It is advice that motorhome and campervan insurance providers have been advocating for years and now one of the UK’s leading road safety charities are launching a campaign highlighting the advantages of pre-planning a night out.
The chances of a motorhome owner making a claim on their insurance policy are drastically reduced if they plan their trip in advance. Pre-journey checks on tyres, oil levels, screen wash etc. all lessen the chance of the vehicle breaking down en-route, and a basic check on the renewal dates of breakdown and vehicle insurance cover should always be a pre-requisite of any long journey. It may sound obvious to the well prepared motorist but insurance providers will know that simple checks are all too often ignored.
The same pre-planning should also apply to routes taken and accommodation booked. Today’s motorist probably has a satellite navigation device that will take him from his doorstep to the front door of a hotel just by pushing in a post code, but what happens if the device develops a fault or circumstances change and alternative routes have to be taken. A map should always have a place in a vehicle and a quick study of the route via the internet or a map in the days leading up to a long journey will pay dividends. Drivers are at their most vulnerable when their stress levels are high and people in general tend to make bad, or at best rushed, decisions when they are lost.
Pre-planning will also help once a driver has reached his venue. Knowing the whereabouts of safe and secure parking will cut down on the chance of your vehicle being stolen and ensure the journey to the restaurant or theatre can be conducted with peace of mind. It is always a good idea to reverse into a parking lot in the light so you can drive out when it is dark, and always give yourself plenty of time to complete the journey. The aforementioned sat-nav systems are a particular favourite of thieves and rushing to be on time for an appointment or a restaurant booking could easily lead to one forgetting to hide away any valuables in the vehicle.
As autumn slowly creeps towards us, motorists should be aware that the shorter days mean longer periods of danger in the evening from a motoring and vehicle security viewpoint.
As the usage of expensive gadgets and electronic devices continues to increase among motorhome owners, insurance providers are reminding owners to take extra care when it comes to securing their vehicles as the nights start to draw in. Research shows that 63% of motorhome users take items such as personal DVD players, tablets, iPods and laptops away with them on holiday, prompting concerns about the security of such items. Electronic items like these, as well as flat screen televisions, satellite navigation units and game consoles are easy to steal and dispose of anonymously, making them very attractive items to thieves.
While the advice is particularly applicable to those travelling on holiday and staying in a holiday park, a number of burglaries involving such items have been from motorhomes parked up outside their owner’s home. In fact Home Office official figures show 48% of thefts from motorhomes happen this way. For this reason owners are urged not to load the vehicle the night before and instead wait until the morning of the holiday.
Thieves can strike at any time so when loading the vehicle owners need to keep security in mind at all times and never leave their keys in the motorhome, with the engine running. It is not that uncommon for thieves to steal vehicles that have been left with their engines running and it is a scenario that will more than likely see the motorhome insurance of the vehicle become invalid as companies very rarely look favourably on a theft which could have been avoided. Modern vehicle security means it is very difficult to steal a vehicle without having the keys. Thieves know this, and they see frosty mornings as an ideal opportunity. They get up early, and will be looking for vehicles to steal. While it may be tempting to nip back into the house while the windscreen is clearing, the advice is don’t do it or the winter holiday could be ruined.
The research also revealed that 75% of motorhome owners do not like the number of cyclists on the road during the increased hours of darkness in winter. Latest statistics show that there has been a 13% rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in the last twelve months. Mobile home owners also cite snow and ice (45%) and reduced visibility caused by fog and rain (20%) as the next worst things about winter driving. However, 64% say they do not let winter put them off seeing the sights and sounds of the United Kingdom.
Research shows that over £2 billion is invested into the economy each year by campers, caravanners and motorhome users while travelling around the United Kingdom.
The research was taken from a sample of Camping and Caravanning Club members and it found that a typical spend of a caravanner, tent camper or motorhome user each day is £32.00, a figure which does not include any site pitch fees. However, if this figure did include the fees, it could increase by up to £24 and when considering that sites will probably reinvest the pitch fees back into the sites, the additional sum is significant in terms of employment and local trade. 60% of those questioned said they spent their money in pubs, 52% in local restaurants with 72% saying they spent money visiting a tourist attraction close by including parking fees.
Over 17 million holidays are now taken in this way and an average of four days is spent on the holiday. The billions of pounds spent supporting rural businesses, local communities and historical landmarks are essential to the economy and many would argue that without that income pouring into rural economies many of these would cease to exist. The research also found that motorhome owners tend to spend more than other campers during their holiday.
According to the report, campers, including motorhome owners, are more likely to walk, swim, cycle or canoe than the average member of the general public and 97% of those who took part in the research said that being in the great outdoors has a positive impact on their lives. Motorhome owners don’t just drive to venues either, 94% said they would walk a few miles rather than drive and 100% of mobile home owners said they would never go anywhere without having good motorhome insurance.
