Are you thinking about taking a road trip across the UK in a motorhome? If so, this is your lucky day. You’ve stumbled upon the ultimate guide for motorhome travel in the UK. We’ll take you through everything from choosing a vehicle to getting insurance and driving on British roads, and we won’t be forgetting the most important part: where to go once you arrive. This post has it all-you can read at your own leisure or share with friends and family who are also interested in touring the country by motorhome.
Section 1: Motorhome Travel in the UK
Why Motorhome Travel in the UK is a Good Idea
There are a number of advantages to motorhome travel in the UK. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.
While you are subject to the same insurance rules and regulations as any other roadworthy vehicle, most motoring experts believe that motorhome travel is much more cost-effective than traditional road travel. This is because it is much cheaper to insure a motorhome compared to a standard campervan and cheaper than booking a couple of hotel nights every so often. As a result, the majority of drivers opt for the more expensive motorhome travel option. It may cost more upfront but you can get your money’s worth over the long term with the savings made over the course of the trip.
Like most countries, the UK also has its own special categories of vehicle:
The most important thing to look out for when looking for your vehicle is comfort and air conditioning. As in many countries, the motorhome has a decent amount of space for you to sit back and relax. Your motorhome will be very quiet once you open up the windows so you’ll have a great sleeping experience, and plenty of space for you to bring as many friends or family as you want to go along with you.
Of course, with such a large vehicle, the smaller vehicles are usually very popular. You can make up a lot of ground on your bigger rivals in such a small vehicle, and you’ll even have a lot of fun exploring with smaller cars.
As well as finding a vehicle, you’ll also need to select the insurance coverage you require. This may seem like a trivial task but most insurance companies require that you provide a road test certificate, proof of address and your full driving licence. If you’re planning to travel at night (on certain roads) your policy will also require that you are over 25 years old, and for all of these requirements you may also need to visit a specialist broker.
There are a lot of options out there and it’s not as easy as picking up a policy from your local broker. However, the more research you do the more likely you are to get the best deal for your money. I asked you on Twitter and you came back with some great tips that helped me choose the right policy and provider.
Driving on British Roads
The UK is surprisingly good at roads. The driving experience can be improved, but by no means is this a hard or impossible country to drive in. An experienced driver will be able to put their test to good use and be absolutely fine. If you are not sure what to do or what sort of vehicle you should buy, a test drive will be just as useful to you as it would be to someone else. Of course, any test drive should be undertaken with the correct insurance and hire car in place.
As well as knowing the roads like the back of your hand, you will need to be familiar with the following – a few simple tricks will help you tackle the many driving situations that can arise in the UK.
Check your vehicle
Always take a look at your vehicle before you set off.
Planning Your Route
Before you take the plunge, you need to decide where you want to go. This will largely depend on which motorhome you’re looking at, but generally you’ll want to visit the following destinations:
Glasgow – The largest city in Scotland, and home to the Glasgow Caledonian University.
The largest city in Scotland, and home to the Glasgow Caledonian University. York – The second-largest city in England.
The second-largest city in England. London – The capital of England, which is just a day trip from Scotland.
The capital of England, which is just a day trip from Scotland. Liverpool – England’s fourth-largest city and known for its Cavern club, where the Beatles recorded some of their best albums.
Where to go?
Before we start telling you our favorite places to stay, we should clarify the most important question: where to go once you arrive. Why? Because we’ve already compiled a definitive guide to what to do once you arrive at your new home-and that includes the number one thing to do-stay on the go and explore as much as you possibly can. So, while you’re dreaming of spending time wandering around Scotland, are we? Nope. Not that kind of motorhome tour.
Instead, check out our Top 5 Things to Do in the UK in our Ultimate Guide for Motorhome Travel in the UK.
When should you go?
By far, most motorhome travellers wait until the spring, when the weather starts warming up and the daylight hours continue to increase. Why? Well, as a driver in the UK, you’re able to travel even when the sun doesn’t come out. You’ll still be able to see plenty of signs from the road (after all, motorhomes have quite an impressive range of lighting), which means that if you miss something, you’ll always have plenty of opportunities to turn back. Of course, if you’re a motorcyclist, you’re never out of luck when it comes to motorcycle touring, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
How do I decide what vehicle to get?
The biggest deciding factor is the cost of the vehicle.
How long will it take?
First of all, we need to establish just how long you’ll be driving. Motorhome touring across the UK is not a “quick” road trip, so don’t expect to be tearing across the land in just a few days. If you’re planning on staying in your motorhome for the length of the trip, expect to spend at least 3 to 5 days driving around.
This is a very important question because it determines how far you can drive. That’s a topic for another post, so we’ll just answer it in one fell swoop: If you’re driving a larger bus or a Class B motorhome (see the full list of Class A and Class B vehicles for complete details), you can easily go 3,500 miles. That’s a little under 1,100 miles a day.
Let’s do a little math: If you drive 10 miles per hour for 8 hours per day, you’re on the road about 8 days.
Just like most countries, motorhomes in the UK are taxed. In fact, the maximum allowable tax on a vehicle, to be paid by the end of the fiscal year, is actually £28,000, with motorhomes taxed at the same rate as cars, which is 20%. This means that you need to be aware of any extra taxes when you buy your motorhome and pay for registration. You can check out the UK tax for owners of motorhomes by visiting www.gov.uk/motor-vehicles-tax-in-the-uk.
Unless you’re driving a minibus or double decker coach, a motorhome is the one vehicle you’ll want to keep safely on the road to ensure that you’ll arrive at your destination in one piece. The owners of these vehicles, however, can be fined and even receive a driving ban if they are involved in a crash and not wearing a seatbelt.