Specialist UK motorhome sales and rental company has warned of an imminent shortfall in new motorhomes this year. This will leave customers and leisure operators without motorhomes for this summer’s anticipated staycation boom. The shortfall is due to a lack of orders of motorhome chassis placed by manufacturers back in 2019 as a result of concern around Brexit tariffs.
Matt Sims, managing director of The Motorhome Holiday Company, said: “Motorhome manufacturers were very cautious about ordering the European chassis at the end of 2019 as there was still huge uncertainty around Brexit tariffs which, for consumers, could have placed an additional GBP 8,000 (USD 10952.80) on the cost of a new motorhome. The market saw a huge surge in orders of new motorhomes in the summer and autumn of 2020, as a direct response to Covid-19 and the restrictions placed on travel. As a result, we’re looking at an approximate 40% shortfall in manufacture which is going to have a significant impact on consumers this spring.”
Many motorhome rental operators sold their older vehicles at the end of last season ordering new models for 2021. They are now faced with shrinking or even closing their businesses for this year due to a lack of available motorhomes to hire.
Commenting on the impact of the shortfall on the UK leisure sector, Matt Sims said: “We’re looking at up to one third of the UK motorhome hire businesses reducing their capacity with some businesses closing their doors altogether this season as they simply won’t be able to acquire motorhomes for hire in time for Spring when we hope the season will start. In line with customer demand, we had invested in twelve new motorhomes for 2021 but we won’t see delivery of those until October at the earliest which will mean we miss the summer season entirely.”
It is not only operators that are going to lose out. The motorhome hire sector predicted a rise in bookings of 100% this season; a combination of new and repeat business. But with the lack of available motorhomes, many customers who have already booked are going to be disappointed.
Sims added; “It’s going to be a huge blow to all those consumers who have ordered motorhomes or campervans for delivery for this spring as it’s highly unlikely they will receive their order until the autumn at the earliest.”
With the UK Government anticipating a ‘Great British Summer’ as the UK’s vaccine roll-out picks up speed, UK holidaymakers are expected to restrict their plans to a domestic holiday leading to unprecedented demand across the camping and caravanning sector.