Buying a used van

Jan 10, 2021
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Never had a caravan before and have seen one I like on ebay, 2005, so pretty old. Private seller with a limited no of vans. No CRIS document, sold as seen.
1. Is 2005 too old?
2. Can you do a CRIS check, is it worth it?
3. Is there a way of getting a 3rd party to check it over.
 
Jul 30, 2007
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No CRIS.
Sold as seen.
Alarm bells ringing already🤔
My advice would be to take someone with caravan experience accompanies you when you view it and check it thoroughly first before you part with any money.👍
Good luck though.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Be very wary of buying this caravan from ebay. - WALK AWAY.

And from your posting I would be very suspicious indeed. At 2005 caravan should be CRIS registered, It raises the question of why its not registered.

A "private seller with a limited no of vans seller" is NOT a private seller, he is trading and he should know the penalties for being dishonest in this way.

2005 is not too old, but it depends on its condition. and its worrying why it's being "Sold as Seen"

If it's not CRIS registered, there is no point doing a CRIS check except to see if it was stolen or a an insurance write off. In both cases you don't want to get involved.

You can employ a a mobile caravan service guy to do an "independent pre purchase inspection" But in all honesty given what you have told us about this particular sale - just walk away, it's got scam written all over it.

As this is a purchase you have never done before I strongly suggest you go to a dealer. It may cost a bit more but you have so much more security if for any treason the caravan is not what it seems.

Even with a dealer purchase it is very goods advice to have the caravan inspected by a mobile guy before you agree to purchase. If any one tries to stop you having an independent inspection carried out, walk away.
 
May 2, 2020
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As has been said already be very careful, personally I would leave it. Please read my latest reply on the insurance security & storage part of this forum
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I agree everything that other members have said. A dealer is your best option but another would be to look in the CMHC members classifieds and you could find a member selling because of medical reasons, just stopping etc. The van is more likely to be CRIS, have service and repair records and have all the kit included. Still advisable to take a knowledgeable friend or engage a AWS technician to check it. A key area is damp. It isn’t always easily obvious to spot so a recent damp report is essential or an AWS technician would include it. Caught early it isn’t necessarily expensive to remedy.
 
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Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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Never had a caravan before and have seen one I like on ebay, 2005, so pretty old. Private seller with a limited no of vans. No CRIS document, sold as seen.
1. Is 2005 too old?
2. Can you do a CRIS check, is it worth it?
3. Is there a way of getting a 3rd party to check it over.
As has been said, the seller is NOT a private seller, he is a trader and cannot sell "as seen".

As far as no CRiS document goes, he may not have the actual document BUT the van, if a UK made van, WILL be CRiS registered as that is done on the first sale of the van back in 2005.

As you have never had a van in the past and therefore would not know much about them, with any purchase you should get a Approved Workshop engineer to give any potential van a pre purchase inspection.

Any owner refusing to agree to this inspection has something to hide,,,so dont walk away,,,RUN.

Always ask for a recent service record including damp report, if none available, then a pre purchase inspection is essential.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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i would agree a first purchase should be better from a dealer but take a Damp Meter to check it before you buy it
 
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Sep 26, 2018
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Thanks all for your comments, you've talked me out of it, even though I really quite liked the van. I know this is sensible advice and I will stick to a dealer.
At least you know a model you like, so you can look for another example...
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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i would agree a first purchase should be better from a dealer but take a Damp Meter to check it before you buy it
Only take a damp meter if you know how to use it properly and have the caravan owners permission to use it, otherwise you could be accused of damaging it.

And realistically its not just damp you should be concerned about, so its far better to identify the caravan you are interested in, and then having an experienced eye to go over it for its overall condition. If you are not confident of doing yourself get an AWS guy to do an independent inspection before agreeing to purchase it.
 
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May 7, 2012
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The best I can say for that one is run away. I suspect it is very cheap as well, another sign of a suspect sale. If you are new to caravans, I am afraid the pitfalls are too great to buy privately in my opinion and though it might cost a bit more a good dealer is by far the safest bet. There are a few bargains out there, but that does not sound like one and you need someone well versed in caravans to help you.
You can get an inspection by a caravan engineer, so the first question you should ask when looking, is whether the seller is willing to let you have one. If they say no then go no further.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Only take a damp meter if you know how to use it properly and have the caravan owners permission to use it, otherwise you could be accused of damaging it.

And realistically its not just damp you should be concerned about, so its far better to identify the caravan you are interested in, and then having an experienced eye to go over it for its overall condition. If you are not confident of doing yourself get an AWS guy to do an independent inspection before agreeing to purchase it.
Hi ProfjohnL i have been to so many caravan dealers in 31 years and i always taken my damp meter and also i ask before i use it ,
i look at the condition inside and out and check to see if it got service history and all the stamps and i prefered one owner because they usually well cared for , Also i always take someone AWS guy to inspect it with me .
Check the CRis and no financed that my preference .
 
Last edited:
Jan 19, 2002
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If you know what sort of van you like, manufacturer and model you can trawl dealer websites - with closure due to covid many offer a large number of detailed photos or virtual tours. However avoid travelling too far for a van as any warranty on a used van is likely to be from the vendor. Wherever you end up look for service record and damp checks - this applies to ALL vans of any age, and a 'little bit of damp' rarely turns out that way when it comes to getting it fixed! As has been noted someone selling 'a limited number of vans' is presumably buying in and selling on with a profit and not much else in between!
 
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Sep 24, 2008
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Never had a caravan before and have seen one I like on ebay, 2005, so pretty old. Private seller with a limited no of vans. No CRIS document, sold as seen.
1. Is 2005 too old?
2. Can you do a CRIS check, is it worth it?
3. Is there a way of getting a 3rd party to check it over.
Program today on tv about scams with caravan/motorhomes. Low prices for them starts alert. As said if people knew about these Forums it would enlighten them before preceding.
 
May 7, 2012
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Possibly the first point is that anyone with a limited number of vans is not a private seller, but a trader presumably trying to avoid tax. That should alert you to the level of honesty you are likely to encounter. If he is a trader, the sold as seen bit is not legally enforceable, he is subject to the CPA, but pursuing him will probably not be easy.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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The hardest thing here is the finance free test. How do you know or prove there is no outstanding finance on this caravan.?
Leave this dog alone. The give away is that most reputable dealers have no used stock at all at the moment. They are actively looking to buy and then trade on. Why haven’t they bought this one off ebay?
 
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May 7, 2012
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HPI can normally tell you this if you give them the VIN number. If this is an older model though HP is unlikely.
 
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