Buying a Static Caravan – 20 Top Tips

Posted by Sell My Group in Static Caravans, March 3, 2020

Buying a Static Caravan can be a thrilling yet daunting experience. After all, there’s a lot to think about. Size, style, budget and location – to name a few, are all factors that need to be considered.

It makes sense to prepare. As exciting as it is; investing in a static caravan isn’t something you should rush or take lightly. Which is why we’ve put together these ‘20 Top Tips for Buying a Static Caravan’. To help guide you through your buying journey.

1 Consider the Space, Long Term

The first thing you should always look for when buying a static caravan is how much space it has.  Sometimes, it’s easy to know whether a caravan is big enough for you from one viewing. However, you are always going to need to plan ahead.  

If you don’t, you might end up with a home that’s too poky or even too spacious for you in the long run.

Think about how long you want to run your caravan for.  Is it likely to fit your long-term needs? Are there any larger items such as furniture, you want to bring into your caravan which is likely to need more space?

Will you be using the space for weeks at a time or just a long weekend here and there? 

It’s important to consider how you’ll be using the space and find a good balance. Don’t compromise too much nor stretch your budget too far on space you won’t make the most of.

2 Check Park Site Fees as a Priority

When you find the perfect holiday park to site your static caravan, you’re going to need to sign an agreement.  This agreement, between you and the park’s owners, will declare what you need to pay for while on-site. There are always going to be park fees you need to pay, as well as maintenance and running costs.

Therefore, when buying a static caravan, always make sure you have enough capital available to fund your lifestyle.  Fees will differ from park to park depending on where you choose to live.

For a more in-depth look at Park Fees – take a look at our ‘Holiday Parks and Site Fees Guide’

static caravan

3 Compare Static Caravan Insurance Rates

Before you buy a static caravan, always consider insurance.  Without it, you might have to pay huge fees for maintenance and repairs along the way.  May popular insurance carriers offer static caravan policies as standard. However, don’t be afraid to shop around.

Static caravan insurance rates will vary depending on what you need.  What are you using your caravan for? How big is it? What important assets will you hold on-site?  It pays to check price comparison sites as well as to speak to insurance vendors directly.

This can be a seemingly complicated topic, so take the time to get some advice – you can start by reading our ‘Caravan and Lodge Insurance Guide’ to help simplify things.

4 Consider Business Insurance

Are you going to let your holiday home to holiday renters?  You’ll need some business insurance. Before you even think about purchasing a static caravan, you should look into business protection and loss prevention.  What if your tenants damage your caravan to the point where it needs expensive repairs?

You should also think about investing in public liability insurance.  Should anything negative happen on your property, you might face liability.  This cover will make sure you have financial backing.

5 Compare Many Locations

It makes sense to keep your options open when looking for a static caravan.  As there are so many holiday parks dotted across the UK, it can be hard to narrow down your options.  However, we think you should keep an open mind.

Make a list of what’s most important to you and try to filter your many options this way. By knowing which things matter most, you’ll be able to find the location that best suits your wants/needs whilst only compromising on less important factors. 

You may be looking for a coastal escape.  Why not look at East and West Coasts? Don’t narrow yourself down to one or two areas.  It is a very quick way to disappoint yourself in the long run.

6 Read Park Reviews

All parks we list here at Sell My Group are leading names in their industry.  However, when buying a static caravan anywhere in the UK, it pays to have a little extra confidence.  Read what buyers and homeowners generally have to say about parks you’re interested in.

The best parks will be open and honest with reviews.  Word of mouth is valuable when you’re looking for a location that’s going to serve you for many years to come.

static caravans

7 Consider Second-Hand Caravans

Buying a brand new static caravan has plenty of obvious benefits and can certainly feel like a more exciting and appealing prospect – we all love shiny and new.

However, you shouldn’t discount the idea of buying a static caravan second-hand. As this option has some benefits too.

For example, second-hand caravans are likely to cost much less upfront.   Meaning you could get your dream escape for much less. Often sooner and giving you a budget to spend on other things – like changing existing furnishings to match your taste. 

However, do make sure you understand the likely costs of running and maintaining your caravan in the years to come. As with a new caravan, it’s important to fully understand what you’re buying. Unsure which option is best? In this article, we’ve compared the options for you.

8 Always Inspect Your Caravan

Whether new or second hand, you will need to make sure you know what works and if anything needs to take place.  It’s a very good idea to view and inspect a caravan in full before you buy.

Unfortunately, second-hand caravans do have problems that will need extra attention and financial investment.  Make sure you prepare fully and know what you are getting into.

