Guide to buying a static caravan

Static caravans are perfect for staycations, with holiday parks located all across the UK. You can use them for weekend getaways, a holiday home, or to generate income when you’re not visiting yourself. Of course, with so many models available from a range of brands, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there when looking to buy one.

guide to buying static caravans uk

What to consider when buying a static caravan

As should be the case when making any major purchase, it’s important to research and consider exactly what you want from your static caravan, both in terms of features and location. To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a useful guide to buying a static caravan.

What will you be using it for?

Are you intending your static caravan to be a holiday home as your UK getaway, or will you be staying there for a longer period of time? Perhaps you’re buying a static caravan to rent it out?

Whatever your reason for purchasing a static caravan, be sure to consider how much time you’ll be spending there and the essential features you’ll require during your stay.

Location, location, location

Static caravans are usually located in purpose-designed parks or resorts, where there may be other facilities onsite, such as a shop, restaurant, bar, and children’s play area. You should look to find somewhere you enjoy visiting a lot with a variety of amenities and attractions nearby; after all, your static caravan will be somewhere you spend many weekends and holidays, so you’ll need to love its location!

There are around 6,000 parks around the UK, so there are certainly a lot of options to choose from. However, bear in mind that while some are open all year round, many close for one to four months over winter, so check you’ll be able to get into your caravan at the time(s) you’d like.

Work out your budget – and use it wisely

A static caravan can cost anything from £15,000 to over £100,000. Fortunately, there are models available suitable for most budgets and tastes. When considering your options, think about how often you’ll be visiting and using your caravan. For instance, will you be inviting extended family members to stay with you? Will you allow family and friends to use it when you’re not there?

Other considerations include whether you’re planning to let the caravan, as well as if anyone who’ll be using it has any accessibility requirements. You’ll also have to weigh up costs against your personal design preferences, furniture and appliances, and the areas in which you’d like to have the most space. All of these factors have cost implications and will influence your budget in some shape or form.

Think about the size and layout

Make sure there is enough room for everyone to move around the caravan comfortably, as well as space to store their possessions. Consider how many people will be staying there regularly, along with how many visitors you may have.

Then, think about what each person will require, such as bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen facilities. Be sure to keep your budget in mind when assessing space requirements, as this will affect the type of static caravan you’ll be able to afford.

Don’t overlook facilities for children and pets

If you have children or grandchildren, you should look for parks that benefit from having playgrounds and a creche (or similar form of childcare facilities).

When it comes to pets, the majority of sites welcome dogs, although there are some exceptions, so if you are an animal owner, it’s well worth finding before making a purchasing decision.

Ongoing pitch costs and site fees

Although you can buy your static caravan and own it outright, parks will usually charge an annual site fee for the plot of land it is sited on. These fees often vary, depending on the location, size of plot and amount of facilities on site, but are usually your biggest ongoing expense.

It can be prudent to compare site fees between similar parks, as well as find out how often they increase the price. Speaking to other static caravan owners based on the holiday park can help with your research in this instance.

Additional costs: Utilities and maintenance

On top of site fees, you’ll also need to budget for utility bills, such as gas and electricity.

Most static caravans are connected to mains drainage, water and electricity, while gas can either be mains supplied or bottled. Your utility bills will be paid to the park, whose owners cannot mark them up, except for a small admin charge.

When choosing your static caravan, look for a model with a modern heating system and good thermal insulation, as this will contribute to keeping your bills low.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to set aside some money to maintain your static caravan to minimise the risk of damage from the elements, especially during longer spells of poor weather.

Some parks may also charge for draining your caravan down before winter, so this is another potential cost to be aware of.

Are you thinking of letting out your static caravan?

Many people buy a static caravan intending to let it to others, especially during the holiday season. However, before committing to this, consult the park rules and regulations regarding subletting.

Parks sometimes have limits in place regarding how often a caravan can be let out, or stipulate certain maintenance standards have to be met beforehand. Some may manage letting out your caravan out for you (at cost) or they may not allow subletting at all. Again, research this thoroughly in advance so that you don’t fall foul of any restrictions.

Do you want to live in your static caravan all year round?

When it comes to caravans situated on parks that are only licensed for holiday use, nobody is permitted to live in them as their permanent residence. If you buy a static caravan, you cannot live in it unless the planning permission or site licence allows both residential use of the site by some, or all, of the residents, and for caravans to be stationed on the site all year round.

Potential static caravan owners need to check their paperwork before purchasing, as well as the site’s planning permission and licensing requirements. You run the risk of eviction if you’re treating a holiday caravan as your main residence, either on a site licensed for holiday use only or if stationed on the non-residential part of a mixed-use site. If in doubt, seek legal advice before parting with your money.

Get static caravan insurance

Although static caravan insurance is not a legal requirement, it is highly recommended, as they are susceptible to damage from storms or floods and are vulnerable to damage from frozen or burst pipes that result in water escaping, especially in the winter. Plus, they are often left unattended for long periods, leaving them more vulnerable to break-ins and thefts.

Even the most diligent and careful static caravan owners can suffer accidents or damage – and that’s why it’s important to have specialist insurance cover that will cover the costs if the worst does happen.

Make sure you have considered all the costs and properly estimated your cover requirements (our handy guide will help), as well as ensure you’re comparing like for like when looking at providers.

Plus, be aware your chosen park or site is likely to request proof of insurance and most will insist on a public Indemnity cover of at least £5M.

Static caravans are becoming increasingly popular, but they are a big ticket purchase that requires a lot of research. Be sure to factor in the key considerations we’ve outlined before parting with your hard-earned cash. Finally, as soon as you’ve bought your static caravan, don’t forget to protect it by taking out a suitable insurance policy.

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