NCC Verified Leisure Battery (Consumer Protection) Scheme Now in Place

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As reported in an earlier article it would seem that the leisure battery market has been in need of regulation for some time after a 2012 EU directive designed to protect consumers overlooked leisure batteries.

READ MORE: Caravan 12V Leisure Battery Independent Test - Very Revealing!

The Problem

The problem was highlighted by Terry Williams and Caravan TV presenter John Wicksham, who performed a series of test on a host of leisure batteries, which was witnessed in part (some of the tests took 24 hours) by a stellar line up of organisations and companies:

  • Bailey Caravans
  • The Caravan Club
  • The Camping & Caravan Club
  • The Motor Caravanner's Club
  • Andrew Harris of the Motorhome Channel
  • John Wickersham of Haynes Publishing
  • The Caravan Channel

The tests were first to fully charge the batteries to 100% then check CCA (starting ability), weight followed by a discharge test (for true capacity). They were then all cut open to reveal the internal construction which shows whether the battery is a purpose built unit or a starter battery labelled as a deep cycle or leisure battery.

The results were startling for all the wrong reasons and it was clearly evident that something had to be done in order to protect consumers from clear Trading Description Act breaches. Frequent sales of substandard leisure batteries were taking place between an unspecified number of battery suppliers and unsuspecting caravan and motorhome retailers and ultimately end consumers.

The Solution

In light of the results a decision was made by the NCC or National Caravan Council to present a new NCC Verified Leisure Battery Scheme that would effectively lock substandard leisure battery producers out of the the market in the event their batteries failed to meet new NCC Scheme requirements.

This scheme provides product verification for batteries used in leisure vehicles (touring caravans and motorhomes).

With modern leisure vehicles featuring more technology and electrical appliances than ever before, buying an NCC Verified Leisure Battery gives consumers confidence that the battery they buy are fit for purpose and will perform as advertised. Also, the NCC is encouraging its leisure vehicle member manufacturers to fit NCC verified leisure batteries.

Battery verification comes via a comprehensive, industry leading, testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses. Batteries will be verified and labelled accordingly, into three categories: A, B and C, depending on their capacity and intended purpose – this is explained below:

Category A

Category A is for batteries with a higher storage capacity for people who frequently use their touring caravan or motorhome away from an electrical hook-up.

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Category B

Category B batteries are aimed at those who frequently use sites with hook-up facilities, but require a greater battery capacity to operate devices such as motor movers.

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Category C

Category C batteries are for users that require a lower capacity battery to cover basic operation of their habitation equipment for short periods away from an electrical hook-up.

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The Conclusion

David Reid, NCC Standards and Regulations Adviser, advises that the NCC has been aware that consumers could be getting short changed when purchasing a leisure battery because, until now there has been very little guidance on how to match their requirements to the technical specification of the battery. Leisure batteries can cost as much as £200 each so the NCC wants to make sure that when people buy a new battery they get a product that is suitable for their caravan or motorhome and suits their lifestyle.

The scheme is designed to bring transparency to the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them. The scheme was started with some of the leading leisure battery brands signed up, including Banner, Platinum and Yuasa and more are being bought on-board all the time.

John Richards, Platinum OE-OES & Specialist Channel Director, said: “We are excited to start working with the NCC moving forward as we believe the NCC Verified Leisure Battery Scheme is right for the industry and our business”.

Platinum Batteries at Homestead Caravans

Homestead Caravans has always appreciated the value in retailing quality leisure batteries that provide the very best in performance and longevity for our customers. That's why for many years Platinum Batteries has been our preferred supplier of quality leisure batteries and we are pleased to say that Platinum Batteries is an NCC Verified Manufacturer of caravan and motorhome deep cycle leisure batteries.

READ MORE: Platinum Batteries Starter Guide - Getting the most from your Leisure Battery

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