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Buyer’s Guide: Used Caravans

April 17, 2014

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already thinking about buying a caravan. Caravanning is a great long-term holiday solution, allowing you to make the most of the beautiful countryside that the UK has to offer. There is, however, the issue of that upfront cost when you first buy. Buying a used caravan can be a smart money saving option – much like cars, caravans depreciate the second they’ve been towed away from the show room. Smart buyers know this – and there are some great deals to be found when buying second hand. Worried about getting caught out with a bad deal? Fear not – we’ve created this handy buyer’s guide to used caravans.

Buy used caravans

Dealer vs. Private

First, the age old question: buy from a dealer or go private? Both options have their own pros and cons. When buying from a dealer, you are generally going to get a wider selection in one location – so it may be useful to visit a dealership initially to identify the type of caravan you are after. Some dealers may offer a limited warranty with their caravans – if they don’t, it might be an indication that there’s something wrong with the caravan. Dealers get a bad rap for being unscrupulous about their business, but there are reputable ones out there. Dealers are bound by consumer law – the products they sell must be fit for purpose, accurately described and of satisfactory quality to the customer – offering you some protection.

Often the best deals and savings are found on the private sellers’ market – however, it involves much more effort on your part. It can take quite a while to find a hidden gem when looking for private listings, but don’t give up – there are bargains to be had. The major downside to going private is the lack of guarantee, as more investigation is required to assess the quality of the caravan you are buying. Ask to see any and all available paperwork from the seller, which should include a service history.

What to Look For

When you’ve picked a caravan and arranged a viewing, start by making a list of any questions you want to ask. These may be general questions or queries which have arisen from the advert or pictures. It’s advisable to do your research on the model you’re viewing beforehand – others may have encountered common issues or faults with that particular model. When it comes to actually viewing the caravan, it’s best to take a friend with you, acting as a fresh set of eyes and providing a second opinion.

Used caravans

Don’t be shy when viewing the caravan. It can be intimidating with the owner watching your every move like a hawk – but at the end of the day, they want to sell it. Take your time going around the interior, checking for any damage or cracks. When looking inside, pay attention to the walls, fabric and panelling for any signs of damp. Damp is one of the biggest complaints with poor quality or badly maintained caravans. Ensure that everything is working and don’t be afraid to open every door, fold out the beds, and check that the locks, taps, showers and toilets work. This is what we like to call snagging – the more of this you do now, the less likely you are to get a nasty surprise on your first caravanning holiday. For further help when buying second hand, check out this handy 100-point checklist by caravanning expert Josh Garrod.

Did you know you know that low interest financing is available for caravans? That’s right. Just like the cars that tow them, financing is a great option when it comes to buying a used caravan. Pegasus Finance are specialists in financing caravans, motorhomes and other specialist vehicles. Try our caravan finance calculator now to get a quick and easy quote.

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