Campervan and Motorhome Vehicle Tax (VED) – Road Tax Guide

VED or vehicle tax can be a confusing topic, especially for future campervan owners. We’ve broken down everything you need to know, and how much you can expect to pay. Read on to find out.

In the campervan or motorhome buying process, one of the biggest annual costs to consider is your road tax (now called Vehicle Excise Duty or VED). For vehicles registered before 2020, getting the VED costs for your campervan or motorhome can be confusing and stressful.

For those not buying new registrations, road tax, or VED, is still a confusing topic as it largely depends on a number of factors.

As both campervan owners and specialist insurers of all campervans, we’ve gone through this process so many times, and wanted to help others through the same process, as we know how confusing it can be.

Road Tax or VED?

First things first, a clarification. VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) is the official name for road tax. VED is also called vehicle tax or car tax, and the government has now taken to using vehicle tax to make it as simple as possible to understand, as it’s a tax on owning a vehicle, not on using the roads.

Vehicle Tax (VED) for Campervans and Motorhomes Explained

In the eyes of the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), campervans and motorhomes are the same thing, so they don’t differentiate.

When your campervan was registered and/or its weight will affect the amount of vehicle tax you pay, and the method used to calculate it.

Campervans/Motorhomes Over 40 Years Old

If your campervan was built or registered over 40 years ago, then you don’t have to pay vehicle tax. You have to register as if you were going to pay tax, but you won’t be charged as long as you apply for a tax exemption.

The calculation is done from April every year, so in 2023, vehicles built or registered before 1st January 1982 could apply for a tax exemption from 1st April 2023.

Campervans Registered Before 1st March 2001

For campervans less than 40 years old, but registered before 1st March, 2001, it depends on your gross (also called maximum or revenue) vehicle weight and engine. Campervans weighing under 3,500kg were classed as light goods vehicle, and so were taxed as such.

If your campervan weighs under 3,500kg and has an engine size under 1549cc, then you will be charged £180 per year, and if the engine size is over 1549cc, then you will be charged £295 a year.

Those weighing over 3,500kg will have to check with the manufacturer, as the government doesn’t currently provide information on this.

Campervans Registered from 1st March 2001 to 1st April 2017

If your campervan weighs under 3,500kg and has an engine size of under 1549cc, then you will be charged £180 per year, and if the engine size is over 1549cc, then you will be charged £295 a year.

If it’s over 3,500kg, you’ll pay £165 annually.

Euro 4 and Euro 5 Compliant Campervans

If your campervan is Euro 4 compliant and registered between 1st March 2003 and 31st December 2006 or Euro 5 compliant and registered between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010, then you will pay £140 annually.

Campervans Registered Between 1st April 2017 and 11th March 2020

Now, this is where it gets confusing.

If your motorhome or campervan was registered between 1st April 2017 and 11th March 2020, it is in the M1SP category (check with your manufacturer or dealer if unsure) and has its CO2 emissions included on the type approval certificate then you will pay a different rate. Confusing right?

VED or vehicle tax can be a confusing topic, especially for future campervan owners. We’ve broken down everything you need to know, and how much you can expect to pay. Read on to find out.

In the campervan or motorhome buying process, one of the biggest annual costs to consider is your road tax (now called Vehicle Excise Duty or VED). Up until new vehicles from 2020, getting your VED cost on your campervan or motorhome was quite frankly, confusing and stressful.

And for those not buying new registrations, road tax, or VED, is still a confusing topic as it largely depends on a number of factors.

As both campervan owners and specialist insurers of all campervans, we’ve gone through this process so many times, and wanted to help others through the same process, as we know how confusing it can be.

Road Tax or VED?

First things first, a clarification. VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) is the official name for road tax. VED is also called vehicle tax or car tax, and the government has now taken to using vehicle tax to make it as simple as possible to understand, as it’s a tax on owning a vehicle, not on using the roads.

Vehicle Tax (VED) for Campervans and Motorhomes Explained

In the eyes of the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), campervans and motorhomes are the same thing, so they don’t differentiate.

Depending on when your campervan was registered and/or its weight will affect the amount of vehicle tax you pay, and the method used to calculate it.

