HGV or not

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caz

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Heard from someone today that from June 08, an individual will be able to drive any weight of motorhome without an HGV licence. Has anybody else heard this?
 

Geo

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I thought that was always the case:RollEyes:
Geo
 

Tony Hunt

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That point was always argued by GT. Wheres he gone these days, did somebody upset him? or did he upset somebody ?

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Geo

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Im the nearest in name so I got the Job:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

artona

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Hi Caz

I have heard a few theories recently. At Shepton I was told by a haulage firm boss who was also driving a fantastic library bus conversion that other than the name Volvo on the back looked almost the same as RR's RV that he had read up The Coronas (or something) and he was of the opinion that you did not need an HGV license. The coronas are apparently the hauliers bible, although I have never heard of them.

I was told of the forthcoming change by a policeman but then again I read that Europe wants to stop us all driving anything over 3.5 tons.

Very confusing. Anyone heard of the coronas before

stew
 

Forestboy

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Yeah it's Croners
I subscribed to it for a year when I ran my own trucks but to be honest never read it in my opinion it was just too much information for a small business man to absorb. Mind you like RR said I'm a dumbo anyway :ROFLMAO:
 

ruffingitsmoothly

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Hi Tony

To be fair it is directed at the Road Haulage Industry, one of the most regulated industries in the country, as such I imagine it is worth much more than that to prevent the loss of your business/livelyhood through non compliance to the very complex and constantly changing laws imposed on the road transport industry!

Running /taxing/servicing a motorhome is not the easiest thing in the world but please imagine having all of that plus tachographs, taxation classes/ operating licences/operating centres/weights/maintenance contracts/inspections/ records/health and safety/waste disposal/waste carrying licences all of which have to be documented and recorded with all the various agencies breathing down your neck.

The police and enforcement agencies don't seem that bothered with the various grey areas of the caravan/motorhome scene such as required driving licences or the question of the legality of 'A' frame towing, the main enforcement I have witnessed at VOSA inspections in lay bys or in service areas seems to be concentrated with on weight i.e the overloading of such vehicles and condition of tyres.

Regards Pat

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moandick

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Neither Fish nor Fowl

Hi Tony - tread careful, mate - it was this very subject that got GT into trouble which, in my opinion, was a great shame as he was a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Very much opinionated BUt a stickler for the Rules which he took the time and trouble to read very, very deeply in an effort to understand the legal terminology.

Whatever anybody else might say - it would appear at the moment that an RV does not fit into any little square box on any little square form, necessary for the little square legal offices.

We are NOT an HGV because we cannot carry heavy goods, we do not need tachographs, driver working hours and we are not subject to the same speed limits (within reason) etc., etc., etc.

We are not a car (because of the weight) BUT we are MOT'ed as a car.

The EU and DVLA and various other agencies are all trying to reclassify vehicles by weight rather than by type BUT according to GT that has not yet happened so according strictly to the written law as it stands today - we are closer to a car classification than an HGV.

The RVDA, I am told, are working with the various Authorities on this subject but I am not privvy to their workings therefore at present, it is very much up to the individual to license themselves as they think they should.

Most of us think that driving an RV over 7.5 tons needs extra tuition and therefore go down the HGV route - whereas other people consider that driving an RV at 40ft is no different to driving a car at 14 ft and continue to do so on a car license.

Maybe, just maybe, someone has at last done something sensible and sorted out a very, very grey and much debated subject - and maybe, we will soon have proper guideline to abide by.
 
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Tony Hunt

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Thanks for all that information guys. I actually own 3 7.5 tonne Box lorries that we use in conjunction with our Nursery business so i know all about operators licences, tachos etc. Quite agree its a major minefield and the sooner I can get out of it the better. I really envy some of the guys on here like Scotjimland who are free to roam having retired early.
Going back to GT he was an argumentative sod but he took the trouble to delve into things like you say and was very knowledgeable. He was adament that an RV could be driven on a car licence whatever its size and after reading all his arguments on the subject I would have had no hesitation to take a chance If I needed to like a lot of others seem to do. I think its a similar grey area like A frames where its never been properly challenged in court to prove anything one way or the other. I quite agree that the average car driver needs to take some HGV lessons to drive any size RV to be safe on the road for their own families sake as well as others. An RV is a totally different animal to your normal size Motorhome and needs treating with a lot of caution re width, overhang, height etc. At the moment Im more than happy to just live in my 38 footer on site and not drive anywhere in it, its cheap luxury accomadation as far as Im concerned and while I can get 23 to the gallon out of my Bessacarr while touring the Newmar at 8 mpg can stay jacked up ::bigsmile:
 

Jim

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Hi Tony - tread careful, mate - it was this very subject that got GT into trouble
I will have to correct that Dick. George did not get into trouble here through any motorhome subject. Even when debating his old favourites such as Licences and A Frames and he was always well researched and presented. :Smile:

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moandick

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Sorry, Jim - I wasn't implying that GT got into trouble with the site - he got into trouble with various members because of his very forthright views on certain subjects.
I don't know what happened to GT BUT because I sided with him on those subjects I did get a couple of PM's from certain people who were very, very rude about him - that is what I was trying to say, without being too specific - or raising old scores again.
 

