Motorhome and Campervan Guide: Your Guide to Owning and Enjoying a Motorhome or Campervan

The popularity of motorhomes and campervans has soared in recent years.  In 2010, just 7,315 new motorhomes were registered in the UK, but by 2019, that number had reached 15,324.  Today, there are a total of over 300,000 motorhomes and campervans on the UK’s roads, up from 225,000 in 2018.  

The rise in their popularity has been fuelled by a combination of travel restrictions during the pandemic, the ease of use these great vehicles offer, and increased affordability thanks to contract leasing and a healthy second-hand market.   

Buying, maintaining and insuring a motorhome or campervan can be a big commitment, so to help you get the most from yours, here’s Advance Insurance’s Motorhome and Campervan Guide.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Motorhomes and Campervans

What’s the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?

Typically, a motorhome is a purpose-built vehicle that’s been designed to be a living space that you can drive around.  Generally speaking, motorhomes tend to have longer wheelbases than campervans and be wider.  This is because the intention was to create something you could live in rather, something that’s often not the case with campervans. 

A campervan, on the other hand, is usually smaller.  That’s because these started life as vans – a VW California, for example, is basically a VW Transporter.  Given the rise in popularity of people converting vans themselves, this isn’t always the case these days.  A converted Fiat Ducato, for example, is going to be a fair-sized campervan. 

From the DVLA’s perspective, motorhomes and campervans are both classed as a ‘motor caravan’.  However, if you have converted a van into a campervan, you must return the logbook – the V5C – to the DVLA.  This is because they need to know if any major alterations, such as wheel plans or body type, have been made. 

What types of motorhomes and campervans are there?

There are four defined classes of motorhomes and campervans, which are: 

  • A-Class motorhomes 
  • B-Class motorhomes (van conversions) 
  • C-Class motorhomes (coach-built motorhomes) 
  • Campervans 

An A-class motorhome is a purpose-built motorhome based on a heavy chassis designed for the comfort of its occupants.   With an average length of 30 feet and a width of 14 feet, there’s plenty of room inside for bathrooms and living areas. 

These are luxury vehicles.  A new Adria Matrix will cost you around £100,000, and as its gross vehicle weight (GVW), you’ll need an over 3.5-tonne entitlement on your licence to drive one.  If you passed your driving test before the 1st of January 1997, your standard driving licence will allow you to do so.  If you passed your test after the 1st of January 1997, then you’ll need to apply for provisional entitlement to drive C1 category vehicles and pass a C1 driving test – a specific test for heavier commercial vehicles.

A B-class motorhome is a panel van – a VW Transporter or a Ford Transit, for example – that’s been converted into a campervan.  This category covers readymade conversions or ones that you convert yourself.  These are smaller vehicles than a Class A, being on average around 20 feet long and 8 feet wide with a GVW of two tonnes.  Having a lighter weight means you can drive this on a standard full licence.

A C-class motorhome is a ‘coach-built’ motorhome, so they are built as motorhomes rather than as an adaption of a standard van as B-class motorhomes are.  Built with a can or cut-away chassis, they are often larger than B-class motorhomes, typically being around 28 feet long and 8 feet wide.  As with Class-A motorhomes, these vehicles tend to be heavy, usually weighing in at 3 tonnes plus, so you’ll need to check to make sure your license will permit you to drive one or if you need to take your C1 driving test.

A campervan is a smaller version of a motorhome.  There’s rarely a divide between the cab and the rear, and facilities are limited and compact.  While many will have cooking facilities in the form of a couple of rings and while a few have toilets, these are the smallest of smallest rooms.

Campervans are ideal for weekends or short breaks and have the advantage of being light enough to drive on a standard licence and being small enough to make manoeuvring them relatively easy.  The most popular form of campervan in the UK is the pop-top campervan.  These have expandable roof areas that provide additional sleeping quarters.

How to choose the right size and model of motorhome or campervan? 

