Buying a static caravan on a UK park is a lifestyle investment that puts you in charge of your holidays.
My Holiday Caravan has been helping buyers find their dream holiday home since 2004; and to facilitate the process for you, we have compiled this Buyers Guide based on over 15-years industry experience. It includes invaluable advice, top tips from our expert teams, and various checklists to help you avoid the common pitfalls that many people make and purchase your perfect caravan in just a few simple steps.
Is a static caravan right for you? Which UK holiday park best suits your needs? Let’s find out!
Top Tips To Consider Before Buying A Static Caravan
Staycations are on the rise and UK holiday homes are more popular than ever before. They can be a fantastic lifestyle investment for couples and families alike, but there is much to consider before buying.
A holiday caravan is a luxury that comes with substantial financial obligations, so it is essential that you do your homework, online research, and calculate your finances to make sure ownership is the right choice for you.
You will also need to consider the saving you will make if you are not paying for annual overseas holidays of UK holiday accommodation, this can be significant especially if you have a large family!
Create a checklist and ask yourself questions such as:
• How often will you use it?
• Is it something that you can share with family and friends?
• Is it affordable?
Armed with your answers, you'll be ready to move to the next step in the process, which is making a detailed plan.
Buying A Static Caravan: Make A Detailed Plan
If you have decided that a static caravan is a good choice for your future holidays, it is time to make a detailed plan, much like you would if you were buying a new home, sports car, or boat. You will be holidaying there for 10 to 20 years plus, so it is not something to rush into without careful consideration. When making your plan, you should:
• Choose a holiday home location
• Set your budget – how much do you want to spend and, what can you comfortably afford?
• Decide if you want to purchase a new or second-hand caravan
With a clear idea of what you want to buy, where you want to buy it, and how much you can afford, you can move to the next step of choosing a caravan park.
Choosing The Right Park For Your Static Caravan
There are thousands of holiday parks in the UK, so how do you choose the right one for your static caravan? Location is everything. Experience shows us that people who buy closer to home, within 2 or 3 hours driving distance, are likely to use it more often and get the most out of their investment. When narrowing down your search, we recommend that you:
• Create a shortlist of your favourite locations and view them before you commit
• Ensure the area will keep you coming back for holidays and short breaks
• Decide on the type of park you want – family-friendly, quiet retreat, beach, rural etc.
Does it have the onsite facilities that you need? Is it disabled-friendly? Does it open all year round? Choosing the right holiday park for your family is crucial, so consider your options carefully before you start to look for a static caravan pitch.
Choosing The Right Pitch For Your Static Caravan
The pitch is the ground on which your static caravan sits. Think of it as your little piece of paradise. Choosing the right one is essential if you want to get the most out of your holiday home but, those in prime positions such as beachfront locations have considerably higher site fees than those without views, so this is something to consider. When choosing your static caravan pitch, we recommend:
• Viewing the various pitch sites available in your chosen holiday park
• Getting a full breakdown of site fees for each pitch
• Consider the distance to park facilities
Do you want to be near onsite facilities such as kids clubs and restaurants, or do you want to be away from the crowds? Are you willing to pay more for a good view?
Choosing The Right Caravan & Lodge
There are two main holiday home options in the UK, static caravans and lodges. Your budget will likely be a determining factor here with holiday lodges costing considerably more than caravans but, it is possible to secure used models at reduced rates. Before deciding, you need to create a checklist covering:
• What size do you need for your family’s long terms needs?
• New or used – consider your options?
• The advantages and disadvantages of static caravans and holiday lodges
You should also consider size, the number of bedrooms, annual site fees, running costs, and features such as central heating and double glazing when choosing a static caravan. It’s going to be your home away from home so, make sure it has everything you need.
Static Caravan Finance
Unless you are a cash-buyer with funds at your disposal, you’ll likely need some form of finance to cover the cost of your static caravan. There are many options available to UK residents, particularly those with a good credit rating, but it is a good idea to shop around to make sure you get the best loan with the lowest interest rates. You can secure finance by:
• Taking out a finance package with your Holiday Park’s approved lender
• Taking out and independent loan
When calculating your monthly finance instalments, remember to factor in additional costs such as your annual site fees, caravan utilities, rates, and insurance. Also, consider any income you may make from sub-letting or renting out your holiday home, but do not rely on it when making you final calculations.
Static Caravan Site Fees & Running Costs
Owning a static caravan is a lifelong dream for many, but as we’ve mentioned before it is a luxury that comes with financial obligations. Before you purchase, you should calculate exactly how much you will have to pay each year for static caravan site fees and running costs, which include:
• Pitch (site) fees - paid annual or monthly by Direct Debit
• Utilities – gas bottles and metered electricity
• Water, rates, and sewerage – calculated by the local authority and charged annually
You will have to pay these fees in addition to any finance and insurance instalments. You may be able to subsidise or offset some of these costs by renting out your static caravan when you are not using it, but you should not rely on rental income to make your purchase affordable. It is never guaranteed.
Remember you will also save on your annual holiday costs.
Caravan Sales Process: How It Works
Now that you have decided that a static caravan is perfect for your future holidays, it is time to complete your purchase. The best way to do this is to arrange an appointment with a holiday park representative who will take you through the entire process, which includes:
• Getting to know the area
• Viewing the park, pitches, caravans, and onsite facilities
• Show you the annual running costs
• Securing finance with the park’s approved lenders if necessary
During the sales process, you should discuss your expectations with the sales representative and ask them to answer any questions that you may have. We recommended compiling a checklist of questions so that you do not forget anything on the day.
Completing Your Caravan Purchase
The final step in buying a static caravan or holiday lodge is signing all the necessary agreements and paperwork. You’ll do this onsite at the holiday park with a park representative, who will explain each of the documents in detail, cover details of your lease and provide you with an owners pack. During your appointment, you can expect to sign:
• Caravan purchase agreement
• Caravan pitch agreement
• Caravan finance agreement (if applicable)
Once you have signed all the paperwork, you can set up an appointment with the park general manager, who will show you around your new holiday home and give you your keys as part of the handover process. You are now a proud static caravan owner – enjoy every minute!