My Holiday Caravan Buyers Guide
If you are considering buying a static caravan holiday home on a UK Park, we have compiled our key information gained from the industry and user feedback to produce this easy to use interactive online guide.
A static caravan holiday home can be a fantastic investment for your family to enjoy for many years. As with any major purchase, you need to do your research and ensure 'ownership' is the right decision for you
Owners who get the most from their ownership experience use their holiday home on a regular basis as a key part of their family life
- Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
- Do you enjoy caravans and park holidays?
- Do you intend to take short breaks and holidays through the year?
- Do you want to share a holiday home with your friends and family?
Is it right for me?
Caravan ownership isn't for everyone.
At My Holiday Caravan we believe there are a number of reasons to avoid ownership
Making a plan
Most buyers will begin their search by looking for a suitable holiday park on which their caravan holiday home will be based. This is the key to successful ownership, remember you may be on the park for 20 years or more!
Before beginning your search, make a detailed plan of possible parks to help with your decision.
Choosing the right park
Choosing the right park is the most important aspect of your decision. Be sure to consider the type of park you require, and the facilities available for you and your family.
Don't forget to set a budget either.
Consider attractions and the wider local area.
Understand drive times and fuel cost implications, particularly if taking lots of short breaks.
Many owners believe under two hours drive from home is preferable.
Always consider what you can do with children if the weather is poor. Many facilities on parks are free for owners, its included in your site fees.
- Are there any must have facilities?
E.g. Indoor Pool, Kids Club, Sports Bar
- Do you need a pet friendly park?
- How long is the open season? Most parks close mid-winter!
- Is it within budget?
Choosing your first caravan
Based on your budget, you must now choose a caravan to purchase from your chosen park's sales team.
The first decision is between buying new or used. The latter offers a cheap entry-level price, but may not include more modern features such as double glazing or central heating.
Also consider the size of the caravan, and how many bedrooms you will require
- Some parks now negotiate great deals on new caravans due to bulk buying
- Newer caravans tend to have better insulation reducing running costs
- Owners tell us that if you wish to use the caravan outside of summer months, double glazing and central heating are a must
What are the running costs?
Ensure you understand the running costs of your holiday home before you purchase.
The parks should outline these in detail for you, as most costs are typical across the industry.
Site Fees - Paid annually to the park for siting the caravan on a pitch and includes upkeep of the park and use of all its facilities. Costs vary depending on the parks facilities and desirability
Gas - Normally supplied by the bottle or mains link from the park supply via a meter. Costs depend on usage
Electricity - Again a metered service and costs depend on usage
Insurance - You will need to insure your caravan and contents with many specialist companies offering online quotes
Finance - if you purchase your holiday caravan on finance, remember to factor in interest payments
Remember to factor in the costs you would have been paying if you were renting a caravan for holidays
Subsidising your costs
Many owners will subsidise the cost of ownership by subletting their holiday home to others when they do not require it. As an owner you can sublet your caravan privately or via the holiday park.
This 'income' is generally used to help towards running costs and not as a profit making exercise
Many parks will manage the subletting process for you, from booking to cleaning after use, taking a commission from the rental cost. As an owner you are also free to sublet directly if you so wish.
- Sub-letting will reduce the time you can use your holiday home
- People do not always treat your caravan with the same care as you!
- Rental yield will be much higher if you let in key summer months
Modern holiday homes need very little maintenance and pitch upkeep such as grass cutting will be completed by the park. Be aware your caravan will need to be winterised before the closed season
Jet wash your caravan annually to get rid of exterior mould and algae.
Completing your purchase
It's all in the details
Once you have decided on your park, pitch and caravan, and are happy with the costs you are ready to finalise the deal.
All reputable parks will give you a pitch agreement that outlines both parties responsibilities.
A typical agreement will outlines key areas such as:
- Site fees
- Pet policies
- Length of lease for pitch
- Complaint handling
- Many buyers seek legal advice before signing contracts
- Look out for parks that are members of the National Caravan Council Approved Scheme for added protection.
Thinking of selling?
The policy for selling your holiday home should be outlined in your pitch agreement. Many parks will allow you to sell your caravan privately or via their sales team taking a commission of around 15%.
Buying a caravan and selling in the short term is not a good idea financially, make sure ownership is for you first!
You are now ready to start your search. Many buyers use the internet to do a bit of "sleuthing" from the comfort of their armchair. Be sure to make a short list of preferred parks and arrange to visit them.
Booking a sales visit in advance ensures that a representative will show you the park and available pitches for your holiday home. Generally you will choose from pitches that are vacant, so consider quality of window views and proximity to facilities
Our website allows you to search park and caravans, along with prices, across 200+ parks and 10,000 caravans. Why not use it?