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Static Caravans: A Buyer's Guide


Contents:

An Introduction to Our Static Caravan Buyer's Guide

  1. Selecting a Region for Your Static Caravan

The first step in the caravan buying process is picking out the area where you want your caravan to be located. In this section, we will cover how to refine your desired location by asking yourself simple questions like how far are you willing to travel and how often will you be using your static caravan.

  1. Finding the Right Static Caravan Park

Having decided on the right region for you, the second step is to refine your location further and choose a caravan park in that area which suits your needs. This section will look at questions you should be asking, including what facilities does your dream caravan park need to have and what attractions are in the local area.

  1. Selecting a Static Caravan

With a caravan park chosen, the third step is to pick out your dream caravan. This section will cover budgeting as well as what facilities and details to look for when you're researching the available caravan options.

  1. Purchasing Your Static Caravan

With your perfect caravan selected, it's time to take the biggest step and actually make the purchase. This is the fourth step of the process and in this section, we will look at caravan ownership fees as well as purchase agreements and optimal buying times.

  1. Post-Purchase Considerations

Finally, the fifth stage of our guide contains a few final tips to consider now that you've bought your static caravan, including caravan park etiquette and those all-important homely touches.

Conclusion


An Introduction to Our Static Caravan Buyer's Guide

Static caravans are some of the most popular holiday homes in the world for countless different reasons. They're affordable, they're located in places of outstanding natural beauty and they offer a peaceful, simple lifestyle that many people crave. The only question is this - how do you go about investing in a static caravan and what should you consider when looking into purchasing one?

Here at Allens Caravans, we have been at the forefront of the British caravan industry since our foundation in the mid-1930s, creating some of the most popular static caravan holiday parks in the UK. Our experience has positioned us as one of the leading experts on caravan park systems, which is why we have compiled our team's years of knowledge into this comprehensive guide covering everything there is to know about buying a static caravan.

We are going to cover all of the essentials that you need to consider when purchasing a static caravan, from finding a caravan park to selecting the right static caravan for you and making a purchase.

Don't forget to bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you're unsure about any part of the static caravan buying process!

The First Steps

So, you've decided to look into purchasing a static caravan holiday home; now it's time to begin your research - but where do you start? Well, the best way to break down your research is to start wide and then focus down. Begin by creating a loose set of guidelines for the location of your static caravan, then, using these guidelines, select a region you would like your caravan to be located in. From here it's easy to start looking at caravan parks in the area and once a caravan park looks suitable, you can find the perfect static caravan.

With this methodical approach, you should be able to pick out a location in no time at all! So, without further ado, let's get into the guide and start at the beginning - selecting a region.


1.    Selecting a Region for Your Static Caravan

When we reference a ‘region' for your static caravan we mean the area where you would like your caravan to be situated. This is impacted by all sorts of different variables and changes depending on your personal needs and tastes. However, there are certain questions that you will need to ask to decide where your caravan should be located, which we have outlined below.

How Far Do You Want to Travel?

The first point to discuss is how far you are willing to travel in order to reach your static caravan. You may be willing to travel across the country in order to reach your holiday destination, in which case, distance isn't an issue for you. On the other hand, many people prefer to avoid travelling too far from their home to reach their static caravan. If this is you, it's a good idea to decide on the maximum amount of time you'd be happy to travel and simply discount any locations outside your range - this should also cut down your choices nicely.

How Are You Going to Get to Your Static Caravan?

Will you be driving yourself there? Catching a train? Or if you're going a long distance, you might even need to fly! This is an important factor to consider because it will impact how close your chosen caravan park is to important transport links. If you intend to access your static caravan by public transport, then you will need to make sure that there is a train or bus station nearby and if you're going a long distance, then you'll need to check airport locations too.

Will There Be Multiple Users?

Many people purchase a static caravan holiday home with the intention of not just using it themselves, but also sharing it with their family and friends. If you intend to share your static caravan with others, then you will need to keep their needs in mind too. Focus on what region your new static caravan will need to be in so that it's easily accessible for all. If you can't find an appropriate area, it might be a good idea to consult all of the future users and make a decision together. After all, it's always best to keep everyone in mind when you're making decisions like these.

How Often Will You Be Going - and for How Long?

The duration of your stays will impact exactly where you want your static caravan to be located. If you intend to take lots of short, regular breaks throughout the year, then it makes no sense for your caravan to be located five hours' drive away. On the flip side, if you intend to visit your static caravan holiday home for weeks at a time or only a few times per year, then a longer travel time doesn't matter so much because it won't be such a regular journey. It's these subtle details that people usually forget but you should try to consider when making your choice.

