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Is it worth buying a Caravan? The Pros & Cons of A Caravan

Pros and Cons Of Caravanning

Are you thinking of buying a caravan but not sure if it is right for you? Well, look no further. We answer all the questions you’ve been asking yourself. Is a caravan worth it?

Advantages of Buying a Caravan

Lets start off with the advantages of owning a caravan.

  1. Freedom – If there is one thing that a caravan provides, it is a sense of freedom. The world is your oyster. You can go where you want, when you want. Just pitch up and open that door to the fresh smell of nature.
  2. Flexibility – The most significant benefit of owning a caravan, is that it grants you so much flexibility. You can enjoy your holiday the way you want to enjoy it. If you’re into sightseeing then pitch up near a city, otherwise if you are seeking a tranquil countryside then there are many campsites available at your disposal. The flexibility doesn’t end there. There are so many different caravan layouts that suit different lifestyles; some of which are so versatile that all lounge and dining areas can convert into sleeping areas at night. Caravans are compact yet their spacious design is perfect for frequent holidayers, who want to immerse themselves in the UK’s natural beauty, whilst still being safe and secure, as it’s the perfect balance of comfort and adventure.
  3. Variety- Caravanning is the perfect in between for those who feel camping is impractical and uncomfortable, yet still want to fully experience the charm of Britain’s countrysides. There are almost 6,000 different campsites to choose from all around the UK, the most popular situated in Somerset, North Yorkshire and Norfolk, offering lots of variety. These parks are perfect for families, especially those with children, as these parks prioritise safety above all else.
  4. Pet-Friendly- Another advantage of caravanning, which is most likely to be a caravaner’s first point in convincing someone to caravan, is that your beloved pets are welcomed, meaning they can get a holiday too, and be involved in the family fun. It also saves the cost of putting them into kennels for weeks on end, saving you more money to spend on your holidays by inviting your fury friends.
Caravan family

5. Durability – Caravans typically have an average life expectancy of 14 years, yet some reach as old as 30. They are a good solid investment, saving you money in the long run when it comes to holidays and caravanning remains a constant and reliable method of holidaying.

6. Cheap Holidays – Okay, it may not be cheap to begin with as you have to fund the caravan itself. However, once you have the caravan, congratulations! The price of holidays have got a lot more cheaper for you. According to NimbleFins the average cost of a 10 day holiday abroad in 2018 costs £947 per person. If we look at this for a family of 4 it would cost around £3,788. Quiet a significant amount even in 2018, never mind in todays market. Campsites on the other hand costs anywhere between £20-£60 a night. If we take the latter, it will cost £600 for 10 days for a family of 4. Even if we add the food costs you are looking at £850 for the 10 days on average. Now that is a huge difference in cost!

7. Safe – Whilst Covid was looming, many people opted to caravanning and camping. ‘Why?’ you ask. This is because it was one of the safest ways to holiday. It is your own home from home. No sharing of utensils, you have your own facilities and you can be as socially distant as you like.

8. Various finance options – There are three main finance options available when looking to purchase your caravan, the first is caravan finance, which involves offering a variety of loans that all have unique rates and repayment terms based on your circumstances. This gives customers numerous options, and an almost tailored financial plan. Then, there are caravan loans. You can get a general bank loan and use that for the purchase price, limiting exposure to depreciation, as well as leaving the option to agree other loans with the same lender. Lastly, you can just buy a caravan outright, with either your personal savings, or general capital, which makes the purchase, simple & hassle-free compared to the other methods.

Caravan Finances

8. Depreciation – As we mentioned earlier a caravan is a great investment and provides you with unbelievably cheap holidays, making caravans an amazing investment. Now I’m sure you’ll be wondering if caravans depreciate, and the answer is yes. Although, you would be glad to hear that they don’t depreciate like a car. They depreciate much slower than a car as they don’t take into account things like mileage etc. However, the only time you see a significant depreciation rate is when you buy new. Just like cars if you buy new the vehicle depreciates as soon as it is taken off the forecourt. This is mainly due to the VAT man taking their cut.

Caravan Depreciation

Disadvantages of Buying a Caravan

1. Initial Costs – Caravans are a money saver in the long run however, to benefit from this you have to fork out quite a bit to begin with. The price of a caravan can vary from £5,000 to anywhere up to £48,000. You will reek the benefits eventually but we understand that this can be an eye watering amount to begin with.

