There has been a surge in Caravanning in the last few years, with more and more people buying new caravans. They are often used for one season and then decide caravanning is not for them or they move on up to a newer bigger model. Craig Sewell This has meant that anyone looking for a second hand caravan can find lots of bargains. However, as with second hand cars you need to follow some simple rules to make sure the used caravan you buy is everything you wanted. In this article we look at buying a caravan from a private source rather than through a dealer.
If you are looking for a bargain caravan the best way to buy is privately. There are lots of different sources for buying privately, these include: the internet, local papers, local newsagents adverts, Exchange and Mart, Loot, Caravan Clubs and Associations. However, buying privately does mean you have very few legal rights against the seller if anything goes wrong but hopefully this article will help you purchase your dream caravan without any disasters.
Here are some questions you should always ask before buying privately. These questions will hopefully help you avoid any problems later on. Craig Sewell
Always meet the seller at their home. If they insist on meeting somewhere else, ask yourself why?
Even if you are buying off the internet, such as eBay you should always try and view the caravan first before committing.
Can you confirm that the seller is who he says he is and lives at the address? You can simply check this by calling Directory Enquiries and asking for the sellers home number or knocking at a neighbours house and asking which number Mr So and So the seller lives at.
Is the number plate on the caravan the same as the car on the drive and does the car have a tow bar?
Be very cautious if the caravan has hand written or temporary number plates.
Does the seller have all the keys to the caravan, including any safety devices, if not why not?
If there are any safety devices on the caravan check that they work.
Finally, is the caravan registered with CRiS (Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme. If it is make sure the notification of sale section is completed by the seller and sent to CriS. The seller should provide you with the rest of the document. If the caravan is CriS registered you can also check via HPI that the caravan does not have any outstanding finance on it. If it does and you don't check it could be repossessed. This generally applies to newer caravans. Craig Sewell
Before committing yourself to that dream second hand caravan always check the price, or if you are bidding on a caravan on eBay or other auction website set yourself a maximum bid based on the recommended use price. Dealers generally use the Glass's Caravan Price Guide but a cheaper alternative for buyers is the caravanpriceguide.com website, this is a free caravan price guide which has been compiled by the owner based on dealer forecourt prices for most makes of second hand caravans.
Check the Towing weight!
This is vital and often overlooked by buyers who have found their dream second hand caravan.
You need to make sure that your car is powerful enough to tow the caravan, otherwise you could be driving illegally and possibly invalidate your insurance.
If you have just bought your perfect used caravan make sure that you have insurance cover for it. Car insurance generally does not cover the caravan. Insurance will cover you for accident, theft of caravan and everything in it.
And finally, before you part with your hard earned cash:
Make sure you get a receipt of sale from the owner.
Log of repairs and any servicing (if this is available)
CRiS registration document
If the caravan is under five years old, original receipt of purchase and any transferable warranty.