The final stage in buying a static caravan in the UK is signing all the necessary paperwork and this is normally completed at the end of the sales visit to the park. This is also the stage that you will normally complete the finance application if you are using the parks financing options.
Like any financial investment, there are contracts to sign, terms to agree to, and obligations to meet. To make sure you know what you are getting into, we have prepared this informative guide.
We’ll cover the agreements you need to sign, provide you with detailed information on pitch lease durations, and explain what happens during the handover meeting.
Although park operators will have individual procedures and documents we have complied a list of typical agreements that are used in the industry.
Buying A Caravan: The Paperwork
When you purchase your static caravan, you will normally have to sign a Purchase Agreement and a Pitch Licence Agreement. Some holiday parks may require that you sign an additional Pitch Improvement Policy if terms covering improvements and ornamentation do not feature in the original purchase agreement. Read all information carefully and receive independent legal advice if you require it.
If you have taken a finance policy through the holiday park, you will also have to sign these upon completing your caravan purchase. Here we’ll provide you with a brief overview of what these documents cover:
Caravan Purchase Agreement:
This will include…
• your details as the ‘buyer’
• the park owner details as the ‘seller’
• the caravan details (make, model, type),
• inventory of what’s included with the caravan such as kitchen ware, appliances, steps, and verandas etc
• the purchase price or payment plan if on finance and a comprehensive summery of park costs including site fees.
Caravan Pitch Licence Agreement: This document covers essential information such as how long you can keep your caravan on the pitch, your rights to replace it with a newer model, dates of when you can use it each year, and information on hiring it out, both independently and through the holiday park. It may also outline park rules, insurance obligations, and details of any commission payable to the park should you decide to sell your caravan while it is on their pitch.
Caravan Pitch Improvement Policy: Most UK holiday parks require that you sign a pitch improvement policy detailing what you can and cannot do in terms of adding verandas and awnings, installing storage units, landscaping, and ornamentation. As an owner, you are obliged to keep your caravan and pitch clean and well-maintained at all times, and you may need pre-approval for some improvements.
Caravan Finance Agreement: Your financial agreement, if applicable, will outline the terms already agreed with your sales representative. Read the small print to make sure you understand interest rates and any early repayment fees, and only sign if you are 100% satisfied with the terms and conditions of your caravan loan agreement.
Understanding Your Static Caravan Lease
How long you can keep your static caravan on the park depends on the duration of your lease.
The majority of leases are 15-20 years in the UK to tie in with the lifespan of a static caravan holiday home. There is sometimes an option to extend this period if the caravan is in good condition depending on the park and the agreement.
Some park agreements do not specify a time scale in years leaving this open-ended but they will have a clause that the caravan must be of acceptable condition.
Your holiday park sales representative will explain this during your site visit, and you'll find details in your pitch licence agreement.
So what happens when you come to the end of your caravan lease? There are several options available.
Many owners choose to upgrade their holiday before coming to the end of their lease, and in this case, it is a simple change of paperwork.
If you do not wish to move, you can ask your park to extend your lease as mentioned above.
You will also have the option to sell the holiday home to a caravan dealer when it reaches the end of the pitch lease and its lifespan. These companies are able to collect and store caravans and resell them for various uses such as accommodation for people building properties. Remember that caravans at this stage are nearing the end of their life so the value will be lower. Some owners also sell privately or move the static caravan to their home if they have space, but remember you will need to account for transportation cost and ensure the park is kept in the loop.
What To Look Out For In Your Owners Pack
Once you have signed all the relevant paperwork, you will generally receive a Static Caravan Owners Pack from the Holiday Park. The pack will include copies of all your agreements, and a wealth of information such as a list of local contacts, safety and security protocols, a map of the park, opening and closing times of onsite facilities, and details on maintaining your caravan and pitch.
Final Handover With the Caravan Park General Manager
Now that you have completed the sales process, you can look forward to getting your keys and your first holiday in your privately owned static caravan. The park general manager will normally complete the handover if you buy on a larger park by showing you to your new holiday home, handing over the keys, and answering any last-minute questions that you may have. This is great practice as it builds the relationship with them in case you have any issues that need to be dealt with in the future.
The only thing left to do is put the kettle on (or pop open the Champagne!) and enjoy what is likely to be the best lifestyle investment you have ever made.