Where's the best place to keep your touring caravan?

by Adrian Waters

Many caravan owners are lucky enough to have enough space to keep them on their drives, others have to rely on commercial storage space. Whichever options are open to you, you need to be aware both of the relative risk and the impact on your caravan insurance premium.

Lowering premium prices

It's important to keep your caravan in a safe place. Unsurprisingly the safer a place is, the cheaper your insurance premium will be, on the grounds that it's less likely to be stolen.

So the more you can do to secure your tourer, the lower your insurance premium will be. Commercial caravan storage sites can join a ranking system where the level of service and security is assessed. Generally speaking the better the ranking the less you'll pay for your insurance (more on this below).

In this article we'll assess all the options for caravan storage to help you pick the right one for your situation.

Storing on drives and gardens

As we've said already, it's great if you have space to keep your tourer at home. Although insurance companies talk about 'driveways' the space doesn't necessarily have to be an actual drive. You can keep a tourer in your garden or yard as long as it's inside the boundaries of your home. Having it behind locked gates, a parking post or anything else that makes it hard to tow away will help enormously. Many caravan insurance companies will offer discounts for extra security.

It also doesn't have to be stored at your own home. If a family member or friend has a garden or driveway you can use then that's fine too, as long as you inform your insurance company. From an insurance point of view there's nothing to stop you parking a touring caravan on the street, although many companies won't cover you. Note that many local authorities will have something to say about it and will ask you to remove it before too long. In fact in some cases there can be covenants preventing you from parking caravans on your own drive - check your title deeds for any restrictions of this kind.

Note that if you store a touring caravan on your drive over winter, and don't intend to use it, it might be a false economy to cancel the insurance. It would mean your caravan is not covered and unfortunately there does seem to be an increase in cases of both arson and theft involving caravans on drives.

Storing a caravan off-site

There's a wide spectrum of off-site storage facilities for touring caravans, with differing levels of security and charges. Not all storage sites will be acceptable to insurance companies, so although you can use them, and you might be comfortable that they are secure, you might not be able to get cover. This is almost certainly true of spaces like fields and industrial sites or other unofficial spaces.

Lots of farmers offer storage for caravans, as well as other things like classic or specialised cars that aren't used all the time, in unused barns and farm buildings. You'll probably need to find out what security measures are in place and whether or not there are people on site, and at what hours, before an insurance company will agree to give cover.

Using a specialised storage for caravans

A lot of caravan sites can store your tourer in the months when you aren't using it. Also specialised commercial storage buildings and yards are designed to take caravans, boats and other items. Whether its a caravan site or a specialised storage company you should look for membership of the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CaSSOA).

CaSSOA membership involves assessment of the site and its security measures so it's not just a rubber stamp. Sites are accredited to Bronze, Silver or Gold levels, depending on the strength of the measures in place for reducing fire hazard and crime. If a site you're thinking of using has CaSSOA membership then it's highly like that an insurance company will offer discounts depending on the level of the site's accreditation.

Of course the reduction in caravan insurance premiums that you could benefit from by using a highly-rated CaSSOA might well be offset by the higher charges likely to be levied. This makes shopping around and weighing the whole situation up even more important. Whatever you decide, we sincerely hope that your caravan will be as secure as possible and that you never have to make a claim.

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