The Department for Transport issued a new set of regulations way back in April that stipulated that designs and plans for all new motorhomes must be approved before going on sale. Up until now these regulations have required some clarification and it was unclear quite who they affected, but last week an information sheet was released which clears up many of the issues. What do you need to know about these new rules and how do they affect you?
Two Principles of Manufacture
In the UK, the Department for Transport rules have always stipulated that motorhome, campervan or ‘recreational vehicles’ must be manufactured in a way that is safe and well engineered so as not to cause damage to other road users. This has now been joined by the second principle; that a government agency must approve plans for new motorhomes before they are put on sale.
Conversions and Construction
The first principle applies, and always has applied, to converters. Any conversions to be registered for private use must be well-engineered and safe – of course, you would never wish to build anything otherwise.
Conversions from panel vans remain exempt from the second principle, but any motorhome which is manufactured from scratch and then put on sale will need to be approved. The number of users this affects is likely to be small, but it is worth keeping in mind.
As the number of motorhome users affected directly will likely be very small, there shouldn’t be too many people who are unduly burdened. However, it is worth remembering that without an approved check it will be impossible to pay road tax, take out an MOT or motorhome insurance and so this process may take a little longer in the future. It may be, also, that some larger manufacturers are a little slower to release new models because they are awaiting approval on their plans before putting them into construction.
It’s a good idea to keep yourself updated with the legal regulations surrounding the practice of the motorhome industry, but in reality these changes will only affect a minority of consumers. If you need further information on what does and does not require approval then check out the Department for Transport website for more details.