If you have placed a deposit on a caravan, perhaps a first-time purchase or a part exchange on a newer model, you will be eagerly awaiting the collection date and possibly wondering what happens in between the deposit being paid and the collection of the caravan.
In this section we will lift the lid on what takes place behind the scenes at Swindon Caravans and share some key steps along the way with either one of our pre-loved caravans or a brand-new model.
This is the point where you have selected the ideal caravan for your needs. Up to this point you may have chatted with the sales team, discussed your requirements and chosen your perfect caravan
The sales team will also advise on what accessories the vehicle comes with or would benefit from. A comprehensive pack, including the sales invoice and some handy literature will be handed over to you. Details of any special deals on starter packs and discounts will be discussed with you and if the vehicle is already on-site, such as a pre-loved caravan or an end of season new caravan, you can expect to have a collection date arranged there and then.
If you require caravan finance, this can be agreed in principle too and our sales team will demonstrate how the finance package works and discuss repayment options including HP or a PCP agreement.
Vehicle secured / Vehicle ordered
If the caravan is on the forecourt the caravan will be secured and a “sold” sign placed in the window. If this caravan is a part exchange and equipment needs transferring over, details will be printed on the sold sign. The caravan will then be moved and parked within the secure compound on site ready for the next phase of work.
However, if you have purchased a brand-new caravan the vehicle will be ordered from the manufacturer and depending on the time of year will depend on how soon the caravan will be on site. The sales team will contact you and discuss / arrange a collection date once they know the arrival date of the caravan.
Once the new caravan has been delivered it too will be taken to our secure compound with details in its window and will be ready for the next step in the process.
The next big step in the process for all our caravans is the PDI check. The “Pre-Delivery Inspection” is a thorough inspection of the caravan, the systems and features. The inspection also incorporates a service on the caravan, to ensue all moving parts are correctly greased, all safety items have been checked and the systems such as heating, hot water and battery charging all work correctly. Though this will not affect new caravans, any items that need work, replacing or adjusting will be corrected at this stage.
Accessories and extras
Once the caravan has been given the all clear and has passed our exhaustive PDI process, the caravan can now have its accessories and extras that you have asked for fitted. Items such as motor movers, air conditioning units and any specialised equipment will be installed by one of our trained technicians on site.
Once installed a final inspection of all the fittings will be performed to confirm they meet our standards.
Just before collection the caravan will be handed over to our dispatch team who will clean the caravan inside and out. If selected, the caravan will also be given protective coatings such as DiamondBrite to the fabric and the exterior of the caravan.
Once complete the paperwork of all the works carried out will be processed and be prepared for the collection day.
Collection day is a big occasion and there are several things that need to be taken care of, not least the payment of the caravan.
In the next section we will go through the collection day, detail what you should bring with you, and share what to expect when you arrive.
Changing for a new caravan, either bigger, smaller or newer is an exciting time. One question that is often asked is ‘Why should I part exchange my current caravan?” In this page we will outline some useful reasons why part exchanging a caravan may be beneficial as part of the purchasing process.
It’s not all about the money
There is no doubt that if you sell your caravan privately you can obtain a higher asking price. Part exchanging a caravan is not about the money, but if a private sale is on the cards, be aware that advertising a caravan for sale can cost money, take up valuable time and at the end of this process there is no guarantee that the caravan will sell.
It is also rare that you will get the price you are asking for when selling privately. It’s almost certain that a buyer will want to haggle the price down, find fault and demand some sort of discount from what you are asking.
And, as mentioned above, it takes time. Keeping it clean, having all paperwork ready, preparing to answer and demonstrate all the parts of the caravan to a new owner and making time for potential buyers to visit your home. Which leads us onto another consideration.
For owners that keep caravans in storage yards, selling caravans on site is often prohibited. Allowing members of the public in and around a storage compound can be a risk to the storage yard security arrangements. So, owners who want to sell the caravan will need to move the caravan to another location to sell.
For many, bringing a caravan back home isn’t an option so selling in a mutual public location would seem the logical answer. However, think carefully if you are selling a caravan in a layby or car park. And if you are buying from such a location, ask the seller why.
