Touring Caravan Laws & Regulations UK
Unsure which UK laws apply to you as a touring caravan owner? In this article, we give you the lowdown on you what need to know, so you can be sure you’re on the right side of the law both on and off the road.
Touring caravan rules and regulations
Caravan laws and regulations in the UK can be a bit of a minefield for new touring caravan owners. It’s worth familiarising yourself with the rules about towing, registration and servicing as they may affect your eligibility, the cost and your ability to make a claim for both car and caravan insurance.
In this article, we answer some of the questions our touring caravan insurance customers ask us most often about caravan and towing laws in the UK.
Do touring caravans need an MOT?
No, it’s not a legal requirement for your caravan to have an MOT. However, much like with a car, it is generally recommended that you get your caravan serviced annually to ensure it is roadworthy and in good condition.
Is a caravan service a legal requirement?
No, a caravan service is not a legal requirement but there are plenty of reasons to consider doing it:
- Safety, for you and others – it is your responsibility as the owner to make sure your caravan is roadworthy and doesn’t pose a risk to other road users.
- Valid insurance - many insurance providers will require you to keep your caravan in reasonable shape or risk invalidating your policy.
- Retaining value – keeping your caravan in good condition is an effective way to ensure that it holds value long term should you ever want to sell.
- Issues caught early – annual services mean that you are more likely to identify any problems before they can develop into more costly repairs.
Do I need to pay road tax on my touring caravan?
No. If your caravan weighs less than 3,500kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) then you don’t need to pay road tax.
Do touring caravans need to be registered with the DVLA?
No, it’s not a legal requirement to register your caravan with the DVLA. However, since 1992, all new UK caravans are registered with CRiS (the Central Registration and Identification Scheme).
Do you have to register your caravan with CRiS?
No, you do not have to register your touring caravan with CRiS, however it is worth doing. Many caravan insurers will require you to do so and if your touring caravan is stolen and recovered, it will help the police identify you as the owner.
The CRiS number is unique to your caravan and proves that you are the registered owner.
If you’re buying a second-hand touring caravan, CRiS registration details will give you the full history, such as previous owners, whether the caravan has ever been reported stolen, or if it has been written off.
Do I need a special licence to tow a caravan?
No, you don’t need a special licence to tow a caravan. Caravan towing laws in the UK allow you to tow a caravan on a standard driving licence. Following a change in the law in 2021, anyone who passed their driving test after the 1st of January 1997 can legally tow a trailer weighing up to 3500kg MAM.
However, if you passed your test before 1st of January 1997, your driving licence allows you to drive a car and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8500kg MAM.
This change in the law also scrapped car and trailer driving tests, although completing a towing course is still recommended and may help reduce your caravan insurance premiums.
Can I park my caravan on the road in the UK?
Yes, you can. There is no law against parking your touring caravan on the street.
However, you should make sure it is not obstructing your neighbours’ access or passing traffic. It’s also worth making sure your caravan is well lit at night and that its rear lights face in the direction of oncoming drivers.
Parking your caravan on the road may affect your caravan insurance premiums. Your policy may be more expensive, or your insurance application may be refused if your caravan is not in secure storage or does not have the relevant security requirements.
Does my car insurance cover my touring caravan?
Most car insurance policies provide basic third-party liability cover for towing your caravan, so you’re covered if you damage someone’s property or cause them injury. However, your car insurance would not cover your caravan when it is parked or if it was damaged or stolen. This is why it makes sense to consider taking out specialist touring caravan insurance.
It is a good idea to inform your car insurance provider that you will be towing a caravan because they may wish to adjust your premiums. If your provider is not told and your policy not updated, they may refuse to pay out should you try to claim.
You may also need to review your breakdown cover. Some policies only cover your car, potentially leaving your caravan stranded by the side of the road if you were to break down whilst towing it.
Is touring caravan insurance required by law?
No, caravan insurance is not required by law, but it is highly recommended if you want to protect your caravan and your pocket against many things not covered under your home or car insurance policies.
Depending on the policy you choose, touring caravan insurance can cover you against:
- Accidental damage
- Weather damage (including fire, flood, and storm cover)
- Contents cover (beyond what your home insurance may cover)
- Breakdown cover
At InsureMy, we provide caravan insurance that you can trust from a range of specialist providers. Get a free quote today to find a policy that works for you, not your insurer.