Vehicle Excise Duty (VED or Road Tax) as it applies to motorhomes
NEW RULES FROM 1st AUGUST 2013
(Latest update 2/10/13)
Up until 1st August 2013 motor caravans had, when first registered, been placed in the PLG or PHGV category for the purposes of Vehicle Excise Duty irrespective of any CO2 figures recorded on the Certificate of Conformity (CoC).
From 1st August 2013 this has changed, now motor caravans will be licensed in a vehicle taxation class based on their CO2 emissions. However this will only be the case where a CO2 emissions figure is given for the final stage CoC for the finished vehicle.
DVLA and The National Caravan Council have produced a joint statement which explains this issue, it is available here .
This is a resume of DVLA responses to our previous questions
All vehicle licensing and registration is governed by the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA). Classification for taxation purposes depends on the construction of a vehicle and its use on the public road.
Vehicle excise duty (VED) rates for cars and light vans are based on European type approval standards and the date of first registration in the UK. European type approval is the testing that new types of vehicles must undergo to ensure they conform to European safety and environmental standards.
Motor caravans were exempt from type approval requirements (until April 2012) and would therefore normally have been been licensed in one of the following taxation classes. These classes will apply to all motor caravans first registered before 1st March 2001:
Private/Light Goods (TC11). if the vehicle has a revenue weight (GVW) of not more than 3,500kg. This would be the appropriate tax class regardless of its use.
Private/Heavy Goods Vehicle (TC10). if the vehicle has a revenue weight exceeding 3,500kg and the vehicle is not used for the conveyance of goods or burden, for hire or reward or in connection with a trade, business or profession.
These taxation classes also apply to motor caravans first registered on or after 1 March 2001, even if they have been Type Approved under the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval system [Note 1 ]. (Note that this is not the case for most other Type Approved vehicles, which will fall into the Graduated VED classes and the VED payable is dependent on the level of CO2 emmissions)
It is possible that a vehicle may have been registered before its conversion to a motor caravan. In that case it is likely (if registered on or after 1st March 2001 and the revenue weight is 3500kg or less) to have been type approved in the N1 class (light goods vehicle) or possibly in the M1 (Special Purpose) category. In such cases the taxation class will be Light goods vehicle (TC39) or Diesel Car (TC49)/Petrol Car (TC48) respectively
Once a vehicle has been first registered and licensed according to its type approval status as N1 or M1, its status for the purposes of paying VED (i.e. the tax class shown on the V5C) will not change, irrespective of any alteration that may be made to it following its first registration [Note 2 ].
It is possible for vehicles in other tax classes, following a change of body type to motorcaravan, to relicense
in a more suitable tax class.
Euro4 and Euro5
Goods vehicles registered, before conversion to a motor caravan, between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006 on the basis of a type approval certificate showing type approval as a Light Goods Vehicle which meets Euro 4 environmental standards would be licensed in the Euro 4 LGV taxation class (TC36). Similarly, goods vehicles registered between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010 which meet Euro5 environmental standards would be licenced in the Euro 5 LGV taxation class (TC36). Once a vehicle has been first registered and licensed in these taxation classes, their status for the purposes of paying VED (i.e. the tax class shown on the V5C) will not change, irrespective of any alteration that may be made to it following first registration.
The current rates of duty for all taxation classes are given in the DVLA leaflet V149, available for download as a pdf here: www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/
We are greatly indebted to the staff of the DVLA for their time and patience in answering all our questions.
Some Type Approved motor caravans had been placed into the Graduated VED category, meaning that, if they are in Band F or G, too much road tax is being paid. Any owners whose motorhomes were taxed in the Graduated VED category at Band F or G (i.e. paying road tax of £210 or £400 per year - from 13th March 2008)could consider applying to the DVLA for re-classification. See below for advice of how to do it.
Of course, any motorhome placed in the lower emissions bands A to E, or the Euro4/5 LGV or LGV taxation classes would be paying more road tax if reclassified as PLG.
In cases where incorrect details were provided at first registration, for example when a N1 goods vehicle was converted to a motor caravan before registration and the converter copied the details from the N1 Certificate of Conformity for the purposes of registration, the DVLA is able to change tax classes if sufficient evidence is provided to warrant the change. Each case will be judged on its merits.
This is an extract from what the Policy Unit told us prior to 1st August 2013:
"To clarify what we agreed on in the past, motorcaravans that have not been type approved will fall to be licensed in PLG or Private HGV depending on their weight.
The area that was causing the confusion was whether M1 Special Purpose motorcaravans could license in the Grad VED taxation class. From the information I've been provided, DVLA would not currently expect to see such motorcaravans in the Grad VED class. Certainly, if an application to register such a vehicle was presented at a DVLA Local Office, I would expect it to be rejected and the vehicle licensed in the appropriate tax class.
Although vehicles such as the Volkswagen California are being type-approved in the M1 Special Purpose category, at the moment, this should not be sufficient for the vehicle to enter the Grad VED tax class. Therefore, as you suggest, I can confirm that all vehicles with the body type 'motor caravan', whether type approved or not, should be placed within either the PLG or the PHGV taxation class."
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