What are M1, N1 & N2 Categories?

June 13, 2023

If you were asked in which category does your vehicle belong, would you know? Would you think to check if it is correct, or know that this can change depending on certain work that may have been carried out on the original vehicle? Do you even know the pros and cons of the category?

The conversions carried out by Clarks could mean that your category may have changed, and we want to help owners of converted vehicles understand why this happens, as well as some of the reasons behind it. 

All in-scope conversions carried out by Clarks are Type Approved as standard. Due to our consistent approach of Converting Vehicles Correctly, we have had Type Approved conversion designs since 2013. New designs are being approved each year as base vehicles change and we develop new products.

Another (often misused/understood) process for approving conversions is Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). This process is most often used on private builds, kit cars or one-offs/prototypes.

Consequently, our Type Approval accreditation ensures all our conversions are converted to the highest standard and that your conversion is subsequently registered into its correct category following the conversion.



Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat. Typically, the gross vehicle weight (GVW) does not exceed 3,500kg.


‍Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and having a GVW not exceeding 3,500kg.


Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and having a GVW exceeding 3,500kg but not exceeding 12,000kg.

For more information on vehicle categories please see:

Classification of Power-driven Vehilces & Trailers | Vehicle Certification Agency (


If your conversion was carried out by Clarks you won’t need to worry if your vehicle’s category is correct as all our Type Approved conversions come with a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) stating the vehicle’s relevant category for you. With our CoC, your vehicle dealer will then register the vehicle to that category for you.

However, you may want to check if your V5C (logbook) is accurate.

The V5C must be updated if any of the following changes are made:

  • Colour
  • Engine
  • Cylinder capacity (CC)
  • Fuel type
  • Chassis or bodyshell (replaced or modified)
  • Seating capacity 
  • Weight of a large vehicle, for example goods vehicle or campervan*

*Some of these may require a category change, e.g. some changes to seating capacity and weight.

There are also changes as well as updating the V5C could require inspection; these include:

  • Wheel plan
  • Body type – e.g. convert a van to a campervan or motor caravan
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) 
  • Chassis number

‍DVLA would inform you after submitting the changes if you needed further inspection.

For more information on changing vehicle details on a V5C please see:

Change vehicle details on a V5C registration certificate (log book): When you need to update your V5C - GOV.UK (


On your V5C the vehicle detail section ‘J’ will show your category and ‘K’ will show your Type Approval number. You can then check to make sure the category is appropriate to the conversion that’s taken place – i.e., M1, N1 or N2.


If your vehicle is classed as category M1 or N1, your V5C should show the correct category linked with the Certificates of Conformity (CoC) provided by your convertor and dealer.

If your vehicle is classed as category N2, as well as your V5C showing this category and having a linked CoC from your convertor, your vehicle should have a planting certificate, also known as a ministry plate, that shows the permitted axle and gross vehicle weight.

‍If the category on the CoC from your convertor is different to the category on the CoC from your dealer for the original vehicle, then the category from the converter who last modified the vehicle is one that should have been used to register your vehicle and should be on your V5C.

If your vehicle has been converted by Clarks, we provide you with a copy of your CoC in your handover pack, which is typically located in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Keep it in a safe place with your vehicle registration documents!

If you are pulled over for a DVSA inspection or by the police, or if questioned at an MOT, your V5C supported by the convertor CoC and convertor stage Statutory Plate on the vehicle will satisfy any inspectors. These documents can often be presented at a later date following up from any inspection – it is not necessary to keep these in the vehicle just in case.


The amount of tax you pay for your vehicle relates to your vehicle’s efficiency, which is linked to the age of your vehicle and its emissions. Your tax will also change depending on whether your vehicle is classed as a car or a van. If you ensure your conversion is in the correct category you could benefit from a different tax bracket.

  • M1: your vehicle is taxed as a car not a goods vehicle – meaning you pay road tax based upon CO2 emissions.
  • N1: your vehicle is taxed as light goods vehicle – meaning you pay a set rate, often lower than M1 category vehicles.
  • N2: your vehicle is taxed as a heavy goods vehicle – typically based upon revenue weight, axle configuration and Euro status.

‍For further information please see:

Information leaflet on tax classes for vehicles (V355/1) - GOV.UK (


The National Speed Limits in the UK often depend upon the type of vehicle you are driving, as well as which part of the UK you are in and which kind of road you are driving on.

The national speed limits for M1 category vehicles are the same as cars: 30mph in built up/residential areas (20mph in Wales), 60mph on a single carriageway (50mph when towing), 70mph on a dual carriageway and motorway (both 60mph when towing). These limits are also applicable for car-derived-vans.

The national speed limits for N1 and N2 (up to 7,500kg GVW) category vehicle speed limits are the same as goods vehicles: 30mph in built up/residential areas (20mph in Wales), 50mph on a single carriageway (same when towing), 60mph on a dual carriageway (same when towing), 70mph on a motorway (60mph when towing).

           table td, table th {
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       </style><table><tbody><tr><th></th><th>Built-up areas in England and Scotland (mph)</th><th>Built-up areas in Wales (mph)</th><th>Single Carriageways (mph)</th><th>Dual Carriageways (mph)</th><th>Motorways (mph)</th></tr><tr><td>Cars (M1) and car-derived vans (some N1)</td><td>30</td><td>20</td><td>60</td><td>70</td><td>70</td></tr><tr><td>"Cars (M1) and car-derived vans (some N1) when towing caravans or trailers"</td><td>30</td><td>20</td><td>50</td><td>60</td><td>60</td></tr><tr><td>Goods vehicles, up to 7,500kg GVW (N1 &amp; some N2)</td><td>30</td><td>20</td><td>50</td><td>60</td><td>70</td></tr><tr><td>"Goods vehicles, up to 7,500kg GVW (N1 &amp; some N2) when towing caravans or trailers"</td><td>30</td><td>20</td><td>50</td><td>60</td><td>60.</td></tr></tbody></table>

There are local speed limits which will be clearly signed where different to the national speed limits.

Additionally, N2 vehicles by law require a speed limiter fitted as the weight exceeds 3,500kg

For further information please see:

Speed limits - GOV.UK (


Insurance on your vehicle is necessary, however depending on your vehicle category, this could change the cost and type of insurance you qualify for:

  • M1: your vehicle is insured as a passenger carrying vehicle (car)
  • N1: your vehicle is insured as light goods vehicle (van)
  • N2: your vehicle is insured as a heavy goods vehicle


If you receive a vehicle from your employer for work and private miles, you will need to pay Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) tax. Depending on which category your vehicle fits; this could change how much you pay.

  • N1 & N2 category vehicles are classed as vans by HMRC and employees pays company van tax charged at a fixed cost per year.
  • M1 category vehicles are classed as cars by HMRC and the employee pays company car tax based upon the vehicle’s CO2 emissions and employee’s salary.

For more information please see:

EIM23100 - Car benefit: meaning of car - HMRC internal manual - GOV.UK (

NB. All information in this post was believed to be accurate at the date of creation but could have changed. Please make sure you have researched any recent changes thoroughly.