Site fees and running costs

Buyers Guide To Static Caravan Site Fees and Running Costs

The demand for staycations has grown by as much as 45 per cent since the pandemic, so it is no surprise that many of us are considering buying a static caravan in the UK. It’s the perfect holiday home for couples and families, and as you can visit as often as you like, it is a lifestyle investment that will change the way you spend your free time for good.

With hundreds of static caravan parks across the UK, it is easy to find one that suits your budget and needs. But before you sign on the dotted line, you should consider the ongoing expenses that come with owning a static caravan, such as site fees and running costs.

When assessing the cost of ownership it is always worth considering the savings your are going to be making using the your holiday home rather than paying for oversea holidays or UK holiday accommodation. For larger families this can almost entirely offset costs of owning a caravan without the need to sublet.

In this buyers guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about static caravan site fees in the UK and provide you with top tips on how to offset some of the ongoing costs of your family holiday home by sub-letting and renting.

How Much Are Static Caravan Site Fees In The UK?

Static caravan site fees vary from park to park. They start at around £2,000 and go up to £10,000 and more, with averages ranging between £3,000 and £5,000 per year. How much you pay depends on location, park popularity, pitch size, onsite facilities, and where your caravan sits within the holiday park.

As an example: If you buy a large three bedroom static caravan with unobstructed sea views, you will pay higher site fees that you would for the same model in the centre of the park surrounded by others. Likewise, if you buy a static caravan in a holiday park with few facilities, you’ll pay less than you would at one of the UK’s leading parks with multiple onsite bars, restaurants, and attractions. There’s no one size fits all, and park operators charge different rates across the country. It all depends on the holiday home and holiday park that you choose.

When you visit your preferred holiday park or request an online quote, you’ll receive a complete breakdown of site fees, so you’ll know exactly where you stand before you sign on the dotted line. If your dream caravan is over budget, consider compromising with a smaller model or the same model in a different location, and you could save a significant amount on your annual site fees.

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What Do Static Caravan Site Fees Cover?

Static caravan site fees, referred to as pitch fees by some holiday park operators, cover the cost of keeping your holiday home in the park for the year. They also cover park maintenance, landscaping, street lighting, security, and your right to use onsite facilities. However, they do not include running costs such as water and electricity. We’ll cover these below.

As we’ve mentioned before, the more facilities a holiday park has, the higher your site fees will be, so this is something to consider when choosing a location for your holiday home.

When Are Caravan Site Fees Payable?

Site fees are payable annually in a lump sum, although most static caravan park operators allow you to pay in monthly instalments via a direct debit scheme.

If you buy a static caravan mid-season or towards the end of a calendar year, you’ll only pay a pro-rata amount of the annual fee. Get this in writing from the park, so you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay for the first year of ownership.

What Are The Costs Of Running A Static Caravan?

In addition to annual site fees, you will have to pay yearly running costs when you own a static caravan in the UK. These include water, electricity, gas, rates, sewerage, and fully-comprehensive insurance to protect your investment.

Most caravan parks use meter systems for utilities such as gas and electricity, so you’ll only pay for what you use. Park size, location, and facilities influence rates, water, and sewerage costs, so this varies from resort to resort.

Looking at the bigger picture there are other costs to take into account which we will run through here:

• Site Fees. These fees vary from park to park, and there is no standardised fee across the industry, however please see this article (link to site fee article) for more information

• Electricity- Park Holidays UK give an estimation of around £300 a year for your electric costs.

• Gas- you can either buy bottled gas on site, this is available at the majority of holiday park receptions and shops. If you prefer to buy it offsite and bring it with you, you just need to check the license agreement you have with the park. There is also the option of piped gas.

• Local Rates- This is a rate that is paid to the local authority and includes your water rates. Park Holidays UK says this costs typically around £292 a year. However be mindful that this price.

• Insurance- It is sensible with any big purchase to insure that item against any potential damage and the same goes for your well earned holiday home! Some park operators will offer insurance packages through approved insurers or you can source this yourself. You will need to make sure you are covered for the minimum of flood, fire and theft.

• Cost to get to the park- how far away are you considering purchasing your holiday home? Keep in mind fuel costs or any public transport costs involved e.g-tolls, ferries.

How to Offset Caravan Site Fees & Running Costs

While static caravans are more a lifestyle investment than a financial investment, it is possible to offset some of your annual site fees and running costs by sub-letting and renting out your holiday home when you are not using it. This is particularly beneficial during peak travel periods such as half- term, Easter, school summer holidays, and Christmas.

Most holiday parks in the UK provide caravan letting schemes, where they will rent out your holiday home on your behalf and take care of all the necessary paperwork. Some even offer a guaranteed income scheme, although this comes at a fee and you could lose the right to use your caravan during peak seasons.

You can use rental income to pay off a substantial chunk of your yearly fees, but of course, the more you rent it out, the less you can use it yourself, so it’s all about finding the perfect balance. Even with site fees and running costs, static caravans are a smart investment for family holidays. With a holiday home at your disposal to use as and when you please, you’ll never have to worry about travel bans, flight delays, and school-holiday price hikes. And that, as they say, is priceless.

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