What is a CRiS Check?

If you’re buying a used caravan, one of the things you may have heard about is a CRiS check. Question is… what is a CRiS caravan check? And do you really need one?

When we bought our first van — Dolly 1 — I had never heard of a CRiS check. I spotted her in an ad on Gumtree. And when we went to view, the family that were selling her were very honest and nice.

We went to their home to look over the van and they even showed us holiday pictures of them away in the caravan!

We felt really confident that the van was a sound purchase, so bought it without a second thought.

But what if the seller you’re buying from isn’t so nice and honest?

This is why it’s a great idea to run a CRiS check on the caravan, to make sure everything is in order.

If you're buying a used caravan, one of the things you may have heard about is a CRiS check. Question is... what is a CRiS check? And do you really need one?

What is CRiS?

CRiS is the National Register of UK touring caravan keepers.

It’s a similar organisation to the DVLA and is acknowledged by regulatory bodies; including insurance companies and government organisations, such as the Department for Transport (DFT).

What Does CRiS Registered Mean?

The CRiS (Central Registration and Identification Scheme) has a record of every UK manufactured caravan since 1992. The CRiS database links a caravan’s unique 17-digit VIN number to a CRiS keeper record. This is really important for caravan owners as it proves you are the registered keeper.

The CRiS number is etched on to the caravan windows and on the caravan chassis.

Touring caravans manufactured prior to 1992 are not automatically registered with CRiS but you can easily register the van yourself.

Is it Compulsory to be CRiS Registered?

In short, no.

Registration is not compulsory — unlike with motorized vehicles — and it is possible that subsequent owners have not re-registered the caravan in their names.

That said, CRiS works closely with the police and any caravans that are reported stolen — or involved in a major accident — are logged on the database by CRiS.

Is CRiS Registration Important?

Yes! Definitely. Registering your caravan with CRiS:

  • Proves you are the registered keeper
  • Links a caravan’s unique 17 digit VIN to a CRiS keeper record
  • Assists the police and enforcement
  • VIN CHIP™, the new industry standard in touring caravan identification, uses a caravan’s unique VIN within both visible and invisible caravan VIN CHIP™ Elements
  • Many insurance companies require CRiS registration before processing a claim
  • Helps manufacturer product recalls and warranty

You can register online or on the phone, really quickly and easily.

It costs just £15 (at the time of writing this post) and is a one off fee that lasts for the entire time you own the caravan.

If you're buying a used caravan, one of the things you may have heard about is a CRiS check. Question is... what is a CRiS check? And do you really need one?

Do I Need to Get a CRiS Registration Check on a Used Touring Caravan?

It’s a really, really good idea to do a CRiS caravan check before parting with any cash on a pre-owned touring caravan.

You definitely don’t want to get caught out buying a van with a dodgy past.

A CRiS check will not only confirm the caravan’s true identity but will also reassure you of its history. It will let you know if it’s subject to an outstanding HP agreement; or whether it’s been reported stolen or recorded as an insurance write-off.

In addition CRiS will be able to confirm if the ‘seller’ is currently recorded with CRiS as the current keeper.

And for just £14.95 (which is what is costs as I’m writing this)

We did a CRiS check when we bought Dolly 3 and everything the seller told us panned out.

And we paid the fee to change the registration over, so the van is now legally ours.

If you're buying a used caravan, one of the things you may have heard about is a CRiS check. Question is... what is a CRiS check? And do you really need one?

How Long Does a CRiS Caravan Check Take?

When we bought Dolly 3, we phoned up — told the rep on the phone the VIN number of the van — and paid our £14.95 CRiS check fee. She told us the details over the phone.

It was as quick as that.

They matched the details on the log book (and all the paperwork that was in the van); so we felt safe in the knowledge that the caravan was genuine.

Personally, I think it’s definitely worth getting a CRiS check if you’re buying a used touring caravan.

It’s a very little price to pay for peace of mind.

And that is worth its weight in gold.

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