IS IT WORTH BUYING A SECOND-HAND CARAVAN?
As you may be aware, the demand for second-hand caravan sales has increased quite dramatically over the past year. As more people are choosing to travel around our great country, the wait for a new caravan has been pushed out to around 12 months or so.
This means that if you’re after a new van, you’re going to have to wait a while to take delivery. So, if you want to start your travels sooner rather than later, a second-hand caravan may be better suited.
Of course, there’s also the cost involved. Buying a second-hand caravan can save you some money now, but you have to factor in any alterations or maintenance required once you get it home.
Before you decide whether you want a new van or take advantage of the second-hand caravan sales available, you need to work out what your expectations are.
Questions To Ask
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you delve into looking at what’s available in the second-hand caravan market.
1. How Often Will You Use The Caravan?
If you only plan to travel in your van once or twice a year or plan on taking shorter trips more regularly, then a second-hand caravan may just fit the bill. Especially, if you can find one that has the set-up that you’re looking for.
It’s also a great way to get the first introduction into caravan travel and will give you a good idea as to what you really need if you then decide to purchase a new van for more extended trips.
2. How Many People Will The Van Need To Accommodate?
Are you going to be a lone traveller or will you be travelling as a couple? Or, do you have a family that’s still growing? For single travellers or couples, either a second-hand or new caravan would make a good choice. This, of course, depends on your budget.
If you’re a growing family, you might first like to consider a second-hand van to see how you all handle living in confined conditions. This will also give you the opportunity to upgrade as your family grows or if you find that you really need more space.
3. What Is Your Budget?
You also need to consider how much you have to spend on a caravan. Can you afford a new van right now or would a second-hand one be more affordable? You can always start your travels in a second-hand van and then upgrade down the track when you have more money saved.
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of buying a new caravan compared to buying a second hand one.
Pros And Cons Of Buying A New Caravan
One of the major benefits of buying a new caravan is that no one has ever used it before and everything is brand new. Plus, you can have any modification made as the caravan is being built. Of course, there’s also no likelihood of any issues such as leaks or worn interiors.
The only disadvantage to buying a new caravan is likely the cost. New caravans can be expensive to purchase, especially if you want some extra modifications. While this is not a problem for many people, it can be a stretch for others.
The thing to consider here is how often you’re going to use the van. If you’re only going to travel a couple of times a year for a week or two, then the high cost might not be justified. Especially, if the van is going to sit in storage for the remainder of the year.
Pros And Cons Of Buying A Second Hand Caravan
One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a used caravan is that it will be much cheaper than a new one. And, if you shop around, you can pick up a later model second-hand van that’s in good condition for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
But, you do have to shop around first to get an understanding of what used caravans are actually worth. It’s important to do your homework so that you’re not paying more than you should.
Also, be on the lookout for really low priced caravans, as there may be issues that are not apparent at first. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
The major disadvantage of buying a second-hand caravan is that you might end up with a van that has some issues. However, if you have a comprehensive checklist of what to look for, you shouldn’t end up with a lemon.
Therefore, you have to be prepared to inspect a few second-hand vans to check them over for problems. On the other hand, there are some issues that might be easy to fix and won’t set you back a fortune.
Plus, if you buy from a reputable second-hand caravan sales dealer, the van will usually come with a warranty. Be sure to ask the salesperson about what the warranty covers. Therefore, if you get the van home and do find some issues, you’ll know what is covered and what isn’t.
Buying a second-hand caravan is just like buying a used car. You have to decide from the start whether you’re prepared to spend the money on a new one or whether purchasing a used caravan is perfectly acceptable.
If you buy a second-hand caravan, you’re going to save some money and it’s a great introduction to caravan travel. Therefore, if this is your first caravan purchase, then buying second hand is not such a bad decision.
As long as you do your homework and have a comprehensive checklist, you should be able to pick up a good second-hand van that you can take onto the road for your next holiday.
Then, once you’re a seasoned caravan traveller, you might like to upgrade to a brand new van that has all the features that you really want.