If you want to save money on any major purchase – and who isn’t? – there are generally two prime considerations:
- determining just what it is you want; and
- finding a suitable supplier, offering good value for money.
Buying your next caravan, and saving some money in doing so, may be seen in the same light – so it might be worth looking at each aspect in a little more detail:
What you want
- it is likely to be a fairly major investment, so it is important to spend your money wisely by making sure that the caravan you choose meets as many as your needs as possible;
- size and layout are likely to be everything, with your need to compromise any need for the comfort of a roomy interior with manoeuvrability and ease of towing when on the road touring;
- especially if you are touring as a family and have children or young adults to accommodate, too, the actual layout of the interior is likely to be just as critical as the internal dimensions;
- the technical considerations relating to the car you have and the caravan it can tow are also crucial – at the very least, ensure that the caravan you are interested in buying is within the maximum weight your car is able to tow;
- if you are buying second hand, then it is clearly important to establish more of the caravan’s past history – previous owners, maintenance records, any outstanding finance, and the like;
- if the caravan is registered with the Central Registration and Identification Scheme (CRiS), so much the better – it is the National Register of UK caravans, giving owners of tourers something akin to the logbook issued for cars by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA);
- for further tips and advice about buying a second hand caravan, you might want to take a look at the website Preloved, which has a quite detailed rundown of what to look for in order to save yourself time, trouble and money;
- whether you have bought your caravan new or second hand, moreover, one of the principal ways of looking after your investment and avoiding unnecessary expenditure lies in keeping it safe and sound – here at Cover4Caravans, we have put together a comprehensive guide to caravan safety and security, which might not only help to keep your caravan in the condition in which you bought it, but also save yourself some money on the cost of insurance premiums;
Where to buy
- if you are serious about going ahead with the purchase of a new or used caravan then of course you need to decide where you are going to buy it;
- you might be surprised to discover just how widely the price of practically identical caravans may vary;
- a serious price comparison – with your net thrown as widely as possible – therefore, may be one way of ensuring that you save money on the purchase (whilst being aware, of course, that a suspiciously low price may be just that, suspicious);
- as the idea of buying your next caravan begins to take off you might do worse than canvas your friends and fellow caravanners about makes and models that might be up for sale;
- this might lead to the sales advertisements that might appear anywhere from your local newsagent’s window to the classified listings of your local newspaper;
- casting your net wider, by going online, you are able to access many more listings, of course, and a number may specialise in the new or second hand models in which you are especially interested;
- there is a site for caravans, for example, that echoes in every way its sister site for motor cars – Autotrader Caravans, with a constantly updated listing of sales;
- a helpful suggestion from the Camping and Caravanning Club is that you make the most of the several caravan shows that are staged around the country at various time of the year – these provide an opportunity to see for yourself some of the latest layouts and designs in an atmosphere that is almost guaranteed to be competitive when it comes to pricing as salesmen vie for sales;
- what you have seen and learned at such a show might point you in the direction of a particular dealer whom you might choose to visit later – an established dealer with a reputation to maintain might be a good place to secure a money saving deal on the right caravan and aftersales service, but you may need to exercise good judgement, and the advice of fellow caravanners, in order to find the most reputable dealers.
Saving money on your next caravan purchase, therefore, may not be as difficult as it first seems. Careful research and forethought is likely to make sure you secure just the caravan you have been looking for.