What are the running costs of a caravan?
When buying a caravan it is important to factor in the annual running costs, so you can budget accordingly. Here’s a list of the main points you should consider:
A host of factors will affect how much you will have to pay for caravan insurance, so it is impossible to generalise on cost. Things to take into consideration include the value of the caravan, whether you plan to take it touring abroad, whether the caravan is fitted with security devices, what level of insurance you require and whether you have any previous driving offences etc.
Your best bet is to do your research and look at several insurance products so you can compare. Typical touring caravan insurance offers new for old replacement, third party/public liability cover, contents, equipment and European cover.
The annual service
How long your caravan will last will depend on a number of variables – how much you use it, the type of journeys you take it on, how well it is stored and how well you look after it.
Of course, a caravan will endure longer if it is well cared for and regularly checked, so it is recommended you have an annual service with a recognised caravan workshop to make sure everything is in working order.
Again, it is difficult to give a standard charge for a service of this kind but budget somewhere around the £150 mark and you won’t be far off.
A service should take in an inspection of the chassis and running gear, gas, water and electric systems, body work and also an interior damp test.
If you keep your caravan on your own property then storage will not be an overhead you will have to factor in. However, not every owner has the space, so many people have to consider where they will keep their pride and joy when not on the road.
Some farmers offer a storage service and can charge as little as £20 a month to house your caravan in a field or barn depending on what part of the country you are in. Security levels can vary in these instances, so some owners opt for a site approved by the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CaSSoa) which assesses locations to ensure they pass certain security criteria.
While not a direct cost, depreciation does affect the value of your caravan and any sell-on price you will get for it. For this reason many people opt to buy second-hand caravans, which hold their value more than new caravans that depreciate as soon as they leave the dealership.
Like cars, some makes of caravan hold their value better than others, so to estimate an annual depreciation cost is difficult. However, if you plan to keep your caravan for 10 to 20 years then depreciation is less of an issue.