Caravan dealerships reopen
The trade body, the NCC (National Caravan Council) members’ recent lobbying campaign, to ensure that motorhome and caravan dealerships in England can open at the same time as car showrooms, has been successful.
The government has now confirmed caravan dealerships in England - most of which are predominantly outdoors - can now reopen.
Swift Group, recently revealed its web traffic has increased over 40% since the Prime Minister’s statement on 10 May compared to the two weeks prior, with growth driven by a younger audience between 18 to 44 years old, whose visits to the site are up by nearly 50%.
Nick Page, Group Commercial Director from Swift Group explained:
“We are seeing a really promising trend emerging, which after a hard-few months for the industry, is welcome news to UK caravan and motorhome manufacturers. Holiday parks are a brilliant option to enable social distancing, and as caravans and motorhomes are self-contained, will be one of the safest holiday options for those looking to get out around the UK this year.”
Caravan dealer Lowdhams, which has branches in Nottinghamshire and Huddersfield, have introduced new measures including a new scheme called Novas – No-contact Online Virtual Appointment System – means customers can book an online caravan virtual viewing, as well as order some accessories and awnings via a call-and-collect service and proceed all the way through to completing the purchase.
The new system means customers can reduce the time they spend at the dealer to the minimum and, in some cases, have no physical contact with Lowdhams at all.
It has advised customers, via its website that the following measures have been put in place and these include: limit of two people permitted per visit, sanitiser points, a clearly-marked one way system, introduction of PPE and professional cleaning and sanitising by Ionic Systems.
Peter Roberts Caravans & Motorhomes, based in Honley in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has opened with appointment-only viewings. “We are operating a by-appointment-only system for our customers to ensure social distancing rules can be adhered to on site,” said a spokesperson.
“Our team have been disinfecting and deep cleaning all motorhomes and caravans as well as our offices and workshop areas. PPE such as face masks and gloves are available for our team to allow for a high level of safety for both our team and our customers whilst on our premises. Hand sanitising stations have been implemented throughout to ensure regular cleaning of hands. Signage is now displayed to ensure social distancing in all areas.”
Customers are also being offered walk-round video tours of any vehicles over the internet prior to booking an appointment.
Davan Caravans & Motorhomes in Weston-Super-Mare has also reopened and is offering 'personalised tours' to potential customers. Those who are interesting in viewing any of its caravans, can click a video request button on any models they view on its website. If viewing caravans in person, Davan's sales staff will wait outside rather than join customers inside the 'vans. The dealership is currently holding a 2020 demo sale.
NCC Director General, John Lally commented:
“The reopening of dealerships is a huge relief for the industry as we are able to start to respond to the public interest in both renting and buying caravans and motorhomes in the coming months. The UK’s holiday parks benefit from rural and coastal locations, away from densely populated urban areas, and each park is working to put in place social distancing measures which will make it the best option for holidays in the UK this year.
We are working with the government to look into reopening holiday parks as early as possible with strict social distancing measures, as outlined in the guidance, to enable the industry to get back to work and hard-working families to enjoy full use of their caravans again.”
Image copyright Lowdhams