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Car Derived Van Legislation

In the United Kingdom, laws enacted by the government result in very few vans being classed as car derived (e.g. based on the regular car model).

This guide explains the criteria and meaning of a car-derived van, how it affects the speed limits, and regulation of dual purpose vehicles.

Legal Definition of Car-Derived Vans in UK

According to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (Schedule 6), a car derived van (CDV) is:

"A goods vehicle constructed or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle with a maximum laden weight (MPLW) not exceeding two (2) tonnes.'

So, typical examples of car-based vans in the United Kingdom include:

In fact, not all vans are actually classed as commercial vehicles (it would depend on its primary use). Nonetheless, the criteria used to identify a car derived van is a vehicle that is:

It's true to say that these modified variants look the same size as the corresponding car version when looking at it from the outside.

But, the van versions look and function differently on the inside. There will be a payload compartment with a floor panel in the rear of the vehicle, but there will be no:

How to Confirm a Car Derived Vehicle?

There is only one way to identify a vehicle as a car derived van (CDV). If it is, your vehicle registration document (V5C) will record as being so in the "body type" section.

Pro Tip: Any other entry under the "body type" segment means the DVLA have not registered the vehicle as a car derived van. As a result, it would be subject to speeds lower than the maximum UK speed limits.

Speed Limits for Car Derived Vans

The only light commercial (goods) vehicles (LCV) subject to the same speed limits as regular passenger cars are car-derived vans.

In other words:

All other light commercial (goods) vehicles, including small vans (e.g. the Ford Transit Connect), must comply with the maximum speed limits that are applicable to goods vehicles not exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight (MAM):

Incorrectly Registered Vehicles

What if you think your vehicle may have been registered incorrectly? The Department for Transport recognises it as being a possibility. So, if you own a CDV and it's not registered as such:

Thus, to re-register it as a CDV, you will need to get written confirmation from the manufacturer that the vehicle qualifies as such.

Furthermore, you need to comply with the lower speed limits for goods vehicles if yours is incorrectly registered (registered as a CDV) but it (either):

Note: The GOV.UK website contains more information if you need to change vehicle details on a V5C registration certificate (log book).

What is a Dual Purpose Vehicle?

A vehicle constructed (or adapted) for the carriage of passengers and goods, and designed to weigh no more than 2,040 kg when unladen (empty), is classified as a dual purpose vehicle, it it is (either):

Pro Tip: You can read the full definition in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (Part 1 Regulation 3).

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