How much do caravans cost? Setting a budget – Buying Your First Caravan 03

How much do caravans cost? Setting a budgetThis is post number 3 in our “Buying Your First Caravan” series. Today we will be talking about how much caravans cost, buying new VS used and setting your budget.

Are you sitting comfortably? Good!

Here we go… Oh and remember if you have any questions or comments, please use the comments section at the bottom of this page.

How much do caravans cost?

When buying your first caravan your budget is going to be one of the deciding factors in exactly what type of caravan you end up purchasing. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consider what they cost early on in your search. So what do you get for your money? In my opinion, a realistic price range of a usable caravan can range from £2,000 right up to £26,000 (sometimes even more for hand built ones). Here is what I think you could buy with:

* £2,000 – £4,000: This is going to buy you a very basic caravan that is likely to be 14 – 20 years old and probably starting to show it by now. You will see brands like Swift, Elddis, Compass and Lunar (among a few others) with mostly an end dining area or large washroom as the main feature. This price range is likely to buy you problems as far as damp and appliances are concerned unless the caravan has been well looked after by it’s previous owner/s. I don’t mean to put you off if this is your budget and don’t get me wrong as there are plenty of very clean and tidy older caravans out there but I think it’s best you be aware.
* £4,000 – £8,000: This is probably the most popular price range for second hand touring caravans. Caravans in this price range are going to be about 7 – 13 years old. If you are looking at spending this amount of money it will give you a wider selection of layouts (fixed beds were introduced in this age range) and will be far more reliable because of their age.
* £8,000 – £13,000: If you are looking at this price range the age of caravans you will find will be generally 3 – 6 years old. By this time the caravans have lost the largest chunk of their initial purchase price (typically in the first 3 years). This could work nicely in your favour as the residual value will be better over a longer period of time. A caravan of this age is likely to be quite a bit more reliable than older ones, however, it is still very important to thoroughly inspect any caravan you are looking to purchase.
* £13,000 +: If you have a budget of more than £13,000 chances are you will be looking at brand new caravans and caravan up to 2 years old. It can be a steep jump as new caravans can cost as much £26,000 for some of the mainstream brands but also from as little as about £13,000, the price will be very much reflect the specification of the caravan. You may be able to find some bargains where a caravan was bought new and is a year old, someone has already paid the VAT on it (new touring caravans are subject to VAT at the standard rate) which means big savings for you. This leads us on nicely to…

New VS used

As we have established above, new caravan prices start from as little as £13,000 which is simply not an option for some budgets. I do think it is worth at least weighing up the pros and cons of both buying a new caravan or a second hand caravan. Please note this is based on my opinion, experience and feedback from caravan owners and not by any means a complete list (let me know in the comments section below if there is something you think I have missed):

Pros of buying a new caravan:

* It’s new! Nobody else has slept in your bed, used your fridge etc.
* With most caravans, you are able to specify upholstery colour and other factory options
* You get a long warranty from the manufacturer
* Most up to date technology
* Have to buy from dealer so you get backup

Cons of buying a new caravan:

* You pay a premium for new caravans
* New caravans are subject to VAT at the standard rate (more expensive again)
* Residual value is not so good for the first 3 years of ownership
* Not as much selection as when buying used
* May experience one or two teething problems (usually easily rectifiable by your dealer)

Pros of buying a used caravan:

* Cheaper than buying new – you can pick your price
* Much more choice
* When buying privately you can pick up a reasonably good deal and sometimes get accessories thrown in with the purchase (buyer beware)
* When buying from a dealer the caravan would normally come serviced with a warranty (would need to confirm with dealer)
* In some cases you can make a saving on optional extra pieces of equipment that have been fitted like caravan movers, air conditioning units etc

Cons of buying a used caravan:

* The bed will have been slept in and most, if not all of the appliances will have been used (although not a problem for everyone)
* More likely to have faults (unless checked thoroughly)
* Cannot choose upholstery colour
* Difficult to find exact model if you are searching for a particular model
* When buying privately it is difficult to check that everything is working as it should (repairs / replacements of appliances can be costly)

Setting your (initial) budget

The thoughts most people tend to have when buying their first caravan is that they don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on their first purchase just in case they don’t like it. Having said that, just because someone is looking to buy their first caravan doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced a caravanning holiday and already know they are going to love it! Where do you fit in this puzzle? Are you swinging more towards buying a new or a used caravan?

I am sure by now you have a rough idea of what sort of budget you are going to allow yourself for your first caravan purchase. Make a mental note of the budget you have in mind so, but do bear in mind in the next few posts we are going to be discussing some of the other costs that are involved when owning a caravan and some of the additional equipment required for your caravanning holidays.

Summary

In today’s post we have gone into detail on what you get for your money when buying a caravan, then we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of both buying new and used caravans, and finally we finished by setting an initial budget based on what we learned. It will be interesting to see if and how your budget changes when we get further into this series.

Thank you so much for reading and as always I hope that you have been able to take something of value from this post. I would love to know what your thoughts are and if you have any concerns about buying new or used or setting your budget that I and the How 2 Caravan community may be able to help you with.

Until tomorrow!

Comments (6)
  1. alwynne@wellbeingworkshopsworldwide.com June 11, 2014
    • Josh Garrod June 12, 2014
  2. anna June 12, 2014
  3. Joe roffey February 18, 2015
  4. Sonia December 25, 2015
  5. Keyn May 15, 2016

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