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12 RV Theft Statistics and Facts in the UK (Updated In 2024)

RV parked at the side of the road

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

RVs include motorhomes, touring caravans, and campervans. Following the pandemic, when people were unable to leave the country to go on holiday, there was a surge in the number of recreational vehicles purchased. This surge also led to an increase in the number of RVs being stolen, which already cost UK consumers millions of pounds every year.

Despite some models costing £100,000 or more, research shows that half of RVs do not have an alarm fitted and only 10% have a tracker, which typically costs only around £200 to £400, fitted.

Below are 12 statistics related to RV theft in the UK, including details of how many are stolen every year, the areas where the most are stolen, and more.

Click below to jump ahead:

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The 12 RV Theft Statistics and Facts in the UK

  1. There are more than a million caravans and motorhomes in the UK.
  2. The average motorhome costs £25,000 and a typical campervan costs £15,000.
  3. Top-of-the-line motorhomes can sell for as much as £100,000.
  4. 4,000 caravans are stolen every year in the UK.
  5. £35 million of caravans were stolen between 2015 and 2019.
  6. Caravan theft rose 50% in 2020.
  7. RVs are as popular with thieves as high-end supercars.
  8. July is the most likely month for caravans to be stolen.
  9. Greater Manchester is the region where most caravans are stolen.
  10. Around half of RVs do not have alarms fitted.
  11. RVs with a tracker fitted have a 95% chance of being recovered.
  12. Only 10% of RVs have trackers fitted.
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1. There are more than a million caravans and motorhomes in the UK.

(The NCC)

Staycations in caravans and motorhomes became increasingly popular during Covid. People were unable to go abroad on holiday, so more people invested in an RV. This type of vehicle includes motorhomes, touring caravans, and campervans. There are more than a million RVs currently being used in the UK, consisting of 555,000 touring caravans, 365,000 caravan holiday homes, and 225 motorhomes.

RV Ladder
Image Credit: Anetlanda, Shutterstock

2. The average motorhome costs £25,000 and a typical campervan costs £15,000.

(This Is Money)

The cost of an RV can vary considerably, according to the type of vehicle, the model, its age, and the condition. The average cost of a motorhome is £25,000 while the average campervan costs £15,000. While these prices are expensive compared to a single holiday, they quickly pay for themselves if the owner typically goes away two or three times a year.


3. Top-of-the-line motorhomes can sell for as much as £100,000.

(Bdaily)

While the average motorhome costs £25,000, some of the top-end models can cost as much as £100,000 or more. These models can offer comfortable sleeping for four people and have features like air conditioning, as well as a well-featured kitchen and even air conditioning.

motorhome RV
Image Credit: Siggy Nowak, Pixabay

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Theft Figures

4. 4,000 caravans are stolen every year in the UK.

(Moving Intelligence)

Caravan theft is a surprisingly big problem, with approximately 4,000 caravans being stolen from owners in the UK every year.

According to police, the problem is exacerbated because these stolen RVs are then sold via social media and other sources. Unsuspecting buyers that end up with the stolen vehicles can lose their money as well as the caravan that they bought because the police will seize a stolen caravan and try to contact the original owner.

If the original owner comes forward, they get their caravan back. If the original owner doesn’t come forward, the van is then auctioned off. This is done to try and deter thieves, but it means that buyers are left with a double loss.


5. £35 million of caravans were stolen between 2015 and 2019.

(Towergate Insurance)

Between 2015 and 2019, RVs with a combined value of £35 million were stolen from UK owners. This equates to approximately £7 million per year, with the figure made up of the 2,000 caravans that were stolen during this time. That gives an average of £17,500 of loss for every owner that had an RV stolen in the 4-year period.

Nice looking RV in the sand


6. Caravan theft rose 50% in 2020.

(Tracker)

It has also been reported that while caravan theft was already a major problem for Brits, it became an even bigger problem in 2020 during the peak of the pandemic. As the country came out of lockdown, thieves were going into RVs and stealing them. The number of thefts of this type of vehicle rose 50% compared to the year before.


7. RVs are as popular with thieves as high-end supercars.

(Bdaily)

RVs are, according to some experts, as popular a target for would-be thieves as supercars. Some have a very high value and are likely easier to steal than an expensive supercar. They’re potentially also easier to sell, with fewer questions asked on social media and other marketplaces.