Jim

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Its not happened as far as anyone is aware. A Travelworld employee was stopped a couple of years ago and the police nicked him, however I believe TW prepared a robust defence and in the end the CPS decided not to prosecute.

I do know though that the TW employee now has a C licence:Smile:
 

moandick

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The story most often heard is that a TW man was charged for driving an RV in the fast lane of a motorway - he was pulled over and charged for driving an HGV in the outside lane of a motorway and exceeding the HGV speed limit.
Apparently the Judge decided that an RV cannot be classed as an HGV because there is nowhere to carry the 'Heavy Goods' - therefore the RV could not be an HGV - and consequently there was no case to answer.
That is generally thought to be the start of the 'grey' area as to what licence various people needed to drive RV etc., etc., etc.

Having said all of that - it probably comes down to the old statement from the War time where a message sent from the front-line saying "Send re-inforcements" eventually arrived as "Send three and fourpence"
 

Road Runner

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Thanks for clearing that up Dick:winky::thumb:

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pudseykeith

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hi Dick.
on the question of MOTs, the medium MH s like our RMB need a class 4 test. This is done at a ministry MOT station. I was told by 'the man from the ministry' that a normal car MOT was not valid. If one has a medium size rig it would be best to make sure what is required. :thumb:
pudseykeith
 
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moandick

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Motorhome MOT

Oh dear, another sort of grey area.........

If you drive a motorhome (motor caravan) then you are subject to a class 4 MOT irrespective of vehicle size. You may have to go to a VOSA station for the MOT simply because, in general, they are the only people with the equipment and buildings big enough to lift and test the motorhome.

HOWEVER if you drive a 'LIVING VAN' which is a motorhome (which weighs over 3½ tons) adapted to carry goods (as well as being fitted out as a motorhome) then you are subject to a class 7 MOT (HGV). A living van is described as a motorhome adapted to carry an item such as a racing car ONBOARD and WITHIN the confines of the vehicle. Such vehicles as the 'TOY-HAULER' - an RV which has a garage big enough to carry motorbikes or cars and are used for attending race meetings etc., etc., etc come under this category.

The problem arises with people who carry a motorbike or small car on or in the back of the RV for the convenience of travelling around when they reach their 'holiday' destination' DfT considers that these RV's might be living vans and therefore subject to the HGV MOT. In the eyes of DfT they see no reason why anyone should need a second vehicle to travel around in, apart from the RV!!!! That is the grey area.

Now DO NOT get muddled up with thinking that towing an A Framed car or trailer puts you into the same category as a living Van - we are ONLY talking of motorbikes or cars that actually fit INTO the RV as part of the internal 'cargo'.

If you want to go deeply into the nitty-gritty continue with the following report.........

MOTs for motorhomes

There is sometimes confusion, even within the MOT trade, over the type of MOT test that motorhomes are subject to. Motorhomes are registered with the body type 'motor caravan', in the past this description was applied quite loosely but recently the DVLA and VOSA have been more rigid in aplying the regulations. In fact anyone registering a change of vehicle type after carrying out a conversion, or registering an imported motorhome, is likely to be required to have the vehicle checked at a VOSA Testing Station before DVLA will issue a new registration document.

Motor caravans are subject to an annual Class 4 MOT test from 3 years old, however we heard that some larger motorhomes with garages were being classed as 'living vans' by MOT testing stations. This has potentialy serious implications, as you will see below.

We asked VOSA about the regulations that apply to motorhomes, as far as the MOT test is concerned. This was their reply:

"A 'motor caravan' is "a motor vehicle (not being a living van) which is
constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers and their effects and
which contains, as permanently installed equipment, the facilities which
are reasonably necessary for enabling the vehicle to provide mobile living
accommodation for its users". Motor caravans are not classed as goods
vehicles for MOT test purposes and are therefore in class IV or V depending
on their seating capacity but regardless of their size or weight.