9 Check Pitch Longevity

While some holiday parks have a rolling contract, the majority offer shorter terms – maybe fifteen, twenty or ninety-nine year leases.  Therefore, make sure you take this into account. If you are looking for a long-term option, discuss this with your potential park operator as soon as possible.

10 Be Clear and Honest with Park Operators

One of the best things you can do when buying a static caravan is to be clear and upfront with your potential park owners.  The agreement stage is going to be your best opportunity to ask questions. Therefore, plan ahead. Make a list of everything you need or want to know before you buy a caravan.

Honesty is, as they say, the best policy.  Hiding anything from a park operator is only going to result in a bad experience for everyone further down the line.

11 Consider Static Caravan Finance

If you can’t afford to buy a static caravan outright, it is worth considering finance options.  You can do this while shopping around for a caravan, or you can discuss these matters with a park owner.  In our collective opinion, it is worth approaching a park owner on finance.

Why?  They may be able to set you up with a specific deal through a financier they have a relationship with.  Of course, you should still be willing to look around and compare.

12 Think Carefully About When You Use a Static Caravan

We advise never to stay in a static caravan for long periods.  They are not built for permanent use. If your static caravan is on a park with a holiday license, you must not live there. That is why many people choose to buy lodges or park homes for residential or retirement living.  

13 Check the Park License

Not only is it not a great idea to live in a static caravan all year round, many parks simply won’t let you!  Parks with residential licences will allow you to pitch up permanently. However, most holiday parks will only have limited seasons.

It’s worth looking into season lengths with holiday parks.  These will tell you how long you can stay in a static caravan on-site.  It’s one of many things you’ll likely discuss during the agreement stages.

14 Speak to a Solicitor

You shouldn’t have to speak to a solicitor, but if you are unsure of the agreement, contact one.  Most static caravan agreements should be reasonably easy to understand.

However, in case there are any terms or conditions you are unsure of, it is worth making sure you have legal help on your side. Park agreements are legally binding documents.

So make sure you understand what you are signing.

static caravan in yorkshire

15 Set Yourself Reasonable Pricing Goals

The cost of a static caravan will indeed vary, as will park and pitch fees.  However, you should always be smart about what you can expect to pay. It’s not unreasonable to expect more than £100,000 for a top-end caravan!  At the very least, you should have £10,000 to £15,000 put aside. This is all before fees along the way, too!

Top-end caravans are feasible to buy on finance.  As stated above, it’s always worth discussing this option with a park owner.

16 Consider Your Long-Term Adventures

Many people buy a static caravan to get closer to the holiday resorts they love.  But what if you decide you want to move on? What if you want to explore wider regions?

It makes sense to look for parks with easy access to plenty of different towns, villages, sights and tourist attractions.  

Look for local amenities as standard.  However, road and public transport links are something you should always look around for if you want to go exploring.

17 Be Clear on Maintenance

Again, this is a point which should become clear during your agreements with a park.  What are your rights when it comes to maintaining a static caravan? What does your park expect from you?

It should be easy for you to see what a park expects from you.  However, the last thing you will want is to buy a static caravan you don’t have the time or energy to keep up to.  Read that agreement carefully!

18 Are You Buying a Static Caravan for You or For Other People?

Make sure you check that your park operator is clear on what you’re using a static caravan for.  In many cases, you can use your caravan for family. However, if you want to sub-let your caravan, specific rules will come into play.

If you’re running a business in this way, check that your park operators are clear and happy with such arrangements!  You should also make sure to let HM Revenue and Customs your intentions.

19 Are You Likely to Sell

Not many people look at buying a static caravan just to sell it on.  However, if you are likely to sell on after a few years, think about depreciation.  This is when your caravan will lose value over years to come. Depreciation can occur for any number of reasons.

For example, your location, or the quality of your caravan, may impact on how much it sells for.  It’s worth doing a little bit of research to understand what you can expect in this regard.

20 Take Your Time

Buying a static caravan is a process you never have to rush.  Ownership can be very exciting! However, rush too quickly, and you might end up tying into a deal you don’t want to be part of.

Take your time.  Take a look at some of the UK’s wonderful parks using our search engine here at Sell My Group.  Soon enough, you’ll find the perfect static caravan and spot for your needs – for many years to come.

About the Author

Justin Allitt is a knowledgeable expert on all things Park Home, Lodge and Static Caravan, with over 10 years of experience in the industry.

Since creating Sell My Group, Justin has helped hundreds of people find their dream holiday or residential park home by connecting buyers with their perfect property, park and location. Whilst growing a reputation as an authority on the topic and a trusted source of industry information.