This past year has seen quite a few ups and downs for the motorhome industry, however as it comes to an end it looks as though there will be mostly positive movement in 2014. Recent news has revealed that the UK’s economy has entered into recovery, meaning that the current deficit has reduced and soon most people will have access to larger amounts of disposable income.
The improving economy is just one reason behind the positive predictions for the motorhome industry in 2014, as the popularity of the motorhome holiday has also been rising steadily over the past few years. We have also seen the motorhome itself develop massively recently, with models becoming more luxurious and technologically advanced. So what does this mean for 2014? Here are our predictions: Continue reading
An increasing number of people in the UK are choosing to purchase a motorhome for family holidays. Whether it’s the facility of being able to travel at your own pace, or the opportunity to explore the great outdoors in comfort, the motorhome industry has seen a steady rise in sales over the past few years.
Motorhome holidays have different connotations for different people, some like to think of them as a cost effective alternative to the supposedly budget European getaway, and for others they’re a great way of exploring the world in a homely way. Either way motorhome holidays aren’t cheap. The cost of the motorhome itself, the additional costs of motorhome insurance and, of course, the cost of living while abroad adds up, and this month further worry will be on the minds of those travelling in Europe.
Lately we’ve seen a considerable increase in the Euro compared to the Pound, meaning that Euros have become much more expensive to buy and British customers are finding themselves getting less and less for their money abroad. This trend has mostly been a result of austerity measures put in place throughout the EU, and relatively good confidence in the currency has helped to boost its value.
For many this means that traditional ferry holidays to the Continent will be more expensive. The cost of camping in places like France and Spain is already significant and the currency situation is not making things any easier for British travellers. Where the belts are really being tightened is on expenses like food and drink. Considerable rises in food prices compared with a weak pound are adding a lot to the traditional motorhome owner’s bill.
Equally, the effect of this change could encourage more travellers to think about buying motorhomes in the UK or, potentially, hiring from the UK and taking abroad. Motorhome hire itself is usually the biggest price component of a motorhome trip and, for many, hiring on the continent won’t be affordable this year.
Currency markets are always difficult to track and they move almost exclusively on speculation. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Europe this summer, make sure you keep an eye on the rates and don’t get sucked in to paying more than you think you are.
The motorhome industry has always been full of innovators, and they are exactly what keeps motorhomes fresh and interesting for all of us. Alongside this, campsite owners in the UK have always tried to maintain their high standards whilst trying to meet market demand for new technology. Lest we forget, the motorhome itself is way outdated by camping, and plenty of campsites have had to adapt to be accommodating to motorhome campers. In keeping with the trend of new ideas, a Cornish static park, Oyster Bay in Goonhavern, have announced that it would offer motorhome owners the opportunity to trade in their old vehicles for money off a new static caravan.
This idea will be appealing to many people who have formed a relationship with the area and, in this part of Cornwall, there are plenty who have been travelling there for years. Of course, a static caravan offers a different lifestyle to a motorhome: it’s much more convenient to make homely, but of course, you are still in need of a secondary vehicle to travel with.
A static caravan does also mean you’re able to bring in a little extra money from renting it out when you’re not there. Though some parks have specific regulations as to what you can and can’t do, it’s quite common for static caravan owners to bring in a little rent on the side. There are of course insurance considerations here too: your standard motorhome insurance policy is unlikely to be adequate for a static caravan, and customers will need to rethink the way they’re covered.
It’s great to see sites getting innovative with the sorts of deals they’re offering, and it’s likely that there will be plenty of motorhome owners jumping on the bandwagon with this one. In turn, this helps to keep the flow of second-hand motorhomes going, and keeps the economy surrounding the motorhome industry buzzing.
The amount of money councils make from parking fines has come under controversy in recent weeks and a couple of stories detailing exactly how much fines are being paid have shed light on what is a difficult issue. This is especially pertinent for the motorhome community, many of whom find themselves on the wrong side of parking regulations from time to time.
Parking in the UK has always been a tricky issue and it’s even more so at the moment for motorhomes. Many councils are keen to stop overnight parking which leaves motorhome owners parking on the roadside and, occasionally, in breach of regulations. In major cities where permit laws are in force it’s even tricker to find a spot and many motorhome owners are reliant on public parking. For many this is a real problem when in transit and it’s the cause of a good deal of tension in the motorhome community.
It raises the question as to whether too many fines are being issued and whether parking regulations are becoming prohibitive to people trying to go about their daily lives. It’s certainly the case that parking is a real consideration for motorhome owners and many will forego visiting, and spending money in, a city if they feel they will be unable to park.
It is possible, however, to appeal parking fines in the UK and you can do so without even needing to make a claim on your motorhome insurance. The appeals process can be quite simple and is often successful. Often tickets are awarded by mistake in areas where signage is not clear or, perhaps, where the laws themselves are difficult to decipher.
Unfortunately parking in the UK is a problem that’s here to stay. We have limited space in our towns and cities and the price for the places will always be high. However, the most motorhome owners can do in the meantime is stick to the rules as best as possible and remember that if you are unfairly ticketed, there is usually a way to make your voice heard.
If you ask any motorhome owner why they enjoy spending their holidays in a motorhome, somewhere not too far down their list will be the idea that motorhome travel is cheap. Once the original cost of the motorhome is suffered, motorhome owners are more or less free to travel wherever they please, reliant only on the price of fuel, the odd campsite and the standard cost of living. The image of the typical budget camper comes right from this idea, but it’s not the only way to travel by motorhome: luxury camping is most certainly on the up.
With strong influence from the USA, many motorhome manufacturers are starting to branch out into high-end luxury models. Most European manufacturers have a model that is above £75,000 featured in their brochures and, of course, with the price tag comes a serious motorhome insurance policy. There are brands such as the famous Niesmann-Bischoff which are dedicated to luxury motorhomes and are driving a market for quality, high end camping.
From the other side of the deal, campsites are starting to become very serious about what they’re offering to customers. Many across Europe are investing huge amounts in improving their facilities and plenty now offer farmhouse-style breakfasts, on-site restaurants and even things like spas and massage parlours are popping up at modern campsites.
As they generally a little money to spend, this particular type of motorhome holiday appeals to older motorhome users who still enjoy the freedom of the open road but are less worried about fixing awnings in the rain or sharing a bathroom with teenage travellers! There is most certainly serious demand going into the luxury motorhome market and it’s here to stay for the future.
However appealing luxury camping may be to some, it’s just not to others. What we’re starting to see is real diversity in what campsites offer and how different places are finding different niches to appeal to.