Overall, the research is quite significant as it shows campers contribute significantly to the nation’s economy which, in turn, positively impacts rural jobs. The research also proves that campers have a desire to visit and explore new places and sample local food. Everyone asked in the research viewed camping as a healthy lifestyle option and it is reflected in the thoughts of many medical experts who perceive there is a direct link between the benefits of healthy living and the nation’s favourite holiday pastime.
It is easy to forget that when taking a motorhome holiday it is still possible to eat healthily whilst on the road.
Many families find themselves spending hours looking around the supermarket the day before setting off on a trip, buying up packet foods, canned goods and items that come in plastic containers that will keep fresher for longer. Although this seems like a great idea, it is actually a false economy and one based on the ability to store food items in conditions other than those encountered at home. Statistics show that food is one of the most expensive elements of taking a holiday in a motorhome and it can easily be avoided. Many will spend money eating in local restaurants or pubs, others will buy takeaway food each night and bring it back to the mobile home. This is something that people would not do at home every night but succumb to while on holiday.
By avoiding junk food, fast food and drive-thrus by spending more meal times eating food prepared in the motorhome, people can drastically reduce their expenses while on the road. That means people will not only enjoy the benefits of eating healthy food, they also get to enjoy more money to spend on other activities. The savings for a family of four on a fortnight’s holiday could go a long way in helping to pay the motorhome insurance premium for a whole year.
Of course it isn’t just motorhome enthusiasts who could benefit from a healthier diet, in the United Kingdom around 44% of men and 34% of women are overweight, and a further 23% of men and 24% of women fall into the obese category. These statistics mean that over half of the population is overweight. The percentage of overweight and obese people is increasing all over the world but the rate is especially high in the UK. According to the British Heart Foundation the percentage of the population which is overweight has increased by 50% in the last 10 years. As people get older, the tendency to become overweight increases. In Britain, people in the age group 64-75 are now at significant risk; 77% of men and 71% of women in this group are now estimated to be overweight. There are a lot of older motorhome owners who fall into this group and it is these that the British Heart Foundation is urging to keep an eye on their calorie intake as they prepare for journeys on the road.
Businesses in London and in all areas where the Olympic Games take place are forecasted to have a bumper summer this year as visitors flood into the country, and it seems that motorhome rental firms and motorhome insurance providers will be amongst those to benefit.
With just weeks to go before the lighting of the Olympic torch signals the start of the games, motorhome rental companies are reporting record levels of enquiries. It seems that foreign visitors especially are looking to tour the UK while they take in the games and of course the different geographic venues mean a campervan or motorhome is ideal for those for instance, who want to see the athletics in London, the sailing in Weymouth and the football in Coventry. One online company, RV Rental Campervan say they have never experienced anything like it and report enquiries from locations as diverse as China, Malaysia, New Zealand and the USA.
A spokesman for the firm said that the level of enquiries was at such a level that they are considering purchasing more motorhomes and campervans to cope with the demand. Already they confirm they have contacted regular summer customers telling them they need to book their holidays quickly if they want a vehicle in July and August. In fact the upturn in business will come as no surprise to many motorhome insurance providers who have been providing motorhome rental companies with increasing levels of cover over the last few years. It seems that many UK residents are using campervan and motorhomes to make their staycation that little bit different and have just a little more fun.
Renting a vehicle for a holiday it seems is also encouraging more people to go out and actually buy a mobile home. Statistics from all the leading manufacturers who sell their products in the UK are buoyant, and considering mobile homes must be considered a luxury vehicle the world wide slump is not proving to be as damaging as it could have been.
Motorhome insurance providers will be delighted with figures showing that holidays in mobile homes in the UK are becoming more popular. Motorhomes are a great way to go on holiday because not only do they offer the freedom of camping with the home comforts of a caravan, they are also very easy to drive, and it seems more people are becoming wise to the fact.
Research has shown that there has been a 37% increase in the number of people who will be hiring a motorhome this summer, with almost half of these intending to buy their own mobile home in the next 12 months if they fall in love with life on the open road. Statistics show that over the last 10 years, those who hired before becoming a motorhome owner are now taking on average 22 more days holiday each year, with 67% confident enough to have added European cover to their motorhome insurance policy and driven outside the United Kingdom. Reasons given for choosing a motorhome after first hiring one include flexibility, convenience, comfort, family appeal, affordability, and the lure of the outdoors.
Motorhomes are not cheap to buy and this is why motorhome hire works so well as it offers all the benefits of owning one. It’s true that motorhome hire is still more expensive when compared to car and van hire, but it does offer a cost effective and hassle free holiday in the United Kingdom or Europe. In addition, renting a motorhome allows potential buyers to try out different types of motorhome to see which suits them best. Hiring a motorhome can be intimidating for anyone who has never driven one before and many drivers worry that they will have problems working out how to use everything. However, the reality is that this will not be a problem. Any reputable motorhome hire company will give customers comprehensive instructions before they drive off and even an average driver will be surprised at how easy it is. All that is really needed is a little extra care. Motorhomes provide a great lifestyle and are popular with people all over the world and whatever holiday is planned, there will be a motorhome that fits the bill.