How To Sell A Caravan

Tips, Tricks & Practical Selling A Caravan Advice

Selling a caravan privately isn’t easy. It requires research, care, and even an understanding of the market. So it’s important to get all that right as soon as possible.

Knowing how to sell a caravan right will save you time, money and effort. And that’s what this guide is for. 

With the selling a caravan advice presented here, you can get everything right the first time — increasing your chances of a successful sale quicker, and for a greater amount of money. 

So let’s jump right in. 

What To Do Before You Think About Selling a Caravan

Before you even think about putting your caravan up for sale, you’ll need to think about:

  1. The electrics and plumbing — are they all working correctly? If not, then make a note of your problem areas.
  2. If you have all the proper documentation. Including proof of official ownership, your caravan’s service history, and proof of registration (CRIS or ‘Caravan Registration and Information Scheme’ documents). Actually, proof of registration is not essential, but it might make it harder to sell up if you can’t prove where — or if —  your caravan was registered.
  3. The tools or accessories you’re including in the sale. Make sure you know where they all are, what they are, and understand why including them in the deal makes your sales offer all the better.
  4. Fill up the water and gas containers. This can only be a positive signal. And it will only make it easier for potential buyers to make the purchase.
  5. Give your caravan a thorough clean inside and out. You’ll want your caravan to look as clean as possible before attempting a sale. Pay particular attention to the exterior windows, wheels and door shuts. Stick with good old fashioned heavy-duty shampoo, polish and elbow grease. (Don’t use washing up liquid on the exterior as it smears.) On the inside, give it a good hoovering down and clear away any rubbish. Make sure the upholstery is clean. 
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The Time of Year — Selling in the ‘High’ and ‘Low’ Seasons

The ‘high season’ for touring in a caravan runs from February to late August. This is when the demand for caravans is highest, meaning people may be willing to pay more for the model they want. 

If you’re planning on selling up in the low season — Autumntime and the depths of winter, you might struggle. Especially in the run-up to Christmas and the whole month of December. 

How to Sell a
Caravan Privately

Selling a caravan privately means doing a lot of market research and then fine-tuning an advertisement that will attract and win-over the minds and money of customers. 

When writing your advert, try to pre-empt all of the possible questions that you think a potential buyer might ask. This will save time and will help you to sell your caravan quicker. 

It’s important to be honest when putting together an advertisement. It’s hard work to be deceitful, and the chances are people will see through your caravan for what it really is. If you want to be really honest, you can mention the advantages and disadvantages of your caravan’s particular layout. In the end, this can save you time. As it reduces the chances of ‘time-wasting’ visits who, on inspection, decide it’s not for them. 

And when you can, monitor your ad listing as much as possible. If people do ask questions, then quick and helpful responses are a great way to connect with buyers and establish a sense of trust and reliability.

Essential Details to Include in your Advert

You’ll want to provide all of the key facts and specifications about your caravan. This will save your time as much as theirs. Anyone reading your ad will be glad you provided all of the information they were looking for, and this no doubt will help your sale go a lot smoother. 

Here’s a list of essential features to include. If you have more information, put that in also. The more information, the merrier:

  1. The make, model and age of your caravan
  2. The length, height and weight
  3. Berth (sleeping capacity)
  4. The caravan’s condition (on the outside, inside, and from a mechanical/electrics perspective)
  5. Number of previous owners
  6. Make it clear that the caravan you’re selling is  used or ‘second-hand’
  7. The caravan’s service history and registration (CRIS) documents
  8. The size/nature of the bed (is it fixed, a bunk bed, twin-sized?)
  9. Where the bathroom is located (for example, is it positioned in the centre or towards the rear of the caravan?)
  10.  Where the kitchen is located in the caravan
  11. If it has a ‘double dinette’ or an ‘end dinette’
  12. If it’s a single-axle or twin-axle
  13. Then list any of the appliances you’re thinking of selling with the caravan
  14. Finally, list any customisable ‘extras’ that your caravan has over the ‘standard’ factory model. Including alarm systems, electric showers, air-conditioning units, awnings, propane tanks and more. 

Don’t be Afraid to Show your Caravan has Some Wear and Tear

Everyone looking for a second-hand caravan will expect some wear and tear. It’s just a fact of life. So make sure to mention any minor damage or wear in your advert. 

Better yet, take photographs. If you mention it (and you should), people will naturally want to examine it. Clear photographs of the points-of-issue will save both you and would-be buyers time in the long run. Because if they don’t see the wear now, they will when they come to inspect your model. 

Pricing up your Caravan

You’ll have to do a fair bit of research in order to price up your caravan correctly, and follow a number of steps if you want to increase the amount of money you’ll be able to sell it for. Find out how to do so quickly and easily with our How Much Is My Caravan Worth? Value My Caravan Guide here.

