Buying a used caravan - the ultimate checklist

When buying a used caravan it is important to understand the market and what to look out for. Our comprehensive guide will help you decide where to buy a used caravan, checks that should be performed, and potential risks to be aware of. Where to buy a used caravan After you’ve made the decision to buy a second-hand caravan, the next question may be where to buy it from. There are various options available depending on your requirements including buying from a caravan dealer, a private seller, or at an auction. Each of these options are discussed below. Buying from a caravan dealer

Buying from a caravan dealer could be a popular option as a buyer. There are various types of dealerships, ranging from franchised dealers, to private dealers and driveway sellers. When buying from a caravan dealer, you will be covered by the Consumer Rights Act. Due to this, dealerships usually take time to prepare the caravan before listing it for sale, which could provide peace of mind that you’re not buying a caravan that will break shortly after towing it away. Some dealerships may also offer a warranty on caravans they sell, which provides assurance for the buyer and means that potential problems within the specified period may be covered by the terms of the warranty. When buying from a caravan dealer, you may want to consider checking the online reviews from customers, which will enable you to get an indication of the level of service that you can expect to receive, should you choose to buy a caravan through them. Buying from a private seller When buying a caravan from a private seller, you may be able to negotiate the price to your desired budget, especially if the seller has already bought a new caravan, or have a new one on the way. Also, buying a caravan privately enables you to meet the previous owner, where you can question them and evaluate whether the caravan has been well looked after. Whilst there could also be benefits from buying privately, you won’t get the same amount of protection as when buying from a caravan dealer. Therefore, it is recommended that you perform your own inspection of the caravan by reviewing the documents, and ensuring the caravan matches with the seller's description. If you’re buying a used caravan that you’re expecting to use for a number of years, it could be worth investing in a professional inspection to ensure there are no problems with the caravan like damp or electric issues that could be costly to repair in the future. Buying at auction

There are caravan auctions that take place across the UK every week at auction houses, where there is a mix of trade and private buyers bidding for each lot. The first step for buying at auction is taking a look at the catalogue to choose the caravan that you are potentially interested in purchasing. It is common for catalogues to include details such as a description and the caravans history, although this varies depending on the auction house. Some auctions also allow for you to personally inspect the caravan's prior to the auction beginning, which allows you to do some basic checks of the, bodywork, electrics, tyres and interior that will give you a better idea of the caravan's overall condition. You may want to have a budget in mind before the auction begins to ensure you don’t overspend on the caravan, and consider the associated fees if you win the auction, such as the buyers fee. When the auction begins, you will need to bid for the caravan you’re interested in buying by raising your hand. The highest bid at the end of the auction is the new owner of the caravan and the auction is finished when the hammer comes down. If you are the highest bidder, the auction house will usually require you to pay a deposit for the caravan to secure the purchase straightaway. After the auction has finished you will then need to sign the documents and pay the remainder of the sale price. At this point, the caravan is your responsibility, therefore you will need to ensure that it is road legal before being towed away.

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