Summary

The first step in the static caravan buying process is locating a region where you would like your static caravan to be located. You can do this by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • How far am I willing to travel?
  • How am I going to travel to my caravan?
  • Will multiple people be using my caravan?
  • How often will I be staying in my caravan and for how long?



2.    Finding the Right Static Caravan Park

After locating the best area for your static caravan to be located, it's time to start researching that region and finding the perfect caravan park for you. Here is what you need to consider when investigating the options.

Do You Want to Be Near a Town, National Park, or the Coast?

What is the number one feature that your caravan park needs to have nearby? A town comes with the added benefit of offering increased travel connections and local services, whilst the coast or a national park opens the door to nature-based activities and new experiences. Decide what matters most to you and note it down.

What Facilities Does the Park Have?

Almost all caravan parks have their own dedicated facilities onsite, but what these facilities include varies greatly between caravan parks. The first thing to do is check the park's rules on utilities like water, gas and electricity. Most static caravans will have mains electricity and a constant water supply but will use gas canisters for their cookers. Ensure that you find out the specifics of the park you're considering before committing to purchasing a caravan.

After the essentials are out of the way, you can look into the non-essential park facilities, including leisure and community spaces. To make sure you're happy, it's a good idea to write down the facilities you really want and then narrow your search to include only these facilities. Similarly, it's important to consider the needs of others who will be using your caravan, as many parks which are more family-focused might also have a children's playground or games room to keep the little ones busy! 

What are the Local Attractions?

Having thought about the facilities within the park, it's also important to consider what attractions are available in the area around the park. Static caravan owners rarely spend every second of every day in the holiday park - most will also spend time enjoying the opportunities available in the vicinity of the park too.

The variety of available activities in the area is largely dependent on the caravan park's location, so expect for your list of potential caravan parks to be cut down after this stage of the research process. Here are a few popular types of activities that you might be interested in pursuing and what to look for in the surrounding area to ensure you will be able to enjoy them to your heart's content.

Historical and Cultural Sites

Many holidaymakers love to explore new historical or cultural locations during their time away. Whilst most people might associate historical sites with big cities, there are plenty of less well-known villages brimming with history. If this sounds like what you would enjoy during your holiday, then research what's in the area surrounding your potential caravan park. Keep an eye out for walking tours as these can be particularly great for introducing you to local points of interest on your first visit.

Leisure Facilities

Just because most of the facilities within the caravan park will be leisure-focused, that doesn't mean you can't take the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing break! If you're interested in leisure facilities, it's advisable to find a caravan park that is near to a town or has easy connections to major cities as these will open many more doors for you during your holidays.

Outdoor Adventure Activities

Finally, if you love to explore and adventure through nature, then you should look for rural or coastal caravan parks. In these locations, many caravan parks run their own adventure tours and activities, but be sure to research what's available outside of the park, too. Similarly, make sure that you investigate any walking or cycling trails in the local area for you to discover on your own. Most of the time, the best experiences are the ones that you stumble upon or organise yourself.

Are You Looking for Peace and Quiet?

If the aim of your static caravan purchase is to have somewhere to turn off and relax, then you should keep an eye on the rules of the caravan park that you choose. Many caravan parks implement curfews and rules to ensure that there is a peaceful experience for everyone. Some are also adult-only for the ultimate tranquil holiday experience. Make sure that you learn the rules and regulations at your potential caravan park and furthermore, check the proximity of the park to major roads as this will also affect the peacefulness of the setting.

Will Your Children/Grandchildren Be Visiting?

Whilst some caravan parks are adult-only, others are more focused on a family-friendly experience. If you think that young children will be visiting your static caravan holiday home, then you need to make sure that they will stay entertained within the caravan park. To this end, check out the park facilities and search for child-friendly activities and services in the nearby area to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable holiday!

Do You Have Pets?

Another thing to keep in mind is that some static caravans have rules around pets. Some only allow specific pets, others allow all pets and some allow none at all. If you intend to bring your pet on holiday with you, it's essential that you check the rules of the holiday park before making your static caravan purchase.

Does the Caravan Park Have an Owners' Association?

Many caravan parks have owners' associations where all of the residents work together to ensure a good park environment. This is a great way to get your questions answered by people who already own a static caravan on the park, as well as gaining a better idea of what other people in the caravan park are like. The park operators will know if an owners' association exists and will be able to point you in the right direction if you are interested.

