarer variations, hold value a lot more, especially if only a few production ones were made. They become collectibles, and particular models are hunted down by car collectors. Another factor is a famous previous owner, as this can drive up value as well.

Age

Any vehicle over 40 years old is deemed a classic and therefore doesn’t have to have an MOT but must always be roadworthy. Therefore, for some, an older car is less of an investment, but for others it becomes a passion project. A newer model can also be more desirable, as a newer campervan is likely to last longer.

Features

Whether converted or factory condition, models with additional features can mean greater value. This could be a well laid out interior that has been completely revamped, or high value kitchen parts that can be disassembled with ease to create greater space.

Any unique, quirky or different features will likely add value if they are useful to any future owners.

Condition and Mileage

While mileage isn’t always an indication of good condition, if a camper has high mileage (such as over 100k) and is still in factory condition, it will have been well cared for and therefore should hold value well. Similarly, the exterior and interior condition should be in clean condition.

Just Kampers has made a list of buyers guides for each type of VW camper including the T2 Bay and the T4, with key points to look out for when considering buying. These highlight key issue points and what to look out for.

VW Campervan Investment FAQ’s

Do VW campers hold their value?

Yes. The VW California was shown to have the slowest depreciation of all cars and campers currently available for sale in the UK market, retaining (on average) 60.9% of its value after 3 years/60,000 miles.

With the increase in people living in vans, a rise in staycations, and an overall swing towards ‘tiny home living’ the depreciation value is likely to maintain a similar level, or even get better!

How long do VW campers last?

They last for decades if cared for properly, with good due care and attention to each part of the vehicle.

It’s common still to see VW campers from the 70’s on the road, and while it’s rare, some from the 50’s or 60s still exist today (although they do sell at auctions now).

Is a campervan a good daily driver?

If you’re using it to commute, or do the school run, a camper can be a good daily driver. The flexibility with seats and space means that you can get a lot of bikes, bags and more in a camper with plenty of room to sit. It may be worth considering a newer model for the lowered risk of breakdowns and part accessibility if you want a commutable vehicle.

Is It Worth Buying A VW Camper?

In our opinion, yes! Older models become collectors’ items, and they’re a joy to maintain, care for and personalise.

It gives you flexibility with exploring, going on holiday and so much more. So we say, yes, buy the campervan of your dreams, and if you’re unsure on what type you want, try hiring one first.

Regardless of your type of campervan, whether modified, older or a rare model, speak to the experts at Just Kampers Insurance to get insurance that cares for your campervan as much as you do.

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

Campervan in american valley

Why Are Campervans So Expensive?

After deciding to buy a campervan, it only takes a little research to realise that they are a substantial investment. Obviously, there are two ends of the scale, and a brand-new model is going to be significantly more expensive than a second hand one with high mileage. There are many factors that will affect the price and, as with anything, it’s usually the more expensive options that are more worthwhile. We take a look at some of the reasons why campervans are so expensive.

Six Reasons Why Campervan are So Expensive

Reasons why campervans are so expensive are generally to do with how they are made and when they are bought. Some things to keep in mind when contemplating the price of a campervan include the following:

1. The labour costs to build are campervan are high

One significant reason why campervans are so expensive is simply because they are expensive to build. Unlike for regular vehicles, which are primarily built by machines, campervans require more of the skills and artisanship of humans to build them.

Much of the interior is fit by hand, from kitchen cabinets and other furniture to the carpeting or laminate flooring. Not to mention the plumbing in of kitchen and toilet appliances. It’s these additional fittings that cause a campervan to take longer to build than an ordinary vehicle.

2.   Campervan amenities are expensive to source and fit

While the base of most campervans will be sourced from regular vans, it’s the addition of its amenities that hikes up the price. Everything from the toilet and kitchen fittings to the bed and storage areas cost money to buy and fit. Don’t forget there’s not only the cost of materials to cover, but also the cost of additional labour.

