27 August 2020
27 August 2020, Comments Comments Off on NCC survey shows UK touring caravan sales up 20% on last year, with 37% of buyers ‘newbies’
NCC survey shows UK touring caravan sales up 20% on last year, with 37% of buyers 'newbies'

The National Caravan Council (NCC), the trade association for the leisure vehicle industry in the UK, undertook a study to prove that caravan sales have really taken off since UK dealerships were allowed to reopen on 1 June, and to see who these new buyers were. 

According to the survey conducted in July by CRiS (the national register of touring caravan keepers), registrations of touring caravans were running at +20 percent versus the same time last year, and in August it was growing even faster. The survey indicated that 37 percent of registrations were from buyers who had never owned a touring caravan before (‘newbies’). There was also a substantial number of people (23 percent) coming back to caravanning (‘returners’ – consumers who has previously owned a caravan, but NOT in the last 12 months).

This upswing in consumer demand is even more marked when buying a pre-owned tourer. Pre purchase CRiS checks (which provide information on theft, write offs, and outstanding finance) are currently running at +50 percent versus the same time last year.

These new buyers, ‘newbies’ (consumers who claimed to have ‘never owned a caravan before’) are distinctly younger, with 34 percent aged 44 or younger. Almost half of them (47 percent) have children living at home – but it runs in the family as the majority claimed to have had experience of a camping/caravan/motorhome holiday when younger. One of the less surprising characteristics was that they described themselves as ‘outdoorsy’ people.

One in five (20 percent) of the newbies bought brand new caravans – even with starting prices in excess of £12,000. Significantly, these newbies appear to be here to stay – not many said they expect to return to other types of holidays when COVID-19 is over.

COVID-19 influenced their decision: Most commonly, newbies say that their decision to buy was ‘brought forward, earlier than they had expected’. 

Facilitating holidaying in the UK and avoiding flying were the most frequently cited reasons for making their purchase.

The research showed that before buying, the majority of those surveyed did considerable online search; friends and family’s advice was important too, as were certain magazines and the two main UK consumer Clubs.

Most of the buyers in the research lived in the East and West Midlands (combined at 29%), while the least likely area was London.

The survey was based on a quantitative survey sent to all CRiS touring caravan registrations between 1 June (when dealerships were allowed to open in England) and 3 July. It included 526 responses.

This report covers consumers who have bought a touring caravan since March 2020 only, and assessed profile differences between ‘new’, ‘returning’ and ‘existing’ consumers in that time frame.

The National Caravan Council (the NCC) is the UK trade association for the touring caravan, motorhome, caravan holiday home and residential park home industries. It represents more than 550 companies across 850 different UK outlets, and is the only UK trade association that represents the entire supply chain, including holiday/residential parks, dealerships, manufacturers, workshops, and suppliers of specialist services and products.

Dealerships in England were permitted to re-open for business on 1 June – they had been closed from 23 March.

The CRiS registration service, operated by the NCC, sells a range of services associated with buying a new or used caravan – read more at www.cris.co.uk