One key benefit of part exchanging a caravan is having some equipment transferred by the dealership to your new purchase. Items that include motor movers, leisure batteries, gas bottles, trackers, in fact any feature you have added to the caravan can be moved by a professional team to the new caravan.
This will form part of the deal when buying a new caravan, so do check in with the sales team to ensure that any specifics you have can be moved across.
Transfer of belongings
The real benefit of part exchanging a caravan is the collection day of the new caravan. You can arrive at one of our locations with your current caravan, be shown around the new purchase, and be left to transfer your personal belongings to your new caravan. When you are finished you can leave with your new caravan hitched up, loaded with your possessions and ready for a new adventure. This means your home will not be filled with all your personal belongings, such as bedding, water & waste containers, BBQ parts and the essential boules set.
A part exchange is a hassle-free method of dealing with your existing caravan. Taking the stress away from selling a caravan privately, allowing the exchange of installed equipment and being able to take time to move possessions across from one caravan to another all contribute to a comprehensive list of benefits and positive reasons to part exchange your current caravan.
For more information about part exchange and a quotation on the trade in value of your current caravan, contact us, or pop in and speak with our sales team, who can run through more details with you.
Dan Trudgian recently uploaded a video discussing his decision to part exchange his current caravan for a brand-new model. Check out his video here:
In the next section we will discuss what happens next once you have chosen your prefect caravan and have placed your deposit.
In recent years the popularity of PCP or Personal Contract Purchase has sky rocketed for those who are buying new cars. But interestingly, PCP has only recently been introduced to the leisure industry. In this section, we will guide you through the differences between Hire Purchase (HP) and PCP, their benefits and any pitfalls worth considering with either method as a funding option. This is not financial advice but information about various the funding schemes, at the bottom of this page are links to documents that will help you further.
Personal Contract Purchase
PCP was introduced to the caravan industry in September 2016, it had previously been available for those purchasing a motorhome, but for caravans this was a new concept. What exactly is PCP? how does it work and are there any pitfalls?
PCP is like Hire Purchase (HP) with one significant difference. A significant bulk of the credit is deferred to the end of the agreement. This keeps the monthly payments low. Like HP you don’t own the caravan until the final payment is made and, because there is a large balloon payment at the end of the term you are unlikely to opt for this option. More on this later. In fact, to be clear, you are renting the caravan from the finance company in a “use not own” concept.
Like HP you can make an upfront payment. A deposit. Then over an agreed timescale you make regular fixed payments. At the end of the contract you have three options:
You can return the caravan and simply walk away, and make no further payments.
You can make a final “balloon” payment to pay off the outstanding finance and gain ownership of the caravan.
You return the caravan and part exchange it for a brand-new caravan and continue with a new PCP plan, using equity in the caravan as a deposit.
PCP monthly payments are calculated by the size of the deposit and length of the contract. The final balloon payment is calculated by the deposit, monthly payments and the predicted of the value of the caravan at the end of the agreement.
PCP is a great way to “use and not own” a brand-new caravan. It is a great way to have a new caravan every few years and PCP is flexible because of what happens at the end of the contract. It is ideally suited to those who are not sure what to do at the end of the finance. Sounds almost too good to be true, right?
There are a few things to be aware of however. PCP is currently only available for brand-new caravans; Also, Caravans must be fully insured and must be annually serviced by NCC approved workshops to ensure the condition and running order of the caravan is in good order. If you are likely to want to keep the caravan, PCP will require you to make a large payment at the end of the term. You will need to pay this.
If you do decide to return the caravan at the end of the agreement, the caravan must be returned in a “Good Condition” a full explanation of what is regarded as good condition can be found here.
Hire Purchase is very straight forward. You pay a relatively low deposit on your chosen caravan at the start of the agreed timescale. The timescale is agreed up front and this along with the deposit amount will affect the amount of the monthly repayments. You can agree repayment terms of 1 to 10 years.
Like PCP you will not own the caravan until the finance is repaid in full. The benefit of HP over PCP is you will own the caravan at the end of the contract and have no balloon payment to make.