3.   Added extras or customisation cost more

As with most vehicles, when you buy a new campervan it’s usually possible to make requests for customisations or additional features. These, of course, will cost more – often significantly so. Examples of this could be:

  • Different flooring – you may be given the option to have laminate flooring fit instead of carpet, or vice-versa.
  • Additional storage space – it might be possible to request more storage areas that would not be fit as standard, such as overhead shelves or cupboards.
  • Appliance choices – some manufacturers may also offer different options when it comes to kitchen fittings, and premium brands will bump up the cost.
  • Solar panels – while solar panels can provide a helpful power source and may actually lead to savings overall, to supply and fit them will cost the customer more.

Other features could be similar to those of an ordinary vehicle, such as choosing your seat material, or other dealership add-ons such as tyre cover.

4.   Campervans need to be made with heavy-duty parts

Campervans need to safely support heavy materials, such as furniture and kitchen appliances, as well as a number of passengers. This weight means that campervans need to be built with heavy-duty parts such as large engines, heavier suspension, and hard-wearing tyres. All these parts cost more to buy, compared to those used in many other vehicles.

5.   The make and model make a difference

As with any vehicle, the make and model of a campervan will also impact its cost. VW campers are notoriously expensive, largely because they are so popular. The Volkswagen brand became synonymous with campervan in the 1960s and 70s, when ‘hippies’ travelled across the world in them. Since then, VW have released many more campervan models, but the original style remains one of the most expensive. This is in no small part due to the romanticised image people have of camping in a VW.

6.   Supply and demand have a significant impact on price

Another factor that plays a big part of the cost of a campervan is the supply and demand circumstances at the time of purchase. Before 2020, campervans in the UK would be more expensive at the start of the summer, and less so at the end of the season, simply because more people were in the market.

Now, however, since the spread of COVID-19, campervan prices have risen in price drastically. This is because of the increase in ‘stay-cationers;’ more people want to buy campervans to holiday in the UK, because it’s become more complicated to travel abroad. For the near future it’s thought that the impact of COVID-19 on the campervan and motorhome market will be significant.

Buying a second-hand campervan

A less expensive way to acquire a campervan is to opt for a second-hand one. These can still be pricey, but there are many more factors that will impact this. It’s up to the buyer to decide how much each of the determining factors matters to them:

  • Year of manufacture
  • Mileage
  • Work carried out
  • Service history
  • Exterior damage (scratches and dents)
  • Interior damage (is it mechanically sound?)

Each of these can drive the price of a second-hand campervan up or down, but it depends on personal opinion and understanding as to how much each factor matters.

For example, a high-mileage campervan might seem expensive at first glance, but if it has had a new engine fit recently it could be worth the price.

Other ways to save money on a campervan

As well as opting to buy a second-hand model, there are a few other ways to save money on buying a campervan. These include:

Buy a new campervan at the end of the tax year

Many campervan vendors will offer better deals on campervans at the end of the tax year, before the next year’s models are released, in order to get them off the forecourt. Try shopping for a campervan in March, before the new models and number plates start appearing in April.

Wait until the end of the season

In previous years both new and used campervans are less expensive at the end of the season, when there are fewer people in the market. While the impact of COVID-19 has affected this, in a few years it is likely to, once again, be more cost-effective to buy a campervan in the wet and chilly winter months, rather than spring or summer.

Consider a campervan conversion project

Probably the most popular solution to the problem of campervan expense is to carry out a campervan conversion instead. While such projects are often time-consuming, they are also rewarding and can help an owner save considerable amounts of money. After all, if you have unlimited time to make updates and changes to your converted camper, it can cost as much as you want, when you want.

Popular vans to convert into campers include Renault Trafics, Ford Transits, and Mercedes Sprinters. Whether you choose to buy a new or used van will of course impact its price, however it’s important to realise that choosing a used van may end up being just as – if not more – expensive than a new one if you encounter mechanical problems. Be sure to do a thorough check on any second handle vehicle before committing.

