Road tax is a complicated matter but without it you’ll be unable to apply for campervan insurance or motorhome insurance and you won’t legally be able to use UK roads. Getting clued up on tax is something that your dealer will be able to help you out with if you’re buying new, but if you’re renewing your tax or buying a second hand motorhome then it helps to know the basics.
Road Tax and VAT
It’s important to differentiate between road tax and VAT in the UK: road tax is payable continuously on a year on year basis for the use of your motorhome and VAT is only due on the initial sale if you buy your motorhome new.
UK Tax Laws
The tax legislation in the UK has been undergoing a few changes at the moment and there has been a move to change the focus of road taxes away from power or weight measurements and towards a new green emissions tax. However, this is yet to hit most motorhomes which, if they’re under 3500kg will classify as ‘Private Light Goods Vehicles’ and, depending on your engine size, tax of £130 or £215 will apply for this tax year. This ends in April 2012, however, so there may be changes to the law at this time.
You’re unlikely to need to pay road tax in the EU, unless you are resident in a particular country for a long period of time. This is not the case in Switzerland, however, and you might be charged a levy (more like a toll) as soon as you enter Switzerland. If you purchase a motorhome abroad expect to pay local VAT but it may be worth trying to offset this against any UK tax.
Tax is a bit of a complicated issue for motorhome users and drivers but it’s one of those things you just need to get right. There’s plenty of advice available on the DVLA and DirectGov websites so these are your best bet for ensuring your tax liability for your motorhome is paid and settled.