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8 RV Accident Statistics and Facts in the UK: 2024 Update

RV camper van accident

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Millions love nothing more than to head out in an RV and live on the road, at least for a short time. Many are living full-time in their RVs as well, and the number jumped significantly during the recent pandemic. The thrill and adventure of going where you please and living on your terms are very attractive, especially in today’s stress-filled, highly regulated world. Of course, like everything in this life, RVing comes with risks.

One question many have is whether RVing is just as popular with our friends in the United Kingdom and whether RVers there have more or fewer RV accidents than Americans do.  Here are 8 RV accident statistics and facts in the UK, updated for this year.

car and road divider

The 8 RV Accident Statistics and Facts in the UK

  1. The UK has approximately 55,000 RVs.
  2. The UK has the 3rd most RVs in Europe.
  3. RV prices in the UK increased dramatically in 2022.
  4. There are 11 RV accidents a day in the UK.
  5. Caravan-related accidents in the UK peak in August.
  6. Over 65 million nights were spent in RV in the UK in 2018.
  7. Over 101,000 people attended the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show in the UK in 2022.
  8. The RV and camping industry in the UK’s worth in 2022 was £3.1 billion (US $3.7 billion).
UK_RV_ACCIDENT_FACTS_&_STATISTICS
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car and road divider

RV Ownership Statistics in the UK

1. The UK has approximately 550,000 RVs.

(Caravan Vlogger)

Over half a million RVs were driving around the UK in 2022 (although some might be parked). Most of those RVs are privately owned. Still, many RV rental companies own their fleet of RVs that they rent to vacationers in the UK. 365,000 RVs are parked in RV parks in the UK, and another 225,000 motorhomes (which also count as RVs, at least in the United States), bringing the total number of RVs in all of the UK to 1,140,000. You should note that a caravan in the UK is an RV pulled by another vehicle, while a motorhome is an RV you drive.

RV campsite in snow
Image Credit: Arina P Habich, Shutterstock

2. The UK has the 3rd most RVs in Europe.

(Caravan Vlogger)

Out of the top 10 countries in Europe that RV the most, the UK is #3. With a population of over 65 million residents, the UK has more RVs than the Netherlands (462,000), Spain (330,000), Sweden (283,000), Denmark (137,000), Norway (115,000), Finland (67,000), and Italy (63,000). The only two countries in Europe that have more RVs than the UK are Germany (890,000) and France (845,000). Interestingly, Italy has by far the highest population while having the fewest RVers.


3. RV prices in the UK increased dramatically in 2022.

(Express)

A huge demand after the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of stock caused RV prices to surge in 2022. For example, in January 2022, the average price of an RV (i.e., caravan) jumped in price between £500 ($604.00) to £700 ($845.00) per RV. These numbers were reported by CaravanPlace, which also noted that many UK consumers were hoping for a drop in prices.

picture of the interior of an rv
Image Credit: Matheus Bertelli, Pexels

car and road divider RV Accident Statistics in the UK

4. There are 11 RV accidents a day in the UK.

(Motor 1)

The average number of accidents involving RVs is 11 per day in the UK, a figure that extrapolates to about 4,000 RV accidents per year in the country. Some of the reasons reported for the number of RV accidents occurring in the UK include poorly loaded RVs, RV trailers that are too long for the vehicle pulling them, crosswinds on highways, unsafe driving speeds, and insufficient weight on the tow bar of the trailer (i.e., nose weight). You should note that the statistics include trailers, RVs, motorhomes, and caravans.

RV accident
Image Credit: Vineyard Perspective, Shutterstock

5. Caravan-related accidents in the UK peak in August.

(Motor 1)

Nearly half of all insurance claims for RV accidents in the UK are reported to happen during the summer months of June, July, and August. August is when RV-related accidents peak. Statistics show that, during summer, 49% of all RV accidents occur, and 20% occur in August. One of the most apparent reasons for the increase is that, during summer, millions more RVers are on the road in the UK, increasing the risk of accidents significantly. That means approximately ⅕ of all RV-related accidents in the UK happen during August, the last month of summer vacation in the country.car and road divider

RV Usage Statistics in the UK

6. Over 65 million nights were spent in an RV in the UK in 2018.

(Finder)

During 2018,  UK vacationers and RVers spent 65 million nights in an RV in the UK. That’s over 178,000 people per night, on average, staying in an RV, motorhome, camper, or caravan every night in the UK. Those are averages, and the numbers spent on any particular night can be higher or lower. The numbers also increase dramatically during the summer months of June, July, and August. The numbers drop dramatically during the winter months of December, January, and February.

Backyard RV
Image Credit: paulbr75, Pixababy

7. Over 101,000 people attended the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show in the UK in 2022.

(Outdoor Sports Wire)

The popularity of RVing in the UK was put on display during the lead-up to the annual 2022 Motorhome and Caravan Show when show organizers sold over 75,000 advance tickets. This show is the biggest in the UK and had over 350 vendors in 2022, when it was held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham from the 22nd to the 27th of February 2022. This number was a new record for attendance at the show.


