Motorhome fares – clarification

The increases to motorhome fares we reported on in December have been clarified by Transport Scotland, after we noticed that the published fares for smaller campervans had not increased as was expected.

The fare multiplier will only apply to motorhomes of more than 6 metres in length. So the new fares for Craignure-Oban are below, with car and commercial vehicle fares for comparison.

2021 Fare2022 Fare
Motorhome 6m and below£14.25£14.70
Motorhome under 8m£21.40£36.75
Motorhome under 10m£28.50£44.10
Commercial Vehicle 10m£145.20£149.78

One criticism of the motorhome fares as originally communicated was that it did not discriminate between holiday makers from the mainland and campervan drivers from the island. For many people on the islands, a campervan is their only motor vehicle. There is still no distinction based on residence, but island-owned vans tend to be smaller, which it has now been confirmed will continue to be charged the car rate.

Campervans like this will continue to pay the same fares as cars

Its also worth noting that 60% of all motorhomes using the CalMac ferry network are under 6m in length, so the fare multiplier will only affect 40% of motorhomes travelling to the islands.

With a fare jump of 150% for motorhomes of 6.1m compared to 6.0m, it is likely to incentivise those hiring motorhomes to opt for smaller models.

Motorhomes of 6m and above like this will pay considerably more.

Its also worth remembering that there is a distinction between a motorhome/campervan that was sold as such from new, and a van that has subsequently been converted. This will be an important distinction for those driving campervans of 6m and above that technically are converted vans. If there is uncertainty about whether your vehicle will be charged as a van or a motorhome, CalMac will look to your V5 document. You will be charged as a motorhome if your V5 states ‘Motorhome’ or ‘Motorcaravan’. Full guidance on how CalMac decide whether your vehicle is a motorhome or a van can be read here.

The new fares take effect from the start of the summer timetable.

7 thoughts on “Motorhome fares – clarification

  1. As an owner of a motor home over 8m in length I think that the price increase is perfectly acceptable.

  2. The only thing which is clarified by this is that it is further evidence of the incompetence and madness which prevails at Transport Scotland.

  3. I’m sorry to have to say this but a 150% increase for motorhomes over 6m is absolutely ridiculous.

    1. I dont agree entirely, but what is utterly ridiculous is the arbitrary and Inexplicable 6 metre rule.
      Think on this.
      If a vehicle, any vehicle, is 6m long by 2.2m wide, it will occupy 13 2 square metres of deck. If it is 6.1m long by 2.2m wide, it will occupy 13.42sq/m.
      The only thing CALMAC has to sell are square metres of deck, and when a ship is full, it’s full.
      Why is there such random and massive variation in the price of deck space, which frequently results in vehicles of a type which have to pay premium rates being short shipped, as the vessel is oversubscribed with vehicles which, by dint of their complying with some inexplicable rule, are only paying a tiny fraction of the true cost of shipping.
      You’ll have to ask Transport Scotland, as CALMAC has to do their bidding. Good luck with that.
      It’s definately time for a top down clear out of the people who conjure this stuff up. Incidentally, I see that the man at the very top has just resigned.
      The invisible man, Graeme Dey, Minister for transport has gone on “health grounds.”
      I wish him well, and hope he makes a full recovery from whatever ails him.

  4. All the fares ought to go up by the same percentage. That would be fair, would it not? I have a 7m motorhome and the increase is in the region of 75%. It seems to me that the logic is, “As they can afford a bigger Motorhome, we can charge them more”. Well, you won’t be getting my trade again, neither will your local economy.

  5. Peugeot based motorhome looks like L3 H2 therefore 5.995m long

  6. You can all consider yourselves lucky. I’m a caravanner and my caravan is 8.3mtrs shipping length therefore by Calmac rules an 8.5mtr commercial vehicle. I have to pay a commercial rate for the caravan plus a separate rate for the car and passengers.

    Using 2022 prices that’s nearly £300 Oban – Mull return. The return price for two 8m motorhomes, which take up more space than than I do is less than £150.

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