If you’ve not yet heard of, or better still, been on a stay-cation, you’re seriously missing out! This year’s trend for holidays exploring your local area is really taking off, evidenced by good demand at this year’s BCA Caravan and Motorhome sale. By saving money on expensive flights and costly hotels, the motorhome stay-cation offers a fantastic, cost effective way of seeing new things.
The stay-cation offers real flexibility when contrasted with European or International trips. There’s no need to adhere to flight timetables, no problem worrying about motorhome or car hire at the other side, and there’s more time to sit back and enjoy yourself. The lack of travelling means you can make the most of a full day’s relaxation, rather than squeezing in holiday time in the evenings. Stay-cationers don’t even need to worry about European motorhome insurance – it’s all covered in a domestic UK policy.
It’s not just about a low cost, low fuss holiday though; it’s about getting to know what is on offer in your local area and taking the opportunity to see a different aspect of your city or region. Many people simply drive a few miles, pitch up in a local campsite and take advantage of things like restaurants that they may not have been to before, or perhaps taking the tourist route around the local attractions.
We’re blessed in the UK to have a great range of tourist attractions right at our fingertips, and if you’re not into museums or galleries, we have some of the finest countryside in the world. Stay-cations allow you to save a bit of cash and maximise your holiday time whilst still seeing and doing all the things you want to do when away. It’s no wonder that people are choosing to stay in their local area for 2013 and it’s great news that they’re choosing to do it all by motorhome!
Famous motorhome manufacturers Elddis has stepped up their efforts to promote the company’s continuing “Belts = Berths” motorhome passengers safety campaign which is now into its second year. The initiative has seen the motorhome manufacturer strive to make sure that every sleeping berth on all of their vehicles is provided with its own seat belt.
Elddis believe the campaign is very important and are proud to have become the only UK manufacturer to apply such standards. It’s an initiative that Elddis is highly passionate about and something they believe is essential to basic on-board safety; they believe others will follow where they have led.
The “Belts = Berths” campaign sees Elddis make seatbelt provision a priority and the safety straps they use undergo extensive testing before being given the green light to make sure they are safe, as well as complying with European Safety regulations. The company are so committed to safety they have made a point of detailing their extremely thorough tests, which they believe are the best in the industry. They are also confident that if the vehicle is involved in a crash that results in a claim on a motorhome insurance policy, all those using a seatbelt will be safer for doing so.
The test involves a simulated crash scenario where the force applied to the seat belt and frame is calculated taking into account the deceleration which happens in all crashes, as well as the weight of two adults sitting in the seats, and the weight of the frame itself. Elddis have a history of making safety a priority. They became the first manufacturer in the United Kingdom to gain EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval for their motorhomes three years ago and experts believe other manufacturers should follow suit.
New research has shown that motorhome owners look set to snub driverless vehicle technology despite over 300,000 miles of accident free driving in a range of different vehicles.
The technology would see the mobile home use GPS, radar and other sensors to automatically drive itself without any human intervention. But this has been criticised by owners who are concerned about the safety of the systems on the roads of the United Kingdom and even more so on the roads of Europe. Almost all the drivers questioned (98%) said that driving was part of the enjoyment of exploring in a motorhome. In the survey 40% refused to even consider ownership of the technology and 65% were sceptical they would live long enough to see the technology. These results show the builders of the technology have a lot of work to do if they are to sway the public’s opinion.
Additionally, 56% thought the technology would be best served as a crash prevention system to reduce the number of expensive claims made each year on motorhome insurance policies. Only 33% thought that driverless technology would be beneficial to road safety. According to the analysis, 21% of mobile home owners have prior driving convictions, and speeding-related offences accounted for 71% of these convictions. Despite this, half of those surveyed felt the technologies ability to never exceed the speed limit was an attractive quality but not fool-proof. Certainly most of those interviewed thought the technology was something that will not be seen in motorhomes for many years, and in the meantime thought more should be done to improve driver standards via better training, as well as incentives by the government and motorhome insurance companies.
Without doubt 2012 has seen huge advances in driverless technology and the technology may become the norm much earlier than some think. Recently a video release showed the practical benefits of the technology to help the lives of the elderly and it may be this sector of the market where the technology first takes hold.
Research has found nearly one in ten United Kingdom based motorhome owners are putting themselves and their passengers at risk by delaying essential maintenance. The study also found 7% of those surveyed were neglecting to have crucial repair work carried out on their mobile homes due to money worries.
