Static Caravan & Holiday Home Buyers Guide

If you have got this far you’ve probably been thinking about buying a holiday caravan.
We have produced this guide to provide potential caravan owners with information about buying a holiday static caravan so you can have many happy years of pleasure with your new found lifestyle.

If you have not been inside or stayed in a modern caravan then it is probably a good idea to hire one for a week especially if you can do this on the park you would like to have your pitch. This will also give you an idea of the park, its facities abd what there is to do in the surrounding area.

Once you are happy that static caravan holiday homes are for you then you can get started and by reading the information below the process shoudl be striaght forward and hassle free.


The Agreement


We’ve put this section first as it is the most important aspect of holiday caravan ownership. The agreement between you and the park operator should be a binding contract that covers things like pitch fees and how long you can station your caravan on the pitch.
The agreement should be in writing and should be easy to understand – it’s no good signing up to something that doesn’t make sense to you. Don’t be tempted into a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ over a handshake – black and white confirmation of your rights and responsibilities should be secured prior to handing over any money.
Buying a holiday caravan is a long-term commitment so the agreement governing your pitch occupation deserves careful scrutiny.


Important Contract Terms to Consider:

Licence period – the number of years your caravan will be allowed to remain on its pitch

The age of the caravan can determine if you are allowed to put it on a particular site. (some site only allow caravans less than 5 years old to be brought to site)

The age of the caravan can also determine which pitchs are available to you with some pitches only open to brand new caravans

Length of season – how long is the park open in any year?

Pitch fee increase – ideally the agreement should link pitch fee increases to the Retail Prices Index

Private sales – can you sell your caravan on its pitch on the park?

Are there any restrictions on the supply of ancillary products or services – eg decking, bottled gas or insurance?
Next to your house, a static holiday caravan is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make; don’t jump in without taking advice and doing your homework.


The Park


The location of the park where your caravan will be sited is an important decision. If you are planning to visit regularly, it should be within easy travelling distance. This may mean looking at train and bus timetables if you don’t drive. Look for any grading that the park has and whether it is a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA). Speak to other caravan owners at the park and get their feeling and thoughts on their experience.

The Caravan


Consider the price, age, features and condition of the caravan. Are you going to purchase new or second hand? Do your homework to ensure that you know how much of the price you are paying the park can be attributed to the caravan. We often describe the purchase of a caravan as a package – the caravan, the pitch and the park. All of these items will have an impact on the purchase price of your caravan. If you are buying second hand consider getting a local caravan agent to conduct an assessment of the unit’s condition.


The Costs


Owning a holiday caravan might seem relatively inexpensive when broken down across the year but consider all areas and ask the following questions:

How much is the pitch fee and what does it cover?

How can the pitch fee be paid?

Is the first year’s fee included in the sale price?

Are electricity and water included and how are they billed?

Are there any other fees or charges – if so what are they for and when do they have to be paid?

Depreciation


Static holiday caravans have similar depreciation characteristics to new cars, inasmuch as once you have set foot in the door the value as opposed to its ex-works price is immediately reduced. However, because of the ‘package’ that is associated with this purchase the effect will be felt all the more keenly.
There has been considerable media coverage recently of cases in which caravan owners ‘lost’ thousands of pounds because they had to sell their caravan after only one season’s use. The word ‘lost’ is in quotes because the people referred to had not checked (or were not advised) how much of the total purchase price was for the caravan and how much was attributable to the remainder of the ‘package’.
Reputable park operators advise that the owning of a static caravan is a long-term commitment (say ten years) and that savage depreciation will result should this major purchase be relinquished after a short ownership span.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your caravan after only a short time, conducting a sale to a private individual is usually a better option than selling back to the park operator who will probably only allow a trade value for the unit, again check the small print on the site rules.


Finance


If you are going to take out a finance agreement to purchase your holiday caravan then make sure that you read the small print and take advice about its terms. It is essential to retain a copy of the agreement.

Photos

Willerby Aspen MK7 Static Caravan Willerby Aspen MK7 Static Caravan Lounge

Willerby Aspen MK7 Static Caravan Kitchen View Willerby Vacation MK5 Static Caravan Main Bedroom