With more Britons expecting to staycation this summer, expect to see plenty more motorhomes and campervans on our roads in 2021.
Demand for these vehicles boomed in 2020, with restrictions on overseas travel resulting in a surge in sales as people looked to invest in different ways to enjoy time away from home.
However, with increased demand usually comes a rise in related thefts.
And concerning figures revealed to This is Money suggests many owners of motorhomes and campers are not securing them adequately from thieves, with hardly any fitted with tracking devices and only half having alarm systems.
Are Britons failing to protect their staycationing vehicles? Research has revealed that motorhomes and campervans have below par security measures installed
Insurance comparison website Quotezone.co.uk checked over 55,000 policy quotes it provided in the last two years to drivers looking for cover for their mobile homes.
Some 28,654 motorhome quotes were reviewed and another 26,651 for campervans.
According to the information provided by drivers, just 13 per cent of motorhomes had a tracker while just six per cent of campers had one of the security devices fitted – that’s a total of 49,981 of 55,305 vehicles without them.
Trackers cost from £60 to £700, excluding annual subscriptions.
The devices are hidden in and around the vehicle that can then be monitored using GPS or high frequency waves to locate them if they’re stolen. T
]he providers work in conjunction with UK police forces to chase down criminals and return motors to their rightful owners.
Tracker, one of the biggest providers of the devices, claims to have a 95 per cent vehicle recovery rate – that’s for cars and motorhomes.
The technology has predominantly been used for high-value luxury cars in recent years.
In fact, some insurers insist on adding a tracking device from an approved list of companies if a vehicle is valued above £60,000.
However, the spate of keyless car thefts – which has seen vehicle crime levels spiral – has seen demand for the devices increase and more being used by drivers of less expensive cars, vans and motorcycles.
The average value of campervans in the UK is £14,406, according to insurance quotes in the last 2 years. However, just 6% have trackers, says Quotezone
Quotezone says just four per cent of all passenger cars have trackers fitted based on the feedback from drivers filling out insurance quotes in the last 24 months, though the percentage is likely to be higher for expensive models.
And it appears that few motorhome and campervan owners are taking advantage of them, which makes their pricey vehicles ripe for criminals to target.
|Number of premiums||28,654||26,651|
|Average vehicle value||£25,409||£14,406|
|Average age of owner||58||50|
|Owners with no convictions in past 5 years||93%||93%|
|Where vehicles are kept overnight|
|Source: 55,305 insurance quotes processed by Quotezone.co.uk in 2019-2020|
The average value of motorhomes being insured is £25,409 and £14,406 for campers. Some 130 said theirs was worth £100,000, says the comparison site.
With the average age of owners of both vehicle types being 50 years or over, both are likely to be treasured possessions that retirees have heavily invested in.
Tracker told This is Money that caravans and motorhomes accounted for over £1million worth of assets stolen and recovered by the firm last year.
And unlike car theft, which has declined during periods of lockdown, caravan and motorhome theft has remained static year-on-year.
The most expensive motorhome stolen and recovered by Tracker in 2020 was a £45,000 Elddis 2017 Encore in June, with the lowest – a Swift 624 – valued at £25,000.
What’s most surprising is that around half of owners of these vehicles say they don’t even have alarm systems installed – which cost in the region of £199 and £400.
Shockingly, that is the case for 46 per cent of motorhomes and 55 per cent of campervans.
It’s a worrying statistic, especially as two thirds of these vehicles are parked on driveways and eight per cent of motorhomes and 15 per cent of campers kept on the road, which makes them easy pickings for criminals.
Insurance experts suggest owners of motorhomes and caravans may be failing to declare that their vehicles have alarms fitted. However, if this is the case, many will be overpaying on premiums
Quotezone’s insurance experts say this may be due to some owners not knowing the full extent of the security features in their vehicle and failing to disclose that they have alarms installed.
If this is the case, these owners are likely overpaying for insurance cover, with alarms and trackers both reducing the cost of premiums for drivers.
Greg Wilson, Quotezone founder, said: ‘Motorhomes are becoming increasingly popular and with the current pandemic grounding most flights for the foreseeable future, it is likely there will be a sharp rise in demand for motorhomes in 2021, as people explore the joys of staycations.
‘My advice, especially if the world of motorhomes is new to you, is to double check the full extent of the security features on your vehicle and consider installing any upgrades needed.
‘Unlike other vehicles, if your motorhome gets stolen, it’s more than four wheels, it’s likely full of expensive and memorable items that help make it your home on the road.
‘It’s also your escape, your opportunity to have a holiday, so it needs to be protected. Those who fit tracking devices have a much higher chance of relocating their stolen vehicle.’
Tracker, which is one provider of stolen vehicle recovery devices, said it located and successfully returned over £9million worth of motors last year
According to the data extrapolated from the quotes made on its website, Quotezone says the average profile of motorhome and campervan owners tends to be older drivers with few driving convictions – which should transalte to calculated low premiums.
Some 93 per cent of drivers who requested insurance quotes on these vehicles had clean driving records, while the average of owners was 58 (motorhomes) and 50 (campervans).
‘From an insurance point of view, you need to make sure your details are accurate so that your policy is not void should you need to make a claim and also access any savings you might be entitled to,’ explains Wilson.
‘Adding additional security measures such as trackers and alarms, can deter thieves and reduce your motorhome insurance premiums.’
How do trackers in vehicles work?
Trackers usually consist of covert transmitters hidden in one of several dozen places around a vehicle.
There is no visible aerial, so the thief will not know it’s there.
They use VHF (Very High Frequency) in the same way as an electronic homing device.
Devices from Tracker are resistant to both GPS and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) jamming, so thieves can’t block the high frequency signal they give off.
Tracker told us that prices for its range of devices starts from £249 and, depending on the device selected, can provide full or partial European coverage – tracking throughout the UK, France, Spain, Poland, Italy, Holland and Luxembourg.
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.