With campervans and motorhomes being expensive pieces of kit – a Merelo Empire Liner motorhome will set you back nearly £700,000 – it’s important to get the right one for your needs.  Factors that you need to consider when choosing a motorhome or campervan include: 

You can pick up a cheap second-hand campervan, such as a used Mazda Bongo, for under £19,000 or, as we’ve said, you can spend hundreds of thousands on a luxury Class-A motorhome. 

Depending on the weight of your vehicle, it will either be £165 per year for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (so Class-C motorhomes) or £270 for those over 3.5 tonnes (Class-A and B motorhomes).  If you’re lucky enough to own a classic motorhome or campervan – one that was built or first registered before 1st of January 1983 – you don’t have to pay road tax.  You will need to a historic vehicle tax exemption, but you won’t need to pay anything.

Depending on the size, cost, the age of the drivers, where it’s stored, etc., insurance quotes can start at around £250 with the average campervan insurance or motorhome insurance costing about £350. If you’d like to know how much motorhome or campervan insurance will cost you, please contact the Advance Insurance team, and they’ll be happy to give you all the advice you need and an insurance quote.

Motorhomes and campervans aren’t just modes of transport; they are places you’ll be living in. Maintenance is more involved as it has more systems and facilities to check and maintain.

While the cost of servicing will depend on its size, age, where it’s stored, the overall condition, mileage, etc., the Caravan and Motorhome Club estimate that for most owners, the cost of a service will be between £250-£500 per year.

Then there’s the habitation check.  Water getting in is a constant threat to your motorhome or campervan.  New vehicles will have a warranty of 2-3 years and a ‘water ingress’ cover of up to 10 years.  Eventually, it is likely that seals will need to be replaced and any damage done fixed.

Owing to their size, all campervans and motorhomes are relatively thirsty vehicles.  Even a small diesel campervan will only do 30 miles a gallon (Office for National Statistics’ figures).  With average diesel prices having risen from 120p a litre in January 2021 to 147 a litre in January 2024, according to the RAC Foundation’s fuel index, fuel costs are an important consideration.

If you’re looking for something for a weekend away for one or two people, then a campervan should be fine.  If you have an awning, then it’s suitable for up to four.  However, if you’re looking for a mobile home away from home for longer trips, then a motorhome may be a better option.

Aside from higher purchase, running, and insurance costs, larger motorhomes bring other considerations, too. As we have said, you’ll need to check if your licence covers you, but you should also think about if you have somewhere large enough to park it and overwinter it.  Large motorhomes can also be trickier to drive and manoeuvre.  Country lanes, winding hillside roads and six-berth motorhomes don’t make great bedfellows.  Also, if you have a problem, you may need a specialist breakdown and recovery service.

Of course, if you have a large family or would like to take friends on an extended tour, you’ll need a larger vehicle, but it’s worth thinking this through and getting expert advice from a dealer.

Where to buy a motorhome or campervan

When it comes to purchasing a campervan or motorhome, there are plenty of places you can look.  If you’re looking for a new vehicle, then the obvious place to start is your local dealership.  They can give you all the advice you need, arrange test drives, and more than likely give you access to their stock of used vehicles.
While motorhomes and campervan prices have risen in the past few years, the buoyant second-hand market and leasing have made motorhome ownership possible for many people.  A new V W California 6.1 has an on-the-road price of £61,442.  But you can have one on a personal contract plan (PCP) for £445 per month.  You will have to pay a deposit of £14,943, but this makes owning a campervan easier.  (January 2024 figures- from VW)
In terms of buying a used campervan or motorhome, good places to look for second-hand vehicles include: 
Online enthusiast groups are good for finding pre-loved vehicles.
  • Facebook groups can be useful; members can point you toward reputable dealers.
  • Autotrader.
  • Facebook marketplace.
  • eBay can be a good place but be prepared to travel if you have something specific in mind.
  • Shows can be a useful source of information – ones such as the National Motorhome and Campervan Show at the NEC in Birmingham will often have a for sale section including dealer exclusives and maybe even show specials.  For larger shows, the car park can be a good place to see vehicles that may appeal to you.

