Out and About in the UK

caravan club
The British Caravan Club, 19 December 2011
It might come as a surprise to many to learn that the British Caravan Club (the umbrella organisation for people who go caravanning in the UK) has over 1 million current members, making it one of the largest membership organisations in the country.

Indeed, since the recession, caravanning seems to have made something of a comeback, though you might not have noticed it from the numbers of caravans on the country's motorways. Dig a little deeper, however, and speak to specialist companies like Park Resorts (who specialise in static caravan sales and holidays) and you start to get the whole picture.

First of all, there's static caravan sales in the UK which have been steadily rising for several years. The main reason is that static caravans offer exactly the same benefits of a second house, while being about 1% of the cost. You don't pay council tax, you can rent out the property when you're not using it, and even better, most caravans are found in parks, so there's usually someone constantly on hand to keep an eye on your caravan.

A new static caravan will set you back about £15,000, which isn't so much if it's in a nice location and you think that you'll go back year after year, it could even represent a good investment if you're not going to keep going back. However, if you're the type that fancies travelling around, a static caravan is obviously not the right investment.
The second hand market in caravans has recently gone through the roof, obviously due to the financial crisis. Recent reports suggested that one of Britain's main manufacturers of new caravans were having to lay people off, because the second hand market was where the majority of people were turning to.

Second hand caravans are no longer the cramped, dirty things that you might imagine. More recent models appear regularly on the market and you can get a really good 'van for less than £6,000 if you have an eye for a bargain. When you think about how much freedom a caravan offers, and how much you'll save by using it (the average pitch costs £5 a night instead of £60 or more for a B&B) that suddenly looks like quite the investment.

If there is one cloud on the horizon for caravanning it's the price of fuel, which only seems to be heading in one direction and makes caravanning more expensive. Still, even then, the average caravan holiday is a fraction of the price of any other type of holiday, and you have complete independence over where you go.

So whether you're looking to hit the open road and explore the best of the UK, or spend some time by the sea side (and make a decent investment) caravans might just be the perfect way to go.

The Caravan Club
The British Caravan Club

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