Photographing your Caravan

Lots of high-quality photographs are a must if you want to impress with your advert. Make sure they’re clear, bright, and accurately represent what it is they’re showing. It’s very easy for people to take pictures at deceptive angles to make interior shots look bigger and better than they are. Don’t do that. You only run the risk of wasting yours and other peoples’ time by posting misleading pictures. 

Pro tip: the more high-quality photographs, the better. Try to take up to at least 20. And if you can, take them on a lovely sunny day. As crazy as it sounds, this really could help with your sale. 

How to Handle Caravan Viewings

Let’s say a respectable potential buyer has turned up to view your caravan. Follow these simple steps and it should let the whole viewing process go a lot smoother:

  1. If they want to try towing your caravan with their car on a test drive, sit with them in the car and give them free reign to drive wherever they want. If you try to dictate which way they should drive, they might think you’re trying to hide a problem with the caravan.
  2. Let the buyer examine all of the facilities inside the caravan, check the roof, and even assemble the beds.
  3. Most buyers will try to get you to lower your asking price. This is known as ‘haggling’. If they’re being unreasonable, be firm with them. If you’ve already established a price beforehand, stick to it.
  4. Keep a close family member or friend with you. They will provide invaluable confidence support and will help you to relax and keep a level head. 

Unfortunately there’s no shortage of horror stories to do with hagglers, time-wasters and even criminals at caravan viewings — sometimes it can even be dangerous. If you’re worried about your safety, jump to (or scroll down to) our ‘The potential dangers of private selling — how to sell a caravan privately in a safe way’ section of this guide.  

Where to Place your Caravan Advertisement

The quickest and easiest way is online, on marketplace or auction sites that attract millions of monthly visitors. The chances are you’ve already heard of the big names: Ebay, AutoTrader, Gumtree and more. 

It’s worth doing a little bit of research into the different sites. As it’ll cost you money to put up a listing, you’ll want to know which one offers the best value for money. Some websites are also better formatted for caravan listings, which could be used to make your advert more attractive, increasing your chances of a successful sale.

You’ll also need to specify how you want to list the price. Many people list their caravans at a fixed price. But some offer to auction it off. If you choose the auction option, there are two ways to do this: with or without a reserve. 

If you choose to auction your caravan without a reserve, that means it will go to the highest bidder, regardless of how small or large the final price is. If you choose to auction your caravan with a reserve, then that will give you the opportunity to confirm that you want to sell it to the highest bidder at the end of the sale. 

Regardless of how you go about it, remember to closely monitor your ad listing, and to quickly answer any questions about the caravan that come your way. A rapid response and helpful manner will, no surprises here, really help you to seal the deal quicker. 

The Sales Process

The best way for a caravan buyer to pay you is to use an electronic bank transfer. Either through a mobile banking app, PayPal, or other means. It shouldn’t take too long for the money to be successfully transferred into — and made available in — your account. 

However it might not be so straightforward if you’re dealing with a large sum of money. As the bank might flag it for unusual activity. If this happens, usually all you have to do is send a text message (when prompted) to your bank, or give them a quick call. Even if this happens, electronic bank transfers are still by far the easiest and quickest ways to arrange payment. 

What to Do with Buyers who Pay with Cheques or Cash

You’re right to be suspicious if a buyer hands over huge amounts of cash, or bank notes. If this happens, then go to the bank with the buyer and pay the money into your account directly. The cashier will let you know if any of the notes are counterfeit or not. 

Ask the buyer ahead of time if they’re thinking of paying in cash, as this will restrict when you can make the sale. A lot of banks aren’t open on weekends and have limited opening times even on weekdays (for example, my branch is 9:30am — 2:00pm Monday to Friday). If the buyer is going to be paying in cash, then you’ll need time to go to the bank together. 

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The biggest warning sign is if the buyer offers to pay with a personal cheque or building society cheque. It goes without saying that cheques are an old fashioned way of paying, and they can be cancelled the second they are written out. Forgeries are also common. 

If you’re willing to accept a cheque, ask the buyer for a form of ID with their address and phone number on it. If they are hesitant to provide one, then you’re right to be suspicious. 

If you still want to go ahead, then hold the caravan until the money has processed into your bank account. Or even better, go to the bank with the buyer and process the cheque then and there. Whatever you do, don’t hand over the caravan until you’re paid. 

The after sales process — keeping records and handing over the necessary documents

After you’ve got your money and are satisfied the sale is complete, it’s time to hand over a receipt to your customer. Actually you’ll need two receipts. One to keep with you and the other to hand over to the buyer. 

For a quick and easier transaction, it’s best to have your receipt prepared ahead of time. All you have to do is write everything short of the buyer’s name and address. Then once the sale is complete, finish off your receipt by filling in those details. 

(For more exact details on how to prepare and write a receipt, check out our FAQs section below.)

