go to top

Is now a good time to buy a caravan?

buy a caravan

Are you wondering whether it’s a good time to buy a caravan? Since the pandemic stimulated demand, more people than ever have enjoyed a taste of taking holidays in a caravan. Even with cost of living pressures, there’s no sign the appeal is wearing off. In fact, caravans could become more popular than ever.

Best caravan sales since 1970s

The Australian market for caravans is booming. During 2022, more Australians than ever bought and registered new caravans – a further 50,000. In 2021, caravan builders increased output by 42% and had the best sales since the 1970s. Sales continue to be strong today.

Most of the 800,000 recreational vehicles registered in Australia are caravans. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia says 90% of owners are “urban escapists” who use them to get out into the country. Meanwhile, another type of caravanner is emerging, who wants more than just a holiday.

Working from a van

You can no longer assume that people in caravans are on holidays.

Inside a customised van, you might find a coffee shop, hairdresser, massage room or even a cocktail bar. Others are simply working on their laptops and phones. This new trend is “B-Leisure” (business plus leisure) or “hybrid holiday” where owners travel with their business and have a holiday at the same time.

It’s another way of working from “home”.

Van customisers report that some people want lithium batteries rather than having to connect to gas or electricity. This desire to be off-grid is another trend and part of the growing desire to be sustainable as well as independent.

Will cost of living pressures bite?

There are good reasons to think that people who bought caravans after the pandemic could struggle to keep them as cost of living pressures bite. After all, owners who borrowed to buy their vans are facing increasingly higher repayments and fuel is expensive. Also, many new van owners had never had this type of holiday before. They might now change their minds.

However, there is no obvious increase in the number of secondhand vans on the market. Sales of new caravans have dropped a little, but not in a concerning way. The industry claims it expects continuing strong demand from caravanners on holiday and caravanners who buy a caravan to combine work and leisure. At the same time, there are more people having to live in caravans because of widespread flooding and, particularly in coastal areas, unaffordable rents.

This suggests that prices for new and used caravans will continue to hold up.

How much to register a caravan?

The price of a new caravan varies depending on the type you buy, whether it’s a basic camper trailer, caravan, campervan or prime motorhome.

How much you pay to register a caravan in NSW depends on weight:

  • Registration is free for a trailer for private use that weighs up to 254kg.
  • It costs $465 a year for a caravan weighing 1505kg to 2504kg.

Is now a good time to buy a caravan? Many dealers say it’s best to buy during the winter, when demand is lower.

Winter is coming, so perhaps it’s time to join the other caravanners and explore Australia.

author image

Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

your opinion matters: