5 questions to ask yourself before buying a new caravan

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023
  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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If you are thinking of the picturesque escape to the great outback in a cute caravan that feels like home on wheels, there are a few questions you need to ask. The obvious one will be that you will need to get your hands on a leisure loan if you are looking to finance it. Even if you are balling in cash we have five questions you need to consider before you rush out to purchase a caravan.

How much will it cost?

This might seem as a no brainer, but sitting down to analyse the full cost can save you the trauma of spending money you did not anticipate spending. It might be love at first sight, and the displayed price tag might make you feel proud of finding such an affordable caravan. However, you need to look at hidden costs that might come with this beauty. Prices usually range from $10,000 to $100,000, but you could be spending more on hidden costs. Ask your dealer how much is the overall cost of the caravan. Take into consideration the annual running costs. Furthermore, ask what exactly this price covers, and whether they are open to negotiating the price.

What is the warranty on it?

You will be spending some hard-earned cash on this baby, so you need to make sure that it won’t die on you half way to your destination. It’s most probable that if you buy a caravan from a private seller, it will be more of a story of ‘buyer beware’, which you as a buyer will have to make sure that the caravan is up to the standard which you want it in. If you purchase it from a dealer you stand a better chance of being protected with used models usually having between three months to a year of warranty depending on its age.

How much does it weigh and can you tow it with your vehicle?

If you are towing a caravan beware of its weight and how it will relate to your car’s towing capacity for a smooth travel. Basically, you want your car to control the caravan and not the other way around, or else you are in for a bumpy ride. A caravan usually weighs at 300kg for a single-axle, and 400kg for a tandem axle caravan. When calculating the weight consider additional items such as water tanks that can add to the caravan’s weight.

Know which type is suitable for you

You will have to consider what you aim to use the caravan for before buying it, before you end up buying something that will frustrate you. If you know that you will be out and about most of the time, and want something that has as little hassle as possible when setting up then a motorhome could do the trick. If you want something that will allow assist your thirst of sightseeing the beautiful parts of Australia, then a caravan will do. If you don’t mind the effort of setting up camp, then go for a camper trailer.

Asking if there’s a Buy Back price

When considering buying a caravan it is very important to see if you will be able to afford it in the long run. Even if you are applying for a leisure loan, a good financial advisor will look at your income to help advise you whether it is a wise move to purchase one or not. If it so happens that your finances take a turn for the worst and you are no longer able to maintain it, then you will have to ask your dealer beforehand if they offer a buy back price. Just be aware that you could lose more money selling it than when you bought it.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

Approval for leisure loans is always subject to our lender’s terms, conditions and qualification criteria. Lenders will undertake a credit check in line with responsible lending obligations to help determine whether you’re in a position to take on the loan you’re applying for.

The interest rate, comparison rate, fees and monthly repayments will depend on factors specific to your profile, such as your financial situation, as well as others, such as the loan’s size and your chosen repayment term. Costs such as broker fees, redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, aren’t included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate.

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