If the thought of going to your favourite holiday destination whenever you want sounds appealing, buying a static caravan could be perfect.
You might already be dreaming about the benefits. When you own a static caravan, you can:
- Stay there as much as you like while the caravan park is open
- Make it feel like home by adding your own personal touches such as bedding, toiletries and books
- Cut down on the time it takes to pack and unpack because some of your belongings are already in the caravan
- Avoid the stress of airports and delayed flights
- Put your feet up, relax and focus on enjoying your holiday quickly
While there are many benefits of owning a static caravan, there are some things to consider too.
This is probably one of the most important things to think about. You might already have a location in mind. Perhaps it’s somewhere you know and love. Perhaps it’s somewhere you’ve dreamed of. When you’re thinking about location, it’s worth finding out:
- Are there any parks or attractions nearby to visit?
- How long does it take to get there from home?
- How much fuel will you need to get there and back?
Once you’ve decided on the location, you’ll want to think about the park itself. In some locations, there are a few holiday parks to choose from. Parks that are situated quite close to each other can still feel very different, depending on the size and facilities.
Some parks have swimming pools, play areas and entertainment designed to attract families with children. If you’re planning to holiday with children, this could be perfect. If you’d prefer somewhere quieter to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life, you might want to avoid parks with these facilities or plan your holidays during school term times.
Different parks have different rules too. For example, not all parks allow:
- Sub-letting to other people
You’ll need to find out what those rules are and decide whether that fits with what you want.
Some holiday parks are very remote. For some people, this is perfect. However, if you enjoy going to buy a newspaper each morning, it might not be perfect for you.
Is the park or location prone to flooding? If it is, you’ll want to know how high the risk is. It’s something insurance companies will ask about too.
When you’re viewing caravan parks, make sure you ask whether there is a history of flooding or storm damage at the park. In England and Scotland, there are websites where you can enter the site postcode to find out about flooding. Wales and Northern Ireland have interactive maps which you can zoom in and out of to see where there are areas at risk of flooding.
As well as the price of the static caravan itself, there are other costs to consider when buying a static caravan. These include:
- VAT which is currently set at 5%
- Site commission, a premium usually added by the site owners for handling the purchase
If your caravan is new, you might also need to pay for it to be transported to the holiday park and then connected to electric and gas on site.
After you’ve bought your static caravan, you’ll need to budget for:
- Fees charged by the site owners to pay for the upkeep of shared facilities
- Gas, electric, water and sewage
You might also need to buy a separate TV licence if anyone is going to be staying at your home while you’re away. The holiday park owners might also require you to service the boiler in your caravan once a year.
You won’t need to pay for council tax for your static home because it isn’t your permanent residence.
Imagine yourself in ten years’ time. What sort of holidays will you have? Will your static caravan still meet your needs?
When planning ahead, you’ll also need to consider the age of your static caravan and how long you’re allowed to keep it on site. Some holiday parks have limits whereas others don’t.
If you do decide to buy a static caravan, you might want to consider including a member of your family as a joint owner. That way, if you decide not to continue owning your caravan in future, it can be passed on to them with little or no financial penalty. You might also want to consider including your caravan in your will.