10/02/2015
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Get a great deal on a touring caravan for sale at the Birmingham NEC Show

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Save money with these top tips from industry experts on how to make the most of your time at any caravan show


We wish you luck in your search for the perfect caravan, but always remember that it's easy to get get overwhelmed in an exhibition with hundreds of caravan for sale! Here are a few hinters for getting the best bargain...

Know what you're after

"Do some research in advance," says Paul Mauerhoff, public relations manager at the NCC group and spokesperson for the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show. "There's such a lot on show, you'll be hard pressed to see everything, so a 'hit list' of hot prospects will help."

If you go to the show with no idea of what you need from a caravan, you'll easily get swept up in the moment and may even end up leaving with something that's not ideal for your situation. For example, if you're looking to buy a family caravan then you'll need to consider not just the berths but the size of the beds for growing children.

Martin Henderson, managing director for Coachman Caravan Company Limited, told Caravan magazine: "Layouts are very important part of the purchase of any caravan, customers need to know what they want from their new caravan.

"We have staff from Coachman and a large team of salesmen from the Coachman dealerships available and willing to answer any questions they may have to help make their decision." Do your research before hand and don't be afraid to ask on the day.

NEC caravan show advice

What's yours worth?

"Don't forget that there are two areas to negotiate when buying a new caravan if you've got one to part exchange," says Caravan magazine managing editor, John Sootheran. "There's the price of the new tourer and the price that you're going to get for the one you're part exchanging.

"The shows give you as much of a chance to 'try before you buy' as you're likely to find. On top of that, all the models available are all found in one place, and you've got access to the lot!

"Check the cupboards for storage space. Get your family in there at the same time to see if little Jimmy can squeeze by dad in the kitchen to get to the loo easily. Lay in the beds, but not for too long, to make sure your feet don't stick out the end. Make the most of your time and be patient. It's worth waiting around for the caravan you're interested in so you get it to yourself. Just don't use the toilet!"

How to get the best deal

NCC man and show spokesperson, Paul Mauerhoff, has some key pointers for anyone considering buying at the show:

• "Great deals are always available at shows, but don't forget the basics like matching your towcar to a caravan. Many dealers at the show will be able to check this for you, or you can visit the TowCheck area of the NCC stand (on stand 2010)."

• "Always ask what the situation is regarding returning the caravan to the dealership if there is something not quite right, particularly if the dealer is a long way from your home town."

• "Without a doubt the show's special deals will often offer a lot of added value, but be mindful that an extra feature that you don't really need is not that useful."

• "Ensure that the caravan can be registered with CRiS as it would be heartbreaking if your new tourer was stolen."

• "Remember that the money you save on a caravan with all this knowledge can easily pay for the price of a show ticket many times over!"

Speak to a dealer at the caravan show

Have your say too

It's not just about the buying process. Industry shows are the best places to get direct face time with a lot of big figures in caravanning, and they want to hear your voice! If you've got any ideas on how to make your favourite models better in your opinion, the shows are the perfect place to give manufactureres some vital feedback.

Following new launches at one of the NEC shows, Jim Hibbs, executive chairman of Coachman Caravans, said: "Customer feedback has enabled us to develop designs which fully meet the needs of caravan users, and our sales activity from this year's show proves that listening truly pays off!"

Make sure that you know what you want by doing your research, and if you can't find what you want, talk to dealers and manufacturers about what's best in your opinion. Don't forget that if you need any more help on new or used caravans for sale, you can always consult our information-packed Buyer's Guide.



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