Converting a van to a campervan

As campervans have become more popular, so has the number of people who are creating their own bespoke vehicles.   Converting a standard van into a campervan is a great way to get exactly what you want and can, in some cases, work out cheaper than buying a ready-made one from the manufacturer.
If you’re thinking of converting a van into a camper van, here are some things you should consider:

People can get very passionate about campervans, and with passion can come a loss of control.  Adding extras can quickly take the basic cost of conversion from £7,000 to multiples of that figure.  Set a budget and stick to it.

Based on your budget, work out what you can have.  You’ll obviously want things like beds and possibly somewhere to cook, so factor in those first and see what’s left for extras.  Also, check the DVLA website before you start work.  They have strict rules on what can and cannot be done.

Think about your needs again.  Big vans like a long wheelbase Ducato or a Volkswagen Crafter will give you plenty of space, but do you need it, will you be happy driving it, and can you afford the running costs?

While it may be lovely to have a shower in the van if the space isn’t available, it won’t work.

If you’re using a panel van for your base, you’ll need to fit some windows.  This is usually the first job to do, and their location will depend on your chosen layout.  Also, think about installing skylights.  You’ll also want to install a ventilation system in the van.  This should remove water vapour and heat from the interior or provide heat in colder weather.

These are usually working vehicles that you’re converting, built for moving things around, not people.  You’ll need to insulate the van to make it habitable in cooler times and so that it doesn’t turn into a furnace in the summer. 


Having a supply of water onboard is a good idea, but you’ll need a way of getting it in and getting rid of wastewater.  You can either do this with portable containers or internal tanks.  In the latter case, a 12-volt pump can move the water around for you.  With wastewater, this should ideally go to an external tank, too.

You will need to tell the DVLA you have made the conversion.  As we have said, they have strict rules, and they may want photographic evidence of the work you’ve done.  Doing so can mean cheaper campervan insurance and MOTs, and allow you to drive at 70 mph on the motorway rather than the van limit of 60.

What equipment do you need in a motorhome or campervan?

Whether you have a custom campervan or buy a standard model, there are some must-have items for motorhome and campervan trips:  
  • An electric cable to connect to the electricity supply – keep a long one as you never know how far away the supply may be.
  • Water carrier.
  • Change to toll roads/bridges.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Phone charger to stay in touch and call for help if you need it.
  • Bottled water.
  • Folding chairs.
  • Plastic drinking glasses.
  • Windscreen blinds to stop the light from getting in while you are trying to sleep.
  • Cool box and ice packs – if you don’t have a fridge on board.
  • The all-important toilet roll, washing up liquid, washing up bowl, matches, candles, bin-bags, poo bags if you have a dog, ground stake to keep pets near, disposable BBQs (if the site allows them).
  • Kitchen roll – wipe away condensation from your windows after sleeping in the van for a night.
  • First aid kit.
  • Fan heater if your unit doesn’t have heating.
  • A slow cooker is perfect for warming up your dinner – suggest you pre-cook if you don’t to be chopping up ingredients in the van.
  • Extension cables.
  • Change of clothes.
  • Bedding – not forgetting a fitted sheet and you could also consider a heated blanket for those colder nights.  A hot water bottle could also be a good addition.
  • Throws and coats in case it’s cold.
  • An awning if you want the extra space and flooring.
  • Awning storm straps in case it’s windy.
  • A step to get into your van if you don’t have an automated step.
  • An extra car if you want to explore remote regions.
  • Lamp to offer more suitable lighting at night.

How to optimize storage space in your campervan or motorhome?

For most campervan owners, and for some motorhome owners for that matter, space is often at a premium.  The list of essential equipment is quite long, and all these items need to be stored somewhere.  To help you travel right, not just light, here are some ways you can optimize the storage space in your campervan or motorhome: 

Camping is big business these days, and many essentials now come in conveniently compact formats.  For example, pack a cool bag rather than a bulky cool box.