8. The RV and camping industry in the UK in 2022 was worth £3.1 billion (US $3.7 billion).

(IBIS World)

The UK’s camping and RV (caravan) industry were valued at approximately £3.1 billion (US $3.7 billion) in 2022. However, the industry declined this year and has been on a slow and steady decline for the last 5 years. The decline averaged out to 5.7% per year and started in 2017. The industry is also the 214th largest in the country and, even in decline, is expected to increase its size by 45% this year.

RV in the woods
Image Credit: MemoryCatcher, Pixabay

car and road divider Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an RV Called in the UK?

In the UK, an RV is known by several names, including a motorhome, caravan, camping car, and camper van. All these names refer to a vehicle or trailer you can either drive or tow with another vehicle and sleep in at night while on the road.

Do Most RVs in the UK Have All the “Bells and Whistles”?

In the United States, many RVs have slide-outs, AC units, full-size toilets and showers, and many other frills. In the UK, most RVs have none of these extras, although they are still very well-made.

RV Charging Solar Panel
Image Credit: Voyagerix, Shutterstock

When Is the High Season for RVing in the UK?

The summer season from June through August is the high season for RVing in the UK as children are out of school on summer vacation just as they are in the United States. You will find many more RVs on the road, RV parks will be fuller, and traffic will also be higher.

When Are Road Safety Statistics in the UK published?

It’s difficult to get hard data and stats about accidents in the UK involving RVs for 2022. The reason is that data is released in June of the following year. In other words, the RV accident stats for 2022 will be available in June of 2023.

What Is the “Nose Weight” of Your Car?

Every car manufacturer in the UK publishes information about the maximum “nose weight” of each car they produce. This weight is vital to RVers pulling an RV as it is the maximum amount permitted to sit on the tow ball of the tow hitch attached to a particular car.

RV Car
Image Credit: Armyagov, Shutterstock

Can You Live in Your RV Full-Time in the UK With No Problems?

The laws in the UK allow anyone with an RV to live in their vehicle full-time, year-round, with no restrictions. Any RV, caravan, or other homes on wheels must be fully street-legal. If not, you may face fines.

Is “Wild Camping” Allowed in Most of the UK?

Wild camping, the name given to those who park their RV wherever they please rather than a recognized RV park, is frowned upon in the UK. If you plan to wild camp with your RV, you must get permission from the landowner first. Without it, you might find yourself in legal trouble or worse.

RV traveling on the road
Image Credit: Andrey Armyagov, Shutterstock

Is Walking Around in an RV in the UK While It Is Underway Illegal?

As in the United States, you must be belted into your seat in the UK when your RV is underway, even if you’re not driving. Children under certain ages must also be secured in the correct child seats while riding in an RV in the UK.

Which Driver’s License Do You Need to Drive an RV in the UK?

Although licensing and age requirements vary, to drive an RV in the UK, you will need either a C or C1 license. The type of license depends on the weight of the RV.

group of RVs
Image Credit: MemoryCatcher, Pixabay

What Is the Maximum Highway Speed in the UK with an RV?

On the largest and fastest highways in the UK, the maximum speed you may dive an RV is 70 miles per hour (mph). Some smaller streets have a maximum of 60 mph, so keep an eye on road signs.

How Many RV Parks in the UK Follow the “10-year rule”?

RVs over 10 years old may not be permitted to park at some RV parks in the UK due to the “10-year rule.” This rule, however, is usually only found in upscale RV parks, so many don’t use or follow it. As you might imagine, the rule is debated among RVers in the country.

RVs n campsite
Image Credit: Pol Sole, Shutterstock

Is Smoking Prohibited for Those Under 18 when an RV Is Underway in the UK?

Smoking is prohibited if your RV is on the road and someone in the vehicle is under 18. However, smoking is allowed when parked or when the RV is used as a permanent home.

Can You Use an International License to Drive an RV in the UK?

Yes, as long as you have a valid international driver’s license, you can drive an RV in the UK, rated up to 7700 pounds (3500 kilograms).

RV parked at the side of the road
Image Credit: VictorMacGill, Pixabay

Can a Foreigner Purchase an RV in the UK?

Yes, as long as you have an address you can use from a friend or relative, anyone from outside the UK can purchase an RV.

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Final Thoughts

Although RVs aren’t inherently dangerous, they must be driven differently than other vehicles. Compared to the statistics for automobiles, while 11 RVs are involved in crashes per day in the UK, over 330 autos are involved in accidents per day, nearly 3,000% more or about 120,000 per year. In other words, driving an RV in the UK is significantly safer than driving a car (although the numbers don’t extrapolate perfectly).

While not as big as the RV industry in the United States, the UK’s RV industry is quite strong. As in the United States, the industry saw many changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a significant increase in sales and people taking to the road in RVs. This fact led to a higher incidence of accidents in 2022, although the numbers have not yet been entirely ascertained.

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Featured Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shutterstock

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