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With the staycation trend more popular than ever, now could be the ideal time to buy a used campervan. Whether for weekend getaways or an epic European tour, a campervan offers you a fantastic blend of comfort and adventure
You'll find a campervan for sale to suit a wide range of budget and requirements, from small campervans like the VW Caddy California, to luxury models like the Mercedes Marco Polo. These campervans come with all the creature comforts you could need to enhance your trips away, wherever you’re heading.
Don't fret if these bespoke campervans for sale are out of your budget. There's been a huge uptake in converting vans into campers in recent years and we cover the basics further down the page. You might also want to take a look at our guide to the best campervans you can buy right now.
Medium-sized panel and kombi window vans make the best base vehicles for camper conversions. Not only are they easy to drive, they’re also spacious and cheap to run, which makes them great options for a DIY conversion or as a donor vehicle for a specialist to turn into your dream camper.
Traditionally, most used commercial vehicles for sale are powered by diesel engines. However, over the past few years, van manufacturers have added efficient and powerful petrols and hybrids to their model line-ups, which cater to a broader range of efficiency and environmental considerations.
The Volkswagen Transporter, in its various forms and generations, remains the number one choice for conversions into a camper. It’s a favourite for countless people and with a whole host of companies and suppliers offering parts and accessories specifically for the Transporter family, it's easy to see why.
However, there are some excellent choices away from the Volkswagen route. Other popular choices include the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter, as well as the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer and Renault Master. The Sprinter is available with four-wheel drive, which may be of interest if you’re planning to explore off the beaten track.
The cost of a campervan conversion depends on what state your van is in and what you want from it. A basic bed conversion can cost as little as £500 but if you want the works, with a hob, fridge and everything included the kitchen sink, you're looking at a much bigger investment. It really comes down to how much you can afford – and want to spend. The average tends to be around £2500, but as with so many custom projects, the sky is th elimit.
Yes, it’s generally more cost-effective to buy a van and convert it yourself is cheaper, rather than buying an 'off the peg' ready made camper. This route also lets you personalise your conversion to suit your own needs and tastes. It's a good investment, too, as campers are known for holding their value well.
As well as the van itself, you’ll need to think about factors like insurance, tax and maintenance costs. Campervan insurance can differ from standard vehicle insurance – you’ve got the added value of internal fixtures and fittings, and the use of a camper is usually quite different to that of a standard commercial vehicle.
When it comes to maintenance, regular checks and servicing will be crucial for the longevity of your campervan, not to mention safety.
When you look to buy a used campervan, conduct the most thorough inspection you can. You could even consider a professional evaluation – while it’s an up-front cost, it can pay dividends by highlighting any issues that could be more expensive down the line. You want your campervan to bring you happiness and adventure, not unexpected bills and headaches.
It’s worth checking online for answers to any specific questions you might have. The campervan community is a broad and knowledgeable one, and the chances are high that whatever problem you’re facing, whatever problem you have, someone somewhere has been through it all before.
If you're not sure if a used campervan is quite right for you, we've got 1000s of used vans for sale to suit all budgets and needs.
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