A 'living van' is "a vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, which
is used for living accommodation by one or more persons and which is also
used for the carriage of goods or burden which are not needed by such one
or more persons for the purpose of their residence in the vehicle". 'Living
vans' are classed as goods vehicles and, depending on their weight, are
therefore in either class IV or VII within the MOT test scheme or are
subject to HGV plating and testing.


A 'living van' up to 3000kg dgw (Design Gross Weight) would require a class IV
test, and the first MOT would be due on the third anniversary of first
registration.

'Living vans' over 3000kg and up to 3500kg dgw require a class
VII test and would require an MOT when the vehicle is 1 year old.
(NB This statement was later corrected - see below)

If the 'living van' is over this weight then it would be a HGV MOT test that the
vehicle would require and this also would be due when the vehicle is 1 year
old. "

We then asked about their definition of 'living van' and the phrase:
"... used for the carriage of goods or burden which are not needed by such one or more persons for the purpose of their residence in the vehicle."

When we asked about carrying a small car or motor cycle in a motorhome we had this reply:

"A small car or motorcycle would be classed as goods as it is not needed by
such one or more persons for the purpose of their residence. When it
states "for the purpose of their residence" it refers more to things that
are necessary for the vehicle to be lived in, e.g, cooker, refridgerator,
beds, etc."


So it seemed that a motorhome adapted to carry a motorbike or scooter could be classed as a 'living van'. If so it would be regarded as a goods vehicle and, if over 3500kg GVW it would be subject to a HGV MOT test EVERY YEAR FROM NEW.

We regarded this as patently ridiculous and asked where the line is drawn between possessions that may be carried for this purpose, and those that VOSA deems to be 'goods'. One assumes that a motorhome owner may carry some personal possessions 'for the purpose of their residence', eg clothes and food!

The matter was then referred to the Department for Transport, who replied as follows:

"LIVING VANS

I refer to your follow-up e-mail message of 18th October to colleagues in the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) which has been forwarded to me at the Department for Transport as we have responsibility for the legislation governing roadworthiness testing.

First of all, I should mention that there was a slight error in the second message that you received from the enquiry team at VOSA. To clarify, vehicles which require a class VII MOT test (goods vehicles between 3000 and 3500kgs design gross weight (DGW)) are only required to undergo a first MOT three years after the vehicle was first registered and not from the first year following registration as stated in the e-mails from VOSA. I’m sorry if this has caused confusion.

To clarify further, I can confirm that all living vans are regarded as goods vehicles. This is because such vehicles are used primarily for living accommodation but are also able to carry goods which are not needed for the purpose of residence in the vehicle. Section 192 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 defines ‘goods’ as ‘goods or burden of any description’. As such, ‘goods’ is not a term restricted solely to items carried for gain or reward. It is our view, therefore, that bikes or cars carried in a designated area on a vehicle should be regarded as goods and that vehicles which have the capacity to carry such items within them have to be regarded as living vans and not motor caravans.

Smaller living vans (under 3,500kgs) can be MOT tested as Class IV or Class VII vehicles depending on their weight. The first MOT test would be required from the third year following registration and then every year thereafter. However, many living vans are outside the scope of MOT testing as they exceed 3,500kgs in weight. These heavier living vans should be tested at a VOSA goods vehicle testing station under the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988. Such vehicles must be tested annually from the first year following registration.

I hope this clarifies the position. "

We didn't think that clarifed the position at all and we asked a series of further questions, in particular concerning the properties of a 'designated area' which determine whether the motorhome is classed as a 'living van' or not.

We received a further reply from the DfT:

[Letter dated 17/11/06]
Following your further e mail of 1st November I have discussed these, matters further with colleagues in other parts of the DfT.

One point we thought should be clarified is that different legislation governs the requirements for the registration of vehicles with the DVLA from the roadworthiness testing of vehicles under schemes managed by VOSA. This is why the definitions used for vehicles vary according to whether we are talking about the registration or the testing of a vehicle. Whichever way DVLA classify motor caravans has no bearing on the matter of the testing of the vehicles since the term "motor caravan" is defined in the 1981 Motor Vehicle Tests Regulations [page ref 7998/210/3 ] which governs the roadworthiness testing of vehicles.

We take your point that a "living van" looks just like a motor caravan but the important difference is that it is used to carry goods and is therefore classified as a goods vehicle. The consequence is that if the living van is above 3500kg gross vehicle weight it falls under the goods vehicle plating & testing regime and will need to have an annual roadworthiness test, once the vehicle is a year old, carried out at a VOSA test site.