Some vehicles will come with free spaces that are either designed for factory-fitted extras or as no obvious use could be found for them.  These nooks can make handy storage spaces that can house small zip bags or plastic boxes for small essentials.

Nets are great for keeping small items tucked away; they’re relatively inexpensive and can- help keep your vehicle tidy.

Bulky essentials such as towels or clothes can take up a lot of space.  Vacuum bags can reduce the amount of space required by up to 50%.

In campervans in particular, free space is at a premium.  One way to solve this is to use collapsible kitchen equipment such as collapsible bowls, pans, and even kettles.

If you’re really struggling for space, you can always add a top box or a rear-mounted storage box.

What are the benefits of travelling with a motorhome or campervan? 

There are multiple benefits associated with owning and travelling with a motorhome or campervan.   Some of these include: 

It’s Friday afternoon, and the weekend’s weather is set fair.  A quick call or a few clicks on a campsite’s website is all that stands between you and a mini break.  Being able to spontaneously turn a weekend into an adventure is a big draw for many owners.  And for those with more time and greater wanderlust, European holidays await, assuming you have European cover as part of your motorhome or campervan insurance.

With your accommodation behind the driver’s seat, you have the freedom to go at your own pace.  You can also take many of your home comforts with you and eat and drink what you want to create a home from home.

The cost of package holidays rose sharply in 2023, and in 2024, it’s predicted that there will be a further 20% increase in prices according to The Times. Soaring jet fuel prices, environmental taxes, and increased staff costs have pushed the cost of a traditional holiday to new heights.   

Motorhome and campervan holidays are relatively affordable by comparison.  With diesel prices down on the historic highs of £1.98 per litre in mid-2022 to just £1.48 per litre in January 2024 (RAC Foundation) and with further falls predicted to come, having a motorhome holiday is relatively affordable.  

While you will have to pay pitch fees for your vehicle – around £30 – £40 per night, depending on whether you want a serviced or super pitch – this is still cheap accommodation.  If you’re spending time in Scotland, you can still wild camp with your vehicle.  Wild camping gives you the freedom to pull up and pitch almost anywhere.

The Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003 established statutory public rights of access to land, effectively allowing public access to all land (including privately owned land) as long as you follow certain rules.  These include camping away from roads, buildings and historic monuments, inside enclosed fields that contain livestock or crops, or near private homes without permission.

You are the master of your own destiny.  If you find a spot you love, you can stay for a while or enjoy a different view each morning.  The choice is yours.

Did you know you can legally live in your motorhome the whole year round?  So long as you aren’t pitched illegally, you can stay in it for as long as you like.  So, if you’d like to experience the beauty of the British Isles or take on the 1,189-mile trip from Land’s End to John oGroats, then a motorhome or campervan would be a great way to do it.

What features and amenities to look for in a campervan or motorhome?

The type of features and amenities that are offered by campervans and motorhomes vary wildly.  Basics like the physical size, its date of manufacture, and the purchase price will all have a bearing on things.  

Then there’s the question of your usage habits.   If you’re a childless couple that is only going to use it for short weekend trips during the summer, then you may not need a home-from-home set of amenities.  Similarly, if you have a family and are looking to use it for longer holidays, then you may want a more comprehensive set of facilities. 

In either case, there are some features and amenities to look for in a campervan or motorhome, such as:

While both motorhomes and campervans provide somewhere to sleep, the ones in campervans tend to be cruder as they comprise of a reconfiguration of the seats. Rock and roll beds are popular as these allow   You can also get electrically powered versions of these now, which makes life even easier.

A campervan’s size makes putting in partition walls for separate rooms impractical in most cases.  If you’re converting a van to a campervan yourself, then you may be able to accommodate separate rooms if the van you are working on is sufficiently large.   A Fiat Ducato can be up to 20 feet long, so the space could, theoretically, be divided. 

