Licence restrictions

antokid1771

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Hi all, my 1st post so go easy on me.
I am considering a LWB or XLWB build with ability to tow either a small box trailer or small speed boat. I have been reading up on the licence restrictions but just want to clarify.

My licence is 98 so dont qualify for granda exemption or whatever it is so am i right in saying i can drive/tow up to a combined weight of 3.5 tonne?

Im looking at 3.5 tonne lwb sprinters, is that 3.5 tonne empty or loaded, not sure how it works
 

antokid1771

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Any idea what a converted van roughly comes in at? Im sure it varies but there must be a rough idea
 

david.c.hall

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Location
Irnham, South Lincolnshire
Generally between 2800Kg and 3200Kg for an L3 or L4
But depends on how you build your conversion and what facilities you want, and how much payload you need (those carrying bikes, canoes, or mobility scooters tend to need most)
The actual total weight of the van for licencing it is the plated that counts.
David
 

grandaddylow

Member
Joined
May 21, 2020
I got my 7t van cheap down the guy couldn't shift it. The previous 3 guys that came to buy it left with a different van cos they didn't have the license.

If you find an equally good deal, it might be cheaper to do a c1 or c lisence and get a heavier vehicle.
 

BigStevie

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Location
Highlands
Hi, I’ve got a Sprinter xlwb 3500kg van. The base vehicle is a bit over 2300kg which doesn’t leave much weight for the loaded conversion. The van started to sit down at the back, so have to fit heavy duty springs to make it ride level and balanced.
Okay, it’s built from mostly what was in my shed. Had I bought lots of expensive lightweight materials it would have helped, though I suspect I still would have had to fit the new springs.
Originally I’d located both leisure batteries and 70litre water tank between the rear wheels, then moved the batteries forward to behind the front seats. I haven’t weighed the van yet, I think it might sneak in at under 3500kg unloaded......

Stevie
 

antokid1771

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Hi, I’ve got a Sprinter xlwb 3500kg van. The base vehicle is a bit over 2300kg which doesn’t leave much weight for the loaded conversion. The van started to sit down at the back, so have to fit heavy duty springs to make it ride level and balanced.
Okay, it’s built from mostly what was in my shed. Had I bought lots of expensive lightweight materials it would have helped, though I suspect I still would have had to fit the new springs.
Originally I’d located both leisure batteries and 70litre water tank between the rear wheels, then moved the batteries forward to behind the front seats. I haven’t weighed the van yet, I think it might sneak in at under 3500kg unloaded......

Stevie
Thanks for that, any pics of your build, saw a youtube vid of a fella who had a sprinter and thats the 1st thing he did was stiffen and upgrade the suspension. Added chunkier tyres as well said it was a must on a large sprinter
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Hi all, my 1st post so go easy on me.
I am considering a LWB or XLWB build with ability to tow either a small box trailer or small speed boat. I have been reading up on the licence restrictions but just want to clarify.

My licence is 98 so dont qualify for granda exemption or whatever it is so am i right in saying i can drive/tow up to a combined weight of 3.5 tonne?

Im looking at 3.5 tonne lwb sprinters, is that 3.5 tonne empty or loaded, not sure how it works
Very simple really most self conversions of 3.5 tonne are either overweight (after) conversions or very close to it. I have been looking and asking the right questions as I have a bit of an understanding and experience many years ago in a 316 sprinter (was well overweight) got prosecuted and almost went to prison.
The vehicle weight is known as the mtplm (maximum technical permitted laden mass) put simply its the weight of the vehicle AFTER you have converted it. this so if a 3.50 tonne sprinter had lets say 1.2 tonne 'payload' and your conversion weighs 900kg - your payload is reduced to 300kg - 3530 = 10% over, 3560 = 20% overweight and 3.6 tonne would be prosecution, disqualification and possible prison time. another aspect is axel weight, you can be in weight (under 3.5 tonne) but still be over weight on either axel. check out svtech - Richard drinkwaters youtube vid. the other important thing to do is re-register you van as a camper aftter conversion complete
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Thanks for that, any pics of your build, saw a youtube vid of a fella who had a sprinter and thats the 1st thing he did was stiffen and upgrade the suspension. Added chunkier tyres as well said it was a must on a large sprinter
if its overweight and you get stopped - you are in for a whole lot of pain, 80% are overweight that's why vosa are on the lookout. beware. new springs don't mean you can carry more. it just means that it doesn't look like your overloaded. wont score any points with DVSA or vosa if they see it.
 

