Buying a caravan from a private owner. I'm from Portugal

Dec 23, 2022
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Hello,

I'm a Portuguese man who is going on a trip to England and on the way back I'd like to bring a caravan bought from a private English citizen.

Could you help me with what documents that particular English citizen should provide me so that I can register the caravan in my name later in Portugal?

I would be very grateful.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Hello,

I'm a Portuguese man who is going on a trip to England and on the way back I'd like to bring a caravan bought from a private English citizen.

Could you help me with what documents that particular English citizen should provide me so that I can register the caravan in my name later in Portugal?

I would be very grateful.

Welcome to the Forum.

Caravans in Britain are not required to be registered. There is an organisation called CRIS where owners can register their caravan and carry out an online check that a caravan that they wish to buy isn’t recorded as stolen, and is actually the property of the owner, and has no finance outstanding. You should ask the seller for a recent damp report carried out by an Approved Workshop technician. You don’t need any documents to take the caravan out of the country. Although you might need to consider it’s insurance cover. I assume that your car insurance covers you for towing a trailer/caravan, but if it’s like British insurance the car policy does not cover damage to the caravan.
Good luck and ask away.


 
Last edited:
Dec 23, 2022
2
1
10
Welcome to the Forum.

Caravans in Britain are not required to be registered. There is an organisation called CRIS where owners can register their caravan and carry out an online check that a caravan that they wish to buy isn’t recorded as stolen, and is actually the property of the owner, and has no finance outstanding. You should ask the seller for a recent damp report carried out by an Approved Workshop technician. You don’t need any documents to take the caravan out of the country. Although you might need to consider it’s insurance cover. I assume that your car insurance covers you for towing a trailer/caravan, but if it’s like British insurance the car policy does not cover damage to the caravan.
Good luck and ask away.


Hi otherclive,

Thanks for the reply. I do have some questions though.

1 - When an owner sells a caravan to another person, is a declaration of sale signed by both parties? If stopped by the police in England or another country, is it customary for the police to ask for a specific document as proof that the caravan is mine?

2 - So when I buy a caravan in the UK I must ask the owner if he is registered on https://www.cris.co.uk and once I buy the caravan I must register again on this site so that the caravan is now registered in my name?

Thanks
 
Jan 19, 2002
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You have very little come-back if the caravan you buy privately has problems. You could book an AWS technician (has a national website) to do a pre-sale check of the caravan before paying any money to the seller - with permission from the owner. If permission is refused then walk away! There are some genuine caravans for sale, for example on this forum from people giving up caravanning due to age or illness, BUT there are also a number of damp caravans or other faults that my be concealed by unscrupulous sellers. If you were buying from a dealer then you would expect some warranty, although this might be difficult to enact if there was a problem once you were abroad. Also like the UK (and European?) car industry there has been a shortage of new and used vans for sale which has led to artificially inflated prices currently.
Perhaps give the forum some idea of the van and age of it that you are considering for more comments?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There is no official paperwork required and transferring a caravan from seller to buyer. You should expect to offer the seller a receipt giving details of who you are, who the seller is, addresses , date and price paid. Signed by both parties. Similarly you would be given a receipt. You should also expect all of the caravans paperwork, assuming the seller has those.


Key checks are that the seller is the registered owner via CRIS and that it’s not recorded as stolen, and no hire purchase or finance outstanding. If possible try and see it at the sellers address with systems working.

Before taking it on a long haul to Portugal check tyre condition fir cracks in sidewalls or treads. Personally if the tyres are older than five years old have new ones fitted. As you don’t know how long it may have spent just standing and possibly under inflated Also you will need a spare too.

Check what your cars towball can accept as maximum noseweight applied by caravan to car. An unloaded van can have a noseweight heavy or light depending on make. You may need some weights to either reduce or increase the noseweight so it doesn’t exceed the cars noseweight specification.
 
Last edited:
Jun 16, 2020
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Hi otherclive,

Thanks for the reply. I do have some questions though.

1 - When an owner sells a caravan to another person, is a declaration of sale signed by both parties? If stopped by the police in England or another country, is it customary for the police to ask for a specific document as proof that the caravan is mine?

2 - So when I buy a caravan in the UK I must ask the owner if he is registered on https://www.cris.co.uk and once I buy the caravan I must register again on this site so that the caravan is now registered in my name?

Thanks
The sale agreement can be drawn up be either the seller or the buyer, or both. It can be as simple or as complex as you like. I think the van details, names and addresses and signatures of both parties along with the transaction detail would be sensible. If you are very “old school”, a hand shake is all that is done.

CHRIS documentation is NOT obligatory. But if it is CRIS registered, as most modern van will be. The seller should have a change of ownership document. This has a section they should give to you. This will support the fact that you are the new owner and will allow you to re-register. I think it will only costs about £15 for your registration. But I don't think it will be of any use to you in Portugal, so I would not bother.

If the seller has misplaced the change of ownership document, they can be downloaded from CRIS .

John
 
Jul 18, 2017
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In Portugal does the caravan have to registered and have its own number plate? This may be an issue if towing the caravan back to Portugal behind a Portuguese regsiered car. No issue in the UK, but on the continent it may be different?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
I only just now stumbled across this thread. An issue which occurred to me and I hope it’s not too late is that in order to be able to register the caravan in Portugal you will need the manufacturer’s certificate of conformity for the caravan. This is not normally issued to the owner in the UK for the simple reason that caravans are not registered there. In that case you will have to get in touch with the manufacturer and request a copy of the document applicable to the respective chassis number.
 
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PTA

Mar 5, 2020
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Just a suggestion. We stay at Turiscampo in Lagos every year. There are quite a few Brits who visit. I have seen adverts in the local press from people selling UK caravans there. Some of them quite new.
Have also seen them in Spain.
Just a long shot really.
 

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