The view of my colleagues is that whether a motorhome has a locker of a particular size is not really relevant to this issue because all motorhomes have room that could be utilised to carry goods. The question is whether or not the vehicles are used for carrying goods rather than items that are needed for the purpose of their residence in the vehicle. It is up to the vehicle owner to declare whether the vehicle is used for carrying goods or not. VOSA would not be in a position to determine this at the time the vehicle is presented for test as they will not know the use to which the vehicle is being put. If the owner tells the test station that the vehicle is a motorhome and has it tested as such and then subsequently a Police check reveals that the vehicle is being used to carry goods then it would seem to us that an offence would have been committed.

However, the interpretation of what constitutes an offence is of course down to the Police and then ultimately the courts to determine. In our replies to you we have tried to indicate what we thought the intention was in introducing the legislation. In fact though we have no remit to say what effect the legislation, as drafted, actually has - or indeed whether or not an offence is actually committed under the different scenarios you have described. Our main function needs to be limited to pointing people to the relevant sections of the legislation.

We have not seen any evidence that there is a problem at present with people having motorhomes which they then use to carry goods and are subsequently prosecuted on that basis. So perhaps your interpretation of "goods" as being "items not in the possession of the vehicle occupant" is closer to the way that the enforcement authorities are currently choosing to interpret the carriage of mopeds and bikes owned by the drivers of motorhomes.

However if you are aware that there have been cases of the Police prosecuting any of your members for carrying items which the Police deem to be goods and therefore require the vehicle to be tested as a class VII vehicle or even a goods vehicle required to be tested under the plating and testing regime then certainly you could put a warning on your website to cover the issues that have been raised in your correspondence with us.

You did mention in one of your earlier e mail messages that some people would be carrying a small car from their large motorhomes. It really is quite difficult for us to see how the definition of items "needed for the purpose of their residence in the vehicle" could be stretched to include small cars. Nevertheless interpretation by the enforcement authorities is a matter of both fact and degree and we can offer no further advice on the specific point of what would or would not be treated as "goods".


To amend the definitions in legislation, as you have suggested, may seem straightforward to you but would in fact require changes to primary legislation and there are no plans to do this. Partly this is due to the other priorities that exist with a busy Parliamentary schedule, but in any case there appears at this stage to be no evidence that the Police have found a problem with people having vehicles tested as motorhomes which are really being used to carry goods. It would therefore be difficult to justify the need for these changes which would inevitably be time consuming and costly.

To conclude we would suggest that the best advice to give your members is that if they are carrying goods on a vehicle that is over 3.5 tonnes it is very likely to need a goods vehicle test carried out annually at a VOSA test station once the vehicle is a year old. Beyond that if you need advice on the effect of carrying a small car or any other specific items we suggest that you seek independent legal advice.

Well, in our view the statements contained in that letter indicate a shift in the aplication of the term 'Living Van' to motorhomes. It now seems that it is up to the motorhome owner to declare to the Testing Station whether their vehicle is used to carry goods. If a declaration is made that goods are not carried, then the vehicle will be accepted as a motorhome and be subject to a Class IV test every year from 3 years old.

I would like to express our thanks to Rob Haggar, from the Department for Transport, for his time and patience in responding to our questions.

(Last updated 17/11/06)
 
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Road Runner

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Makes you wonder how many RVers are actually driving large coaches on their car licences. More than a few I bet.
Why would they want to?
To save the cost of taking a test john ?

Why would RV'ers be driving coaches? I dont know any RV'er that drive coaches.

I just dont see why they drive a coach so they could drive their RV as well all on their car licence:RollEyes:

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Harley Dave

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Isn't the term "Coach" just a simple way of referring to a style of American RV?

I take it to mean a RV that looks bit like a European A Class but probably with a rear engine (pusher?)

Edit to remove typo
 

Tony Hunt

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::bigsmile::roflmto: An RV is a coach is an RV simple innit. Thanks Dave.
If a Motorcaravan (of any size) is not a living van because it cant carry a car or motorbike its deemed to be non HGV for MOT purposes by Vosa so how can they turn round and say they are HGV once they go over 7.5tonne and cant be driven on a car licence. This was the Argument that GT was always adament on. A Motorcaravan is a Motorcaravan whatever its size so long as its not a Living van that is able to carry goods. :Confused::winky:
 

moandick

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Oxford Dictionary definition of:

a coach (kōc̸h)

noun

1: a large, covered, four-wheeled carriage used in the 16th-19th cent. as a public conveyance, with seats for passengers inside and an open, raised seat in front for the driver; stagecoach

2: * a railroad passenger car furnishing the lowest-priced seating accommodations

3: the lowest-priced class of accommodations on some airlines

4: a bus (sense )

5: an enclosed automobile, usually a two-door sedan

Nope, can't see my Monaco in there - so I must be living in (and driving) an RV then :thumb:

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This arguement can be divided into several camps,
Firstly those who drive a vehicle over 7.5 tonne who haven't got an hgv licence who will argue till the cows come home that they dont need an hgv licence because their vehicle doesn't carry goods (yeah very pedantic).

