Do I need to tax, MOT and service my touring caravan?


Ensuring your touring caravan is legal and roadworthy is essential for safety and compliance. We’ve drafted up this guide so you can enjoy peace of mind whilst out on your adventures.

As touring caravans are considered as a non-motorised vehicle or trailer, they don’t require any road tax in the UK. Some jurisdictions may require you to pay registration fees, licence plate fees, or other specific taxes for owning and using a caravan. However, the regulations can vary significantly, so it's important to consult with your local tax authority to obtain accurate information based on your specific location.

Woman relaxing in a caravan

Touring caravans themselves do not require an MOT. However, it is important to ensure that they are roadworthy and meet legal requirements for safety.

The caravan must have:

  • Properly functioning lights, including indicators, brake lights, and rear lights.
  • Correctly fitted and maintained brakes
  • Suitable towing mirrors fitted to the towing vehicle
  • The tyres must be in good condition, with sufficient tread depth and no signs of damage.
  • Compliance with weight limits for both the caravan and the towing vehicle

However, the vehicle used to tow the caravan must have a valid MOT (if it is over three years old in the UK), be road taxed, and have adequate insurance.

Jo Mitchell

"As well as regular servicing, inspecting your caravan before a long trip is important to ensure safety, comfort, and a smooth journey. Take a short test drive to ensure the caravan handles well and there are no unexpected issues."

Jo Mitchell, Marketing Director at Swift

Servicing and maintenance

Regular servicing and maintenance are crucial to keeping your investment in good condition. Even if you conduct regular checks yourself, it’s advised to have at least one professional service annually, to ensure all components are thoroughly inspected by an expert.

Professional technicians have the training and experience to identify and fix issues that may not be apparent to the average owner.

As part of your regular checks, you should:

  • Follow any specific servicing schedules and guidelines provided by the caravan manufacturer to ensure its safety, reliability, and longevity. Regular maintenance helps prevent issues from becoming serious problems, ensuring a more enjoyable and trouble-free caravanning experience.
  • Check your caravan tyres as they need regular replacement, even if they look like they're in good condition. The Caravan Club recommend changing them every five years and should never be used when more than seven years old.

    It is illegal to have a tread depth of less than 1.6mm around the entire circumference of the tyre for trailers and vehicles under 3,500kg gross weight. Vehicles over 3,500kg gross weight must have 1mm of tread depth over the same area.

  • Perform a thorough check if the caravan has not been used for an extended period, checking specific components like batteries, gas & electrical systems, brakes and tyres.

You can find your nearest Swift service centre by entering your location or postcode.


In summary, whilst a touring caravan does not require road tax or an MOT in the UK, it is still important to carry out regular maintenance checks and professional servicing at least once a year to ensure your vehicle’s safety, reliability, and longevity.

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