Do you need VASP certification for your camper van ?

Is the VASP certification mandatory for a camper van?

Do you have or are looking for a camper van and have read a lot about VASP certification? Still not sure what it is and / or if you need it for your van? We wrote in this article some useful information about VASP, regarding our own experience.

When don’t you need to pass the VASP certification?

We are going to see in this article:

  • 1. What is “VASP” and what it implies.
  • 2. If it’s always mandatory for a camper van you arranged yourself.
  • 3. What says the law regarding this certification.
  • 4. The example of our camper van (which does not need to have the VASP certification).

What you need to know about VASP certification for you camper van.

1. First, what is VASP ?

As the VASP certification is a law that exists only in France, it’s also a french abbreviation.
VASP : Véhicule Automoteur Spécialisé de PTAC (inférieur ou égal à 3,5 tonnes).

Since the new vehicle safety inspection, the first constraint that seems to be imposed to home-made vans and vans’s owners is the obligation to bring the registration certificate (the registration card) into conformity with the type of vehicle (information fields J.1).

We read for example that for a utility vehicle CTTE category (pickup truck) originally, but arranged by yourself, you must now pass in VASP (on the registration card) to be able to pass the vehicle safety inspection.

>> It’s not always true, because to “have to” pass the VASP certification, your vehicle need to be consider like a “auto caravane”. Read below the criteria that define a camper van as a auta caravane.

2. Do I need the to pass the VASP certification for a van?

Since May 2018, it’s a big question for vanlifers / van’s owners, same for us.

Pass the vehicle safety inspection for a camper van without VASP?

Indeed, in May 2018, the new law arrived and since, it’s a bit tricky (law 2007/46/CE that give the criteria that define the auto caravane and the necessity to pass the certification) ! Everybody told us that we could do nothing with our van with passing the VASP certification. And that it was long, difficult and expensive, great !

We were sure to be obliged to pass it, but, no. Since may 2018, we pass the safety inspection twice without problem.

3. What says the law?

So our big question was: will we be able to pass the mandatory safety inspection without VASP certification? The answer that we found most on internet (and not only on the internet) is NO. But still, that’s not always true. After searching, we found the following information:

In the 2007/46/CE law, it’s writen that to be obliged to have VASP certification, your vehicle need to have 4 criteria (read bellow). It means that if you don’t have those 4 in the same time, you don’t have to pass it, even if your construciton can not be removed in less that 2 hours.

And it’s what have understood the safety inspection center we went to.

The 4 cumulative criteria that define if your vehicle is an auto caravane, so if you have to pass the vasp certification:

  • A sofa that can be converted as a bed
  • Seats and table
  • Storage spaces
  • A kitchenette (with gaz or electricity)

Find here the full law (in french), but on page 64-65, on point 5.1 there are the 4 cumulative criteria that define a vehicle as autocaravane that needs VASP.

convertible sofa as a bed in our camper van.

4. Our van layout

In april 2017, we bought a Volkswagen Transporter van, with 9 seats, and we make it as a camper van. Now, there are only 2 seats in the front and in the back we have:

  • a sofa that can be converted a a bed if we add a wooden plank,
  • storage spaces,
  • electricity with a solar pannel,
  • and a small kitchnette without gaz.

So we remove the wooden board for the safety inspection, so it remains only the non convertible couch. We do not have a table, just retractable shelves. Our kitchen area consists of a sink with water pump, but no built-in plates. We are just removing the stove for the technical control.

So we have only 1/2 points on 4 (storage spaces and kitchnette), even if we can remove it.

The kitchenette of our van, that does not need the vasp certification.

Since the new law, we pass 2 times the safety inspection. In december 2018 at Dekra in Haute Savoie, and in june 2019, in Narbonne at Norisko. And we did not have to speak about the law, we just said that we have a camper van with no gaz and table. It’s all… And on our grey card (registration card) we are still VP (personal vehicle).

That’s it, we hope that, if like us, you spent hours looking for more information on internet, that this article will help you!

So if yes, do not hesitate to let us a small message, or ask questions…
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  1. Roy Beale
    25 January 2024

    Is this up to date or has French law changed again ?

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