Imagine being able to dedicate your entire life to roaming around the country in your caravan or motorhome. Wouldn’t that be the ideal lifestyle?
In many ways, it is but there are some practicalities to think about and that includes where you’ll send your post. If you’ve kept your address back home and plan on returning to your permanent accommodation at some point, then that’s great but not everyone is afforded that luxury. So, what postal address do you use when living in a caravan?
You could get a PO Box or use the address of a friend or relative. However, there are some complications with these options. On the other hand, there are now companies that offer virtual addresses which are ideal for people living in caravans and motorhomes.
It’s worth considering your options and working out which would work best for you and your situation. In this short guide, we’ll explain the pros and cons of each one. Do I Legally Need An Address?
There is no legal requirement in the UK to have a permanent address. However, a lot of authorities, agencies and companies will expect you to have one for correspondence purposes.
Using A PO Box
A PO Box is located in a single place so one of the biggest problems with these is that you won’t have easy access to your mail without physically going to collect it. You may also find that a lot of companies including banks, insurers and retailers will not allow the use of a PO Box as this could be linked to fraud.
Using A Friend Or Relative’s Address
Many people opt to use the address of a trusted friend or family member. This is a good way of making sure that your mail and parcels are handled with care; however, you really do need to be able to trust the person and that’s not something that we all have the luxury of.
Moreover, you should consider that there are some companies, especially insurance companies, that require you to have your own fixed address and won’t allow you to use someone else's, which can be difficult.
If you have to register as ‘living’ at your trusted person’s address, this can have a knock on effect for them. This might include going over the maximum occupancy, problems with subletting clauses in rental contracts, being unable to claim certain benefits and much more.
On the plus side, your friend or family member will easily be able to send your items to your current location such as the office on your campsite.
Using A Virtual Address
You may decide to use one of the online virtual address companies that are set up for people on the go. They’re relatively affordable and provide you with a fixed address that you can use for all kinds of purposes.
Your mail will actually go to a collection centre where it will be scanned, signed for and stored until you are able to collect it. The great thing about this is that you are often allowed more than one name on the account so it’s great for couples or families who are living the van life!
Living In A Caravan On A Holiday Park Site
One way that you can make the most out of a caravanning lifestyle is to get a permanent pitch at one of your favourite holiday parks. However, it’s crucial to remember that you cannot live here all the time. For this, you must have a permanent address so if you’re looking to completely abandon a traditional home, this won’t be an option for you.
That said, there are a lot of people who remain in their caravans on a holiday park site for long periods of time each year. You will find that each park sets its own limits but it’s worth finding one that allows you as long as possible.
Make Use Of Paperless Correspondence
One of the great things about being a modern caravanner is that while you may need a postal address for things like credit cards, asci card, banks, insurance and much more, you don’t necessarily have to worry about not getting your mail regarding these things.
As long as you have an email address, most companies prefer you to go paperless so you’ll receive pretty much everything over email.
Receiving Packages Wherever You Are
While this is not something that can be used as a permanent address for things like banking, your driving licence and others, Post Restante is a great way to accept parcels while you’re on the road.
It’s incredibly simple and merely involves you registering at your chosen post office. Once you have done this you can use the following address to receive packages at that post office. You can change post offices as you move around the country so there’s no reason you can’t stop making those eBay and Amazon purchases.
- Post Restante
- Name of chosen post office
- Post office address
Keeping Your Own Fixed Address
If you are able, it is worth holding onto a rented or owned property, even if this is a very small space. Some people have the financial luxury to be able to rent a studio or small flat and this also gives you a base to return to should anything go wrong with your van.
All your letters, parcels and other deliveries can be sent here and while you will need to go back to collect them, you’ll know that they will be safe.
If you are living in a caravan or motorhome full time then you won’t have a fixed address. This can cause problems with certain companies and agencies particularly any government departments, banks and insurers. There are some ways of getting around this such as using a friend’s address or a PO Box. However, if you want to remain certain that your mail is going to get to where it needs to be, the best option is to retain a small home that you can return to as needed.