If you like the sound of a campervan conversion, it’s also advisable to consider the work that will need to be done, and who can do it. Some buyers intend to conduct the conversion works themselves only to find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. As soon as you begin to need the help of professionals, the campervan conversion project will suddenly start climbing in price. 

At Just Kampers Insurance, our team are avid camper enthusiasts. We have a wide scope of knowledge in all things campervan and are specialists in VW models in particular. Please do get in touch regarding campervan advice, and to arrange the right kind of insurance you need. We provide insurance for a wide variety of models and needs, including campervan conversion insurance.

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

Towing with a Campervan (1)

Towing With A Campervan

Towing With a Campervan: Campervan Towing Guide Updated for 2022

When you begin to take holidays with a growing family, want to travel with friends, or simply want a bit more space than your traditional campervan, towing is ideal. 

For some people, towing is not something they’ve ever considered. However, towing from your campervan can be one of the most effective ways to access extra space, perhaps a caravan, a car, or even a trailer.  

Towing with your campervan is entirely legal if you check the weight restrictions of everything included. In this blog, we explore all the options of how you can tow with a campervan, including rules, regulations and recommendations. 

Why Tow with a Campervan? 

For some people, especially those with VW campervans or smaller vans, there isn’t always enough cabin space to carry and store all your equipment. For some VW campervan owners, they need to provide enough sleeping berths for their family.  Others perhaps need to make it feasible for friends to come and stay with them, and this is where towing comes in handy. 

Most VW campervans don’t necessarily have a huge amount of space, and if you’ve got specialist requirements such as medical equipment to support a family member, the available space isn’t always enough. Or perhaps you simply need a bit more room. Towing a trailer could be the perfect option to carry all the extra kit you need with you. For those who want to take a caravan with them, you no longer need to take a car with you to tow that caravan, instead your campervan may be able to tow it for you. 

Weight Restrictions When Towing with a Camper Van 

This is a very campervan specific subject. It requires some calculation to understand what a sensible towing weight could be for your camper.  

Most modern VW transporters can tow upwards of 2,000 kilos. But it also depends on the type of vehicle you are towing. 

The Gross Train Weight (GTW) of your original vehicle will greatly impact what you can tow. It is important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions as this is what will dictate how much you can tow, and some owner’s manuals may even contain towing restrictions. 

You must also consider what is sensible. Most experts recommend towing no more than 75% of the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) when the two parts are combined. The Camping and Caravanning Club recommends towing no more than 85% of the MAM (or kerb weight). While you can tow up to 100%, it is not advised as this could cause issues with the braking functions for both vehicles, the driver’s safety and potentially your ability to manoeuvre correctly, particularly in tighter areas. 

The GTW and the MAM of your vehicle will be listed either in the manufacturer’s handbook or in the inside one of the door frames of your campervan.

Licence Regulations for Towing 

Law Change on Towing from the 16th December 2021

From the 16th December 2021, if you passed your driving test after the 1st January 1997, you’ll be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM. You don’t need to contact the DVLA, and when you do get a new photocard licence, the category BE will be added.

If you had booked a test for driving with a trailer, this will have been cancelled, and you no longer need a special test to tow trailers.

Learn more on the government website.

Prior to the 16th December 2021 change, the rules were:

There are two considerations here. First, what licence category you hold, and secondly the year you were issued your licence.   

If you got your licence before the 1st of January 1997, it’s likely that you’ll be able to tow a MAM of 8,250kg. If you got your licence after the 1st of January 1997, you will probably be able to tow no more than 3500kg. 

However, if you passed your test after 1st January 1997 and want to tow heavier weight, then you will need to pass the C1 + E regulation theory and practical test. This will allow you to tow a combined MAM of 12,000kg. However, most people will be fine with their existing licence regulations.  

Maximum authorised mass means the combined weight of the two parts, and so the tractor unit or main vehicle and the towing unit, or towing vehicle. Most people can drive a vehicle with a trailer of up to 750kg in weight or a trailer that is heavier, if the car and the trailer combined reached no more than their maximum authorised mass allowance. 