Another key benefit of HP over PCP is that Hire Purchase is available for second hand caravans, whereas PCP is only available for brand new models.
For details and examples of Hire Purchase, how much it will cost you, please visit contact us or pop into one of our branches where we will be more than happy to show you how the various finance options work.
As we mentioned this isn’t financial advice, but if you are interested in obtaining finance you can find out more information on PCP or HP, how it works and for some quotations from any of our branches, where our sales team can run through some actual figures on specific models on our forecourt. Also, you can head on over to the Black Horse Finance website, where more examples and other funding options are compared.
In the next section we will discuss why part exchanging your existing caravan may be a great stress-free solution for you. If you don’t have an existing caravan maybe you would like to know more about what happens next once a deposit is paid.
Swindon, Oxford and Reading Caravans Ltd are licensed credit brokers offering finance from Black Horse and other providers and may receive commission for this service.
There are a couple of things to consider before placing a deposit on a new caravan. You will need to ensure that you can legally tow you chosen caravan and that your car can tow the caravan. However, don’t worry. Although they need considerations we can help disperse any concerns or fears of legal and safe towing. In this section we will discuss the legal implications of towing, and discuss the safety of towing with your car.
Your driving licence
Depending on when you passed your driving test will dictate the size (and weight) of the caravan you can legally tow. There is a magic date of January 1st 1997. For UK drivers that passed their test before this date, they would have more entitlements on their driving licences and can tow larger caravans. If you passed your driving test before January 1st 1997 you can tow with a combined weight (car and caravan) of up to 7,500Kg.
If, however you passed after this date you can only tow with a combined weight of 3,500Kg which can limit the caravans that you can tow with your car. However, don’t lose heart, you can gain that extra entitlement, commonly known as the B+E test by sitting an additional driving test that focuses on towing ability.
For more information and to check what your driving licence entitles you to drive, visit the Gov.uk site :
A second check that needs to be completed is the ability of your car to a caravan.
Choosing a caravan can be quite an overwhelming process, certainly if you are new to caravanning. Our aim is to guide you through our process from selecting the correct caravan to suit your requirements through to its collection and your very first adventure.
Of course, choosing the correct caravan is essential and your circumstances will dictate which caravan will best suit your needs. You will appreciate there are many manufacturers, lots of accessories and many different caravan layouts; all with a variety of features.
Sliming your requirements into a short list or shopping list can be a challenge and will create many questions. Thankfully our knowledgeable team can help guide and answer any questions you have in the decision-making process.
We are proud to sell new Bailey, Lunar & Swift caravans across our three locations and have a large stock of pre-loved models. Each brand has a very different look and feel and as you browse our ranges of caravans you will notice elements that are common across the entire range. It is important to remember that our Sales team can demonstrate the various features of the caravans, answer any questions and queries you may have to make sure you are getting the correct caravan for your needs.
Where to start
A great starting point is to limit your search on the correct number of people you need to accommodate. For example, choosing a 2-berth caravan for a family of 4 simply won’t work.
To help further we have arranged our forecourts in Swindon, Oxford and Reading by caravan layout and you will be free to walk in and around any of the caravans that are for sale. As you visit each caravan you may start to notice familiarities between manufacturers and specification levels. This is a great time to start listing what you like and dislike on each model.
Making lists is a great way of narrowing your search providing a discussion point with our team. For example, if you love a layout but dislike the colour scheme, we may be able to point you in a new direction and consider an unseen model.
On any of the caravans that you will see on our forecourt you can ask for a demonstration of features that the caravan has, how they work and discuss any benefits or drawbacks that they may have with your specific requirements.
If you require further help and guidance we recommend purchasing some magazines. Two notable publications exist, Caravan Magazine and Practical Caravan. Both offer comprehensive content on purchasing a caravan along with reviews and inspiration on places to visit.
Dan Trudgian created a video sharing how his family started searching for a new caravan. In this video Dan shares some hints and tips for including the family and making a sensible list of caravan requirements.
