Will Motorhome Sales Rival The Caravan Numbers Soon?
Can the motorhome outsell the caravan
Tuesday, 13, Aug 2019 01:50
By William Coleman
For many years now the caravan as dramatically outsold the motorhome and campervan/conversion. But are we starting to see a shift in momentum toward motorhome sales? And if we are, why so?
It is safe to say when it comes to a manufacturer's portfolio there are usually more caravans on the books than motorhomes, so you can see why there may be high sales numbers for caravan- simply more choice. Yes there are companies like Auto-Trail and Hymer that only sell coachbuilt vans but they are in the minority.
With that being said I am seeing a lot more motorhomes filling up sites all across the UK, not to mention the heavy footfall on the motorhome stands at the NEC and other shows throughout the year where motorhomes are selling like hot cakes.
The big question is why are we seeing such a large rise in motorhome and campervan sales? Having spoken with a few new owners it seems it is not a question with just one answer.
The major reason for the rise is that there a large amount of holiday makers out there now that have a post 1997 driving licence which has some significant restrictions when it comes to what you can drive and tow. Younger folk do not want to do more driving tests when they can just go directly into a motorhome.
Another strong reason is the matching of the caravan to the towcar to ensure that you meet the legal weight 3500kg weight limits. If you find the right van for you but do not have the right tow vehicle you then have to make a compromise, something that you rarely get when choosing a motorhome.
There are plenty of good selections of caravan and tow car that can come under the 3.5 ton but then you come up against the fear of towing that a lot newcomers to the caravan world seem to have.
I am not sure that we will ever see the motorhome outsell the caravan, if you combine the sales of motorhome and camper you may come close, but I think the caravan will be king for quite some time.
It is in my belief that the caravan is a lot more versatile than the motorhome. You can choose from a huge selection of suitable tow cars, there are a lot more layouts and models to choose from and ultimately there is more space on board and caravans are generally more comfortable. Especially if you are going away with 4-6 people.
One dealer in particular is actually seeing their motorhome sales sky rocket, which makes me think that this could be happening across the UK for a lot of other dealerships.
Salop Leisure in Shropshire have have reported a whopping 57% increase in their motorhome sales since compared to the same period last year.
The caravan and motorhome dealers believe that the sales spike they are experiencing is due to the expansion of the display area and stock of new and pre-owned motorhomes at the Emstrey sales centre in Shrewsbury, the increasing popularity of staycationing and this summer's heat waves.
Since 2018 Salop have double the motorhome stock and now have more than 50 vans now on show in their enlarged display area. To help promote the motorhome even more they have a motorhome display, adjoining the Emstrey traffic island on Shrewsbury bypass, grabs the attention of passing motorists. So could it be a case of making the stock more visually appealing and getting the vans in front of more eyes?
"The industry as a whole is seeing increased demand for both new and pre-owned motorhomes this year," said Mike Harris, Salop Leisure's operations director. "Our investment in the expanded display area and extra stock is certainly paying dividends.
"I think last year's great summer has made motorhome ownership more attractive to customers, many of whom are now staycationers. Some customers, who are able to access 25 per cent of their pension fund tax free, have made a lifestyle decision to invest in a motorhome so that they can enjoy a break whenever they wish."
It seems as though the leisure vehicle industry has reacted to the sales of motorhomes going up and are taking full advantage of the new buying trends.
Are people more used to buying a car on finance so can then carrying that mind set over to the motorhome? In that case it is a buying trend that could be a slight influence.
I can see the ease of a motorhome when it comes it coming and going, but there is once again a compromise. You can just set off with a motorhome, especially if you have an awning et up with all your chairs, tables, kit etc. And to be frank, sod packing away every time you want to nip off site or visit somewhere.
Could you, as a caravan owner, make the jump to a motorhome?