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Swift to reduce production

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10 minutes ago, handyandy said:

There is a B killing sales, but it’s not Boris. It is the limitations of the B driving licence. 
 

Throwback to 1997 and a typical family tourer was 1200kg ish MTPLM.  A suitable car would have had a gross weight of around 2000kg. It was relatively easy to stay within the 3500kg limit. 
 

Now you are looking at a family caravan weighing 1400-1500kg MTPLM and around 2300kg for a typical car. You just can’t do it. 
 

As soon as you tell somebody they have to do another driving test it puts them off. Younger people are just not coming into the industry.  They choose tents, statics or cottage hire instead. The B+E test is a joke as far as caravanning is concerned (I’ve done it) and I would suggest that a CCC or CMC course give a far better grounding. 
 

Before it is too late the industry needs to be pushing for the B licence limits to be adjusted in line with vehicle development or the introduction of the B96 licence.  This lets you tow a combination up to 4250kg in exchange for partaking in a few hours of training ( no test), along the lines of the club courses.  This category was not taken up by the UK when introduced by the EU. 
 

The 3500kg limit has helped motorhome sales as 3500kg motorhome where easier to come by than 3500kg car caravan combos. This is going to reduce though thanks to WLTP limits and the push to electric vehicles. 
 

 

 

Wrong solution - younger drivers with B need to take the +E towing test.

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4 hours ago, handyandy said:

There is a B killing sales, but it’s not Boris. It is the limitations of the B driving licence. 
 

Throwback to 1997 and a typical family tourer was 1200kg ish MTPLM.  A suitable car would have had a gross weight of around 2000kg. It was relatively easy to stay within the 3500kg limit. 
 

Now you are looking at a family caravan weighing 1400-1500kg MTPLM and around 2300kg for a typical car. You just can’t do it. 


My outfit is 3430kg - a 1300-1400kg 6.5-7m van behind a 2100kg GVW family car should be easily possible. The appeal of driving (heavier) SUV’s and dragging bungalows on wheels is what undermines the B license limitations but lighter vans are out there - Bailey Discovery D4, Lunr Venus (when they return) and plenty of European vans.
 

I have a pre 97 license so it makes no odds but I’d rather have a lighter van and not tow with a truck

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14 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

 

Wrong solution - younger drivers with B need to take the +E towing test.

That may be so, but why should they go to the expense of doing the training, then take time out for the training and the test when it is easier to rent a cottage?  I am told that the course cost in excess of £600 including the new driving licence.

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17 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

 

Wrong solution - younger drivers with B need to take the +E towing test.


That is the current “solution”, which isn’t working, and is therefore the problem!

 

People are not prepared to go through the  hassle of doing it. It puts another obstacle in the way and makes buying a caravan no longer an easy option. 
 

When B+E was brought in back in 1997 it was marketed, if that’s the right word, as not affecting the majority of family caravans. And it didn’t. In 2020 it does affect the majority of family caravans. 
 

I don’t think Swift or Coachman have a family model in their range that could be towed on a B licence by a newcomer observing the 85% rule.  The Alpine 4 is possibly,  but I wouldn’t really call it a family van. 
 

The EU saw this problem coming and introduced the B96 licence, which most countries adopted. We didn’t. Their sales are up and ours are down. Not the only reason I know but a factor.  
 


 

 

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32 minutes ago, handyandy said:


That is the current “solution”, which isn’t working, and is therefore the problem!

 

People are not prepared to go through the  hassle of doing it. It puts another obstacle in the way and makes buying a caravan no longer an easy option. 
 

When B+E was brought in back in 1997 it was marketed, if that’s the right word, as not affecting the majority of family caravans. And it didn’t. In 2020 it does affect the majority of family caravans. 
 

I don’t think Swift or Coachman have a family model in their range that could be towed on a B licence by a newcomer observing the 85% rule.  The Alpine 4 is possibly,  but I wouldn’t really call it a family van. 
 

The EU saw this problem coming and introduced the B96 licence, which most countries adopted. We didn’t. Their sales are up and ours are down. Not the only reason I know but a factor.  
 


 

 

 

When the B+E was defined, it was up to each country to decide whether to allow grandfather rights to existing licence holders - the UK did but some EU countries didn't, requiring every driver to take the +E test - the NCC lobbied the UK government very hard to achieve the grandfather rights concession to make it easier to sell caravans to existing caravanners.

 

Although I benefit from grandfather rights and get B+E without taking a test, I'd support the removal of that, forcing everyone to take the test.

 

I support the concept of MORE driver education to improve existing standards which are generally too low, in my opinion.

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I`ve ordered a Swift Caravan and am certainly not going to worry about "what if" all the time, life is too short and gets even shorter as you get older, anyway there`s always the option to convert it to a burger van, no that won`t work either now I have to worry about vegans or cows breaking wind!!!!

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On 08/11/2019 at 13:30, Black Grouse said:

 

When the B+E was defined, it was up to each country to decide whether to allow grandfather rights to existing licence holders - the UK did but some EU countries didn't, requiring every driver to take the +E test - the NCC lobbied the UK government very hard to achieve the grandfather rights concession to make it easier to sell caravans to existing caravanners.

 

Although I benefit from grandfather rights and get B+E without taking a test, I'd support the removal of that, forcing everyone to take the test.

 

I support the concept of MORE driver education to improve existing standards which are generally too low, in my opinion.

If you mean changing the law retrospectively, I wouldn't want to do that. 

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