Wales-based comparison site GoCompare warns that fraudsters are targeting the boom in motorhomes and caravans.
There’s been a dramatic rise in the number of insurance quotes for motorhomes and campervans as frustrated holidaymakers scramble to get away safely and independently.
After months in lockdown at home people are eager for a change of scenery, but, with restrictions on travel and social distancing in place for the foreseeable future, many Brits are opting for staycations.
This summer, the UK has seen a boom in motorhome and campervans sales, with many holidaymakers deciding to invest in their own ‘holiday bubble’ on wheels.
As a result of the increased sales, GoCompare saw year on year motorhome and campervan insurance quote activity increase 107% in August, but the high demand for vehicles, coupled with their high value has attracted fraudsters.
UK Finance has warned that fraudsters are using fake listings copied from legitimate adverts to attract buyers.
The scammers cite COVID restrictions as the reason the vehicle can’t be viewed in person. They offer to deliver the vehicle once the buyer has placed money into a holding account on the assurance that the cash will not be released until the buyer has seen the vehicle and agreed to finalise the purchase. The fraudster then immediately banks the money, leaving their victim with nothing.
Lee Griffin, CEO and one of the founders of GoCompare, said,“Travel and tourism has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Continued uncertainty and safety concerns surrounding foreign travel has increased interest in staycations. Holidaying in a motorhome or campervan allows people the freedom to travel in their personal ‘holiday bubble’. They travel in their own vehicle and stay in their own self-catering accommodation.
“The increased demand for motorhomes and campers hasn’t gone unnoticed by criminals. Vehicles, even second-hand, can cost up to £60,000, which makes them an attractive proposition for fraudsters. Following reports from victims, anti-fraud organisations are warning people to be on their guard. If an advertised deal looks too good to be true – it probably is.
“Alarm bells should also sound if the seller asks you to make a bank transfer for a vehicle you haven’t viewed. If it’s not possible to see the vehicle in person, ask to view it through a video call. And only use secure payment methods recommended by reputable online sites.
Cat burglars are back
Professional thieves are targeting hybrid cars and vans for their expensive catalytic convertors.
The pieces are cut-off in mins and then sold either as spares or stripped for their precious metal content.
Tracker has reported a steep rise in cat-snapping as modern hybrids do less damage to the convertors than those on pure petrol or diesel vehicles.
Lee Griffin added, “Once you’ve found your ideal motorhome or campervan, it’s essential that you arrange appropriate insurance.
“Modern vehicles are made to high specifications so are expensive to buy and to repair. Vehicles come in many shapes and sizes – from standard models to van conversions and self-builds. So, it’s important to get the right policy for your vehicle and, where and how you plan to use it. As well as the vehicle itself, you also need to consider insurance for fitted accessories such as awnings and cycle racks and, personal possessions you take away with you.
“While motorhomes and campervans require specialist insurance cover, you can still shop around to make sure you are getting a good deal. Policies differ in cover levels offered, so make sure you compare policy features as well as prices.”
GoCompare’s tips for getting a good deal on motorhome and campervan insurance:
- Park somewhere safe – use your garage or driveway if you have one or consider using a secure caravan and motorhome storage facility. On-road parking comes with extra risks that can make insurance more expensive.
- Only buy the cover you need. Consider your annual mileage and whether you intend to drive overseas. Check cover available on other insurances you hold such as breakdown cover and, home contents for personal possessions away from home and cover for pedal cycles.
- Pay annually – if you can, paying your insurance in one go as it will usually be cheaper.
- Security – check the security devices already fitted such as an alarm or immobiliser, as it could help reduce costs when getting insurance. Consider additional security such as wheel clamps.
- Shop around and compare insurance prices and policy features before you buy your vehicle.
- Never accept an insurance renewal quote without first checking if you could get a better deal.