Insurance When Towing with a Campervan 

As campervan policies are often quite specific, it may be that yours will not automatically cover you for towing. You may need to take out a specialist campervan policy or discuss with your insurer to ensure that you are allowed to tow on the back of your campervan. They may impose weight restrictions on you, in order to be guaranteed by a policy, or ask that you only tow certain types of vehicles. For example, you may not be able to tow an A frame with a car on under certain policies.  

Then you need to consider your breakdown cover. Would your breakdown cover be able to rescue both you and the vehicle you are towing? If not, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got breakdown cover that can cover all eventualities and adequately rescue or provide a fix that works for your situation. 

FAQ’s on Towing with a Campervan 

Can you tow a caravan with a campervan? 

Yes, you can. As long as the maximum authorised mass doesn’t exceed the limit on your insurance or the legal limit, and your licence limit if the trailer is more than 3,500kg , then it’s perfectly possible to tow with a campervan. 

Can you tow using a VW campervan? 

Yes, you absolutely can. VW Transporters tend to be able to tow up to 2,500kg, so it’s important that you check your percentages and make sure that you’re safe when towing with your VW campervan. 

What should I do to make sure that my camper van is safe? 

As well as following this government guideline checklist, which details everything you need to do before you take off with your boat, motorhome, or campervan, it’s important that you also check the specifics of your vehicle.  

For example, make sure you’ve got your vehicles correct and up to date information in case you get pulled over, ensure that your brakes are in good working order and have been checked recently. Make sure that the weight of your vehicle when you’ve loaded up everything doesn’t push you over the limit, this can be checked at a weighbridge.  

Want an insurer that understands the specialities of VW campervans? Speak to Just Kampers Insurance today.  

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

Campervan Speed Limits (1)

Campervan and Caravan Speed Limits Explained

If you’ve recently converted your van for the first time and are raring to get it on the road, then you’re probably wondering about the speed limits, your vehicle classification, and more.

With so many drivers re-classifying vans as campers or embracing motorhomes, caravans and other luxury touring vehicles, it’s essential to understand how speed limits will affect your experience on the road.

Classifying Your Campervan Conversion

When you renovate or re-classify a donor van as a camper, one of the key aspects is the legal classification on the vehicle and how this changes the legal maximum speed limit. The DVLA (Driver Vehicle & Licensing Agency) covers this process, but it’s not always easy to navigate and can seem, at times, unclear.

Unless already specified on your V5C (or vehicle logbook), some conversions may result in the need for re-classification. This re-classification will impact your maximum speed limit on the road.

You’ll most likely end up classifying, either officially or “by keeper satisfaction” that you are a ‘motor caravan’. A motor caravan is then split into two weight categories, including:

  • Vehicles that are not more than 3.05 tonnes maximum unladen weight.
  • Vehicles that are more than 3.05 tonnes maximum unladen weight.

If your campervan is under 2 tonnes, then you may be able to classify as a car derived vehicle or dual-purpose vehicle, which has the same legal speed limits as cars.

What is the Speed Limit for My Campervan?

There are two categories that will impact your speed limit. This is only if you’ve been classified as a motor caravan or motorhome on your V5C.

If your campervan is under 3.05 tonnes:

Your legal speed limits will match that of a car or motorcycle.

Built-up areas Single carriageways Dual carriageways Motorways
30mph 60mph 70mph 70mph

If Your Campervan is Over 3.05 tonnes:

Your speed limits will be the same as a bus or coach under 12m in length. The main difference is on single carriageways and dual carriageways, where the speed limit is 10mph less than that of a lighter camper.

Built-up areas Single carriageways Dual carriageways Motorways
30mph 50mph 60mph 70mph

My Campervan Classification isn’t a ‘Motor Caravan’ on My V5C, What Should I Do?

If your vehicle weighs over 3.05 tonnes unladen weight, but you haven’t been classified as a motorhome or motor caravan, then you must legally comply with the restricted speed limits. This is because there is no other possible classification for your vehicle.