In the next part we will look closely at matching your car to your chosen caravan, discuss any legal implications and give you some guidance for when you are shopping for a caravan.
The 2018 Caravan & Motorhome Show at the NEC is now on! Be one of the first to see all the new and exclusive caravan launches for the 2019 season from all the major suppliers including Swift, Bailey & Lunar.
Our sales team will be there, wearing their customary and identifiable green shirts! If you’re visiting the show then please come and say hello. You could always call them on their mobile if you’d prefer to make an appointment so they can spend time showing you the new ranges and of course give you a price.
On the Bailey stand:
Call Alistair Cruickshanks (Oxford branch) 01844 337833, Simon Barnett-Higgins (Reading branch) 07498 559493 or Lee Matthews (Swindon branch) for more information on anything Bailey at the show.
The Bailey offers are also available in branch until Sunday 21st October so please call Paul Hopkins (Swindon), Alan Conley (Oxford) or Jason Compagno (Reading) who are working at their respective branches.
Bailey are offering the following if you order a new Unicorn caravan before Sunday 21st October:
FREE Powrtouch Freedom manual engage motor mover worth £875 for single axle models
FREE Powrtouch Evolution manual engage motor mover worth £1195 for twin axle models.
On the Swift stand:
Call Andy Parker (Swindon branch) 07792 377761 or Tina Murray (Swindon branch) 07563 476652 who are at the show on the Swift stand and available to discuss the following offers.
The Swift offers are also available in branch until Sunday 21st October so please call Paul Hopkins (Swindon), Alan Conley (Oxford) or Jason Compagno (Reading) who are working at their respective branches.
Swift are currently offering the following if you order a new 2019 Swift caravan before Sunday 21st October:
FREE Powrtouch Evolution motor mover worth £995 (single axle) or £1195 (twin axle)
An exclusive finance rate of 5.9% APR (hire purchase only, max loan £15k over 60 months).
An Alko Secure Wheel Lock for £180.
Truma Air Conditioning unit for £780 (excludes dealer fit charge).
Half price insurance offer in year 1 in association with Caravan Guard.
On the Lunar stand:
Call Steve Watts (Swindon branch) 01793 773026, Simon Clark (Reading branch) 07444 019069 or Lewis Sirett (Oxford branch) 01844 337835 to discuss availability and the show deals on Lunar.
The Lunar offers are also available in branch until Sunday 21st October so please call Paul Hopkins (Swindon), Alan Conley (Oxford) or Jason Compagno (Reading) who are working at their respective branches.
Lunar are currently offering a FREE Powrtouch Evolution motor mover worth £995 (single axle) or £1195 (twin axle) if you order a new 2019 caravan before Sunday 21st October.
Full terms and conditions apply. Vouchers or free accessory pack do not apply to part exchange deals. Vouchers are valid for 1 year and can be used on any products or services offered by Swindon, Oxford & Reading Caravans. Not in conjunction with any other offer. Excludes any caravans for sale under £7,000
There’s been some confusion recently with customers who have visited our Reading branch at Three Mile Cross. Some customers have held the belief that we are closing our doors but we can guarantee that is not the case. It is business as usual; in fact we are just looking at plans to develop and extend the premises.
What we can confirm is that the Caravan Company, our competitor located along the A4 in Reading, have closed for business and will cease trading from that location. As a result Reading Caravans at Three Mile Cross is now the sole touring caravan retailer in Berkshire.
If any clarification is necessary, please call our Reading branch on 01189 888111
At the Caravan show at the NEC in October, the promotional finance rate on a new caravan will be 7.2% APR. And from the 7th October our standard rates will be 8.6% APR on a new caravan and 9.6% APR on a used caravan. As you can see, these rates in September can offer significant savings on your monthly payments.
Here at the Swindon Caravans Group we try and make the purchase of a caravan as easy as possible. Please give us a call now if you’d like to discuss any finance packages and we’ll do our best to tailor a product or repayment plan to meet your needs. With flexible terms and repayment options, you will be able to holiday as often as you like for one fixed monthly amount.
The joys of caravanning are easily available and your dream caravan is now even more affordable.