Get creative with space and fixtures and you can make one space serve multiple uses.  For example, if you add captain swivel seats to the front – then you can very quickly create a living room area for 4 people.  Add a table from tabletop and island leg and you have a dining area.

Pop-top conversions can add extra sleeping space for two people in the roof space. Also, awnings can provide valuable extra sleeping spaces if required. There is also the ability to have a hammock bed in the driver’s cabin.

Motorhomes often offer separate bedrooms, depending on the size and the model.

Both campervans and motorhomes generally have some sort of kitchen.  In a campervan, that’s likely to be a small area with a sink, a hob, and a small fridge.  In motorhomes – particularly in Class A motorhomes – these can be proper galley affairs with everything from a microwave and an extractor hood to a full-sized fridge and a washing machine.

According to the Caravan and Motorhome Club, 65% of 16 – 20-foot campervans have showers, but only 3% have toilets.  Campervanners often use the facilities provided by sites.  With motorhomes, toilets and showers are more common.  Most two-berth motorhomes on the market today have both. 

What’s included will depend on the vehicle you’re buying. Luxury Class-A motorhomes may well come with a plasma TV and built-in sound system.  A more basic and smaller campervan may not.  Campervan owners often add TVs, and both campervan and motorhome owners tend to favour digital channels as the reception can be better.

Streamed media can pose issues, however, as wi-fi signals can be limited, particularly in rural or remote areas.   Seasoned campervanners know it’s best to download content before they travel to ensure they aren’t left without entertainment for the evening.  Onsite pubs can also be a good source of entertainment and offer the chance to make friends with fellow campers.

While everyone’s dream trip is made in warm sunny weather, as we all know, the British climate can have other ideas.  Double glazing is more prevalent in motorhomes simply because there’s more space. 

How to maintain your campervan or motorhome

Like any other vehicle, your campervan or motorhome needs some love and attention from time to time.  Annual servicing is advisable, and a Class 4 MOT test is mandatory if the vehicle is three years old or older. 
Unlike other vehicles, campervans and motorhomes offer other services which need to be checked and maintained.  A careful owner will look to:

Leaving dirt on the exterior for long periods of time can dull the paintwork permanently and speed corrosion.  Interior cleanliness is particularly important for campervans and motor homes as you’ll likely be eating, sleeping, and maybe washing in there.  Space is confined, so a bacterial problem arising from dirty plates or discarded food in the kitchen could quickly spread.

Test your tyre pressure before making trips and keep an eye on tread levels.  1.6mm is the legal minimum amount of overall tread for a motorhome. If yours start getting close to this, you should change them.  You may be best off purchasing CP or C marked tyres as they are heavy duty and better for heavier vehicles.   Many campervan and motorhome owners find that tyres cracked due to lack of use.  This is another reason why – even during the off-season – that it’s a good idea to take you vehicle out for regular runs.  In any event it’s worth looking out for signs of tyre cracking.

Owing to the vehicle’s weight, tyres can wear relatively quickly.  To quickly check the tread, take a 20p and insert it into the tread grooves on your tyre.  If when you have inserted the coin, you cannot see the outer band, that indicates that your tyre is above the legal limit of 1.6mm.  This isn’t a foolproof method, and we’d strongly advise you to get your tyres inspected by a professional tyre fitter on a regular basis.

Make a point of checking the oil regularly and change it at least once a year or every 4-6,000 miles. 

Including your carbon monoxide alarm – and water systems is also important. Test them out by using the hob and the tap.  Also, check how much gas you have left in the cylinder.  The easy way to do this is by using scales.  For example, the total weight of a 13kg cylinder is 25kg – the bottle weighs 12kg, and the gas weighs 13kg.  To check how much gas is remaining, place the bottle on a scale and check the weight.  In the case of a 25kg cylinder, if it weighs 15kg, you know you have 3kg left, and you should consider changing it.

Tips for winterising and storing your vehicle during the off-season.

