Do you want to buy a caravan?


Last week we wrote about how everybody wants a Ute. But we want caravans too. Demand for new and used caravans is so strong, dealers are struggling to keep up. While everyone has to take their holidays within Australia, caravans make good sense. Do you want to buy a caravan?

Caravan sales are booming

Caravan sales are booming, even though many new models can cost over $100,000. Caravan owners also need a fairly heavy vehicle to be able to tow them. So it’s quite a big investment that many people seem very happy to make.

During the September 2020 quarter, caravans and camping made up 44% of all holiday nights in Australia. There were 1.9 million holidays, creating 8.4 million nights in caravans or camping. It was the most popular type of trip. Although this was less than in 2019, it was far ahead of tourism of other kinds. Many people who usually go on cruises, for example, turned to caravanning for their holidays.

The art of reversing

If you only recently bought a caravan, you may find it tricky to reverse the first few times. Remember the opposites rule: turn the steering wheel left to move the caravan to the right, turn the steering wheel right to move it to the left. It does help to have somebody guiding you. To master the art of reversing, go to a big, empty carpark and practise, before going into a busy caravan park.

If you need help with towing a caravan safely, see Everyone wants to go camping.

Register your caravan

Registering a caravan is similar to registering any other vehicle but you don’t need a green slip. This is because the green slip of the towing vehicle covers the caravan. You also need to get a safety inspection or pink slip to register your caravan.

You can get a generous 40% reduction on registering private towed caravans and purpose-built camper trailers up to 4.5 tonnes. Motorhomes and campervans are unfortunately not eligible for this reduction.

Caravans and camper trailers are also exempt from stamp duty.

Get a discount on tolls

In October 2020, a new scheme gives owners of caravans, boats and horse floats a discount on tolls. Once again, this does not apply to motorhomes.

The scheme applies to tolls on NorthConnex and the WestConnex M5 East/M8, as well as other toll roads. It does not apply to the Harbour Bridge or Harbour Tunnel, because there is no Class B fee.

Drivers who have paid Class B tolls can claim a rebate for the difference between Class B and Class A toll fees for up to eight tolled trips per month.

The scheme dates from 1 June 2020. Registration for the scheme is through the toll tag provider. Owners need to claim the rebate within 12 months after receiving their toll statement.

When you need a greenslip

While caravans and trailers must be registered, they don’t need their own CTP green slip.

Motorhomes, RVs and campervans are vehicles in their own right so they do need a green slip. In this case, contact the CTP insurers directly for green slip quotes.

If you need a green slip for your towing vehicle, get the cheapest prices here.

Corrina Baird

Writer and expert

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered first hand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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