david.c.hall

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Location
Irnham, South Lincolnshire
That's why many go for Sevel vans as they are around 200Kg lighter than a Sprinter
3500Kg is the max weight LOADED.
You can then tow a 750Kg trailer or if you want a heavier trailer then it is 3500Kg combined weight on your licence.
David
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
That's why many go for Sevel vans as they are around 200Kg lighter than a Sprinter
3500Kg is the max weight LOADED.
You can then tow a 750Kg trailer or if you want a heavier trailer then it is 3500Kg combined weight on your licence.
David
yep your right Peugeot and citreon vans have a higher payload to begin with than a sprinter, but don't know many people that drive them. as opposed to Iveco, merc etc. but the payload rule applies to all vans regardless and very few people really understand, I saw a chat that a guy thought he had to overload by 350kg on 3.5 tonne sprinter to be only 10% over. in truth he would be locked up (potentially).
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
I got my 7t van cheap down the guy couldn't shift it. The previous 3 guys that came to buy it left with a different van cos they didn't have the license.

If you find an equally good deal, it might be cheaper to do a c1 or c lisence and get a heavier vehicle.
all day long, too risky otherwise. bigger the better.
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
I shall have to look out for one, never seen a self converted one, as we are talking about self conversions as opposed to SWIFT, BAILEY etc.
 

grandaddylow

Member
Joined
May 21, 2020
And the test is not as hard as you'd think. A few hoops to jump through to get a provisional. Also, doing C is not much harder than C1, sometimes easier. Most centres have auto class C lorries, but manual class C1.
 

antokid1771

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
found that payload video on youtube very useful. See what you mean re Sevel vans. Roughly 1500kg compared to 1200 for sprinter/crafter. Ill be carrying 3 passengers at some stage so def bigger payload. What i dont understand is these sprinter race conversii
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
found that payload video on youtube very useful. See what you mean re Sevel vans. Roughly 1500kg compared to 1200 for sprinter/crafter. Ill be carrying 3 passengers at some stage so def bigger payload. What i dont understand is these sprinter race conversii
I would stay away from Sevel vans despite the payload advantages. Re: sportshomes like SC etc - they will be using the bigger 416 base 4.5 tonne chassic like most pro motorhomes ( and a £90 - £100K price tag) but the c1 license rules will apply - we are talking about 'normal' panel vans/self convertors with a 3.5 tonne base. there are a lot out that simply are driving around in jeopardy of losing their licences, non insured and going to cost a lot of heartache the first time they get pulled over. I've been there. another point as in Richards presentation - if involved in accident and 'God forbid' someone dies, then manslaughter charges will probably be enforced.
 

david.c.hall

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Location
Irnham, South Lincolnshire
I would stay away from Sevel vans despite the payload advantages. Re: sportshomes like SC etc - they will be using the bigger 416 base 4.5 tonne chassic like most pro motorhomes ( and a £90 - £100K price tag) but the c1 license rules will apply - we are talking about 'normal' panel vans/self convertors with a 3.5 tonne base. there are a lot out that simply are driving around in jeopardy of losing their licences, non insured and going to cost a lot of heartache the first time they get pulled over. I've been there. another point as in Richards presentation - if involved in accident and 'God forbid' someone dies, then manslaughter charges will probably be enforced.
I can assure that most of the club members that are using Sevel vans are not running illegally or overloaded.
Some of us take a more responsible view.
Over 3500Kg has big implications on entering many Continental towns as well as speed limits and tolls.
David
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
hi David I am referring directly to self converted vans, no pro builds. pro builds are usually on the larger chassis, therefore NOT overweight in some cases, but dvsa figures state that 80% of 'motorhomes' are overweight. With regard to self convertors, most are based on 3.5 tonne panel vans and there is a huge amount of misconceptions about permissible weights. its the weight that is left over after the conversion is taken into account. I think you are confusing the two. Regard sevel vans - yes many 'pro build' motorhomes use the Sevel base because of the payload factors, but for self convertors or drivers of commercial vehicles like myself it's no the good to choice, because of the reliability factors. there are big implications on speed limits on LCVs that have been converted but still registered as 'van with windows' or commercial (LCV) in the UK also.
 
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