Motorhome Insurance and You: Staying Legal on UKs Highways

Motorhome Insurance and You: Staying Legal on UKs Highways

According to UK industry statistics, it is estimated that there are more than 225,000 campervans and motorhomes on Britain’s roads today and a recent report in the Daily Mail newspaper found that around five million Britons will hit the road instead of flying to holiday hotspots this summer.

With more of us heading out for our holidays in motorhomes, it is important that you are covered with the correct driving licence as well as specialist motorhome insurance. Tradex looks at everything you will need to keep you covered on your vacation.

The Ideal Staycation

Industry body The Caravan Club said this year’s summer period was expected to be one of the busiest the organisation has ever seen after a surge in interest in mobile homes and campervan trips after campsites were allowed to reopen in England on July 4.  Bookings through the organisation were said to be up during August this year with the majority of campsite operators said to be close to capacity. 

One of the Daily Telegraph newspaper reporters contacted six leading motorhome rental firms and found no availability as the easing of lockdown encouraged the public to seek out rural retreats. And in a further boost, the UK Government has given the green light for an extension to the open season for campsites and holiday parks through the coming winter.

Motorhome Insurance Cover

There are a range of choices you might want to opt for when selecting the level of motorhome insurance cover. Some third party only (TPO) minimum level policies will just cover you for liability for injury to others and damage to property whilst remaining within the tenets of UK highway law.

Other policies are much more comprehensive and take account of the possessions and equipment you may have on board your motorhome, some of which could total into thousands if lost, stolen or damaged. Third party fire & theft (TPFT) provides the original basic level of protection, plus cover for fire damage, the theft of your motorhome and damage caused by a theft. 

However, the best option for maximum protection for you, your motorhome, its contents and other road users is to opt for comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive policies vary according to the insurance company but should include:

  • At fault damage
  • Contents insurance
  • European cover (as standard)
  • Roadside assistance


Most standard breakdown policies don’t cover large caravans and motorhomes or the costs of getting a vehicle and caravan back home. European breakdown recoveries are for problems usually associated with tyres and wheels, rather than problems caused by crashes or engine malfunctions. A puncture in a motorhome’s tyre often needs breakdown assistance because many new motorhomes don’t have a spare wheel.

Motorhome Licensing and Driving

Anyone with a full UK driving licence can drive a motorhome up to 3500kg. To get a licence to drive a motorhome you need to be aware of the factors of the driver’s age and your motorhome’s authorised mass.

For age, the driver must have passed their test before 1st January 1997. If your driver passed their test after 1st January 1997, a special test would need to be taken to allow them to drive this weight of motorhome – the same applies to anyone wishing to drive a vehicle over 7500kg.

According to the UK Government, the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) means the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road. This is also known as gross vehicle weight (GVW) or permissible maximum weight. This will be listed in the owner’s manual and is normally shown on a plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle. The plate or sticker may also show a gross train weight (GTW), also sometimes called gross combination weight (GCW).

To drive a motorhome with a MAM of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you’ll need a category C1 licence. To drive a motorhome with a MAM of more than 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C licence.  An exception to this is classic or self-converted motorhomes (from a van or lorry) which would require specific specialist insurance cover so you would need to check with your broker.

For a discussion on how Tradex can help you find the best motorhome insurance gives a call now on 020 7480 6699.

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