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Whats peoples thoughts on my experience with a dealer who we purchased a new van from last July.


first experience was the initial purchase of a swift 645 in July last year. Having seen a couple of 645s and our van a sterling Europa approaching 9 years old we decided it was time to trade in. The problem was with covid and no one having stock I couldnt find one until I found one on line at a dealers about 130 miles from home. A few phone calls made and I arranged to take our van to the dealers and buy the 645 they had in stock which although was new had clearly been used as an ex display model but beggars cant be choosers. The dealer never advertised this fact and on inspection had to replace a stolen door knob and it had a few marks on the paint work.

our previous van had always been well looked after and services every 12 months with no issues. We were due to go on holiday the day after so I was really keen to buy the 645 perhaps stupidly however having been given a reasonable pex price by a previous dealer and this one of between 8-9k I was looking forward to the new purchase.


the day in question arrived and a 3.5 hour journey later I arrived at the dealership. 
our van was inspected and due to the condition and previous services I didnt expect any issues.

the salesman commented on what great condition it was in and he allready had a customer who was looking to buy it. He then did the obligatory damp meter check which seemed to take a long time with me waiting outside. He then informed me that there was significant damp readings at several areas of the caravan and that given the extent of it he would have to sell our caravan as spares or repairs.I was totally shocked by this as we had never had any issues previously and the way he was talking the caravan was basically being written off.


As you can imagine disapointed was an understatement especially as we were hoping to take our new van on holiday the following day having just driven 130 miles to pex.


the sales person dropped the initial pex price of 8k to 3k and following a discussion with the other half I reluctantly agreed making up the difference in finance but thinking at least we now have a van to last us the rest of our time caravanning.


Now comes the first issue.

a few days later I looked on the dealers website to see our van advertised under the used section for £10,000 and it was sold allready.

I feel like Ive been had over here but what do you think am I just being nieve ?


The second issue is  the new van developed a leak around the shower tray and having only used it for one holiday I could see the sealent coming away from around the tray.

Despite several calls to local dealers I wasnt able to get the warranty work done local so had no choice but tow the van the 130 miles back to the dealer I purchased it from.

three phone calls to explain the problem and they booked it in to hopefully be fixed the same day whilst wife and I spent the day sight seeing .

Arrived the day as arranged and again informed the customer service agent what the problem was and left it with them.

two hours later I received a call to say all the work had been done and they had re sealed the panel and ceiling ?
Thinking the ceiling sounded a bit odd I asked her if they had sealed around the tray and she confirmed they had.

i informed her we would come and collect the van in a couple of hours as we were just having lunch.


on returning to the dealer the van was bought out and she handed me the service sheet which stated “customer advises shower ceiling is leaking” and the engineer stating the ceiling has been resealed and there is no sign of water ingress.

I questioned the ceiling comment on the invoice and was informed “oh that just one of our engineers hes dyslexic”


by now Im starting to regret ever going to this dealership but went and examined the shower tray to find that there was no new sealant to the shower tray and it was as I had left it still coming away in several places.

The customer care lady then tried to blame me for not making the fault clear and that I had specified ceiling not sealant.

Despite several minutes of arguing the point she was adamant that they couldnt do the work that day and I have had to come away with the van and tow it back home to return again in a couple of weeks for the work to be done again.. Another 240 mile round journey.


Edited by Marcusp
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Blimey, I'm so sorry, what an experience.


I doubt I would ever travel far to a dealer for a van, luckily mine is only 10 miles away so handy if I need them.

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Personally I would have got another damp survey done on the p/ex van......it would have cost less than the £5000 you lost...For this very reason I will only buy locally....

Edited by gtepete
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I am sure an employer is responsible for the actions of there employees.


hence. sealing   And ceiling ??



You can register very high damp readings just by holding the reader incorrectly.


same meter used in construction damp proofing works.



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When I trade in a van I always have a recent damp report available to avoid such sharp practice. What did you do at the time you saw the advert? If you didn’t complain loudly and publicly then and there…… The ‘ceiling’ is also taking the pee. You need to record everything in an email and send it registered post to the dealership and publicly name and shame. 

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42 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

.............. ...and publicly name and shame. 

But not on this forum, please. 


Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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The chances of them retailing a damp caravan are nil


Assuming they didn't repair all the damp in the time between you dropping off and them advertising, one can only assume they royally ripped you off.


Wonder if there's any recourse from them saying they'll have to sell as spares/repairs and then not?


Edited by littlebasher
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If the retailer changed the order wording and purchase of your caravan to state (words to the effect of) ‘spares/scrap value’ then you could have a very strong case against them for what is effectively fraud.

Wispman, please explain why not? 

Edited by Flatcoat888
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5 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

Wispman, please explain why not? 


Read the T&C's it is there for everyone to see!

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540


"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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Trading standards? I assume your receipt says it was bought off you as spares or repairs and a copy of the ad advertising your caravan for £10000?


 He then informed me that there was significant damp readings at several areas of the caravan and that given the extent of it he would have to sell our caravan as spares or repairs

Edited by gtepete
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