Caravan Part Exchange

In the market for a new touring caravan? Part exchanges can make a lot of sense, taking away some of the hassle associated with finding a buyer for your old caravan, while giving yourself a significant saving on the price of your new vehicle. Providing you can find the right deal, part exchanges or touring caravan swaps are easy transactions which allow you to kills two birds with one stone. So how best to go about them?

In this ‘tip-tastic’ blog, we offer heaps of guidance on choosing a new caravan and readying your old caravan for an exchange, and we also find time to take in some expert advice on the subject. Read on!

Old caravan for sale?

Many touring caravan dealerships offer the option of a part exchange when buying a newer model. But before you can go into the market, it helps to have an idea of exactly what you want. Here are some tips for identifying the next holiday vehicle for you.

-          Ensure it is compatible with your towing vehicle

No point splashing out on brand-spanking new behemoth of a touring caravan if your car is unable to tow it – either safely or legally. Particularly if you are upsizing, you must make sure that your towing vehicle is compatible with the touring caravan you have your eye on. If a touring caravan means that your car exceeds the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) it can tow, but you have your heart set on it, you might want to consider purchasing a new car.

-          Know the specs which you want

Are you thinking about upgrading your touring caravan? If that’s the case, you should know exactly what you are looking for in terms of enhanced specs and extra amenities; from a spacious sofa to a quality cooker. Some might be non-essential, but others may be absolutely non-negotiable – either way you should have a clear idea of your priorities in your mind.

-          Know how many berths you want

If you are upsizing, it is important to know how many berths you are looking for in a new touring caravan. If your current touring caravan holds three berths, a natural progression when upsizing would be to look at a four or six berth caravan.

-          Get a feel for the layout

Unless you are going for a newer version of your current model, you will be faced with the choice of several different layouts – from L-shaped, U-shaped and twin lounges, to centre end and en suite washrooms; there are so many varieties for you to choose from. That makes it all the more important to take your time, and get a feel for the interior of a touring caravan. Is it just as comfortable and convenient for your way of living as your current vehicle?

 How much is my caravan worth?

- Preparing your old touring caravan for exchange

If you have identified the new touring caravan you want, and have confirmed that it is possible to include it in a part exchange caravan deal, it is time to think about your current caravan. Read the tips below for pointers on how to get your old vehicle ready, and maximise its value to ensure the best caravan part exchange prices:

-          Have your service history to hand

One of the ways to get the best price for your old touring caravan is to ensure that the service history of the vehicle has been recorded accurately. This can be done by making sure that the entries in your User’s Handbook are up to date.

-          A comprehensive clean

Before you think about heading to a dealership, have your caravan cleaned thoroughly – that goes for both the interior and exterior. There are plenty of cleaning services which will do the job for you, and are equipped with all the right gear. You can find that this is an investment which is recouped by bagging a better price for your vehicle.

-          ‘De-personalise’ your caravan

You must ensure that you take out all your own belongings before presenting your vehicle for a part exchange touring caravan deal; preferably this will be done before it is cleaned. That doesn’t just go for items such as clothes, it also includes any personal touches which you might have made to the caravan that won’t increase its value – from window stickers to foot rugs.

-          Empty the toilet!

It sounds like an obvious task to tick off, but dealers have been known to charge fees to part exchangers who have neglected to perform one of the most basic and hygienically important jobs.

-          Decode your alarm

The last thing the dealer, or the eventual new owner of your touring caravan wants to be greeted with on entry is the shriek of an alarm going off. So if you have an alarm in your caravan, ensure that you remove the code before you pass it over.

-          Be honest about any damage, however minor

When discussing the caravan you wish to exchange with your dealer, either on the telephone or at the dealership itself, you should be completely honest about any scrapes or imperfections.

- Completing the part exchange transaction

Now we get to the business end of part exchanging. Here’s what you need to know:

-          Check which ID you need

You should always be sure about which form of identity your dealer needs to see in order to complete the purchase.You will certainly need your driving licence, as well as your vehicle log book, which should be filled in when your old caravan changes hands.

-          Agree your payment method

Assessing your finance options and deciding on the best way to pay shouldn’t be an afterthought. Whether you want to pay by card or bank transfer, you should ensure that the dealer will accept this payment form. It should be noted that money laundering regulations can make cash payments more complicated, depending on the amount.

-          Make it a date, and don’t be late

You should ensure that you arrive at the dealer at or before the time which you have agreed for collection. The dealer will have typically designated a time slot for the handover, and you should not miss it.

-          Stay local for at least a night

It is good practice to book a night or two at a caravan site in the vicinity of the caravan dealership, so as to be ideally located should any problems or queries arise. Some of the leading dealerships, such as Salop Leisure, offer a free overnight stay at their exclusive touring caravan site, love2stay following the collection of your new touring caravan.

-          Don’t cancel your insurance until your have your new keys

You should not cancel the insurance policy on your current touring caravan until the hand over has taken place and you have the keys for your new vehicle. Once you have made the switch, you will have the option of cancelling or transferring the policy.

Used caravan price guide - The expert take on part exchanging.

Salop Leisure spoke to touring caravan expert Sarah Wakely, Editor in Chief at Practical Caravan magazine, to ask for her advice on part exchanging. Is part exchanging always the best option, and how much should we be willing to haggle with a dealer?

Sarah said: "Part exchanging your caravan is a great temptation for many. It's very straightforward and can help make the buying and selling process much more smooth. But, of course, there are a few things that you should be aware of. Bear in mind that you're not likely to get as good a deal as you would have done if you'd simply sold your caravan. If you need the extra cash and have time to do so, it can pay financial dividends to sell privately instead, then take the cash to the dealer to buy.

“Don't be afraid to haggle, never settle for less money than you're prepared to accept, and be sure to get the dealer's offer in writing. Finally, if you're in any way uncomfortable with the deal, don't be afraid to walk away!"

Eyeing a part exchange for your touring caravan? Salop Leisure is the Midlands’ leading touring caravan deader, offering a wide selection of new touring caravans and used touring caravans which are available to buy in a part-exchange deal.