Most motorhome and campervan owners will put their vehicles to bed for the winter.  This needs careful consideration as you’ll want it to be secure and damage-free.   To help you with winterising your motorhome or campervan, here are our top tips for storing your vehicle during the off-season: 
Tip 1
Decide where you are going to store it. For most owners, the options are to store it at home, on someone’s land – a farmer, for example - or on a professional site. Whichever you choose, you need to make sure it’s secure. If you’re going to store on a site, the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CaSSOA) offers a range of sites throughout the country graded according to their security provisions. Whichever you choose, you’ll need to let your campervan or motorhome insurance provider know where it’s being kept.
Tip 2
Wherever it’s stored, you’ll need to winterise your vehicle. This involves tasks such as draining down the water to avoid pipes freezing, expanding, and bursting.
Tip 3
Damp and mould are major problems for motorhomes and campervans when they are laid up. Before you put yours to bed, on a dry day, open all the doors, hatches, and windows to allow as much fresh air in as you can. If it’s not going to have a cover fitted and will be stored in the open, fit fridge winter vent covers to prevent insects and rain from getting in. Once a month, take it out for a drive with the windows open to refresh the air and give the engine an outing.
Tip 4
Give the interior a deep clean. Use an antibacterial spray on all surfaces, give the floor a hoovering and brush down soft furnishings. Empty and wipe out the fridge and leave the door ajar. It’s a good idea to cover surfaces and fittings such as seats with a dust sheet.
Tip 5
Secure your vehicle. Even if you’re storing it on a site, there’s no harm in increasing your vehicle’s security. Steering locks and wheel clamps are both effective and relatively inexpensive ways to secure your motorhome or caravan. You can get a GPS vehicle tracker under a £100 these days – a sound investment should someone decide to steal your pride and joy.
Tip 6
Fit a cover. Fitting a cover will save you from having to go through the laborious process of cleaning muck, rain stains, and algae from your vehicle in the spring. Prolonged exposure to the elements can dull paintwork, and a cover can also help keep the elements out of your vehicle.
Tip 7
Check your vehicle has anti-freeze. Ruptured radiators and cooling pipes can be expensive to repair, so make sure you have sufficient antifreeze in your vehicle’s system.
Tip 8
If your vehicle has a toilet, make sure the toilet cassette is empty after its last use.
Tip 9
Check gas systems are safe by closing all valves and disconnecting the gas cylinder. Removing the cylinder and storing it elsewhere is not a bad idea.
Tip 10
Check your fuel tank is full as moisture in the fuel tank can cause problems. Also, remove the battery and have it charged at a garage.
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Parking up motorhome or campervan: A guide to camping and campervan sites

With the exception of Scotland, where wild camping is still legal, if you’re looking to stay overnight in your motorhome, you’ll need to use a site.  In this section of our Motorhome and Campervan Guide, we’ll give you some advice on the types of camping locations, the sorts of pitches they offer, and finding camping and caravan sites where you can park. 
Where to pitch your motorhome or campervan? 
You have a choice of places to pitch your vehicle.  Campervan parks, campgrounds, and holiday touring parks all welcome motorhomes and campervans.  Their facilities will differ – some will literally offer you a spot in a field while others will have shower blocks, electricity hook-ups, and even a bar or a restaurant. 
Pitch types
Some locations will offer different types of pitch, some of which – such as a super pitch – cost a little more per night.  Some of the most common types are: 
  • Grass-only pitch – no electricity or water 
  • Grass pitch with an electric hook-up  
  • Hardstanding with an electric hook-up – hardstanding pitches tend to offer more defined areas to put your vehicle. 
  • Hardstanding pitch super service – a hardstanding pitch with electric hook-up plus fresh water and waste drainage 
  • Hardstanding only  
  • Grass only pitch for larger units  
  • Grass pitch with electric hook-up for larger units 

How to find a good UK campsite for your campervan or motorhome 

There are several good sources of information on sites out there, including: 

UK Campsite lists over 12,000 locations in the UK and Europe.  It allows you to filter by location, adult-only, and by the facilities they offer, such as pubs or swimming pools.

