4,000 caravans are stolen in the UK each year!
Records show that 4,000 caravans are stolen in the UK each year! Caravan theft is a growing problem and what makes matters worse is that a large majority of stolen campers are then illegally sold on by thieves to unsuspecting buyers.
In recent years, the police have been cracking down on this problem by seizing more and more stolen caravans. New owners are often unaware that the caravan sold to them was stolen property. In these cases, police work with the new owner to locate the previous owner and return the caravan to them. If the previous owner isn't found, the caravan gets auctioned off. This is to deter these kinds of crimes in the future. Although, it does mean those who have bought a stolen caravan seized by the police will lose both their money and caravan. So, carrying out due diligence before purchase is important.
If you are in the market for a caravan, you need to carry out your due diligence to avoid losing everything. While making sure you are getting a good deal, one thing people often forget to consider is whether a caravan may have previously been stolen. There are a few different ways you can check this. In the segment below, we offer valuable tips to identify a stolen caravan before making a purchase.
The first way to check whether a caravan has been stolen is to look for recent news stories about caravan theft in your area. You should check online forums and social media groups dedicated to caravan owners in your area to see if anyone has reported their caravan stolen. If you encounter frequent reports of caravan theft, beware of a deal too good to be true.
Another way to identify a stolen caravan is to check its identification number (VIN). You can easily find this on the chassis and the bottom of the windows. Then check the number against the national stolen caravan register - a list of all caravans reported stolen in the UK since 1982. If the VIN number has been tampered with, or even worse, it doesn't have one, then the seller probably has something to hide.
If the caravan you are inspecting isn’t on the stolen caravan register, the next step is to check its history. Ask the seller for the caravan’s registration documents. This documentation will show you who the previous owners were. If the seller can't provide this documentation, walk away from the sale. It is then of your own discretion whether you report the incident to the police to protect others.
If you follow the advice above, you minimise the chances of losing a camper and your hard-earned money. Stay vigilant.