Kingswood caravan and camping centre in Bristol

Buying a caravan for the first time

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If you are planning your first caravan purchase then there is definitely a lot to take into account. You then need to buy all of the accessories you require, the help of an actual shop with knowledgeable staff by far out ways what you may possibly save by buying (often an unsuitable product) on the internet.

There is an extensive selection of products on the market and you need to be certain to make the right decision if you are to benefit from a comfortable stay. However, that is where this blog post comes into play.

Read on to discover the top tips needed to find your caravan.

Firstly, let’s begin with the most important aspect of them all; purchasing a caravan. These are all key points you will need to consider…

  • Caravan size – How many people do you need to accommodate. Make sure  the caravan has the capacity to fit everybody in comfortably. Remember, you are going to be staying in the caravan and so if you plan on using it regularly you will want to try and find one that offers a decent amount of space, and don’t forget you have to have the right car to tow it.
  • Used or new? – There is nothing wrong with going for a used caravan, you simply need to scrutinise the caravan a lot more before fully committing to buying.
  • Price – Check the market in order to get a general idea for the prices being charged for the type of caravan you are considering, especially if buying privately to ensure you are not getting ripped off. Nevertheless, you should never go for the cheapest deal – especially if buying used, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is!
  • Buying from a reputable dealer is often the safest route for peace of mind. The private used market is full of pitfalls, repaired insurance write offs, stolen caravans, outstanding finance, unsafe to be on the road, damp (without your knowledge) and (very) often the wrong year, all this can make you £1000’s of pounds out of pocket and then you find that ‘bargain’ wasn’t such a bargain after all.  If buying privately be sure to get a CRIS registration document with the seller as the registered keeper.

Reasons to go for a used caravan

There is no denying that one of the biggest investments you will make is your caravan. However, you can cut the costs of this purchase significantly by going down the used caravan route.

A lot of people are sceptical about buying anything second-hand, especially something as significant as a caravan. Yet, there are many compelling reasons why you should consider doing so, as you will discover in further detail below…

More caravan for your money – One of the main reasons why you should consider a used caravan is because you will get more for your money. Your cash is going to take you a lot further. If you were to buy a new caravan, you may only be able to afford an entry-level.. However, with the same budget, you can buy something that is better equipped or much better value by going down the used market route.

Depreciation – Caravans depreciate in value. It is as simple as that. Once you take delivery, it immediately drops in value. In fact, it is predicted that a new caravan can lose as much as 40% of their value within the first three years. This means that the value of your asset quickly goes down and you will never be able to get back the money that you originally spent.

Lower insurance costs – As you can see, there are many different ways that you can save money by going for a used caravan, and one of these is through lower insurance costs. After all, if a brand new caravan gets stolen or damaged, insurance companies are going to have to fork out much more money.

Non-financial benefits – It is also worth considering the benefits of used caravans that are not related to money. This includes the fact that these purchases are much less risky in the current day and age because of the easy access to good warranties. It is also worth considering the sheer variety of caravans you will be able to choose from. You can buy models that have been discontinued and are no longer available for sale in the new caravan market.

Caravan hire

Of course, you don’t need to buy a caravan, you  can always hire one, which is what a lot of people choose to do today. Caravan hire is popular because it means you only pay for a caravan when you need it.

If you do not have the time to go on holidays regularly throughout the year, hiring is the most economical solution. It is also good for those who do not have a lump sum of cash available to purchase a caravan outright.

There are some other advantages to consider too. For example, by hiring, you are possibly going to be able to stay in something better than you would stay in if you were buying outright.

Mistakes to avoid when buying a caravan

  • Not doing your homework – There is only one place to begin, and this is with doing your research. Simply buying a caravan because it looks good is never a good idea. Nowadays, it is easier to do your homework than ever before because of the Internet. You can look on websites and blogs, as well as reading customer reviews, so make sure you do so.
  • Buying a new caravan when a used vehicle would do – Failing to consider the used market is a big mistake. When you buy a caravan that is brand new, it loses around a third of its value the moment you drive it out of the showroom. Therefore, it can often be a much smarter decision to buy a used vehicle instead.
  • Failing to take insurance into account – When considering a certain make and model of vehicle, it is important to find out how much the insurance is going to cost. Make sure your caravan is insured whether you are using it or not as insurance will cover both road use and theft.
  • Choosing the wrong caravan for your needs – When buying a caravan, you need to determine what your needs are. Are there are just two of you, then the most popular layout will be a fixed bed, with children, for younger ones perhaps fixed bunks should be considered, if older they may be happier sleeping in an awning.

Final words on buying a caravan for the first time

If you follow the advice that has been provided in this blog post, then you will increase your chances of having a risk free purchase and be able to look forward to cosy caravan holidays. All it takes is a careful bit of consideration and planning to ensure that this is the case.

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