Join 700,000 other members by paying an annual membership fee and you can get reduced pitch fees.  You can book a pitch online and have the support of a call centre if necessary.  It also comes with a magazine, and you can get reduced ticket prices for camper-related events.

A good site to compare sites.

A Google search is a good way to find places, especially if you know the area/facilities you’re looking for.  When Googling, make sure you read the reviews left by other users.  They can prove revealing…

There are a lot of Facebook communities and groups devoted to campervan and motorhome owners.  Many sites are often not found on the internet – the good ones tend to be best-kept secrets that only the regulars will know about.  Community members may be able to share details of harder-to-find ones.

Join a camping group that does meet-ups . You can often find these on Facebook and find people who have the same interests as you. Reduced pitch fees can also be a benefit when booking multiple bookings at the same time.

Some sites will charge extra for children and dogs, so make sure you know what you’re going to be charged before you book.

Driving and towing motorhomes and campervans – all you need to know 

Driving a campervan or a motorhome is very different from driving a car.  The driving position is different, the steering is likely to be less responsive, the acceleration probably won’t be anything like as good, and manoeuvring it can be a lot more complicated. 
While you get used to driving it, consider these simple tips: 
  • Plan your route – try and avoid narrow lanes or twisting roads.  Don’t rely exclusively on sat navs, they can lead you astray. 
  • Watch out for restrictions – such as weight limits on bridges and speed restrictions like sleeping policemen. 
  • Take it slowly – get to know how your vehicle handles. 
  • Get to know your vehicle’s dimensions – and get some help parking it or undertaking manoeuvres. 
  • Get some training – standard driving tests don’t prepare you for these vehicles, so consider some extra training. 
  • Keep your distance – braking distances may be greater, especially on a Class-A motorhome, so leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front. 
  • Avoid rush hour driving and driving at night – Government research shows almost half of all car crashes on UK roads take place during rush-hour traffic, with tourist cities such as Liverpool, Bristol, and Edinburgh seeing the peaks during the evening rush hour. 

Top 10 campervan and motorhome destinations in the UK 

Having a campervan or motorhome gives you the freedom to explore the beauty of the British Isles.  While every part of the UK has its charms and drivers will have their personal favourites, here are our top ten campervan and motorhome destinations in the UK: 
South Wales
Spots such as the Gower Peninsula offer a wonderful combination of rolling hillside walks with some of the prettiest beaches you’ll find. Rhossili Bay is rated as one of the world’s greatest beaches, and less well-known spots like nearby Port Eynon have facilities within walking distance of the sea.
The Scottish Highlands
If you’re seeking dramatic views, rugged landscapes and wild beauty, the Highlands are a fantastic destination. Whisky lovers can also visit some of the best distilleries in the world – just make sure someone else is driving that day.
North Yorkshire
God’s own county offers hundreds of miles of picturesque drives, moorland, stunning coastal towns such as Filey and historic cities such as York.
North Norfolk
If you’re in the mood for miles of sandy beaches, easy, but pretty walks, and some of the best seafood in the UK, then North Norfolk has a lot to offer. Pop into villages such as Burnham Market, and you can go celebrity spotting – Johnny Depp is rumoured to own Burham Hall.
The cradle of the Industrial Revolution, home to one of the best-preserved steam railways in Europe – the Severn Valley - Roman ruins and fantastic hikes; Shropshire is a beautiful county and offers diversions for the whole family.
With its beautiful half-timber villages, the Roman city of Chester, and easy access to the world heritage sites in Liverpool and Manchester, Cheshire provides the best of both worlds.
The Lake District
A perennial favourite for motorhomers and campervanners, the lure of the Lakes 16 bodies of water and towering peaks is enduring. Some larger motorhomes aren’t suitable for all byways, and some of the peak roads can offer challenging ascents, so planning is advised. Stick to the main roads and centres, such as Penrith and Keswick, and a treat awaits.
The Peak District National Park
A walkers’ paradise, the Peak District provides everything from a gentle stroll across moorland to a climb to the summit of Kinder Scout. This charming, vast National Park has great facilities and welcomes motorhome and campervan owners.
New Forest National Park
Wild ponies, shaded walks along woodland paths, the chance to visit the birthplace of cricket at Hambledon (the Bat and Ball pub is excellent), and to see the Mary Rose and the Victory in Portsmouth. All these are on offer with a visit to the New Forest National Park.
Cornwall and Devon
These twin counties are regarded by many – well, those that don’t live in Dorset – as the jewels of the southwest. A dramatic coastline, chocolate box villages, a collection of award-winning restaurants, and some of the best weather in the UK make these counties excellent choices for those prepared to put the miles in.
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Tips for new motorhome or campervan owners

