Every year, hundreds of people in the UK purchase a used static caravan. Usually, this is to reduce the cost associated with purchasing a caravan unit.
Used static caravans come on the market when an owner decides to sell their static caravan, normally due to a change in a change in life circumstances, such as their children leaving home or the owner opting to move overseas. When this occurs, the owner will usually advertise the caravan online, in the local press, in specialist magazines or via the holiday park itself.
Buying a used or second hand caravan has more advantages than just price. Purchasing such units may allow you access to an in-demand park that would otherwise have no vacancies, or maybe to a magnificent pitch with excellent views that would have been difficult to acquire any other way.
With these sorts of benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why many customers have cited buying a “nearly new” model as a far more attractive option than purchasing brand new, just like buying a used car can be a better option for many people.
However, the lifespan of a used van will be rather more limited than that of a new model, and the unit is likely to generate less rental income than a new van, should you decide to sublet.
Most owners of used static caravans on holiday parks will have signed purchase and license agreements with the park, detailing the responsibilities of both the park and the owners. Included in this contract will be specific terms relating to any future sale of the van to a third party.
For example, the park may require that you make them aware of the sale and pay them commission on the sale price, although these rules will vary from park to park.
The contract will also feature comprehensive information that the caravan vendor may not tell you up front. Make sure that you retain all this information – as well as ownership cost details, including pitch fees and insurance – for future reference.
As the caravan price will be based on the value of the unit and the pitch combined, it can be difficult to obtain an accurate valuation, so having all this information handy will make the process more straight-forward and transparent.
When considering the purchase of a used caravan, always ensure that you talk to both the caravan owner and the park owner to ensure that both parties are happy with the sale. It is in the interest of park owners to attract new customers with new vans, so ensuring that they are happy with you moving into an existing unit is vital. You don’t want to spend good money on a caravan, only to find yourself in the middle of a dispute!
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the positives and negatives associated with the purchase of a second hand caravan...
- Lower purchase price than new.
- Caravan’s value will depreciate at a slower rate than that of a new unit.
- Can allow you to buy directly into a good park or pitch.
- May allow you to get a larger or higher specification van for your money.
- A used caravan will have a shorter lifespan and will need to be replaced sooner than a newer unit.
- The caravan will attract less rental income if you decide to sublet.
- The buying process can be complicated by the involvement of a third party.
- Valuations are tricky and can be unreliable.
- The van will have no warranty.
- It can be difficult to predict how the caravan will respond to the aging process over the coming years. For example, rust and corrosion may occur more quickly than in the unit’s early years.