A Guide to Buying a Caravan at a Show

With so many caravans for sale, showcases such as the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show can be a great opportunity to refine your search.

So you’ve decided to buy a caravan. Are you after a tourer or static? No matter how many glossy guides you flick through or websites you bookmark, it can be tough to choose a caravan without seeing it. Buying a caravan as a family holiday home is not something you should take lightly. That’s why caravan shows are such a boon, as they allow you to see caravans for sale, many manufacturers displaying their entire ranges, and try them out for size. In this guide Intasure explain how to make the most of a caravan show and what to consider before buying a touring or static caravan.

1. Do your homework

Before attending a show, you may want to take the time to work out what kind of layout you’d like and a couple of models or brands that you prefer. You may consider how many berths you want the caravan to be, and if you’re looking for a touring caravan how powerful the car is that’s going to pull your new purchase?

And what about a static caravan or a luxury lodge? You should consider that apart from the static caravan itself as every UK caravan park is different, and what could be ideal for a couple could not be so great for a family with three children. So it might be wise to think about what you are going to be using it for, if you plan to make the most of it all year then it may require heating – UK caravan parks and winter rarely result in balmy temperatures!

Caravan interior

2. Make an itinerary

If you only have a day to look around then you might need to work out how to make the best use of your time. Why not shortlist a few by lunchtime, discussing these over lunch and then revisiting those on the shortlist afterwards? UK caravans are varied and with so many models, you might need a full day to make a choice you are confident with.

3. Take photos

tourer interior

Your smartphone might be a good solution if you want to filter the ideal caravans on your list and compile a photo reference guide. This could help to prompt your memory. Try to make sure one shows the exterior with name and model number, one captures the information panel on the outside of the caravan for sale and one looks down at the caravan from the front to the back. Photographing the inside, both from the rear towards the lounge and for any specifics that are important is another important factor if you are happy with a particular standard model.

4. Don’t be seduced by the sales pitch

Some caravans on show can have some kind of extra lighting to give the false impression of light, so keep an eye out for details like this. As with anywhere, if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is! However if a caravan comes with a show exclusive deal that you can actually use, then you should make the most of it. Some caravans might come with an awning or motor mover, which if you were planning to purchase anyway may blow your initial budget.

5. Be logical, not emotional

Yes, that sunroof may look awesome, but if it’s at the expense of storage then is it a must-have? Check where light switches are positioned, is the toilet one on the inside or the outside? If it’s outside would you disturb others every time you get up in the night? There’s no such thing as the perfect caravan, so be prepared to accept small inconveniences, however if something is unalterable and could annoy you every time you use it, then look at another make and model.

6. Talk to a dealer

Once you’ve picked a make and model, it’s time to talk to a caravan dealer if you’re buying a tourer. Try to pick one that’s not too far from your home as it’s likely that any repairs required may have to be done at the dealership you purchased from. A local dealer may help if you’re very lucky, but if not you could be facing a trip of hundreds of miles which could dull the shine from any bargain you may have received at the time. You don’t have to sign there and then you should get a price and see how you feel. If a dealer can’t give you a firm price, then you should consider walking away.

7. Talk to financiers

If you’re purchasing your caravan on finance then it’s likely many of the main financial providers may be available at the show. Plus, they could be able to give you a fairly instant decision which might help you to manage your expectations.

8. Get it insured

Once you’ve bought your ideal caravan, which caravan insurance do you need? It’s time to compare caravan insurance . At Intasure, we offer both static caravan insurance and touring caravan insurance to offer peace of mind, so no matter what you choose to purchase you can ensure your new caravan can be protected against storm damage, accidental damage, and your personal possessions are included with specialist caravan insurance.

Some of the benefits of Intasure Static Caravan insurance* are:

  • Cover during unoccupied periods
  • Cover for malicious damage or vandalism
  • New for Old or market value cover available
  • £2.5 million Public Liability cover as standard

Some of the benefits of Intasure Touring Caravan insurance* are:

  • Loss of use – up to £250 per day following an insured claim
  • Furniture in caravan awnings if lost or stolen – up to £500
  • Getting you home – following serious injury or illness
  • European cover – up to 180 days which can be increased to 270 days

When and where are some of the caravan shows in the UK?

*Policy limits and exclusions may apply, please see policy wording for full terms and conditions.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.