Camping & caravan holidays: Brexit and covid see boom in caravans – how to buy one

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Caravan holidays have skyrocketed in number this year in the UK, with younger travellers also now showing an interest in caravans. Welsh entrepreneur Connor Ennis, founder of camping and caravan website CaravanCloud, has seen a sharp rise in the number of young families looking to purchase their first caravan since 2019. He believes Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic are behind the boom.

“The average age of the typical caravan/motorhome buyer has gone from 50-70 years old to 30-50 in the space of 12 months,” he said.

“The influence of COVID-19, coupled with the already growing popularity of the caravan sector due to Brexit, has made 2020 a record-breaking year in terms of leisure vehicle sales.”

The increase in demand for UK breaks amid the complications of international travel during covid has also boosted the popularity of camping and caravan holidays.

“Brexit has been a huge deciding factor in the growth of caravan and motorhome sales as people are mindful of the implications of holidaying abroad,” Ennis explained in his travel advice.

“Combine that with the rise in popularity of UK holidays, and places such as the Lake District, Cornwall, and other areas of the UK have had a surge in tourism.”

Most of these customers are first-time buyers, with Ennis noticing a “dramatic” increase from previous years.

Caravans have come on a long way in recent years and glamping has become in vogue.

Holidaymakers now expect much more from their vehicles.

“Glamping has revolutionised the camping holiday,” said Ennis.

“Caravans and motorhomes have advanced so much in the last 5-10 years that they now have full-sized island beds, large showers, tower fridges, central heating systems, Wi-Fi, and much, much more. You can now buy caravans with ultra-modern and luxurious interiors as well as sleek and flashy exterior design.”

He continued: “On top of this, holiday parks are investing in state of the art clubhouses with gyms, restaurants, cinemas, water parks, and much more to keep the whole family happy – which means they don’t have to leave the site for the duration of the holiday as they have everything that they need there.”

So how does one get into camping and caravanning for the first time?

“The best thing to start off with is to decide how you plan on holidaying in your caravan and who will be using it for the majority of the time,” Ennis advised.

“You also need to consider the size, weight, and layout of the caravan or motorhome to suit your tastes.

“Once you have done that you can start your search and get a feel for what you can get for your money.”

Caravan insurance company Ripe Caravan Insurance recently put together a guide to the average set-up and running costs of touring and static caravans

A touring caravan is separate living quarters towed behind a regular vehicle.

To buy and set up this type of caravan, the total average cost is £26,429 for a brand-new van and £14,311 for a pre-owned van. The average annual running costs, meanwhile, stack up at £2,266.

A static caravan, also known as a mobile home, caravan, trailer, trailer home or house trailer, is a prefabricated structure transported to the site and often left permanently or semi-permanently in one place.

For static caravans, the costs are higher. To buy and set up a brand-new static caravan costs an average of £47,535, while a pre-owned van comes in at £32,497. Ongoing maintenance and running costs add up to an average of £5,090 per year.

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