The questions you need to ask before buying a static caravan

26 September 2020

Static caravans are having a bit of a moment. Holidaying in the UK was already increasing in popularity. Now, with so much uncertainty about travelling abroad, having your own holiday home in a favourite staycation location is even more enticing. No wonder there are already over 365,000 static caravans being enjoyed around the country.

However, as with any major purchase, it's essential to do your research and make informed decisions. This is our guide to the questions you need to ask before picking a site and making a purchase.

How big are they?

Holiday homes range in size from 28 by 10 feet, all the way up to 43 by 14 feet, sleeping between four and twelve people. The larger ones tend to be more luxurious as well as more spacious and are known as holiday lodges. Expect full-size fitted kitchens, integrated appliances, en suite bathrooms and optional extras such as hot tubs.

How much do they cost?

Holiday home prices start around £25,000 including VAT. With its extra space and sophisticated interior decor, a holiday lodge are more expensive, starting at £72,417 including VAT, and rising to over £95,000 for a top of the range bespoke model. Remember that static caravans are usually sold via the parks or by the manufacturer's authorised dealers. Willerby is one of the UK's leading static caravan manufacturers, and our website is a great place to start exploring the options and prices.

Where can I put a static caravan?

There are around 2,500 parks around the UK, so you'll be spoilt for choice whichever part of the country you prefer. Most are in scenic locations, surrounded by rural beauty or overlooking the sea. You'll find that the Willerby park finder tool is a brilliant way to narrow down the search. And once you have a shortlist, here are some more of the things you need to know before deciding on your site.

Is the site open when you need it to be?

Some parks open 12 months of the year, but many close for between one and four months over winter. You need to be sure their calendar works with yours.

Is it child-friendly?

If you have a young family (or grandchildren), a park with children's facilities, maybe even a creche, will probably push its way to the top of your list.

What about pets?

Caravan parks and their surroundings are a paradise for our furry friends and most parks welcome dogs. But there are a few exceptions, so it's wise to ask the question.

How are the on-site facilities?

Is there a bar on the site, perhaps with entertainment in the evening? Does the park have a swimming pool, a gym or sporting facilities? Is there a shop? Sites with such facilities tend to be bigger, with a lively social scene and lots of families. So if all you want is peace, quiet and birdsong, it's best to look elsewhere.

What's the surrounding area like?

Whether it's spectacular walks, golf courses, great fishing spots, water sports, quaint country pubs or a supermarket within easy driving distance, the park's surroundings are another critical factor in your decision.

What about pitch cost and site fees?

You buy your static caravan and own it outright, but the plot of land it stands on will be on a long lease from the owner of the park. Pitch and site fees are therefore likely to be your main outlay. They can vary widely, depending on the park's location and facilities, plus the size and position of your plot, so it pays to find out exactly what you'll be paying and compare it with other similar sites. It's also worth finding out how often the site increases its fees, perhaps by having a quiet word with some of the residents.

Any other bills?

Most static caravans are connected to mains drainage, water and electricity. Gas is sometimes mains and sometimes bottles. Your utility bills will be paid to the park, but park owners are not allowed to mark them up, except for a small admin charge. It helps that modern static caravans are built to last and to keep your bills low, with efficient modern heating and excellent thermal insulation.

How much is council tax on a static caravan?

If your static caravan is not your main residence, it is not liable for council tax. Your site fees may include a contribution to the business rates paid by the site to the local authority.

Can I let out my static caravan?

Most parks allow you to sublet, and it's a great way to make some money towards the cost, It's worth double-checking that you can sublet, even if you don't intend to do so at the moment.

Can I get online?

Is there decent quality wi-fi or a usable phone signal? This is a vital question, especially if you have young people to entertain, or if you'll ever need to work remotely from the site.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, and you're free to find your own policy. However, the park may offer insurance as part of your package, and they are often excellent deals because of their links with the insurers.

When is the best time to buy a static caravan?

Most people buy a static caravan when they're ready to start spending time in it. You may suspect that bargains are available towards the end of the season, but there's no guarantee of this. If the dealer doesn't offer you a discount, ask for one anyway. What's the worst that could happen?

Now you know the basics, it's time to start exploring the world of static caravans and choosing where you'll be spending all those happy days from now on. Why not start at the top? Whet your appetite by discovering some of the spectacular holiday homes and lodges made to order by Willerby.