Campervans/Motorhomes Over 40 Years Old

If your campervan was built or registered over 40 years ago, then you don’t have to pay vehicle tax. You have to register as if you were going to pay tax, but you won’t be charged as long as you apply for a tax exemption.

The calculation is done from April every year, so in 2022, vehicles built or registered before 1st January 1982 could apply for a tax exemption from the 1st of April 2022.

Campervans Registered Before 1st March 2001

For campervans less than 40 years old, but registered before 1st March, 2001, it depends on your gross (also called maximum or revenue) vehicle weight and engine. Campervans weighing under 3,500kg were classed as light goods vehicle, and so were taxed as such.

If your campervan weighs under 3,500kg and has an engine size of under 1549cc, then you will be charged £180 per year, and if the engine size is over 1549cc, then you will be charged £295 a year.

Those weighing over 3,500kg will have to check with the manufacturer, as the government doesn’t currently provide information on this.

Campervans Registered from 1st March 2001 to 1st April 2017

If your campervan weighs under 3,500kg and has an engine size of under 1549cc, then you will be charged £180 per year, and if the engine size is over 1549cc, then you will be charged £295 a year.

If it’s over 3,500kg, you’ll pay £165 annually.

Euro 4 and Euro 5 Compliant Campervans

If your campervan is Euro 4 and registered between 1st March 2003 and 31st December 2006 or Euro 5 compliant and registered between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010, then you will pay £140 annually.

Campervans Registered Between 1st April 2017 and 11th March 2020

Now, this is where it gets confusing.

If your motorhome or campervan was registered between 1st April 2017 and 11th March 2020, it is in the M1SP category (check with your manufacturer or dealer if unsure) and has its CO2 emissions included on the type approval certificate then you will pay a different rate. Confusing right?

 If your motorhome or campervan was registered between 1st April 2017 and 11th March 2020, it is in the M1SP category (check with your manufacturer or dealer if unsure) and has its CO2 emissions included on the type approval certificate then you will pay a different rate. Confusing right?

M1SP category

If all of the above apply, you’ll pay as if you were a car, hence why you need the emissions certificate.

So, if you have a campervan that meets the above criteria, then you will pay the second payment of £165 annually, or if your list price was above £40,000 then you’ll pay £520 annually for the first five years, starting from the second year you pay tax. After that, it will go down to the second tax payment cost.

Otherwise, you pay the standard motorhome charge, of either £180, £295 or £165.

Campervans Registered After 11th March 2020

Now, it’s much simpler.

It follows the standard motorhome charge scheme, which is as follows:

Under 3,500kg gross vehicle weight

Engine Size (cc) Single 12-month payment
Not over 1549 £180
Over 1549 £295

Over 3,500kg gross vehicle weight campervans pay an annual cost of £165.

Why Do Some M1SP Motorhomes Pay a Different VED?

This was all to do with a change in how new motorhomes were classified at registration. The laws at the time were changed to state that for the purpose of VED, motorhomes and campervans should fall into category M1SP (Special Purpose). This meant that the manufacturer(s) had to provide a Certificate of Conformity (COC) at each stage of the manufacturing process.

For cars, this was simple as they are all built by the same people in the same process.

However, for campervan and motorhome manufacturers, this is trickier, as they are manufactured at different stages by different people. The chassis may be done in one place, the exterior build at another and final interior changes completed elsewhere. This meant that the Certificate of Conformity (COC) provided to the DVLA often had no CO2 figures on, as only the last manufacturer’s COC was considered for the purposes of VED.

So, if the last manufacturer’s COC had no emissions data on, the motorhome was classified as a motorhome, and taxed using the private light (or heavy) goods vehicle cost. For those that had a CO2 figure on their emissions certificate, they were charged the first-year car cost, which could be up to £2,135.

This came into force for September 2019 due to EU law changing, but only lasted a short six and a half months thanks to lobbying from the National Caravan Council. Any new motorhomes or campervans registered between 1st September 2019 and 11th March 2020 did have to pay the increased first year tax costs. Motorhomes/campervans registered after March 2020 now pay the ‘van’ rate, which is what it was previously.

As shown above, campervans that meet the M1SP and have an emissions certificate now pay the second-year cost for cars, but any other campervans/motorhomes won’t.

Is road tax cheaper for a campervan?

Road tax for campervans and motorhomes is the same, so neither is cheaper than the other. And, as some campervans are taxed as cars, the cost is largely the same.