Finally, hand over the following paperwork to the new owner of the caravan:

  • The handbook
  • The service history book
  • MOT history documents
  • CRIS documents
  • Warranty information paperwork (if the caravan is still under warranty) 
  • Section 10 of the caravan’s V5C document

It is also your legal responsibility to inform the DVLA that the caravan has a new owner. To do this, fill in the form on the caravan’s V5C and send it on to the DVLA. 

The potential dangers of private selling — how to sell a caravan privately in a safe way

Hagglers and time-wasters are annoying, but with the private sales process they are the least of your worries. 

Selling pretty much anything privately can be risky business. And because caravans, motorhomes, and other automobiles, in general, cost quite a bit of money, there are unfortunately a lot of people out there who will try to scam you and even steal from you.

How to Look Out for Scammers

Scammers often pretend to be potential buyers. They will often ask a lot of questions so that they can then create a fake advertisement of their own, based on your caravan model — in order to scam other genuine potential buyers. 

A scammer is likely to ask upfront for certain details such as the VRM or VIN numbers, or to see the V5C document, before coming out to see the caravan. Having lots of details like this helps them to create more effective ‘fake’ advertisements to scam others with. 

Scammers are also likely to send emails in from abroad, usually with a too-good-to-be-true offer. Such as offering to purchase the caravan without even looking at it, or even offering to pay more than your asking price for it. They could be trying to get you to click on a dodgy Internet link, which could give them access to your banking details. Scammers are a lot more sophisticated than most people give them credit for. Some horror stories even involve scammers going through the trouble of inventing fake caravan shipping companies in order to trick regular people. 

How to Host Thief and Scam-Proof Caravan Viewings

So you’re talking with a potential buyer online or over the phone and they want to meet. Great! But to be on the safe side, make sure you get their name, address and contact number. That way you can call them again — in your own time — so see if they are who they say they are. 

Then agree to meet in a safe and familiar location. For example, your own driveway. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re not alone. Even if they know nothing about caravans, a friend or family member will make you feel more confident — and will make a dishonest ‘buyer’ more nervous. When the buyer arrives, try to note down the registration number of their vehicle. 

With these precautions, you’ve set the stage for a cautious and sensible caravan viewing. 

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How to Safely Act around Suspicious Buyers

I don’t want to make it seem like every person who’ll view your caravan is dodgy or a potential scammer or thief — they’re not. Most buyers will be polite, friendly, and somewhat reasonable. 

But scammers and thieves are out there. So it’s important to have your guard up. 

If the buyer wants to test drive your caravan in tow, sit up in the passenger seat with them. And when you show them your caravan documents, do not let them take any photographs or make copies of them — as these photographs could be used to make fraudulent ‘clone’ ads of your caravan. 

Just be very friendly and stick close to the buyer. That way if they’re genuine, it’ll be a pleasant experience that could seal the deal. And if they’re dishonest, it will limit their chances to pull the wool over your eyes.  

How To Sell A Caravan — FAQs

Yes. Your finance company will almost certainly have no problem with you selling a caravan even if you still have outstanding payments. As long as they are paid immediately once you get the money from the sale. To be on the safe side, contact your finance company and tell them you’re thinking of selling your caravan — so that they are aware and up-to-date with the situation.

You’ll need to clearly write down the following: the date of the sale, the amount paid, the make and model of the caravan, its registration number — along with a description of its general condition. Follow these details up with the name and address of the caravan buyer.</br></br>Remember to make two copies of the receipt. Giving one to the buyer and keeping one for yourself.

Yes. There are plenty of caravan and motorhome dealers who will buy your caravan from you (including us), and in pretty much any condition. Damp included. In fact, many claims to buy ANY caravan, no matter the condition.</br></br> If you are selling privately, consider getting the problem repaired. It might be worth it if it means you can put a higher price tag on your caravan. If you don’t want to or can’t repair it, then be honest with your prospective buyers. People appreciate honesty, meaning you’re more likely to have a successful transaction.

Yes. There is no legal requirement to register a caravan in the UK and you can sell it on unregistered. But you might have some trouble selling it privately. This is because most caravan buyers will expect it to be registered and would like to see evidence that it has been.
Although not a legal requirement, most people register their caravans to the CRIS (Caravan Registration and Information Scheme) and in return they receive a CRIS certificate.

Selling a caravan privately is often a long, stressful, expensive, and time-consuming process. For a quick and easy sale, sell your caravan to US instead.

We’ll come and collect it personally from a location of your choice, and pay for it INSTANTLY with an instant bank transfer.

And there are no call-out fees or hidden charges. Unlike private Internet listings,you won’t have to pay for ad listings or worry about late calls, dodgy buyers, time-wasters, or inconvenient viewing times.

And because we operate within a large network of buyers, we’re able to offer great value prices to our customers. Just check out our five-star Trustpilot reviewsAll you have to do is visit our sell my caravan page and fill in a few details, and we’ll get back to you shortly. Or if you just fancy a chat with one of our pros, just give us a call or send us an email. 

Either way, we hope you enjoyed this selling a caravan advice. And we hope to hear from you soon. 

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