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Motorhomes and campervans Motoring

Campervan speed limits: Everything you need to know

It’s a common question for new and prospective campervan owners and the answer can get a little confusing when you throw a van conversion into the mix but we’ve got everything you need to know about campervan speed limits for you in this article.

Let’s start with motorhome speed limits, assuming that the official vehicle classification for your vehicle is ‘motor caravan’ on the V5C logbook.

Unless you own a panel van conversion, the official vehicle classification of your campervan or motorhome will be a ‘motor caravan’.

Campervan speed limits

Motor caravans with an unladen weight below 3,050kg (3.05 tonnes) share the same speed limits an ordinary car – that’s 30mph (48km/h) in built-up areas, 60mph (96km/h) on single carriageways and 70mph (112km/h) on dual carriageways and motorways.

Motor caravans with an unladen weight above 3,050kg (3.05 tonnes) are restricted to the same speed limits as vans – that’s 30mph (48km/h) in built-up areas, 50mph (80km/h) on single carriageways, 60mph (96km/h) on dual carriageways and 70mph (112km/h) on motorways.

Built-up areas Single carriageways Dual carriageways Motorways
Motorhomes and campervans not more than 3.05 tonnes unladen30mph
(48km/h)
60mph (96km/h)70mph (112km/h)70mph (112km/h)
Motorhomes and campervans more than 3.05 tonnes unladen30mph
(48km/h)
50mph (80km/h)60mph (96km/h) 70mph (112km/h)
Worth knowing: Motor caravans with an unladen weight above 3,050kg are officially classified as light goods vehicles, which means they share the same rules.

Campervan conversion speed limits

In recent months, the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) has seemingly become more reluctant to change the body type classification of panel vans that have been turned into campervans on their V5C logbooks.

Any converted camper that meets the DVLA’s requirements can be reclassified as a motor caravan.

However, meeting those requirements has been particularly difficult recently – many Van Life Matters readers have had their applications rejected for both DIY and professional campervan conversions.

Worth knowing: The 'body type' classification in the V5C logbook is based on the vehicle's external appearance.

Provided the owner believes it meets the government’s definition of a motor caravan, both the DVLA and the Department for Transport (DfT) concur that owners of campervan conversions can operate them as a ‘motor caravan’ even if they’re not officially classified as one on the V5C registration certificate.

With this in mind, if you’ve met the government’s requirements for converting a panel van into a campervan, and it still weighs less than 3.05 tonnes, you can theoretically drive it as quickly as a car.

Sadly though, neither the DVLA nor DfT has a definitive answer to campervan conversion speed limit questions.

For this reason, experts suggest owners of campervan conversions err on the side of caution by sticking to the same speed restrictions as light goods vehicles; 30mph (48km/h) in built-up areas, 50mph (80km/h) on single carriageways, 60mph (96km/h) on dual carriageways and 70mph (112km/h) on motorways.

Motorhome speed limit overview

While the speed limit for campervans in the UK is fairly clear-cut for those that are officially classified as a ‘motor caravan’, it quickly becomes a grey area for campervan conversions.

If you’re still confused, it’s advisiable to take the slower lane and fully embrace the leisurely pace of Van Life.

Don’t forget that the speed limit is the absolute maximum permitted speed and doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.

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