Campervans are larger, more difficult to store, and often cover much longer distances than the vehicle you use to commute. Does this make insuring them more expensive? How much is campervan insurance in the UK?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but we’ll look at the ways your campervan model, your location, and your driving history can affect your insurance costs. We’ll also offer some tips that might get you a better deal.
The importance of campervan insurance
Like cars, campervans must be insured to drive legally on the UK road network.
Caravan insurance is not a legal requirement because they don’t have engines. But because a campervan is a vehicle rather than something you tow, you must organise insurance cover before you get behind the wheel.
It’s also important to insure your campervan with a specialist policy for campervans or motorhomes. This is because you don’t just use a campervan to drive around — it’s also the place where you sleep, cook, and live while you’re on the road. As a result, it won’t usually be covered by regular car or van insurance.
Some campervan drivers also prefer to take out an insurance policy with more than just the minimum level of coverage.
This is because it can be more difficult (and therefore more expensive) to get a campervan fixed or towed than a car. Repairs can take longer or end up costing much more, especially if you’ve customised your camper to meet your needs. And motorhomes don’t depreciate at the same rate as cars — some even gain value as they become classic campervans.
The right level of cover can help protect your investment and keep it on the road for years to come.
Types of UK campervan insurance
Just as with car insurance, campervan drivers can choose from three main types of cover:
- Third-party only campervan insurance: Third-party insurance will only cover the repair costs and legal expenses incurred by the other person in the accident if your campervan damages their property.
- Third-party, fire, and theft insurance: This also covers fire damage and pays out if your campervan is stolen. Remember that there’s evidence of rising rates of motorhome theft, so it’s definitely worth considering this type of cover over the most basic policies.
- Comprehensive campervan insurance: Comprehensive cover includes all of the above, plus it might cover you if an uninsured driver hits you, or if you cause accidental damage to your campervan yourself.
You might also be able to add optional extras to your campervan policy. These could include breakdown cover, temporary European cover if you go to the continent for a few days, cover for the bikes on bike racks, enhanced contents insurance for your personal possessions, or insurance for your campervan’s awning.
The most important thing to understand is that campervan insurance covers you when you’re using the campervan for short trips and holidays. You could void your insurance contract if the campervan becomes a full-time living space or if you use it to run your business.
What’s the average price of campervan insurance?
So, is insuring a campervan expensive compared to other recreational vehicles? And how much is it to insure a motorhome in the UK?
Campervan insurance costs can start as low as £150 to £200 per year for a basic policy. But if you want more comprehensive cover, you don’t have a good driving record, or you drive a larger or more powerful camper, you might find yourself paying well over £1,000. [Note to Howden: These figures are from this website. We’ve struggled to find a similar figure on a non-competitor website (even the Caravan Club sells their own insurance now!). Would you be able to give an indication of what your own range of prices might be?]
Specialist campervan insurance policies might give you a better deal compared to generic car or van cover. And as always, it’s best to get a range of quotes to compare your options. You can even consider multi-cover policies — which include your car and motorhome — to find the best deal.
You can learn more about Howden’s specialist motorhome insurance options here, including mobile home insurance, caravan insurance, and trailer tent insurance.
What affects the average cost of motorhome insurance?
As with car insurance, companies that cover mobile homes take a few different criteria into account when they put your quote together.
The insured person’s driving record is one of the most important criteria for deciding the final cost of coverage. Insurance providers consider:
- The driver’s age — quotes for under-25s can be much higher
- The number of vehicles the person owns
- Their experience of driving campervans or caravans
- Their driving record, including insurance claims, who was at fault during any accidents, and any points they have on their licence
Insurance companies need to judge how “risky” drivers are when they take their campervan on the road, partly by taking annual mileage and destinations into account. Put simply, the longer you spend on the road, the higher the chances that you’ll be involved in an accident. The mileage also feeds into insurance calculations associated with wear and tear, and how likely your campervan is to break down.
Your home address can raise or lower your motorhome insurance premium. For example, insurers consider a campervan stored in the centre of a large city to be more of a risk than one in a smaller town or village. The ability to store your campervan off the road is important, and access to a secure garage can decrease your premiums significantly.
Insurers also look at what’s called “aftermarket work”, which is any change you make to the campervan after it becomes yours. This includes upgrades to the interior, or converting a van to use as a camper. These modifications can increase your insurance costs because they make the campervan unique, which makes it more complex to repair and more expensive to replace.
Just like with your car insurance, the size of your campervan and its engine will also affect your insurance premiums — as well as whether non-specialist insurers will even insure your campervan in the first place.
The maximum size for a motorhome is 2.55 x 12 m. But some popup campervans, including the famously tiny Suzuki super carry, are much smaller and therefore much more affordable to insure.
Because campervans tend to hold their value better than cars, you might also find yourself paying more for a campervan that’s no longer in production. This is because it would be more difficult and more expensive to replace like-for-like if your camper was written off.
How to lower the cost of campervan insurance
Like many types of car insurance, your campervan insurance cost might have risen in recent years.
Campervan insurance is essential, so you won’t simply be able to skip out on this cost. But as with car insurance, static caravan insurance, and home insurance, there are some dos and don’ts you can do to try to lower the fees you pay.
- Do invest in security features. This could include fitting an alarm or a tracking device. Some insurers may even require these security devices before they write a quote. If you can pay to park your campervan in a secure garage while you’re not using it, so much the better.
- Do protect your camper in winter. You should look into ways to reduce the wear and tear on your camper in the colder months when an unused caravan is likely to rust.
- Do choose a smaller camper. Buying a smaller campervan, or one with a less powerful engine, can also reduce insurance costs as they’re generally less expensive vehicles. Some smaller campers, including classic VW campervans, are seen almost as cars by some insurers, which means you end up paying less for insurance.
- Do choose a common make and model. If you get a campervan that’s more common and keep modifications to a minimum, it’ll be easier to fix, and less likely to go wrong in the first place.
- Don’t add another named driver. Although you might want to share the driving if you take your campervan on long trips to Europe, putting family members on your policy as additional drivers can add an additional cost. This is especially the case if they’re younger drivers. Of course, safety comes first, so if you opt for this route, make sure to break up your trips into short distances that one driver can comfortably manage in a day.
How much is motorhome insurance in the UK? A summary
Although a lot depends on your driving history, the type of campervan you have, and how you intend to use it, your campervan insurance doesn’t have to break the bank.
Some of the best ways to lower the cost of your insurance include:
- Additional security measures
- Secure parking facilities
- Limiting the number of people who drive your campervan
- Holding back on the modifications you make to your mobile home
Choosing to insure your campervan with a specialist insurer, rather than a company that usually covers cars, can also help you to get a fairer quote. Chat to them about insuring the personal belongings you keep in your mobile home, too.
With the right policy in place, you can have peace of mind while you enjoy life on the open road.
Get a quote from the experts at Howden online or pop into your local branch to discuss specialised campervan insurance policies today.