Make an Appointment to Visit

Regardless of what style of caravan park you're dealing with, whether it ticks all of your boxes or whether it only has a few things you like, always try to pay your prospective caravan parks a visit. You are going to be purchasing a static caravan where you will regularly go on holiday, which means it's essential that you love the environment you will be in. The only way to truly get an understanding of the park's system, style and feeling is to pay it a visit.

Many parks enable prospective buyers to visit and receive a tour through the park with a representative; this is perfect as it allows you to ask the most important questions first hand. We'll get onto the most important caravan related questions in the next section.

Summary

The second step in your static caravan buying process is finding the right caravan park for you. When researching and choosing your caravan park, keep some of these factors and questions in mind:

  • What local attractions are important to you?
  • What facilities does the park have?
  • Are you looking for a peaceful holiday home or an exciting, family-friendly one?
  • Do you have a pet that you will bring along?
  • Will you be having visitors at your static caravan and are the park's facilities suitable for these visitors?
  • Does the caravan park have an owners' association?
  • Have you visited the park yet? 

3.    Selecting a Static Caravan

Having picked out the caravan park that suits your needs, it's time to get into the finer details and discover the perfect static caravan for you. Here is what you will need to look at and keep in mind when making this decision.

What is Your Budget?

Your budget is obviously the most important part of the purchasing process. It's essential that you consider not only your budget for buying the static caravan itself, but also the monthly fees that you will incur after its purchase (we will discuss how much they are in the next section). For now, let's focus on the price of the caravan itself.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to give you a solid estimation of the price of a static caravan simply because of the variables involved. Depending on the model, size, age and more, your static caravan can vary significantly in cost. As a result, it's important to set yourself a budget and stick to it. 

Check the Essential Facilities First

Your static caravan will be your home away from home so it's important that the essentials suit your needs. Everyone has different personal preferences and home comforts that they can't live without, so the first thing to do is check that the fundamental facilities include everything you need.

Kitchen

Kitchens vary from caravan to caravan based on variables including specification, size, price and quality. Usually, the primary variations are the appliances and the amount of storage space, but regardless of what the specification says, ensure that you visit the caravan and see the kitchen for yourself. That's the best way to be sure that you will like it.

Bathroom

The size of the bathroom can be a big factor for potential buyers. After all, the storage space within the bathroom, as well as shower and bath choices, can all play a part in price. Decide what bathroom features you need and base your research off these requirements.

Bedrooms

Finally, the number of bedrooms has a large impact on price and suitability. Some static caravans also include additional sofa beds, which can be beneficial if you will have people visiting during your stay. Again, we always recommend visiting the caravan before purchasing, just as you would visit a house you were going to buy.

How Big Does Your Static Caravan Need to Be?

This is usually the first question that people consider, asking themselves, "what size should my static caravan be?" The most important point to consider is the number of bedrooms, as this indicates the maximum number of people who can comfortably stay in the caravan. Saying this, the layout of a static caravan can have a big impact on how spacious it feels, so don't forget to bear that in mind too.

Where is the Static Caravan Located on the Park?

The position of your static caravan on the park can have a big impact on your overall enjoyment during your stay. Firstly, proximity to the park's facilities or communal areas can make for high noise levels, so if you want a peaceful experience you should avoid these positions. On the flip side, if you want to be within touching distance of everything the park has to offer, then it's important to check that your static caravan is suitably situated.

Other positioning-related details to consider are the views available from your caravan and whether it is near the park entrance or other location dependent features. 

Summary

The third step in your static caravan buying process is picking out a caravan. This involves a lot of research, visiting and investigation, so here are some questions you should be asking yourself and the park representative.

  • What is your budget?
  • Do the essential facilities of the static caravan meet your needs?
  • Are you happy with the caravan's non-essential facilities?
  • Is the static caravan big enough for you, your family and your belongings?
  • Is the caravan in a good position within the layout of the park?

4.    Purchasing Your Static Caravan

Now that you have picked out the static caravan you want to buy, it's time to actually make the purchase. In this section, we will work through tips for buying your caravan, as well as costs to consider when making the purchase.

When to Buy a Static Caravan

Just like properties in any industry, static caravan prices fluctuate based on a large number of factors. In the caravan industry, the most drastic pricing shifts occur based on the time of year. It's also worth considering that some caravan parks close during the colder winter months, so representatives may not be available to discuss your options or give you a tour of the park during the off-season. 

What are Your Monthly Running Costs?

