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Motorhome Industry Developments in the UK

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caravan popularity ukThe motorhome industry contributes more than £6 billion to the UK economy through revenue of product sales, holiday bookings, and other related services. While caravans and motorhomes often conjure up images of rainy British summer holidays with cramped spaces and board games, the sales of leisure vehicles have continued to boom. Proving a popular mode of transport for your travels, the motorhome industry is continuing to grow and adapt.

In 2016, there was an 11.4% overall increase in the sale and registration of leisure vehicles. Motorhomes specifically saw a 16.6% increase. It seems that as a nation we have a soft spot for using our caravans and motorhomes as a means of holidaying even in the present day. The industry has come full circle, reminding us of the motorhome’s heyday all those years ago.

Popularity of the motorhome

The National Caravan Council revealed that between July 2016 and June 2017, 13,162 motorhomes were registered—an increase from 11,559 of the previous year. While this shows popularity in the UK, the story is also true in the rest of Europe. Growth within the leisure vehicle sector can also be seen in Germany, France, and Italy.

The current market size in Britain shows there are approximately 205,000 motorhomes on the road, with around 60% of them made in Britain. The Great Britain Tourism Survey carried out by Visit England revealed that as a nation, British residents took 11.94 million trips using leisure vehicles in 2016.

Motorhome usage habits

ONS data from August 2017 revealed that UK tourists are going on more holidays but for shorter durations. Motorhomes become the ideal investment for this behavior, allowing for less restriction when travelling to your chosen destination. Having a motorhome means you’re able to visit new places when the mood strikes, meaning families have a little more freedom throughout the year. What’s more, the staycation is retaining its appeal, meaning motorhomes have an even bigger purpose.

Motorhomes and similar leisure vehicles are actually becoming a solution for the country’s housing crisis, too. Providing an alternative option for the spare room shortage in the UK, motorhomes are a home-away-from-home in many different senses. The lack of housing solutions means families are squeezing into smaller homes and aren’t able to accommodate visiting relatives or friends, or visit relatives themselves. Believe it or not, travelling to see family in a motorhome is a growing phenomenon.

Impending developments

One of the next big challenges for the motorhome industry is finding alternatives to diesel engines. With undeniable backlash when it comes to diesel engines, it’s surprising that a diesel motorhome is the only available option for buyers in the UK.

The industry appears to be keeping a closer eye on stricter vehicle emissions standards and keeping note of the changes that are looming. For example, London will introduce its Ultra-low Emissions Zone in the next 12 months, and cities including Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby, and Southampton will introduce clean air zones by 2020.

While it’s unclear what this will mean for motorhome owners, it’s a development within the industry that will no doubt be revised and considered over the coming years.Andy Beer, Premier Motorhomes Sales Manager

About the Author

Andy Beer is the Sales Manager for Premier Motorhomes, selling high quality premium motorhomes from a range of leading brands.