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Highways law and speed limits


It is an offence to leave your caravan on the road where it may cause an obstruction.

You are not permitted to stop overnight in lay-bys as they are still part of the highway.

You cannot stop with your caravan at a parking meter.

If you leave your caravan unattended on the road at any time it must be illuminated during hours of darkness. The exception to this rule is if it is parked in any area where the speed limit is 30mph or less and the nearside of the caravan is positioned to the nearside of the road.

It is an offence to carry passengers in the caravan whilst you are towing unless they are authorised test personnel. This law does not relate to the carriage of animals, however we would not recommend this unless the caravan has been specifically designed or modified for the purpose.

You cannot use the offside lane of any motorway which has three or more lanes unless motorway signage tells you otherwise or roadwork's are blocking the inside lanes of the motorway.

Caravans are limited to 60mph on motorways or dual carriageways, and 50mph on all other road unless a lower speed limit is enforced.


Your caravan must be covered by at least third party insurance whilst on the public highway. Whilst the caravan is coupled tot he towing vehicle the vehicles motor insurance policy will normally provide third party cover for the caravan. However some policies are invalidated by towing or will not supply such cover, you are advised to check your individual motor insurance policy. Any further cover for whilst the caravan is parked off the public highway is not legally required but is advisable to cover damage to the van or a third party whilst on a caravan site, read our page on caravan insurance for more information.

You must also inform your insurers of any modification to your motor vehicle, the addition of a tow bar to a motor car is classified as a modification and if the insurance company is not informed your policy may be deemed invalid in the case of an accident.

Other laws affecting caravanners.

When using televisions in your caravan you can legally do so under the cover of your domestic TV licence, so long as the caravan is occupied by someone who is resident in the household at which the licence is held.

A caravan stored in the owner's grounds can be used as a spare bedroom to accommodate guests as long as they are not paying guests. Friends can bring their own caravan and stay within the grounds of a house.

It is illegal for any caravan to be equipped with any toilet that discharges its contents directly onto the road.