Thinking of buying a used touring caravan and not sure whether to buy it privately or from a dealer? Here are some handy hints to help you get started.

Buying a Touring Caravan From a Dealer

Buying from a trusted dealer is often the best choice. Not only will you be offered a good selection of caravans to choose from but you’re going to get all the support and help you need. If you’re an old hand, that might not be so relevant but if you’re new to caravanning, it could prove invaluable.

Ads by Salop Leisure
Scroll to continue with content

Buying a Touring Caravan Privately

There are lots of places you can buy a pre-owned caravan privately either through local newspaper adverts or with online options like eBay, Gumtree and their local equivalents.

 You could be lucky and get a good deal but the problem with buying privately is that it’s not so easy to apply your rights. That means you’ll find it much more difficult to deal with any problems.

Most people find that, on reflection, they’d prefer to buy from an experienced dealer who will carry out thorough inspections and preparation including a CRiS Check for proof of ownership and to see if there’s any outstanding finance etc.


When you buy from a professional dealer, you know that everything will be in good condition and in excellent working order.

It will be safe too as dealers have a legal obligation to ensure that the vehicles they sell are safe and roadworthy.


A good dealer will offer you a warranty to protect your purchase.

You probably won’t need it but if something goes wrong, you’re going to be very glad you have it.

Here are our Top 10 Tips for buying a touring caravan in the UK:

1 - Caravan Style
If you’re buying a touring caravan for the first time, think about the type of caravan you would like to buy, including the number of berths you want it to have and the amenities you’d like. Check to make sure that your car can tow the caravan you are looking to buy both legally and safely.

2 - Budget
If it’s your first foray into caravanning, you won’t want to spend a fortune. Spend enough to get a good caravan but hold back a bit on the budget as, once you get into it, you might decide to splash out on an awning or some great accessories.

3 - Do Your Due Diligence
Read up on the type of caravan you want to buy, think about why you want to buy a touring caravan, the sites you’re interested in visiting, the costs associated with caravanning and so on. The more you know, the better informed your decision.

4 - Make a List of Equipment
If you’re buying a newer caravan, it will probably have everything you need and want. If you’re purchasing an older model, you'll want to check it has the things you need. We’re talking hot water, cooking facilities, a fridge/freezer, good storage. You get the gist!

5 - Get Used to the Lingo
If you’re not used to the caravanning lingo, it can be very confusing. You’ll want to know the difference between a single or twin axle, the MTPLM, the nose weight, water ingress and a host of other things.
If you’re buying from a dealer, it won’t be a problem because they will explain everything. If you’re buying privately, you’ll want to brush up before you buy.

6 - Inspect Everything
Buying a caravan is a little like buying a house, so check everything. Lie on the beds, open the cupboards, switch on the cooker, sit on the seats, open the windows, try the TV…Check what’s included.
Are they giving you things like gas cylinders? You might want to consider a Pre-Owned Pre-Purchase Inspection. It’s part of the Approved Workshop Scheme and is run by the National Caravan Council.

7 - Look for Damp
Water ingress can be a major issue in caravans and could cause you lots of headaches. Make sure you check for dampness and go through the entire service history. Use your intuition. Are there lots of dings or scrapes or does the caravan look to have been well taken care of? Are there any big scratches or holes?

If you’re buying from a dealer, they will be happy to fix any minor issues. A private seller probably won’t do that but they might lower the price to compensate.

8 - Negotiate
Whether you’re buying privately or from a dealer, there’s no reason not to negotiate. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking!

9 - After-Sales Service
If you buy from a dealer, you will be offered after-sales service that could cover all sorts of things. Find out what sort of warranty, repairs and servicing they offer and then decide whether you’d like to go for it.

10 - Check the Paperwork
If you’re not buying from a reputable dealer, you’ll need to check ownership carefully and make sure that there’s no finance outstanding.
Whether you buy a caravan privately or from a dealer, you should get lots of documentation. This will include things like warranties, a full service history, receipts for any work done or accessories bought, ownership details and so on.

Dedicated to Excellence

At Salop Leisure, we’re proud of our record for offering great value and excellent customer service. If you’re ready to buy a used caravan, our dedicated team will be happy to take you through all the options so you can be sure you’re making the right choice. We’ll never rush you and we won’t try and push you into a decision.
Give us a call today to learn more!