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EU Passes Changes to Motorhome Licensing Laws

As you may well be aware, there have been concerns in the motorhome industry for some time about motorhome licensing laws for those driving heavy vehicles. Currently, if you want to drive a motorhome that weighs between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, known as a ‘medium-sized vehicle’, you need a C1 license. For many, their C1 license was acquired years ago, but for those who applied after the cut-off point of 1997, a further theory and practical test was required to acquire the license.

Though this isn’t a problem in itself, the licence also encompasses many elements of the licences required for commercial goods vehicle use. As a consequence, the theory test involves tricky elements that, though essential for commercial drivers, are of little or no use to motorhome owners.

Not many of us motorhome owners could confess to knowing how to use a digital tachymeter or, aside from getting our motorhome insurance policy in order, would know the international regulations about moving goods or persons throughout the European Union.

However, campaigning from the European Caravan Federation (ECF), the European Union has identified this mistake and has published new legislation, first motioned in November 2012, that allows for a new category: a C1 97. This will allow motorhome-only drivers to bypass many of the commercial requirements on the proviso that they are only allowed to drive certain motorhomes in the licensing.

Though the ECF is pleased that lobbying is having a real impact upon motorhome laws, licensing provisions have some way to go before they are really appropriate for motorhome drivers. There are, of course, an increasing number of different categories, conversion possibilities and sizes of motorhome to account for, and fairly and safely licensing them all is a tricky task.

EU member states have until 31 December this year to enact the legislation and there will have to be C1 97 specific tests and licenses available before this point. This might be quite a challenge for the DVLA and the DSA and motorhome drivers looking to apply for the license are advised to wait for a little more information before as a formal update is on its way.

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