RV parked at truck stop
Image Credit: Denise Barlock, Shutterstock

8. July is the most likely month for caravans to be stolen.

(Towergate Insurance)

Caravans are stolen throughout the year, but July is the month when the most are stolen, presumably coinciding with a time when RVs come out of winter storage and are more likely to be found at campsites and other locations.

Demand for stolen vehicles will also be higher during these periods. December and January are the months when caravan owners are less likely to suffer a theft of their prized vehicle.


9. Greater Manchester is the region where most caravans are stolen.

(Towergate Insurance)

Similarly, caravans are stolen from areas across the country, but it is Greater Manchester that has the highest number of thefts recorded. There were 289 caravans reported stolen to Greater Manchester police between 2015 and 2019, with a 66% increase in the area. West Mercia had the second highest rate, with 220 thefts. At the other end of the table, just 12 caravans were stolen in Dorset.

RV in the woods
Image Credit: MemoryCatcher, Pixabay

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Security Statistics

10. Around half of RVs do not have alarms fitted.

(Bdaily)

Considering the price of RVs and the fact that they are prized possessions for a lot of owners, it is surprising that only around half of all RVs have alarm systems fitted. About 54% of motorhomes and 45% of campervans do not have any kind of system fitted. Alarms are considered one of the best ways of preventing theft because the loud noise deters thieves.


11. RVs with a tracker fitted have a 95% chance of being recovered.

(Express)

Another security measure that RV owners can take is to have a tracker fitted. Trackers use Very High Frequency (VHF) units and when a vehicle is stolen, the police can track the VHF frequency and locate the vehicle. The RVs can even be tracked if they are inside a trailer or warehouse, and 95% of caravans with trackers fitted that are stolen are recovered.

RV Charging Solar Panel
Image Credit: Voyagerix, Shutterstock

12. Only 10% of RVs have trackers fitted.

(Express)

Trackers only cost a few hundred pounds to install and could prevent substantial loss for the owner. But, despite costing less than an alarm system and proving a very effective way of ensuring the return of a stolen vehicle, only 10% of all RVs have them fitted. That’s 13% of motorhomes and just 6% of campervans. Some insurance companies do demand that a tracker is fitted if the RV is of especially high value—typically more than £60,000.

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Frequently Asked Questions About RV Theft in the UK

How does a caravan tracker work?

car with gps navigation
Image Credit: naive_eye, Pixabay

Caravan trackers have a VHF unit installed. If the vehicle is stolen, the police can then track this unit. It can be tracked even if the RV is put in a trailer or is inside a building or other difficult location. Trackers cost anywhere from £100 to £600, and they have a 95% success rate in ensuring that tracker-fitted vehicles are returned to their owner when stolen.

How can you tell if a caravan is stolen?

When looking to buy a used caravan, potential owners need to do their due diligence. Buying a stolen RV can leave the new owner with the vehicle seized by police and out of pocket for the money they invested.

Check for local news stories and look on social media for reports of stolen caravans. Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which can be found on the chassis of the vehicle and on the windows. Check the VIN against the stolen caravan register.

Finally, check the registration documents from the current owner. If the documents can’t be provided, walk away, and if the details of the most recent owner do not match the seller, walk away. In either case, you should report the incident to the police.

What happens if I buy a stolen caravan?

Buying a stolen caravan can leave you seriously out of pocket. When the police recover the stolen vehicle, they will keep hold of it and attempt to locate the original owners. If they are located, the police will return the vehicle. If they aren’t located, the vehicle will be auctioned off.

The buyer does not get any of the money returned or the caravan. While it seems harsh, this is to deter thieves from stealing caravans and to protect owners.

How do I keep my caravan from being stolen?

RV carport
Image Credit: paulbr75, Pixabay

Always ensure that you shut and lock doors and windows and use hitch locks and pin locks to secure the vehicle. You can also use wheel clamps and wheel locks. Have an alarm system fitted that will deter a lot of would-be thieves and, in case somebody does manage to steal the vehicle, get a tracker fitted to greatly improve the chances of the vehicle being recovered.

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Conclusion

RVs, including caravans and campervans, offer freedom and flexibility when holidaying. For many people, they are a deeply prized possession. The value of these vehicles can range from a few thousand pounds to £100,000 or more, and with surprisingly few having alarms and even fewer having trackers fitted, they are a target for thieves.

Millions of pounds of caravans are stolen every year in the UK, with Greater Manchester being the region with the most thefts and Dorset being the region with the fewest.


Featured Image Credit: VictorMacGill, Pixabay

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