Buying a static caravan holiday home can be a good investment. Whether it is for your own use or for letting out, it’s always important to find the best fit. Buying a caravan outright isn’t just a case of finding the best model. There are many other factors and points to bear in mind, all of which will likely affect your experience later on down the line.
In this guide, read on to learn more about what you need to know when buying a static caravan holiday home before you put any money down.
Finding the perfect park for your static caravan may be difficult at first. There are scores of beautiful, practical holiday park locations up and down the UK. Some are based near the coast, others deep within the countryside.
You’ll need to think carefully about how the location of your caravan will impact your needs. Do you want to buy a static caravan holiday home that’s close to your family? Maybe you’d simply like to explore a coastal county. Or, if you are in the process of buying to let, you may be looking for a lucrative spot to host tenants.
It is worth researching available parks not only for pricing but for distance, too. It can be appealing to buy a static caravan holiday home on the other side of the country. However, do consider how practical this is going to be for you in the long run, especially if you are going to be acting as a landlord. You may need to head back to your caravan at short notice to help with problems or queries.
If you don’t drive, you will need to think about planning out a public transport route. If this is something you do regularly, and you don’t mind the journey, maximum opportunities will be open to you.
Once you’ve decided on a rough area for your holiday caravan, do look at parks in close detail. All holiday parks will be keen to encourage you to take up a plot, but there are a few markers you should be looking for to make sure your rights are protected.
A good way to gauge whether or not it will be worth buying a static caravan at a park will be to read reviews, and maybe even to stay for a few nights, where possible. ‘Try before you buy’ is generally good advice if an opportunity becomes available.
Do also check for park memberships. If a park is certified by the National Caravan Council, for example, you automatically know that certain rights will be protected and that the park is regulated. You should also look for British Holiday and Home Parks Association grades, too.
Do make sure you talk to the parks you are interested in. They will help you to find a plot and space which will appeal to your needs as well as your tastes. It is a good way to open up the negotiation, too, where you can start to appreciate what parks will be looking from you in return. All UK park operators and are receptive to new custom, and most will be very happy to discuss your buying plans upfront in detail.
Do also look at the local area. Are sites of interest easy to access? Is the park easy to get to? Consider your comfort and need for amenities, too. Are you looking for a family holiday resort or a quiet getaway? Be sure to do a little research on foot, as well as online before you buy your static caravan holiday home.
Before you start look at buying a static caravan, you should have a clear budget or financial plan in mind. Consider all the costs and fees which are likely to come into play during ownership. You won’t just have to pay for a caravan outright, but also for a park pitch, energy rates and upkeep, where required. For example, some parks will charge extra if you’d like them to retain and look after your caravan during winter. This is a good idea if you want to stop your caravan from freezing over. However, it is another cost to add to your spreadsheet.
This is also where you should clearly communicate with the park you’d like to buy with. What costs and fees are included with your initial purchase? What are the local authority rates applicable on-site? You may need to pay certain council rates, too.
Do also provision for insurance. static caravan holiday home and even business insurance rates, where applicable, are worth investing in. If you are letting out a static caravan, be sure to take out liability cover, too.
Think about how much you are going to need to spend on travel, too, going back and forth. Is it worth you paying out to head further afield than you can manage? If you are running a business, too, HM Revenue and Customs will expect you to pay tax on your earnings.
Budgeting in advance is crucial. Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with financial demand later on in time. A strong budget should let you know what you can expect from buying and running a static caravan, and whether or not it is feasible to do so right away.
An appealing avenue to consider when buying a static holiday home caravan is to look at finance options. This means, essentially, taking out a loan to cover your purchase. Many people buy static homes and caravans on this basis, which means there is certainly nothing to say you can’t go ahead.
However, do consider this option carefully. Compare and contrast leading lenders, and read verified reviews. Do also read all terms and conditions which come attached with the loan rates you are offered. Are you likely to be chasing your tail making repayments? Is it cheaper to cut your losses and buy outright? These are all points you are going to need to consider.
Finance can help make buying the perfect static holiday caravan a reality. However, there are always going to be some strings attached. Ask a financial advisor or bank account manager for more details if it is an option you are seriously considering.
Once budgeting is taken care of, it is time to start looking for the ideal static caravan. You shouldn’t just be looking at brand and model, though these are good points to start with.
A crucial point to consider is age. The older your caravan, the less time you will have left with it. As its age increases, so will the need for maintenance and repair. Buying a new static caravan holiday home outright will likely cost more upfront, but the costs may even out over years of use. Buying second hand will likely save you money upfront, but will it mean you save money in the long run.
Consider the size, space and amenities, too. Whether you are using your caravan yourself or are letting it will dictate what you are looking for. You should also be considering the number of rooms available, as well as features such as ovens, fridges, beds and lighting. Are they all up to the standard you expect?
Look at storage, too. Even if you are only using it for short breaks, a static caravan without much in the way of cupboards is going to be fairly awkward to use. Make sure to buy a static caravan which caters to your every need, and those you anticipate of your tenants if you’re letting.
Look for static caravans homes which are likely to endure years of use. Static caravans are serious investments – which means compromising on anything major should always be off the table.
If you are buying a pitch with a park operator, you may be able to choose where you’d like your static caravan holiday home to be sited. However, with some parks, there may not be so much flexibility. Do ask your operator and take a good look around the neighbourhood before you agree your pitch.
You should also take your time to look through a park agreement. If you contravene any of the rules in your agreement, you may be subject to legal action, fines, and even expulsion from the park itself. It is crucial that you understand any small print you receive. While all parks should provide you with a contract which is easy to understand, do make sure you are completely covered. For example, how are you covered if your caravan gets damaged on-site and it’s not your fault? Are fees and costs fully explained in the terms and conditions?
It is a good idea to ask a solicitor for help before signing any paperwork. It may not be possible for you to arrange legal support to be with you when signing, so, where possible, ask if you can retain a copy for you to look over with a solicitor. All reputable park operators will likely be happy to honour this request.
Finding, buying and setting up the perfect static caravan holiday home takes time, effort and money. It is a long-term investment which is going to need plenty of decision-making. If you are interested in setting up a static caravan at one of the wonderful holiday parks opening up across the UK, why not get started? Look for caravans, parks and deals which appeal to you, but don’t forget to budget, and to ask questions if you are unsure about anything.
For further reading, see our article on What Are the Costs of Owning a Static Caravan?