Touring Caravans: growing sales and new owners

Caravan registrations up 20% on last year

New generation of caravanners take to touring

Since dealerships were allowed to reopen on 1 June, there have been numerous tales that caravan sales have really taken off. So, the National Caravan Council (NCC), the trade association for the leisure vehicle industry in the UK, undertook a study to prove this was the case and to see who these new buyers were. 

Caravanning is clearly the new cool, as a younger generation of customers takes to touring. According to the survey conducted in July by CRiS (the national register of touring caravan keepers), registrations of touring caravan were running at +20% versus the same time last year – and in August it is growing even faster. The survey indicated that 37% of registrations were from buyers who had never owned a touring caravan before (‘newbies’). There was also a substantial number of people (23%) coming back to caravanning (‘returners’).

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% versus the same time last year.

Who are these new buyers? Newbies are distinctly younger, with 34% aged 44 or younger. Almost half of them (47%) 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 is that they describe themselves as ‘outdoorsy’ people.

Facts: caravanning and COVID

Investing in holidays: One in five (20%) of the newbies bought brand new caravans – even though the starting price can be in excess of £12,000. Significantly, these newbies are 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’. 

Fear of flying: Facilitating holidaying in the UK and avoiding flying were the most frequently cited reasons.

Online research/phone a friend: Before buying, the majority did considerable online search; friends and family’s advice was important too, as were certain magazines and the two main consumer Clubs.

Midlands but not metropolis: The East and West Midlands are where most of these buyers live (combined at 29%), while the least likely area is London.

Survey methodology: It is 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 includes 526 responses.

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

Definitions used:

‘Newbies’ – consumer who claimed to have ‘never owned a caravan before’

‘Returning’ – consumer who has previously owned a caravan, but NOT in the last 12 months.


Editors’ notes

The National Caravan Council (the NCC) is the UK trade association for the touring caravan, motorhome, caravan holiday home and residential park home industries.

The NCC 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

Contact: or call 07824 994690 for more information.