Caravan Club vs Camping & Caravan Club
Posted on 14/11/2012 by John Morley
Camping Club vs Camping & Caravan Club
There are two major organisations which run campsites in the UK. Slightly confusingly, they have almost the same name. Firstly we have the Caravan Club (CC) and secondly the Camping & Caravan Club (C&CC). It is important to note that even when combined these two organisations only represent a small proportion of British campsites. There are plenty of independent campsites throughout the country, but it’s likely that you will come across at least one of these sites if you do a long tour around the UK.
Below are some comparisons between the two organisations:
What are their sites like?
Both organisations look after their sites very well and both generally have spotless facilities. If you are looking for sites in a certain part of the country then you may find one has more sites in that area than the other.
CC sites tend to be very organised with all vehicles lined up in rows like a car park. C&CC sites tend to have a more natural approach to placing their pitches, although both offer about the same amount of actual space per pitch.
Overall, C&CC sites tend to be a little more picturesque, but the CC has some great locations, too.
Do I need to be a member?
The answer for both organisations is “no”, but there are some restrictions in both cases if you don’t join.
The C&CC have 110 sites which are open to the public and a further 1500 member-only “Certified Sites”. Annual membership costs £40 and there are special offers for overseas visitors. If you aren't a member then there is a fee of £7.10 per pitch per night on top of the standard cost.
The CC Have over 200 sites, but a lot of them are reserved for members only. A yearly membership will set you back £42 and will reduce your nightly stay by £10. This means it only takes 5 nights to recoup your initial outlay.
Overall, non-member prices are roughly equal
Do I need to book in advance?
This is one of the big differences between the two organisations.
The CC offer a booking service to members which means they can reserve a site a long way in advance and pay no deposit. This is great as there is no initial outlay when booking, but – and it’s a big but – this means many sites get booked out way in advance and you can’t make last minute holiday plans. Most frustratingly, there doesn't appear to be any penalty for not showing up when you have made a booking and so the result is “fully-booked” CC sites often have plenty of space. If you are the sort of person who likes to plan a summer trip at the last minute then CC is not for you.
The C&CC require a deposit to be paid when making a booking. For this reason sites do not get booked out as quickly and normally you can just turn up and get a space. This does vary by site and by season. The deposit system does mean that you have a small outlay when you make your booking.
Can anyone stay at the Site?
As the difference in their respective names suggest, the Camping & Caravan Club accepts customers in tents whereas the Caravan Club does not on the majority of its sites.
For both organisations, rules around customer ages, group sizes and acceptable behaviour can vary between sites.
The CC does not accept small campervans such as the Mazda Bongo. We have also had quite a few reports of hired campervans or motorhomes not being accepted if they have any sort of advertising on them.
The C&CC has a more tolerant attitude and in most cases seem to take each case on merit when assessing any self-converted motorhomes or campervans.
Both organisations will not accept unsafe vehicle conversions.
Which should I choose?
At the end of the day, personal preference plays a big part. If you are coming from overseas and hiring a campervan in the UK then personally we would suggest the C&CC is the better option with its good booking system and more relaxed attitude to non-members.
The CC is may be a good option if you are a UK resident and prefer more of a closed “Club” type of atmosphere.
Importantly, though, you don’t need to choose between either organisation when camping in the UK. There are hundreds of great independent campsites to choose from and each will have its own unique features and characteristics.
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