Can I Drive a Motorhome?

02 July, 2019 in Tips for Travellers, Driving Rules & Travel and Camping Hacks

The freedom of motorhome travel is so tempting, endless roads, the wind in your hair and everything you need right there next to you! However it can also be a bit daunting. A VW campervan seems like no big deal, but a Swift motorhome? An American RV? Those are big vans to drive! Don’t panic, if you’re a decent driver then I am sure you can drive a campervan or motorhome. Keep reading, and soon you’ll be behind the wheel, cruising in complete comfort.

Goboony Campervan Motorhome Scotland H2 DrivingDriving License Requirements

The requirements for driving a motorhome depend on your age and the vehicle’s maximum authorised mass - also known as the MAM. This consists of the vehicle’s weight plus the maximum load it can carry. 

  • To drive a motorhome of up to 3.5 tonnes, you only need a category B or B1 license.
  • To drive a motorhome with a MAM of 3.5-7.5 tonnes, you need a category C1 license.
  • To drive a motorhome with a MAM if over 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C license.

Rental Insurance Requirements

Hiring a motorhome, such as through a sharing platform like Goboony, may have certain requirements. These requirements usually don’t focus on the platform, but what the insurance requires. For example, all insurance policies will require a minimum age of at least 18, and most of 22-25 years, with a maximum age of about 70 years old. They may also require an European driving license, as well as certain documents - e.g. proof of address through a utility bill, a DVLA check. 

Can I Drive on all Roads?

Motorhomes are permitted on most UK roads, so you’ll truly get to experience the freedom of motorhome travel. However, there will be certain roads where the height of a bridge or width of a road can restrict vehicle crossings for some vehicle types. To avoid any trapped situations, just observe signs before you approach such areas, and be prepared with alternative routes. You can still overtake vehicles in a motorhome, by using the outside lane such as other vehicles.

Goboony Woman Driving Campervan H2 MotorhomeWhat about Low Emission Zones?

Given the rising issue of air quality, measures have been instigated to discourage more polluting vehicles from entering areas where the air quality is poor. This is part of the government's new air quality plan in urban areas. If your vehicle does not reach a minimum standard for emissions, it will be charged in this area. Hence encouraging the use of cleaner vehicles or having the riskier ones outside urban areas. 
*Low Emission Zones do not forbid higher-emission vehicles from entering, but charge a daily fee, and failure to pay would result in heavy financial penalties*

Current Low Emission Zones in the UK

  • London
  • Brighton
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Oxford

However, at this moment London is the only one charging private individuals, the costs for London are as follows:

Vehicle

Weight

Daily Charge

Larger vans, specialist vehicles, pick-ups

1,205 tonnes or more

£100

Motorhomes, ambulances

2.5 - 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight

£100

Mini-buses (with eight of more passenger seats)

5 tonnes, or less, gross vehicle weight

£100

Lorries, motorhomes, fire engines, etc.

More than 3.5 tonnes of gross vehicle weight

£200

Buses, coaches (with more than eight passenger seats)

More than 5 tonnes of gross vehicle weight

£200

So, Can I Drive a Motorhome?Travelling abroad? Then be careful for LEZs in Europe! Currently fifteen European countries operate with LEZs, with more than 200 cities and towns having similar schemes in place. So be sure to check your travel destination before heading out. 

Yes! With the right license, age and documentation you can technically drive a campervan or motorhome. But, it isn’t as easy as it looks. You’ll be alright, as long as you consider the following:

  1. We strongly believe that everyone should try motorhome travel, at least once in their life. If you don’t try it, you’ll never know. It is one of the most freeing and easy ways to travel. But if you’re having doubts, why not read up on whether motorhome travel is for you.
  2. Practice if you can. Whether it is in a friends motorhome or the one you will rent, drive around a parking lot or so first to get a feel for it. Practice really does make perfect!
  3. One of the biggest struggles will be parking! Especially in bigger vans it can be so difficult to visualize and your blind spots grow greatly. But, there is plenty of information on motorhome parking to give you a hand.

Goboony Motorhome Station Woman H2 DrivingHopefully you now feel slightly more ready and assured to drive in a motorhome, if you do your research and keep calm, it is more than possible! Now time for the more exciting things. Have you found a motorhome to hire? Chosen your destination? And most importantly… prepared your road trip playlist!

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