However, if you are not legally classified as a ‘motor caravan’ and your vehicle weighs under 3.05 tonnes, then you should adhere to the same speed limits as if you were driving a car.

My Campervan Weighs Between 3.05 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes but Hasn’t Been Classified. What Does that Mean for My Speed Limit?

There are many ‘donor’ vehicles that can become recognised as a caravan legally, as long as it satisfies the internal requirements for a campervan. Becoming familiar with the legal criteria can help you understand when a vehicle is recognised as a caravan.

If, for all intents and purposes, and as the legally registered keeper, you believe your camper should be legally classified as a ‘motor caravan’ but for some reason or the other, the DVLA hasn’t classified it, then you have two options.

Adopt the speed limits of heavier motorhomes or caravans

As mentioned, you can adopt the speed limits of heavier vehicles, which are 10mph less than that of a car on single and dual carriageways.

Use the speed limits of a goods van under 7.5 tonnes

If, by appearance, your vehicle does not look like a campervan or motorhome, then you may want to use the speed limits of a light goods vehicle.

These are:

Built-up areas Single carriageways Dual carriageways Motorways
30mph 50mph 60mph 70mph or 60mph if towing a trailer (or articulated)

This doesn’t change much unless you’re towing or are driving an articulated van.

Summarising Campervan Speed Limits

The difficulty in understanding how your van might be impacted by different rules and regulations on the road is a source of confusion for many drivers. This is often discussed in communities, especially since the laws on classification were introduced back in 2019.

If you’re confused, it’s advisable to prioritise safety and choose a lower speed limit if you’re unsure. As campervans are designed for the journey and the destination, how you drive is just as much a part of owning one.

Get in touch with Just Kampers Insurance to feel safe and confident on the road, whatever your V5C classification.

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

JKI-Campervan Security

Best Security for Campervans: Outsmart Thieves

Motorhomes and campervans are consistently at risk of theft. According to findings in England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), vehicle-related theft is increasing in cases where luxury motorhome and campervans lack the basic layers of security.

What Vehicles Are More Likely to be Stolen?

The major target for theft is luxury or staycation vehicles, such as campervans or motorhomes. In fact, not only are vehicle-related crimes alarmingly common, but the majority of general insurance quotes for campervans and motorhomes alike have discovered a lack of security measures.

Despite the value of a campervan, which can seem priceless to its owner, approximately 45% of these vehicles lack a basic alarm system, and only 6% of owners have tracking devices fitted.

Vehicle theft is becoming more sophisticated as it learns from technology, just as custom or classic vehicles are greater targets because of their age and lack of security measures. Whether you own a classic or a modern campervan – from a VW T2 Split to a T6 – a vehicle without security creates an increased opportunity for this type of crime.

Additionally, as demand for staycation vehicles grows, the likelihood for theft unfortunately increases with it. Nowadays, campervan security can too easily become secondary when considering all of the optional gear and costs. There is currently no legal requirement for a security device, but does that mean you should risk your campervans security?

How Do You Secure Your Campervan?

From bright, visible wheel clamps and noisy alarm systems to deadlock wheels and trackers, you can protect your campervan from theft by embracing a number of known security methods. Campervan security comes in many shapes and sizes, ranging from visual deterrents to more technical ones.

You can choose any number of combinations of devices to secure your vehicle from crime. More often, a mixture of visual and technical deterrents are recommended.

Campervan alarms

The basic security for your campervan should include an industry-fitted and Thatcham-accredited alarm system, which usually rests under the bonnet. This is conveniently activated when the campervan is locked and left unattended, be it on a private driveway or a campsite.

On activation, if your vehicle is disturbed by a thief, it will sound an alarm. It also benefits from a window-sticker, reducing the likelihood of crime by creating a deterrent.

Immobilisers

If you have a converted camper, fortunately all vans built from 1998 onwards come with a pre-fitted immobiliser as standard, meaning this will transfer into the campervans final design. Immobilisers work by refusing false engine starts by hot-wiring.