Motorhome insurance policy holders have faced increasing financial pressures in the last few years due to the continued economic instability along with increasing petrol prices that have quite quickly risen towards record levels. The current price of fuel is one of the top worries for motorhome owners as they cannot continue to explore the UK without first filling up.
However, what will worry them even more is that the research also found that an average driver will waste 10 gallons of fuel each year sitting in traffic. It is probably fair to assume this figure will be much higher for mobile home owners who are on the roads much more.
Paul McClenaghan, commercial director of the research team, has warned of the dangers of ignoring maintenance, saying “By choosing to ignore obvious faults or manufacturers’ advice, drivers are only delaying the inevitable and likely to increase the eventual cost when something fails – as well as potentially putting both themselves and other road users at risk.”
The research also found 14% do not replace their tyres until they are in or approaching dangerous levels of tread and just over a quarter (26%) do not replace the brake pads as quickly as they should. A further 31% ignoring strange engine noises and flashing warning lights, while 41% of those questioned, admitted to lacking either the time or knowledge to carry out routine maintenance work on their motorhomes.
Motorhome insurance providers along with experts from most motoring organisations warn against cost cutting measures that result in a vehicle remaining on the road when it clearly has faults. It is a policy that raises serious safety issues and owners are being urged not to ignore such faults as it will more than likely come back to haunt them later.
The Camping and Caravanning Club are expecting another increase in the number of older motorhome owners enjoying a break with their grandchildren during the upcoming October half term break. Their prediction follows the revelation that there has been a 12% increase in the number of older people with motorhome insurance booking pitches on club sites at this time of year. The caravan club think that the increase is in part due to the fact that even though the half-term break is a holiday for both the young and retired, it remains a period of work for a large number of mums and dads throughout the United Kingdom.
The research showed that 40% of the grandparents surveyed admitted that they expect to spend up to £300 on their grandchildren during the half term break. It also showed that 87% of children feel happy after taking a break in a motorhome, so it seems like this trend is good news for everyone involved. Holidaying with two generations might be some people’s idea of hell, but the concept has taken off. The survey of over 1,000 older mobile home owners with young grandchildren found that 75% were planning a summer holiday with them next year. The trend has been called “gramping” and is the latest style of holiday to be given a collective name, following on from so called “glamping” (glamorous camping) and staycations, the trend of holidaying in the United Kingdom.
Over the last three years there has been a noticeable drop in the number of families flying abroad on holiday, because of the recession and what seems to be the ever increasing cost of Air Passenger Duty and fuel surcharges. Research also reveals how spending by older motorhome owners has increased by 20%, while one in five over-65s have taken a camping or motorhome holiday in the past four years. As the role of grandparents continues to grow, motorhome owners clearly feel the industry needs to think about how it will adapt to meet their needs.
Motorhome owners along with motorhome insurance providers will be disturbed with recent research that shows that an increasing number of people are taking a huge risk with their insurance policies by knowingly lying to their insurers when looking for cheap insurance.
It has for many years been a contributing factor in causing motor insurance premiums to rise but the practice now appears to be on the increase. Many United Kingdom motorists are lying to their insurance providers just to get cheaper premiums, according to the damning result of the research from a financial services company. Almost a quarter (24%) of drivers lied on their insurance policies and 40% admit they don’t tell the truth because they couldn’t afford the premium for the correct information. With motorhome owners out on the road a large amount of the year, their holiday could be ruined if their mobile home is damaged in an accident with a vehicle whose owner has lied to insurers. A collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver is a nightmare scenario for any law abiding motorist and can easily leave them with a repair bill through no fault of their own. Drivers need to make sure their insurance information is 100% accurate because any medical claims would also not be covered.
Another worrying statistic is that 26% of drivers wrongly believe lying to the insurer is a widely accepted activity and a further 28% believe that fronting is also an acceptable lie. Fronting involves parents falsely telling their insurance provider that they are the main driver of a car when their child will be the one driving the vehicle. Other potential problems motorhome owners face is that 13% see excluding additional drivers on a policy as acceptable and 22% agree that underestimating the amount of miles they actually drive is perfectly natural. Unsurprisingly, a further 20% revealed they have lied because they resent paying for expensive insurance. In 2011, 12% of motorhome insurance claims involved an accident with a driver who had their insurance cancelled because of lies told on the application form.
It’s possible that insurers need to make drivers more aware of the rules and legal implications of filling in an insurance form and they may have to simplify applications after 46% of respondents said they actually guessed the answers to some questions because they didn’t understand the wording.