Part ex or privately sell your caravan: pros and cons

If you’ve had your caravan for a while and are considering upgrading, you may also consider ways to remove your current caravan from the picture. There are so many ways you can sell your caravan, making it quite confusing to choose which method would be the best for you and your caravan. Two of the most popular ways to sell caravans are to either privately or do a part exchange.

Both of these methods have their lists of pros and cons. For example, selling privately means making the most money from your caravan. However, it can be a big hassle trying to sell it to a buyer directly as you need to coordinate your time. On the other hand, part exchange is excellent as you don’t have to deal with buyers directly; however, you may not make as much money as you could by selling privately. In this blog post, I will be discussing the pros and cons of both options to help you make the right choice for your caravan.

This blog post will cover the following:

Selling privately

Selling a caravan. Image from:

This is one of the most common ways to sell your caravan. This may be because this is the route that can help you make the most money from your caravan. Selling privately allows you to price your caravan to match retail prices, which is what usually attracts so many buyers as opposed to caravan dealers. If you can make the most money from selling privately, it may seem like this is the perfect selling method, as money is one of the most critical factors in selling a caravan for many people. However, this is not always the case for everyone. It’s important to think about the downfalls of selling privately as well.

If you decide to sell privately, it’s essential to understand that you need to take on multiple roles to do this. You need to be able to market your caravan properly to ensure buyers see your advert, you also have to be a salesman, and in some cases, you may even have to take on the role of a technician as buyers usually have a lot of questions that need answering before they decide to buy your caravan. This is one of the most significant factors that steer people away from selling privately, despite the fact they can make the most money from it. It is also a very time-consuming process.

Selling privately also means you need to list your caravan on suitable online marketplaces such as AutoTrader, Gumtree, eBay, etc. You also need to ensure you upload some photographs to capture your caravan in the best light to attract buyers to support your ad. When putting together your advert, it’s important to remember to list any faults or damages to the caravan as buyers need to know the vehicle’s condition before they decide to view it. Keep in mind that some places, such as AutoTrader, also charge you a fee when you list your caravan. Once your listing is on your chosen marketplace, you will have to deal with enquires and arrange any viewings.

Pros and cons of selling privately


  • Makes the most money
  • Satisfaction of doing everything yourself


  • The entire process can be a hassle
  • Very time consuming
  • May experience difficult buyers who try to scam you by not paying properly

I spoke to some caravan users on Practical Caravan who have previous experience selling their caravan privately; here’s what user ‘Mandarin’ said:

“Sold our 2014 Bailey privately last spring via Autotrader for £3000 more than a dealer was offering. As said before, a bank transfer and we moved it instantly to a savings account to be sure. A bit more hassle than via a dealer, but for £3000, I find I can tolerate a fair bit of hassle. Take great care over the wording, make it detailed, truthful and, of course, loads of good quality photos.”

Part exchange

Part exchange is where you trade your current caravan in for cash with a caravan dealership. In this agreement, both the caravan dealer and yourself agree on the price depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, and other vital factors. You can then use this money to put towards the deposit on your new caravan.

This is the perfect option if you want to upgrade your caravan to a newer model that suits your needs better. If you want to sell your caravan to buy another one, then a part exchange may be the best option. You could still sell privately and then use the money from your sale to buy a new caravan. Selling privately and then buying a new caravan with the money from your sale may be more appealing to some, as you are likely to make more money from this method.

However, It’s important to be aware that advertising your caravan sale on marketplaces such as AutoTrader can cost money and can take up your valuable time. There is also no guarantee that your caravan will sell for the asking price you were hoping for. When you sell privately, it is very common for the buyer to try to haggle and make the price cheaper. In this situation, it may be difficult to object to this, and you may make less money than you were hoping for.

Pros and cons of part exchange


  • Convenient as you don’t need to deal with buyers
  • No advertising costs for listing your caravan
  • Can help you get a good deal on your new caravan


  • Probably won’t make as much money
  • Dealers may try to pay you less, so you need to talk to a few dealers before picking the best one.

I spoke to some caravan users on Caravan Talk who have previous experience with part exchanging their caravan; here’s what user ‘Wildwood’ said:

“A private sale should get you a bit more, but it is far more work, and you need to be very careful that you are not scammed. The other possible problem is that the buyer knows who you are, and if a fault occurs, you can get them to come back to complain and ask for money back, but with a sale to a dealer, that will not happen. You have to weigh up the various points and decide where your preference lies.”


After looking into what each option entails, their pros and cons, as well as the opinions of caravan users who have experience in both selling privately and part exchanging, it is safe to say that both of these options seem suitable. However, when deciding which one t go for, it is best to consider your own caravan. For example, if your caravan has many faults, buyers will be very reluctant to buy it from you. On the other hand, if you do a part exchange, the dealer is less likely to be put off by this, and although you won’t get the best price for your caravan, you will likely get more than selling privately. However, if your caravan is in good condition, buyers may not mind paying a bit more for your caravan, whereas dealers will be less likely to. In this situation, selling privately will be the best option.

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