Motorhome conversions threatened by new EC diktat

The latest proposals emanating from the European Commission (EC) and its obsession with rules and regulations could prove to be more than a headache for motorhome and campervan owners, to say nothing about motorhome insurance providers.

The Commission is drawing up plans for a roadworthiness test that will give uniformity across the whole region of its jurisdiction and it doesn’t sound like good news. It is understood that new EC rules will demand a vehicles components conform to those on the vehicle when it was first registered. According to the Department for Transport (DfT) the rules will apply to many components and most types of vehicle and may prevent owners from completing any modifications on their vehicles at all.

There is no doubt that a high percentage of vehicles typically covered with motorhome insurance have been modified in some way. Motorhome owners and campervan fans especially take pride in customising their proud possession and go to extra-ordinary lengths to give their vehicles individuality. Because of this most motorhome insurance providers are accustomed to quoting on vehicles that don’t conform to factory models and that could be a help but hints about what the new regulations will allow are covered in confusion.

On one hand the document released by the EC quotes: “Vehicles of historic interest are supposed to conserve heritage of the époque they have been built.” While another part of the document suggests individual member states could be given the power to set their own standards for “specialised vehicles”. It is certainly confusing especially when the DfT’s rules on exempting classic vehicles from the MoT test, which will apply to owners of early campervan models, is due to start soon.

The DfT is as concerned as insurers and owners over the new rules and it is urgently seeking clarification of exactly what the proposals mean and which vehicles they will apply to. In the meantime a spokesman said they would fight any measures that would imply extra costs to the motor industry or motorists in general.

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