As a touring caravan owner, you may have heard of CRiS before now, while you were researching the purchase of your caravan or browsing one of the annual shows. The Central Registration and Identification Scheme, to give it its full title, is the national register for tourer owners in the UK and there are numerous advantages to signing up. From CRiS checks on caravans you are thinking of buying to electronic tags to enable recovery of a stolen caravan even when the thieves have removed the identification number, there are plenty of reasons why you and your touring caravan should be registered.

CRiS before you buy

Buying a caravan involves quite a significant sum of money and we all want to make sure that we are actually getting what we signed up for. Running a CRiS check on a caravan before you hand over any cash means you can rest assured that you are not inadvertently rewarding a criminal for stealing the van. A CRiS check will confirm:

  • If the caravan has ever been written off by an insurer
  • Any outstanding finance or debts associated with the caravan
  • If the caravan is recorded on the Security Register as being at high risk of fraud or theft
  • The details of the registered keeper
  • The number of previous owners
  • The make and model associated with the vehicle identification number you entered

Click here to visit the CRiS website and start a check.

Registering your caravan with CRiS

If you have recently bought a new caravan or have decided to register your existing tourer with CRiS, the online registration form is the easiest way to go about it.

When you buy a brand new touring caravan, the dealership will usually automatically complete the CRiS registration. If you don’t receive your documentation within 31 days, contact CRiS for replacements.

Imports and touring caravans manufactured before 1992

As caravans falling into these categories are not automatically registered to CRiS, some additional security checks will be required before your registration can be completed. These include checking with Interpol and UK police for any security alerts. Again, full information can be found on the CRiS website.

What to do before touring abroad

Once your tourer has been registered with CRiS, there are a few steps you should follow before taking it on a trip overseas.

  • Make sure to take either your original CRiS registration documents or an official copy with you. You should also bring insurance documents for both your caravan and your tow car.
  • Never keep the documents in the caravan itself; it is best to keep them on you as much as you possibly can
  • Keep your caravan’s licence plate clearly visible at all times
  • Always abide by the local motoring laws, remembering they may be different from those you are used to. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the appropriate rules before travelling.

Have a look at our earlier blog, Things To Do Before Travelling Abroad, for more detailed information and pre-travel checklists.

What to do if your caravan is stolen

We all hope that this never happens to us but it is always far better to be prepared “just in case”. Should your caravan fall into the hands of thieves, here’s what you need to do:

  • Contact the police immediately and obtain a crime reference number
  • Contact your insurers immediately to inform them of the theft
  • Call 020 3282 1000 to inform CRiS. Once you have advised them of the theft, CRiS can update their databases and have your caravan marked as stolen. This means that any police checks or CRiS checks by potential buyers will flag up the alert. Remember to keep CRiS informed of any developments in the case so their records can be kept up-to-date and accurate.
  • If you have a tracking device on your caravan, remember to get in touch with the provider as soon as possible after the theft is discovered

CRiS Plus

If the standard CRiS protection doesn’t seem like quite enough to put your mind completely at rest, CRiS Plus could be just the ticket.

In addition to the CRiS benefits we’ve already mentioned, CRiS Plus members can attach tags containing microdots etched with their caravan’s VIN in multiple positions, meaning thieves are incredibly unlikely to manage to remove all traces of identification. As well as protecting the caravan itself, the microdots can be used to protect various items of equipment and your belongings.

The kit also includes an electronic tag which can be read by the police when the caravan is recovered.

Has the CRiS system helped you? If so, we'd love to hear about it so please leave us a comment below.

With several different caravan insurance policies we will have an insurance policy that covers your needs. Why pay any more than you have to for first class cover. Call us on 01480 402460 for a quote.

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