Buying a motorhome or campervan opens up a world of exciting opportunities.  They do come with responsibilities, however, and given the costs involved, it’s worth taking the following steps first:

Hiring a motorhome or campervan for a holiday is a great way to find out if it’s for you.  While some people like the idea of having a home on wheels, the reality of camping life isn’t for everyone, so try before you buy.

It’s very easy to get carried away when buying a campervan or motorhome. Shiny gadgets, greater space, and affordable monthly payments can allow the heart to rule the head.  Before you enter a dealership or place your bid on eBay, ask yourself:

  • How often will I realistically use it? Will you have the time for longer breaks, or is the odd weekend the best you can hope for
  • How much do you want to spend/how much can you afford? As we’ve said, it’s easy to get carried away so set a budget and try and stick to it.  And remember to factor in things like maintenance costs, storage costs, fuel bills, and motorhome or campervan insurance.
  • Do you have somewhere suitable to store it through the winter? The bigger the vehicle, the more problematic – and expensive – this can become.
  • Are you comfortable driving a large motorhome? As we’ve said, you’ll need a C1 license if you want to drive one that’s over 3.5 tonnes.

An off the forecourt one or are you going to convert a van yourself?  Custom campervans can give you what you want, but these tend to depreciate more quickly, and what you’ve gone for may not be every driver’s taste.

Short trips over a weekend can give you the chance to get to know how your vehicle drives and what it’s like living out of a campervan or motorhome.  As your confidence and knowledge grow, you can take on longer adventures.

Are motorhomes and campervans environmentally friendly? 

Environmental concerns have become important for many holidaymakers.  While the maths is complicated as you need to consider things like distances, the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, the routes taken, and the number of people onboard, motorhome and campervan holidays can be relatively environmentally friendly.  By combining travel and accommodation, you cut your carbon footprint.  Driving four people is lighter on emissions than flying four people, and if you’re self-catering, you can reduce the impact further. 
There are things you can do to make your trips more environmentally friendly: 
  • Plan your route – taking the scenic route will involve a longer, slower trip and will use more fuel.  Plan your route efficiently and explore when you arrive on foot or by using public transport. 
  • Take your rubbish home with you or recycle it locally. 
  • Invest in solar panels rather than using the grid – this could help if you want to go wild camping where outlets may be hard to find.  Using your own supply can also save you money. 
  • Travel off-peak to avoid busy travelling times – this will give you a clearer, quicker route.  
  • Look for campsites near bus routes or train stations – this will allow you to explore the area and give you a break from driving. 
  • Look for campsites with good environmental credentials – solar panels, wind turbines, biomass digesters and carbon offset are all being offered these days. 

Like more motorhome or campervan help?

We hope this Motorhome and Campervan Guide has proved useful.  If you’d like some help getting the right campervan or motorhome insurance, then please get in touch.  Advance is one of the UK’s leading providers of motorhome and campervan insurance quotes, and our experienced team will be happy to discuss your needs and ensure you’re properly protected.  To find out more, please call 0124 951 0093, request a callback, or start your quote here
*DVLA figures
**Figures correct at time of writing in January 2024

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