Do you pay road tax on a campervan?

Yes, you do pay road tax on campervans and motorhomes, although they are classified as light goods vehicles rather than cars. They will either be class TC11 (Private or Light Goods) or class TC10 (Private Heavy Goods).

Don’t Forget Insurance When You Tax Your Vehicle

Just Kampers Insurance provides specialist campervan insurance for campervan owners, by campervan owners.

We remain competitive, and if we can’t beat your quote, we’ll give you a £50 Just Kampers gift card. Why not see how we can help you today?

Agreed Value from Just Kampers Insurance 

No one wants to think about their pride and joy being written off for any reason, especially if it’s a classic car or modified vehicle that you’ve poured time, money and love into.

Still, “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”, as they say. If the worst should happen to your cherished classic or camper, an Agreed Value policy from Just Kampers Insurance will ensure that your vehicle is covered to the correct value accurately reflecting its worth.

How does Agreed Value work?

The team at Just Kampers Insurance can arrange an Agreed Value policy to cover your classic vehicle, modified vehicle or modern vehicle, if it’s at least two years old.

It’s well worth considering this addition to your vehicle insurance policy if you believe that the listed market value might not reflect the actual value for your specific vehicle. Maybe you’ve recently restored it, you’ve installed modifications or upgrades, or you just feel the industry market value isn’t a proper reflection of what you could sell your vehicle for.

Once you’ve completed the steps required to secure an Agreed Value policy, it will carry a sum assured, or amount payable, in the event of total or partial misfortune. Because of this, it’s vital to accurately provide details and evidence of your vehicle to ensure the policy protects its true value.

To secure an Agreed Value policy, you’ll need to supply a range of photos of your vehicle, including any modifications or upgrades, as well as receipts for cost of the parts and labour involved.

This might be for modification work, a full restoration, or just a few upgrades. These photos and documents are to ensure accuracy in selecting the sum assured against modified parts, or model type, that brings value to your classic or modified vehicle.

As your vehicle is likely unique, it’s important to ensure your policy recognises its full worth.

What information will I need to supply?

Photographs of your vehicle
Insurers will specify the kinds of photos they need, and the shots necessary to evaluate your vehicle’s true value – this may involve pictures of the interior, exterior, engine, and any modifications.

Copies of bills and invoices
You’ll also be asked for bills of recent or existing work: It’s essential to support the value of your vehicle through authentic receipts of work that directly express the worth of labour and parts. This will also help to indicate the kind of unique works that have been applied to your vehicle.

An independent evaluation from an accredited expert
An optional step, to ensure that the agreed value is as accurate as possible, is a paid inspection that captures, beyond photography, the worth of your vehicle – from an independent, accredited expert.

Agreed Value insurance summed up:
Unlike traditional policies, Agreed Value is mostly for classic campers or modified ones. These policies are typically harder to find because they are designed to protect campers or cars above the average marketplace value. Your policy will carry a sum assured, or amount payable, in the event of total or partial misfortune. It’s important to accurately provide details and evidence of your vehicle to ensure the policy protects its true value.

Who are Just Kampers Insurance?

Just Kampers Insurance was set up with the VW enthusiast in mind and has been providing tailored insurance policies for classic VWs and daily drivers for over twenty years.

We don’t just insure campervans, but it’s certainly our speciality.

Click here to find out more about Just Kampers Insurance.

You’ll save 10% on orders from JK if you’ve got a Just Kampers Insurance policy:

Insure your vehicle with Just Kampers Insurance and we’ll give you a 10% discount on every order* you place with us throughout the duration of your policy.

*Excludes ‘Special Order’ items & gift cards. Discounted amount is a 10% reduction in the products retail price. You will automatically be unenrolled once your insurance policy expires or you cancel it. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

Click here to find out more about saving 10% off your orders with Just Kampers Insurance.

The Just Kampers Insurance £50 price promise:

We’re so sure we can offer you a really competitive price on insuring your precious VW that we’ll give you £50 Just Kampers Gift Voucher if we can’t beat your current quote.

Click here to find out more about our £50 price promise.

If you would like to talk to the team about an Agreed Value policy please call 01256 976165 or click on Get a Quote for an instant online quotation or use our web call back service.