Deadlocks for a campervan

Deadlocks offer a more secure layer of protection for a campervan, by using additional locks to keep it safe. This works on a separate key from your main access fob and is advisable when you intend on leaving the vehicle unattended for longer periods of time.

Window security films

As a deterrent to casual theft, window security films on a campervan inhibit break-ins, even if brute force is applied. This will reduce the likelihood of a thief accessing your locked vehicle from a window, as the likes of a deadlock alone won’t prevent break-ins or window damage.

Steering locks

This creates a barrier over the steering wheel using a visible blockade or bar. For owners, this is a convenient and easy device to install, and it helps visually deter crime. Further security devices, such as a spare wheel lock, will ensure the safety and security of your spare.

Tracking devices

Tracking devices are highly technical, invisible pieces of equipment that can monitor your vehicle’s location if it’s stolen. Popularly, tracking devices may be “Thatcham Approved”, which means they are accredited by a leading authority in after-market security solutions. Therefore, locating a stolen campervan is easier with a tracking device.

Which Anti-Theft Device is Best for my Campervan?

Vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity. This means your best line of defence is a combination of technical security devices, like trackers, and visual or physical ones that can help prevent more casual burglaries.

You can prioritise security devices based on where you intend on leaving your campervan or motorhome when it’s unattended. If you live in a rural or isolated area, such as the British countryside, it may be easier for thieves to remove physical security devices such as security bars and wheel clamps without being detected. Yet, if you’re in a monitored city or other urban area, these devices may be more effective and deter crime.

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.

Campervan Security FAQs  

What is the best security measure for my campervan?

Prevention is the best security method. A combination of visual/physical devices and technical ones should help limit the opportunities for crimes of theft to occur.

What happens if my campervan is stolen?

If your campervan has been stolen, notify the police straight away. Using the crime number from the report you filed, notify your insurance company.

It will help the police to recover your campervan if it is fitted with a tracker. Without proper security measures it may make it more difficult to recover your stolen vehicle.

Does having an alarm and immobiliser fitted in my camper reduce insurance premiums?

The greater the security options fitted in your camper, the safer it becomes. This should reflect in the cost of your insurance premiums, as immobilisers and alarms are recognised as crime deterrents.  

What is ‘Sold Secure’?

This is an organisation that tests, verifies and reviews locking systems for a range of leisure vehicles (grading from Bronze to Diamond), coordinated through the Master Locksmiths’ Association. Owners may notice the brand when shopping around for locking systems and other security products.

What is a Thatcham category alarm?

Thatcham is the standard for insurance companies, and many providers will insist that your vehicle is fitted with their alarms for basic security. Devices of a certain standard will receive a Thatcham Security Certification to reaffirm this security.

How does a vehicle tracking system work?

This relies on technical equipment to monitor the location of your vehicle. Typically, the vehicle owner will have a few options with their supporting subscription, whereby they can either buy it yearly, or cover two, three, four or even up to five years at a time. The police will use this tracking service to locate and recover a stolen campervan.

Categories of security systems for this kind of vehicle recovery include:

  • Category Five/ Thatcham after-theft systems
  • Category Six/ Stolen Vehicle Tracking
  • Category Seven/ Stolen Vehicle Location

The difference between categories will depend on your vehicle and its requirements. 

How do I check if my campervan has an engine immobiliser?

Since 1998, immobilisers have been fitted into all new vans. This may be done during production, or installed later. The best way to check if your campervan has this fitted is to read the handbook.

How Just Kampers Insurance Can Help

Whether your prized possession is a classic, custom or converted camper, security should be a top priority for an owner. With theft cases rising, owners need to ensure their vehicles are fitted with enough safety and security features to prevent and limit opportunities for crime.

As a campervan insurance specialist, we know the value of a campervan can feel priceless. That’s why we help our customers achieve a reassuring sense of security through their insurance. To find out more, request a quote today.