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Guide To Buying Tents On Finance


Our tent finance guide will explain everything you need to know about paying for your new tent. With tents getting bigger and ever more luxurious, top of the range tents can be expensive.

Page Contents

Introduction to tent finance

• Camping is affordable

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.

• Tents can be expensive

A recently launched limited-edition family tent was priced just under £5,000, while many of the most popular models of large modern tents can cost between £1,000 and £3,000.

Add onto that the cost of fitting your tent out with camping furniture and equipment and it soon adds up to a pretty penny.

• There are many ways to pay

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 camping passion and take to the road in style with a modern and luxurious tent.

Our tent finance guide will explain everything you need to know about ways to pay for your new tent.

Paying cash for your tent

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.

• Benefits of cash

  • Flexible, easy and immediate.
  • No interest charges or fees to pay.
  • Once the tent's paid for, it's all yours.
  • Private sellers love the stuff!

• Drawbacks of cash

  • Cash is no longer king when buying from retailers.
  • You used to get discounts for cash, not any more.
  • You'll feel strangely vulnerable with two grand in your pocket.
  • You can't claw-back cash payment through a bank.
  • You have little or no payment protection.

Paying with credit cards

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. Interest rates for credit cards are notoriously high.

• Benefits of credit cards

  • Easy to use
  • Credit already agreed
  • You have payment protection
  • Spread the payments over time

• Drawbacks of credit cards

  • Easy to build up a big debt
  • Can easily spend more than you can afford
  • High interest rates
  • Can be the most expensive way to pay

Paying with retailer finance

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!

There are two different types of store credit, interest free and not interest free. Let's have a look at both of these.

#1 - Interest Free Credit

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.

#2 - 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 but you do pay for the service.

For 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.

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, but there can be some great offers available from retailers that can make this type of finance attractive.

• Benefits of retailer finance

  • Flexible
  • 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

• Drawbacks of retailer finance

  • Interest rates can be high
  • Total cost could be much more than the original price
  • There is a temptation to impulse buy
  • There could be hidden costs
  • The small print can contain suprises

Paying with a bank loan

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.

• Benefits of a bank loan

  • No deposit needed
  • Easy to arrange
  • Flexibility for long-term bank customers
  • Usually very low interest rates
  • Helps you to set your budgets

• Drawbacks of a bank loan

  • Interest can be high on sub-£5000 loans
  • Less bargaining power with retailers
  • Tents are not seen as a security like cars or houses.

Setting Your 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.

• Stick to your budget

  • Set your maximum price
  • Make sure you can afford the payments
  • Stick to your budget
  • Don't commit immediately
  • Walk away and think about it
  • Remove the pressure to say yes.

Credit Checks

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.

• Credit check facts:

  • Credit checks go on your credit history
  • Too many can be harmful to your credit score
  • The retailer is only told Yes or No.
  • A refusal is not the retailers fault.
  • You will not be given any reasons for refusal.
  • Your credit score is not the only factor considered.

Cancelling Finance

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 agreements include a cooling-off period of 14 days, during which time you can get out of the agreement without incurring penalties. If you have any doubts at all, you have to cancel the agreement within the agreed timescales.

• Cancelling finance rules:

  • You can cancel during the cool-off period.
  • Cancelling after can have expensive charges.
  • Failing to make payments can result in big fines.
  • Your finance is a legally enforceable contract.

Always read the small print!

This is the most important thing you have to do when signing a finance agreement.

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!

Finished reading?

Want more great tent information?

Our "Buying a camping tent: The ultimate guide" is full of great tent buying advice.

  Buying a camping tent: The ultimate guide

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