Buying a Static Caravan - Purchasing Guide
Buying a static caravan is a big investment, so it's important to make sure you've done your research and making the right decision. We've put together our guide to help you choose the best caravan, on the right holiday park in the perfect location.
The location of your static caravan is arguably the most important factor when choosing a caravan park. You'll want to make sure that it's in a good location, and in an area that will keep you wanting to visit time and time again.
How long does it take to drive from home to the caravan on a Friday evening? We generally find that any journey more than 2 hours can lead to using the caravan less - which is not what you are buying a caravan for.
If you're looking for peace and quiet then consider getting away from busy areas by finding a caravan park more remote - but remember that this will mean travelling further if you need anything from town.
It can also be worth checking out public transport links before buying: some sites are very isolated so unless they have a bus service from the park, it might not be practical as a base for exploring if you do not have your own vehicle.
What type of holiday park is right for you?
There are many different types of holiday parks to choose from, each offering something unique. We can usually put parks in to three distinct categories.
All Singing All Dancing
Usually the bigger caravan parks are owned by larger corporations are the largest holiday parks you will come across. The 'all singing all dancing parks' have lots and lots of facilities including swimming pools, a choice of bars and restaurants, nightclubs, entertainment every night and usually staff dressed up as a furry mascot or singing on the stage dressed in a <insert brand colour> waistcoat.
These parks offer enough entertainment on the park that you do not need to leave.
More commercial than other holiday parks they can be much more expensive in site fees and in the initial purchase price of the caravan.
Family Owned with Facilities
If you're looking for a holiday park that offers the perfect balance between facilities and relaxation, then this type of park might be the perfect option.
If you want to enjoy the best of both worlds then this might be the best choice for you. Explore the local area and attractions but come back to the park for a beer on an evening.
Family owned parks are less commercial and if you want to talk to the boss - just go to the park office. It is a much more personal approach. Running costs are generally less as there are no public shareholders to please.
Rural Quiet Parks
Many caravan parks are located in beautiful rural locations where you can enjoy plenty of fresh air and exercise, as well as some time away from all things digital!
If you are looking for a quiet holiday and do not wish to have onsite facilities then these are the parks for you. Fancy a evening drink? Then open up a bottle of wine in your holiday home or walk to the nearby pub.
What size static caravan is right for you?
Before you start to look for a specific static caravan, it's important to think about the size. The number of people who will be using the caravan is a key factor in deciding what size caravan is right for you.
Our guide is... how many people will be using the caravan 95% of the time?
If the answer is less than 4 people then a two-bedroom caravan will be ideal. A three-bedroom caravan is slightly bigger, sleeping up to 6 people. All of our caravans have a pull out sofa bed in the lounge which can sleep 2 extra people if required.
We often hear that only 2 people will be using the caravan 95% of the time but very occasionally the whole family will be using the caravan. Of course this is your decision, but remember that by buying a caravan with more bedrooms than you need, you will be losing the living space and bedroom size that you can enjoy for the other 95% of the time. For that one time a year it may be better to use the sofa bed, and enjoy more space for the rest of the year.
You can view our current stock of caravans for sale in our Buy a Caravan section.
Once you have narrowed your choice down to the right location and the type of park then of course you have to think about the cost.
We have split this in to 2 categories - purchase price and running costs. During the buying process you can concentrate on the initial price and lose sight of how much the caravan will cost in the lifetime.
In my opinion the running costs is vastly more important than the purchase price. I am sure you plan to keep the caravan for 10 years or more... so get an idea of how much it will cost in the long run. It may surprise you how much difference it can make.
The initial purchase price of a static caravan can vary greatly. It depends on the type of caravan, location and size. Prices can vary from park to park even for the exact same caravan.
Set a budget for the overall purchase. Most parks include a year of site fees in the purchase price, for some it is on top. Do not be fooled by gimmicks or price reductions.
Calculate the overall price and weigh that in your calculations.
The overall running costs of the caravan can actually be vastly more important than the initial price of the caravan. Here are 2 examples in which we look at the cost of a caravan over a 10 year period - just using round figures to showcase the importance of running costs.
Purchase price = £30,000.00
Site Fees - £3,000.00 x 10 years = £30,000.00
Total Cost = £60,000.00
Purchase price = £25,000.00 (woo special offer - bargain!)
Site Fees - £5,000.00 x 10 years = £50,000.00
Total Cost = £75,000.00
This is just a straight forward example of why choosing the park for you is more important than choosing the caravan.
Of course these are the obvious reasons to find the right caravan on the right park. You can then look at the more intricate reasons to choose one park over another.
How long is the season? Is there an age limit on the caravan? Can I sublet? Can my family and friends use the caravan? What happens when I want to sell the caravan? What is the average increase in site fees? Are water rates included? Can I have a decking? Do we have to use park certified companies?
The list goes on....
We have another page with THE BIG QUESTIONS you should be asking. Take a look.
Top Tip - If you walk in to a caravan and do not like it - just walk back out - you will never like it. You will view too many caravans during the buying process to spend time looking at things you do not like.
Buying a static caravan is a big decision. It's important that you know what you're looking for and have done your research before going to visit the caravan parks. It can be overwhelming with so many options available, but if you have an idea of what type of holiday park or location suits your needs then it will make things easier when it comes down to making a purchase choice.
If you would like more information about purchasing a caravan on any of our holiday parks in Yorkshire please get in touch.