Caravan depreciation - when to buy?

Dec 16, 2003
We're looking to buy our first caravan, and by necessity it will need to be fairly large because of the family, and so I'll also be needing a new car for towing! Hence the outlay is going to be fairly serious. But being newbies, I've got an eye on resale values in case a year or two in, we decide caravanning is not for us.

I can see the obvious advantages of a new caravan, but looking through the sales adverts, depreciation seems to be quite high (similar to cars, in fact). Therefore it would seem to make a lot of sense to buy 3-years old when the caravan is still relatively fresh, but the worst of the depreciation has taken it's toll.

Any comments? Have I got the wrong end of the stick? Do some brands depreciate more than others? Are there other costs of ownership for older caravans which offset the depreciation of a new one?

And finally, if you think my plan is sensible, any recommendations for 6-berth caravans that would have been new in 2001 or 2002?
Mar 14, 2005
The problem with 3 year old vans is that they will be out of warranty (unless some extra has been bought, and this may not be transferrable). Dealer's warranty depends very much on the dealer - in attitude as well as the small print.

I suggest you consider buying in the autumn when the models change - the new vans in September time will be 2006 MY (model Year) - but look for the current model 2005MY which the dealers may still have in stock. particularly as a cash buyer you should be able to get a very good price on a new van with full warranty. Of course, it will be that much older when you come to sell it on, but assuming and hoping that you enjoy caravanning the difference per year gets less as the van gets older and there will not be all that between a 2005 and a 2006 in, say 2010.

It will be interesting to see ideas from others. Hope this helps.
Mar 14, 2005
Any van you buy from a dealer will come with their waranty, normaly 6 - 12 mnths.If you purchase a used Bailey caravan, the warranty is NOT transferable to the new owner hence the 6yr water ingress guarantee is worthless except to the original purchaser. Bear this in mind when purchasing a van. I also think Caravans hold their price better than modern cars having just traded my 3yr old car in for a new one, it lost a lot more than any caravan of a similar age percentage wise.

Mar 14, 2005

Bailey dealers offer warranty on their used Caravans,

1 to 5 years 24 months.

5 to 10 years 12 months.

This includes for water ingress,

Jun 7, 2005

I would not worry to much. I just traded a 1998 van which I bought in 2002 and not only did I get a good deal on the new van but I got nearly
Mar 14, 2005
Robert, I don't think the depreciation for caravans is as great as for cars. You can of course always lose serious money on a forced sale especially in the first year or so of the vans life.

My Honda CRV cost approx
May 10, 2005
helpful comments - thanks all.
When I go to the garage to part exchange my car they look up the 'book price' of the car I wish to trade in. Is there something similar for caravans?


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