This is an aspect of static caravan ownership that people regularly forget, but it must be considered before making your purchase. In the same way as purchasing a house involves maintenance and monthly fees, owning a static caravan requires the same. Here are the costs you will need to consider and calculate before finalising your purchase.

Pitch/Site Fees

The land that a static caravan is situated on is called a pitch. Whilst you own the static caravan itself, the caravan park may still charge you ‘rent' to have your caravan situated on their land. This is called a pitch or site fee and can vary in price depending on the size of your caravan, the park you're staying on and the services that you are being offered. 

Utilities

You will need to pay for the utilities that you use in your static caravan. Just like your home, this includes water, gas and electricity, so make sure to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for your static caravan.

Caravan Insurance

Whilst caravan insurance isn't always compulsory, it's an incredibly good idea. Caravan insurance covers any parts or items that need to be repaired and replaced within your caravan due to damage. The terms and price of the caravan insurance vary depending on your provider but it's a good idea to do some research into what you can afford, or ask your caravan park representative for their suggestions.

Local Council Rates

Depending on where you're located within the country, local councils can often charge rates for owning a holiday home. Sometimes these rates only include water, sewage and bin collection fees but they can encompass more. These rates are charged to the park as a whole and usually, you will only be charged a portion of this figure by the park management to cover your usage. Ensure that you fully understand the fees you will be paying before committing to a purchase.

TV Licensing

TV licensing is rarely discussed as an issue but if you pay for your TV license then travel to your holiday home and use the TV there, you shouldn't need a second license for your static caravan. However, if you stay in your static caravan and use your television there whilst the TV is being used in your residential property (for example, if a family member stays at home and uses it), then you will need to purchase a second TV license to cover both televisions being used at once.

The Purchase Process

Having calculated the estimated monthly fees and decided that you can afford your caravan of choice, it's time to actually make the purchase. Here is a very brief run through of the process and how it works. The most important points here are to read the purchase agreement thoroughly and ask questions to clarify anything you're unsure about.

Confirming Your Interest

The first stage of registering your interest is to take note of the caravan you're interested in and call up the caravan park. Usually, from here, the caravan park will ask for details of your requirements and suggest that you visit the caravan. After organising an appointment, attending, asking any relevant questions and deciding you are happy, you should contact the park again and confirm that you want to make a purchase.

The Purchase Agreement

After you have confirmed that you want to make a purchase, a purchase agreement will be written by the caravan park or caravan provider. This purchase agreement will detail everything about your ownership of the static caravan including:

  • How you will pay for the holiday home and if you are paying on finance, how often the payments will be required
  • What happens if you end the agreement early
  • How long the agreement will last
  • The terms and conditions of the agreement

It is absolutely essential that you read this agreement properly. If you are unsure about anything, ask a legal professional to give it a second look.

Summary

Having located the perfect caravan for you, the fourth step in obtaining your static caravan is to actually make the purchase. Here are the essential questions you should be asking yourself during this stage of the process:

  • Am I buying my new caravan at a good time of year?
  • What fees will I be forced to pay if I own this caravan, and can I afford them?
  • Have I read the purchase agreement fully and do I understand the terms of the contract?

5.    Post-Purchase Considerations

After you have bought your caravan home, you're ready to move in! Here are a few final tips that you should keep in mind, just to ensure you're fully prepared and start your holiday home life on the right foot.

Learn the Caravan Park Etiquette

This is a big part of settling in but almost all caravan parks have a list of unwritten rules and courtesies that you should consider when you first arrive. The best way to become accustomed to these is to ask your neighbour. Each park has its own norms, so make sure that you take the time to learn them as it will help you join the community seamlessly.

Make Your Static Caravan Homely

It goes without saying that your static caravan is a home above all else. If you're going to be spending your holidays there, make sure that it feels like a home. Find out what rules there are around decorating and editing the inside of your caravan, then start adding bits that make the place feel more personal to you and your family. This will help you enjoy your arrival at the caravan much more than if you left it plain and void of colour.

Summary

The final step of buying your static caravan is to think about how you're going to settle in and what you can do after making your purchase. Here are three questions that you should ask yourself.

  • What is the etiquette in my caravan park?
  • Does my static caravan feel like home yet?

Conclusion

With this guide, you should be fully prepared for your venture into static caravan ownership. Make sure to bookmark this page so that you can easily come back to it if any further questions crop up. Here at Allens Caravans, we know that buying your first static caravan holiday home can be a daunting task, so don't be afraid to give us a call if you have any questions and we'll be happy to help.

If you're interested in seeing the static caravans we have for sale, you can click here.


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