Breakdown

Motorhome Delivery Delays – What May be Impacting Delivery of Your Prized Possession

The last few years have taught us the importance of taking breaks and enjoying life whenever possible. But if you’re one of the many people affected by ongoing motorhome, campervan or caravan delivery delays, you may be feeling anxious about your opportunities to do so. Some buyers have seen their wait times grow indefinitely, while others are unable to even place orders.

There are a multitude of factors to blame, including increased demand and supply chain problems resulting from the pandemic and geopolitical issues. While the situation should gradually recover, nothing is certain – and manufacturers are still struggling to keep up with the levels of interest they’re receiving.

Until more solutions are found, none of this information is likely to fully ease buyer frustration. But knowing the root causes of these delays, and indeed those suffered across the wider automotive industry, at least provides context to what is a challenging situation for everyone.

Component shortages

A key barrier to manufacturers fulfilling new vehicle orders has been the ongoing difficulty of sourcing base vehicles, components and raw materials. These issues have stopped or delayed the production of most new motorhome models on the market today.

Zooming in a little, the global semiconductor shortage has hampered a whole range of industries, with the automotive sector particularly badly affected. These small components are integral to almost anything new and electronic – including the kind of technology used in motorhomes for braking, power steering and infotainment. But when travel was shut down by the pandemic, supply quickly shifted to areas such as consumer electronics for home working and entertainment, leaving little left for the automotive sector once it reopened.

Supply chain disruption hasn’t ended there either. Seat foam and wood for internal cabinets have proved hard to come by at one point or another, while window materials have also been constrained.

Many problems began in the early stages of the pandemic, when long and fragile supply chains were disrupted by staggered shutdowns and tentative restarts. Global production continues to be impacted by worker illness, while some part and material deliveries have also been slowed by enhanced virus-control measures.

Growing demand

Another prominent factor behind the delays many buyers are experiencing is the unprecedented interest in motorhomes and staycations in general.

Even while facing the kinds of challenges outlined above, the industry has still risen to fulfil record sales. According to National Caravan Council data, some 16,608 vehicles changed hands in the year ending June 2021. That marks an 8.25% increase on the previous record, with sales of new motorhomes totalling approximately £1.15 billion.

It’s understood that much of this increase has been driven by new entrants to the market. A record 101,606 visitors attended 2022’s Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, with 86% of ticket buyers being new to the show. Many exhibitors registered record sales at the flagship six-day event as they welcomed a huge influx of people to the industry.

This surge in demand was sparked by lockdown conditions and international travel restrictions, which pushed many people to get out into the great outdoors and explore the UK. Motorhomes and campervans allow owners to travel to the coast or countryside as and when they want to – all while remaining in their safe travel bubbles.

With demand remaining high even as international travel opens back up, it seems the industry has converted many new motorhome buyers and retained existing owners. But while this growth is great news for the industry more broadly, it’s also creating long waiting lists for many new models.

Brexit

As if supply chain issues and burgeoning demand weren’t enough, motorhome manufacturers also had new regulations to contend with when Britain left the EU on January 1st 2021. With the finer details of the deal remaining unconfirmed until the final moments, and many legal processes still being defined months later, paperwork challenges have mounted.

Confusion over import and export tariffs, coupled with lengthy queues at borders, has led to increased costs and delays for many businesses since the transition. Extra red tape doesn’t complement the just-in-time delivery systems that many automotive manufacturers rely on – especially when sourcing a multitude of parts from different regions.

Geopolitical tensions

Another story that could yet affect new motorhome and campervan production is the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. While such knock-on effects pale in significance compared to the human costs of the crisis, buyers should be prepared to face further delays.

Production has been quickly halted at several automotive factories in Russia, while parts disruption is impacting schedules throughout Europe. The severity and length of delays caused by the conflict remain to be seen, but material prices will almost certainly increase as a result.

What to do if you’ve been left waiting

Dealing with new vehicle delays isn’t easy, especially if you’re desperate to get away and start enjoying the new lifestyle it offers. But there are certain steps you can take to gain control of the situation – or at least get better visibility of what’s going on.

Ideally, having an estimated delivery date in writing will give you more negotiating power. Ask for information on what happens if that date isn’t honoured, such as whether you’ll be compensated. You should also aim to get an agreement in writing that you won’t pay more for your vehicle even if it goes up in price in the meantime.

Ultimately, some companies are likely to manage customer expectations better than others. Choosing a manufacturer or dealer with a positive reputation should help you enjoy a better experience overall, even if you’re still impacted by delivery delays. Contacting your manufacturer directly might also help you get more information on the reasons behind them.

Get covered once your new vehicle arrives

We can help you stay protected on the road in your new vehicle, even if the policy start date is a little later than you’d first hoped. Get ahead and find out more about our motorhome and campervan insurance – or give our friendly team a call on 0208 984 0666.

Share this article

Comfort Insurance

We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy -  starting from just £220!

Comfort Insurance

We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy -  starting from just £200!