Everything You Need to Know About Motorhome MOTs

If you’re a new motorhome owner, or looking to purchase one in the near future, you might be unfamiliar with motorhome MOTs and how they work.

As with any vehicle, regular MOTs are important to keep you, your passengers, and other road users safe. Although you’ve likely had a car MOT before, it’s important to note that motorhome MOTs can be slightly different depending on how much the vehicle weighs.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about motorhome MOTs, including:

  • How often motorhome MOTs are needed
  • What MOT class your motorhome falls under
  • What to expect from your first MOT

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Do motorhomes need MOTs?

Yes – motorhome MOTs are a legal requirement. They determine whether your vehicle is legally safe to be on the roads and follow a strict checklist of criteria set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

If the police catch you driving your motorhome without a valid MOT, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000. What’s more, having a valid MOT certificate is a requirement of most insurance policies, which means you wouldn’t be able to make a claim if you got into an accident without one.

What MOT class is my motorhome?

When booking your motorhome in for an MOT, you need to know what class your vehicle falls under. You can find this out by checking how your motorhome is classified in your vehicle logbook, or by consulting with an MOT specialist if you’re unsure.

Most motorhomes need a Class 4 MOT. This is the standard test for most vehicles with up to eight passenger seats and weighing up to 3,000kg.

However, your motorhome may not be eligible for a Class 4 MOT if either of the following circumstances apply:

  • Your motorhome is a converted vehicle and isn’t clearly a motorhome
  • Your motorhome carries items that aren’t necessary for living in a motorhome, which could class it as a ‘goods’ vehicle

Should either of the above apply to your motorhome, the vehicle’s weight will determine the type of MOT test that is needed:

  • If your motorhome weighs less than 3,500kg, you will need a Class 7 MOT. This category is for goods-carrying vehicles up to this weight limit.
  • If your motorhome weighs more than 3,500kg, you will need a HGV MOT.

How often does my motorhome need an MOT test?

Most motorhomes need to pass the MOT annually, starting 12 months after the vehicle is first registered.

The only exception is if your motorhome needs a Class 7 MOT based on the criteria above. In this case, your motorhome will need its first MOT three years after registration.

What does a motorhome MOT include?

During your MOT test, the mechanic will check your motorhome for problems in the following areas:

  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Wheels
  • Mirrors
  • Doors
  • Exhaust and emissions
  • Fuel systems
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Bodywork
  • Seats
  • Seatbelts
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Windscreen and wipers
  • Registration plate

After the test is complete, you will receive a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ along with a corresponding certificate. Although the MOT doesn’t include repairs or replacements, it will highlight any areas that need these. It may be that your vehicle has passed but some elements should be replaced just as a precautionary measure, or your vehicle may have failed the MOT and needs repairs or replacements in order to pass.

Bear in mind that MOT tests only check the road safety aspects of your motorhome. You should also submit your vehicle for regular motorhome habitation checks to ensure that it’s safe to live in, even if you will only be occupying it for short periods of time.

While habitation checks are not a legal requirement like the MOT, they’re equally important for keeping you and your loved ones safe while travelling.

What if my motorhome fails an MOT?

You may still be able to drive a motorhome that has failed an MOT test, but only if your current certificate is still valid and no serious problems were found.

However, if your motorhome fails an MOT with ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ problems, you might be banned from driving it until these have been fixed. You will be issued a ‘refusal of an MOT test’ certificate, which is recorded in the MOT database.

If you drive a vehicle that has been deemed ‘dangerous’, you can be fined up to £2,500 and may receive a driving ban and 3 penalty points on your licence.

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At Auto Finance Online, we make motorhome finance easy. We’ll help match you with your dream vehicle and secure the lowest possible interest rate on your behalf – even if you’ve been refused credit in the past.

Start your motorhome finance application today or get in touch to find out more about how the process works.

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