Caravanning is growing in popularity here in Australia. Something about having a home on wheels and the open road in front of you is incredibly seductive. But most people don’t know that much about caravans. For instance, you might not know that it could be better for you to rent a caravan rather than buy. It all depends on how you’re going to use it and how often. Making this choice correctly could save you a lot of time, money, and trouble.
Should you Buy?
If you like caravanning, it might seem like common sense to go out and buy your home on wheels. There are a lot of benefits to this approach, including:
- You can find a caravan that suits your exact preferences and space needs
- There are different payment options to suit your budget
- You can change things or decorate however you want
- You actually own the caravan, it’s your home on wheels
- The monthly payments could be less than paying for multiple caravan rentals
- It’s cost-effective if you travel long term
- You can go wherever you want and travel whenever you want, even in peak seasons
However, it isn’t all good and the disadvantages of buying include:
- Caravans can be prohibitively expensive, particularly if you’d like a little luxury and space
- Loan repayments can be very expensive over the long term.
- You have to consider storage and maintenance when you’re not using it, which could add some extra costs
- Caravan insurance can be expensive
- Other tasks and costs associated with it, e.g. registration, can end up pilling-up on your to-do list, and in some cases, it can take away all the original fun about enjoying the caravanning lifestyle
Basically, if you’re planning on a long-term trip or use the caravan multiple times a year for long trips, then it might be worth buying. But since most people only use their caravan 6 weeks a year, you might want to think about more cost-effective options.
Should you Rent?
The second option is renting. If you only plan to use your caravan occasionally, then renting might be a better choice. Some of the benefits of renting are:
- One-time payment
- Maintenance isn’t your problem
- You don’t have to exhaustively research the type of caravan and maybe get it wrong
- You don’t have to worry about storing the caravan when you aren’t using it
- It gives you a chance to decide if you really like caravanning and would like to try it long term
But it isn’t all good. Some of the disadvantages of renting a caravan are:
- It can get very expensive if you rent long term
- If you go caravanning several times a year, the costs will quickly add up.
- Some companies charge by distance, so your movements can be quite restricted
- You can’t customise the inside or outside of the caravan
- There are often hidden costs involved like drop off and pick up costs, preparation charges, cleaning, set up and extra mileage charges
What About Caravan Shares?
Caravan Partnership is now offering a new option known as caravan shares, which can help you enjoy the caravan lifestyle at a fraction of the cost and hassle. With caravan shares, you buy a certain percentage of your dream caravan and get corresponding days of use. So, if you buy 10% of the caravan, you get 35 days of use a year, plus unlimited standby days.
The benefits of this approach are:
- You can get a dream luxurious caravan, rather than whatever you can afford
- You never have to worry about cleaning, storage or maintenance, Caravan Partnership takes care of these boring jobs as part of the deal
- When you want to travel, you can book the use of your caravan without worrying about paying extra in high season
- You can even make some extra revenue by letting Caravan Partnership rent out your caravan when no one’s using it
- You get access to a luxurious, top of the line caravan that you probably couldn’t afford any other way
- You don’t have to worry about insurance and registration, as this is all covered for you
To be frank, there aren’t many drawbacks to this approach. It obviously isn’t for people who want to travel year-round, but if you want lots of caravanning time then you can just buy more shares. This will give you more days to travel.
The only real drawback is the fact that peak travel times may book out fast, so you may struggle to get access to your caravan if you don’t plan ahead of time. But if you have a little more flexibility in when you can travel and can plan your usage with more time, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.
So, if you aren’t planning to use your caravan all the time, then make sure you check out what’s involved in buying shares with Caravan Partnership.
If you like caravanning, don’t just head out and buy a caravan before your next road trip. Instead, take some time to consider your options. This will reduce your expenses, time and trouble, and give you more time to just enjoy the open road!