The big story Classic camper values
Values strengthen as ‘staycation’ breaks rise in popularity
‘There’s always an orderly queue for good-condition camper vans’
Market experts are highlighting historic camper vans – which are increasingly popular with members of the public using them for ‘staycations’ – as a rapidly growing part of the classic market.
A surge in popularity for UK-based holidays has pushed offerings like Volkswagen’s T2, Bedford’s CA and Citroën’s C15 towards a more mainstream section of buyers looking to use them as fashionable mobile homes, so the once-seasonal fluctuations in price and demand are becoming less pronounced.
Classic Car Auctions sales manager Gary Dunne says that classic campers aren’t solely for the summer, and that all-yearround appeal means they’ll sell across the seasons.
‘There appears to be a number of people investing in conversions of newer and older models, so choice seems to be booming. Camper vans will always have a substantial following and the Volkswagen brand in general has a cult appeal,’ he says. ‘Lots of people are investing in the classic type as they see the opportunity to have one for a few years. Should they wish to move upwards to newer or more valuable ones then there is the potential to gain value or at least minimise any future loss.’
There is a reasonably good choice of classic campers for would-be owners and while VWs in ‘splittie’ and ‘ bay window’ form make up a large number of campers in classic sales, there are many other popular and unususal models to be had.
But it’s not just holidays that prove the worth of a classic camper – so too can days out, as Derek Mathewson of Yorkshire-based Mathewsons explains. ‘They are in the minority on any normal show field, making them
quite interesting viewing compared with the masses of 1970s’ sports cars. And when you get to an event that needs a tea or burger van... you’ve already got one. Just step in the back and pop the kettle on!
‘ You can’t really go far wrong. There’s always an orderly queue for a good-condition camper van.’
While there’s no longer a seasonal aspect to camper sales, Britain is unlikely to move back to the era before overseas package holidays became the default option. Campers will retain their exclusivity.
Auctioneers report that the seasonal fluctuations in demand for campers is disappearing, with Volkswagen models like the T2 performing particularly well.