Record numbers of motorhomes and caravans sold in UK

A record number of motorhomes and campervans have been sold in the UK in the past year as the leisure vehicle industry continues to rise to the challenge of unprecedented demand. The UK’s National Caravan Council (NCC) says that 16,608 new motorhomes were registered with the country’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the 12 months from 1 July 2020 to the end of June 2021. This represents a 8.25 per cent increase on the previous record, which was achieved in the 2018/19 period. The total value of sales of new motorhomes has now reached its highest ever value in the UK – approximately £1.15 billion.

John Lally, director general of the NCC, said: “COVID-19 restrictions on travel have helped, as the industry offers ‘social distance by design’ products. The industry is successfully attracting a new, younger customer while retaining existing ones.”

The growth of domestic holidays while international travel remains restricted is one big contributor to these figures, but the NCC also believes that the ability to carry out other outdoor pursuits while on a motorhome or campervan holiday is also a big factor. Another is the prevalence of WiFi internet connectivity, both in camping units and on campsites, that allows people who have been working from home to work from anywhere. 

Against the odds

One of the most impressive aspects of these latest figures is the fact that the UK industry has been facing some rather serious issues with raw materials supply and also labour shortages, brought about by a combination of the pandemic and also a rather messy exit from the European Union. The demand issue has become such a key problem that one of the UK’s biggest caravan and motorhome shows was recently postponed, with “challenges in the supply chain, the timing of the show and the additional demand it would generate” making it untenable for many exhibitors.

Despite all this, the UK industry has continued to post excellent figures and the long term outlook appears bright. John Lally added: “It has been a challenge for firms to meet the demand, but they have risen to it and the resourcefulness, dependability and professionalism they showed is reflected in these record figures. Motorhome manufacture has become a British success story as firms have a well-deserved reputation for design and innovation which, coupled with investment in more sophisticated production processes, helped to see them through these unprecedented times – and grow.” 

Want to know more about the UK camping and leisure vehicle market? Read our Doing Business with the UK article here.