2. The extra costs on top of the retail price Before we go any further it is worth noting that there are a few other costs than just the retail price of the caravan. These may not necessarily come to mind when thinking of buying a caravan but there are some things you may need to be aware of that adds to the costs of owning a caravan. Firstly, you need to think where your caravan is going to be stored. If it isn’t going to be on your drive, be prepared to spend anywhere between £300-£600 just to store it. You then of course have insurance (£400-£600 a year) and an optional caravan service to keep it in tip top condition every year (£200 – £280).

These are just some of the extra costs, but of course if this is your first time buying a caravan you will also need the equipment to run the caravan. This includes water containers, waste containers, leisure battery, toilet chemicals, dining equipment and more.

The General cost of a Caravan

Caravan Costs

The Caravan

With all things that are good, there is a range of prices, depending on the products position in the market, used or new, build quality and specification. There’s entry level caravans, starting at £10,000, which are more basic, with fewer functions, and high-end caravans, reaching as much as £48,000, which are more luxurious, and have more expensive components. The caravan market, both used and new, each have a wide variety of products, ranging in price, providing a multitude of products, catering to all amounts of income.

Added Extras – What will I need?

If we answer this as if this was your first caravan you owned then here are the basics you need to start off with.

If you buy your caravan from a dealership most of them will offer what is known as a starter pack. This includes most of the essentials you will need to run the caravan efficiently. There can be variations of the starter pack with one having more equipment than the other however, here is what to expect from the types of starter packs available:

  • Leisure battery
  • Water container
  • Waste container
  • Toilet chemicals
  • Towing mirrors
  • Wheel Lock (Included in more expensive starter packs)
  • Hitch lock (Included in more expensive starter packs)

Other things you will need is a gas bottle, electric hook up cable, caravan step and a water pump. most of these tend to come with the van without any extra cost but the gas bottle you may have to source one as they are coming hard to find these days.

On top of this you then have your luxuries. This includes dining / kitchen equipment, camping furniture like tables and chairs and if you wanted to extend the caravan further, you could also opt for an awning.

Storage

If you don’t have the privilege to store the caravan at home or at a relative’s house board free, then you’ll have to look at storage costs. Storage can vary as some may store it at a caravan storage yard, whilst others will pitch it on an all-season/seasonal pitch meaning it will stay on a campsite all year round, or part way through the year.

The costs of storage varies. Here is a little breakdown to help you:

Caravan Storage Facility – £350 – £900. This depends on the yards facilities. We recommend you look out for storage facilities that are accredited CaSSOA Gold. These are an association where they critic and provide accolades to storage yards for their security such as cctv systems, entry points, perimeter fencing and alarm systems. So Gold is one to look out for, although of course there is likely to be a higher rate for storage with a yard with a premium security rating.

Seasonal pitch – On average, fees are around £2,000 per annum. If site fees were around £20 a night, then you would need to use your seasonal pitch for 100 nights to recoup your fees. 

Servicing / Maintenance

Finally, there is the ongoing maintenance. Just like a car it is recommended to get you caravan serviced annually. The cost of an annual service varies depending on if it is a single axle or a twin axle.

A caravan service can range from £220 – £360. If you are under warranty with the manufacturer it is vital that you maintain your service history to be able to get accepted for any warranty claims in the future. Caravan services are optional. There are no legal requirements to have your caravan serviced unlike a car MOT. Although, having a caravan serviced will highlight any underlying issues that may occur and cause hefty repair bills in the future. So we recommend to keep servicing your caravan.

Are Caravans Worth It?

Is a caravan worth it??

Overall, Caravanning is a way to bring people together, it’s an easy and affordable way to travel the country, and not only see its beauty, but live amongst it. It is an inclusive, flexible, family friendly holiday, that you can tailor to your liking and the countless camping sites scattered all over the UK offer great variety and choice.

There are numerous finance methods, to help and support all levels of income, in purchasing a caravan, and the caravan itself is durable and long-lasting. Whilst it is a worthy investment, there are extra costs and a big investment to begin your caravan journey. Despite this, the caravan market is extremely diverse, and there are a multitude of different styles, sizes, layouts and prices that accomodate to every family.

If you’re sold on the idea of owning a caravan then why not check out our range or new and used caravans for sale.

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