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7 top tips to finding your ideal new caravan
blog / advice / new caravans / pre-owned caravans / holiday
When it comes to finding a new caravan, whether you’re a first-time buyer or it’s simply time to upgrade, there are a number of different things that you should consider to ensure you end up with the right van for you.
The pandemic has had a huge effect on all types of manufacturing and caravans are no exception. Production numbers last year were greatly reduced meaning that there were fewer new caravans available to buy. Manufacturers have announced that the 2022 ranges, due to launch in September, will be much the same so if you’re keen to buy a new caravan this year, you’ll need to be quick off the mark. So why not do your research and decision-making now so you’re ready to buy when September arrives?
Set a budget for how much you want to spend. This may determine whether you’re able to buy new or pre-owned, which manufacturers are open to you and whether you’ll be looking at entry, mid or premium level ranges.
Make sure your budget is realistic - it’s important to get a caravan that has all the features you desire and need, but you also have to feel that what you’ve spent is worth it. It’s not a good idea to spend more than you are comfortable with, or to skimp so much that you’re unable to get a caravan you actually want. Both scenarios will leave you disappointed with your purchase.
Start off by doing some research - price up different manufacturers and models and compare the options. Which ones appeal to you and have the features that you need to fulfil your requirements? See what the new models cost and then investigate what those models (or the equivalent pre-owned versions) are going for. Please get in touch if you’d like our help with this.
At Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes, we stock new Bailey and Swift caravans. Check out the ranges online to see what the costs of the different models are and go from there. As a rough guide:
£16,500 - £21,500 will get you an entry-level family caravan
£22,500 – £27,000 would give you the choice of family touring caravans with the latest layouts
£27,000 – £35,000 could buy you a luxury tourer with high levels of equipment and furnishings
You’ll find the equivalent pre-owned models for less and how much you pay will depend on the brand and model you go for, but also how old you are willing to go. The average life of a caravan is 14 years +, perhaps longer depending on care and use, so keep this in mind when deciding how much a pre-owned caravan that you’re considering is actually worth.
2. New or pre-owned?
This is one of the biggest things to decide. If your budget is on the lower side, it may be worth considering a pre-owned caravan as it would enable you to get a much higher spec model. It may also get you a more spacious model which would be beneficial, particularly for families. The other advantage of opting for a pre-owned caravan is that the sharpest drop in value will have passed, meaning that you won’t feel the pinch of that initial loss!
The biggest benefit of going for a new caravan is that you’ll be able to tailor it to suit your needs and wants exactly. You can go for a range and model that has the equipment, furnishings and optional extras you’re after - you’ll be spoilt for choice! It will also be nice to know that everything is new and has never been used, it’s yours and yours alone! There'll be no wear and tear and everything will be immaculate!
3. Which manufacturer and range?
There are many different manufacturers to choose from so be sure to research them all to discover which is the best one for you. Different manufacturers will offer different prices, levels of quality, equipment and features, warranties and dimensions. Your search criteria will preclude some manufacturers so researching them will help whittle them down.
Once you’ve decided on a manufacturer, you’ll need to explore the different ranges on offer. A lot of this will be down to price, but there will also be many different options to consider within each individual range; things such as berth size and layout preferences will again whittle these down.
4. Size and layout
How many berths do you need? Will you go for standard width or extra-wide? These are important things to consider as having sufficient space in your caravan is crucial, especially if holidaying as a family! Even if you don’t need a 4 or 6-berth, keep in mind that the larger the berth, the more living space there will be. Storage space is another thing to consider as some smaller caravans won’t have much of this.
There are many different layouts to consider, the main decision being whether to go for a mid or rear washroom. This in turn will affect the bed locations and configurations and perhaps even the type of bed. Read our blogs on caravan layouts and caravan beds to find out more…
5. Spec must-haves
Before going out to look at any caravans, sit down and write a list of all the features that are essential. Here are a few things to think about:
Kitchen equipment - size of fridge, do you need a freezer, full oven or microwave?
Type of heating system you’d prefer
Number and positioning of electrical sockets
Type of upholstery and interior styling
Amount of kitchen worktop space
Do you need longer beds or seating?
Amount of storage you’d need as a minimum
6. Read reviews
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few models, read lots of reviews of each. This will give you an insider's view of the pros and cons of each model from people who have used and lived in them and may highlight limitations of a model that could rule it out for you. Hopefully doing your research will avoid any disappointment in your new caravan and eliminate the need to trade it in during the first year, which would be costly.
7. Buy from a reputable dealer
If you opt for an NCC-approved dealer, you’ll know you’re buying from a quality dealership.
You should receive excellent customer care and professional service. Everything will be taken care of for you.
You will receive a warranty with your caravan purchase that will give you peace of mind.
Choose a reputable, quality dealer. Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes has 4.5/5 on Google reviews.
Choose a dealer based on recommendation - it will put you at ease about purchasing from them if someone else has had a positive experience with them.
Come and see us!
The best way to make a decision is to have a look for yourself! As an NCC-approved dealership, you know you’re in safe hands with us. Pop in and see us and let our friendly and experienced staff advise you on all aspects of caravan buying!
Browse our new and pre-owned ranges online before you pop in and get in touch if you need any more info!
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