Should I buy a new or used caravan?

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on August 23rd, 2023       

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If you’re in the market for a caravan, there are several aspects you need to keep in mind. Like with every big purchase, there is an entire list of elements that you have to be aware of and think about before you decide to put your money down. Do you buy a new caravan or a used one? What are the pros and cons of each one? Let’s look into it.

Managing your expectations

First of all, you need to ask yourself a few questions about the manner in which you plan to use the caravan.

  • What do I need it for?

The most important thing is to know what you’re using it for, so you know what kind you need. Are you going on vacation with it? Camping? Do you plan on living in it? Using it for storage? Is it going to involve travel?

  • How often will I use it?

Using a caravan once a year, when you go camping, is completely different from taking it for a round-the-country trip, over several months’ time. Make your choice accordingly.

  • How many people will it serve?

Are you planning to use it by yourself? Do you have kids? How much space do you need? How safe does it have to be?

  • What is my budget?

Last, but not least, the budget can make the choice for you, sometimes. First, you need to ask yourself if you can afford a new one, before considering if you need a new one.

Purchasing a new caravan

Pro: Obviously, when you buy the product new, you are sure that there are no issues with it. It’s fresh, brand new off the conveyor belt, so to speak. The quality should be top-notch because you are the first owner. Moreover, should anything be sub-standard, you can always address the manufacturer because you have a right to warranty.

Con: The biggest drawback to buying any new product, but especially a big purchase, such as this one, is the high cost. A never-before owned caravan is going to come at a retail price, and that price can be a little steep. Especially if you don’t plan on using it very often, it may not be able to justify buying it brand new and spending that kind of money.

Purchasing a used caravan

Pro: The most important advantage of buying a pre-owned caravan is the fact that it comes at a fair cheap price. You are not necessarily making an investment that is going to leave you strapped for cash. The older the model, the cheaper the price. Given the fact that the average person only uses a caravan when they go on vacation once or maybe twice a year, it seems logical to purchase one that is not brand spanking new.

Con: When it comes to disadvantages, a used caravan can have a lot of problems that are not obvious, at a first look. You’ll be able to see the rust or other aesthetical issues, but you won’t know a lot about any other difficulties it may present unless the owner tells you about them. And you know that they will not offer that kind of information willingly.

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