Guide To Buying Tents On Finance
Camping is generally an affordable way to explore the country and enjoy the great outdoors, but with family tents getting bigger and ever more luxurious, models at the top of the range from brands like Vango, Kampa and Outwell can be expensive.
Outwell recently launched a limited-edition version of their iconic Hartford tent for just under £3,000, while many of the models in their regular range can cost between £1,000 and £2,000.
Vango’s range also includes numerous tents costing over £1,000 including the huge Diablo 1200XL Air, which has an RRP of £1,600, while Kampa’s Studland 8 Classic came in at over £2,000. Add onto that the cost of fitting your tent out with furniture and equipment and it soon adds up to a pretty penny.
Obviously not many of us have that sort of cash lying around waiting to be spent, but fear not! There are affordable ways to pursue your passion and take to the road in style.
WAYS TO PAY
If you’ve got it, this is the easiest, quickest and, in the long term, cheapest way to buy a tent. However, few of us have a spare couple of thousand pounds stuffed under the mattress, so it will mean saving up for a while if you want to pick up one of those stunning eight-berth polycotton numbers you’ve got your heart set on.
- Flexible, speedy and cheap, with no interest charges or fees to pay
- Once the tent’s paid for, it’s all yours
- Private sellers love the stuff
- Cash is no longer king when buying from retailers. You used to get discounts for cash, now sales teams are keen to push finance.
- You’ll feel strangely vulnerable with two grand in your pocket
If your credit card limit allows it, this is another way to spread the cost on a high value tent, especially if you are crafty enough to transfer your balance to another card and avoid interest. But beware; if you don’t clear your balance the interest will quickly add up and you’ll end up paying far more than the original cost of the tent.
Most major camping retailers, both chains and independents, offer finance to help you spread the cost of big purchases and you can sign up in store or online. Sales people are usually keen to get you signed up to finance agreements, so it’s worth bargaining. Try and talk them into a discount or persuade them to throw in some accessories like a carpet or furniture for free. There’s no harm in asking!
Some shops offer interest free credit and this can usually be paid back over six, eight or 10 months, with a typical deposit of around 10%. For example, a £1,000 tent paid for over six months on interest free, with a £100 deposit, would cost you £150 per month. There would be no final payment at the end of the six-month period and the tent would be yours. Over 10 months, the same tent would cost you £90 a month. In both cases you don’t pay more than the original value of the tent. Do beware of deals that are billed as interest free, and have low monthly payments, but involve a hefty final sum at the end of the credit period. If you can’t make that final payment, you’ll often move onto a potentially expensive interest bearing agreement.
INTEREST BEARING CREDIT
If interest free credit isn’t available from your retailer of choice, this is another option to make an expensive tent more affordable. Compare the APR % interest rates before committing and be sure to check deposit and final payments too. The cost of the finance will also increase the total amount you pay for the tent.
As an example, a £999 tent at an APR rate of 9.9% over 12 months with a £100 deposit, would set you back just under £79 a month. That would result in you paying a total of around £1,046 plus the deposit for the tent, meaning the total cost of the tent would be £1,146 compared to the £999 cash price.
- Use it as a bargaining tool on the tent price
- Extend the repayment period for pricier models
- Use it as an excuse to blag a few extras
- Interest bearing finance can significantly increase the total price you pay
- The temptation to impulse buy
For the right customer (with a good credit and banking history) decent rates are still available on bank loans. Compare what other banks and retailers are offering before committing, and consider getting your loan agreed before going tent hunting.
- No deposit needed
- Easy to arrange
- Flexibility for long-term bank customers
- Interest can be high on sub-£5000 loans
- Less bargaining power with retailers
SET A BUDGET
When setting a budget, think ahead of yourself to ensure that you get the most suitable deal when you finance a tent. Be realistic about what you can afford and work out a budget before you head off to choose your tent from the showroom. Work out how much you can afford to spend (or pay back) each month and stick to it.
Any company you enter into a finance deal with is likely to carry out a credit check on you. Your acceptability for finance is based on a scoring system, so any issues you’ve had with payments and finance in the past is likely to lead you to having your application refused.
Terminating a finance agreement early can be expensive, so ensure you are entirely satisfied with all aspects of the deal before you sign. If your financial circumstances are likely to change for the worse soon, think carefully before signing a finance agreement. Most finance does include a cooling-off period of 14 days, during which time you can get out of the agreement without incurring penalties.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
Always be sure to check and double check your terms and conditions of any finance product you take out on a tent. Make sure that you understand exactly how much you’re paying over how long, and how much the interest will affect these payments.
If there’s any part of the deal that you don’t understand, do not sign on the dotted line until the finance representative has fully explained the issue so that you’re on the same page. With your finance sorted and in hand, you're then free to enjoy the world of luxury camping to your heart's content!