Secondly , those who have for whatever reason, already got an hgv licence, and dont need to worry about licencing issues.

However, the bottom line stands that, there is a difference between taxation class, licencing class and mot classification.

Just because your vehicle is taxed as plg, does not mean it is a car, If you take time to look at licencing catagories, you will see that they refer to each class by weight, ie under 7500kgs or over 7500kgs. Or more recently 3500kgs.

To drive a VEHICLE (regardless of its taxation or MOT class) over 7500kgs ,you need the relevant licence. Argueing that "it is a motorhome on the V5" so I can drive a 10 ton RV on a normal car licence, is not only foolish, but extremely arrogant.

I also cant believe that people keep saying that nobody has been prosecuted for it, so it must be ok, Nice arguement until you have an accident and your insurance refuses to pay out because you "do not hold the relevant licence to drive the class of vehicle"

I know of 2 people, who, like Chris Eubank had this thing about trying to act like a yank, and drive a tractor unit,and because they managed to have it taxed as a private vehicle for £185 instead of the £1000 s it costs for a 44 tonner, they believed they could drive it on a car licence, WRONG !! The units were 9 tonne each, and their licence only permitted them to drive a VEHICLE under 7500kgs. They were both convicted of driving without the appropriate licence, fined and had points on their licence.

You might not like or agree with what i've said, thats your perogative, I for one have a class 1 hgv, or whatever they call it nowadays, I've driven heavy haulage units of 150 tonne, and 100 ft long, so am licenced to drive anything.
If you have been driving an RV over 7500kgs for a while,do yourself a favour and take a class c test, it will be a doddle if you are even half a driver, and will cost you a couple of hundred pound, If not, try your luck and get convicted, that will probably cost about the same in fines and additional insurance premiums, the difference is, you only need to take the test once, the fines can come indefinately.
 

martyn

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This arguement can be divided into several camps,
Firstly those who drive a vehicle over 7.5 tonne who haven't got an hgv licence who will argue till the cows come home that they dont need an hgv licence because their vehicle doesn't carry goods (yeah very pedantic).

Secondly , those who have for whatever reason, already got an hgv licence, and dont need to worry about licencing issues.

However, the bottom line stands that, there is a difference between taxation class, licencing class and mot classification.

Just because your vehicle is taxed as plg, does not mean it is a car, If you take time to look at licencing catagories, you will see that they refer to each class by weight, ie under 7500kgs or over 7500kgs. Or more recently 3500kgs.

To drive a VEHICLE (regardless of its taxation or MOT class) over 7500kgs ,you need the relevant licence. Argueing that "it is a motorhome on the V5" so I can drive a 10 ton RV on a normal car licence, is not only foolish, but extremely arrogant.

I also cant believe that people keep saying that nobody has been prosecuted for it, so it must be ok, Nice arguement until you have an accident and your insurance refuses to pay out because you "do not hold the relevant licence to drive the class of vehicle"

I know of 2 people, who, like Chris Eubank had this thing about trying to act like a yank, and drive a tractor unit,and because they managed to have it taxed as a private vehicle for £185 instead of the £1000 s it costs for a 44 tonner, they believed they could drive it on a car licence, WRONG !! The units were 9 tonne each, and their licence only permitted them to drive a VEHICLE under 7500kgs. They were both convicted of driving without the appropriate licence, fined and had points on their licence.

You might not like or agree with what i've said, thats your perogative, I for one have a class 1 hgv, or whatever they call it nowadays, I've driven heavy haulage units of 150 tonne, and 100 ft long, so am licenced to drive anything.
If you have been driving an RV over 7500kgs for a while,do yourself a favour and take a class c test, it will be a doddle if you are even half a driver, and will cost you a couple of hundred pound, If not, try your luck and get convicted, that will probably cost about the same in fines and additional insurance premiums, the difference is, you only need to take the test once, the fines can come indefinately.
Just what are you trying to say Mr Team Player? I think that most people with a motorhome/R.V. over 7.5 tonnes know whether or not they are capable of driving it.They have probably paid £10,000s for it so are not going to put it, themselves or others at jepardy by using it.Until the law states who can drive what,at what weight i guess we'll have to leave it as it stands,just my opinion of course.::bigsmile: By the way i do have an HGV 1(LGV AS IT'S CALLED NOW) Licence and have driven on most of the worlds continents since 1970.

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