What is CRiS?

How important is CRiS to new and second hand caravan purchases ?

Unlike motor vehicles, caravans don’t have to be registered with the DVLA. However, an industry-run scheme called CRiS (Central Registration and Identification Scheme) provides a similar register and offers valuable services to you, the police and the provider of your insurance or cover.

If you’re lucky enough to own a brand new caravan, then most of them will come with a CRiS registration document. Keep the document safe, as it proves you are the registered keeper. Some imported or very niche models that are bought new, may not be registered by dealers, but you can register these yourself with CRiS for a small fee.

If your caravan is secondhand, it may already be registered. Just make sure it’s registered to you, by applying through the ‘Registration’ page of the CRiS website.

If you’re selling your caravan, let CRiS know through the ‘Sell your caravan’ page.

Image: Trewethett Farm Club Campsite, Cornwall. Photo by Aaron Shaw

Why should you register your caravan with CRiS?

A CRiS Check allows you to confirm that a secondhand caravan isn’t stolen, has no outstanding finance on it, hasn’t been written off and that the person claiming to be its owner actually is. It’s invaluable if you’re the person buying a caravan but it also makes your caravan easier to sell as it will help give people the confidence to buy from you.

Should the worst happen and your van is stolen, the police and insurers can use the database to identify suspect vehicles. This might get your van back to you, might help your cover provider recover some of the cost of a theft claim by reselling the van (thus helping to keep everyone’s insurance/cover costs down) or might even help the police secure a conviction.

The registered keeper details enables the manufacturer to contact you in the event that the caravan needs to be recalled to address a safety-related issue.

The chassis and the windows of older caravans will be marked with their CRiS number. Newer caravans (from 1998) may have one or more electronic chips hidden in them which the police can read with a scanner. You can add more ‘VIN CHIPs’ (or add one to an older van), tamper evident window stickers and microdot markings with upgrade options available from CRiS. Even when the vehicle is moving, the latest chips can be read from up to 15m away.

For more details, see www.cris.co.uk

First published in May 2023.

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