Volkswagen’s new California Beach camper van is now available to order in the UK, with prices starting at just over £52,000. Customers get a choice of two models, with the Camper joined by the Tour model, designed for “those who need to accommodate their hobbies or occasional rest stops”.

With that in mind, the Tour features five seats as standard, but customers have the option to increase that to six or seven. That, Volkswagen claims, makes the California Beach the only manufacturer-produced camper on the market that can seat this many people.

With a starting price of £52,060, the Tour will provide a manual pop-up roof and 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as a DAB radio with phone connectivity. A camping table and two folding chairs will also be included as standard.

The Camper model, meanwhile, will be marginally more expensive, starting at £52,302. That money only gets you four seats, although there will be the option of increasing the seating capacity to five.

Most importantly, however, the Camper comes with the same manual pop-up roof and a pull-out mini kitchen that includes a single gas hob. You get the same 17-inch alloys, DAB radio and camping chairs as the Tour model, too, but the Camper adds a pull-out awning to the mix.

Volkswagen California Beach T6.1

Both models are based on the latest T6.1 Volkswagen Transporter van, and the vehicles will come with a 2-litre, 148 bhp diesel engine and an automatic gearbox. Marked out by its Arteon-inspired grille, the T6.1 is fitted with a more premium interior than its predecessor, and it comes with VW’s latest-generation touchscreen technology.

But although the Transporter is already hard at work on the roads of the UK, the first California Beach models are not expected to arrive with customers until March 2021. However, customers can still place orders at their local Van Centres, where teams are available for sales enquiries or appointment booking.

Volkswagen California Beach T6.1

“The California van has been the camper of choice for many and provides the ideal companion to explore some of the UK’s most popular destinations as more people continue to opt for staycations instead of travelling abroad in these uncertain times,” said Alice Axtell, product manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “Our Van Centres are open for business and are adhering to all latest Covid-19 regulations, and of course customers can always visit us digitally.”

Gallery: VW California Beach