Buying a static caravan in the UK is the new trend – here are some common mistakes to avoid before signing up for a new lifestyle!
Like any post-Brexit and post-Covid industry, the holiday home ownership sector is booming with thousands of people looking into buying a static caravan. With the increase in sales, domestic tourism and anxieties surrounding foreign travel, it’s only natural the UK holiday home sector is becoming overwhelming for some.
It’s easy to look at the wealth of resources, online dealers, sales adverts and even accounts from other owners and feel like there’s a whole new world you don’t know about. This is where we come in: we appreciate honesty and integrity before everything and want you to be as clued up as possible before signing on the dotted line for many years of happiness.
In this blog, we aim to equip you with the most common errors potential owners make when buying a static caravan at any park. With these no-go’s in mind, you’ll be that bit savvier to explore the world of ownership and save yourself some stress in the future!
Don’t forget that as a leading holiday park and staycation provider, it’s safe to say that we have some collective experience in the industry. If you have any questions or queries about our range of static caravans for sale, our holiday parks and their facilities, or want to know anything specific about buying a static caravan, you can contact our friendly team of advisors on 01745 362 020.
5 common pitfalls to avoid before buying a static caravan
Take a look at the pointers below, as advised by Mhairi Kelly, area sales manager for Lyons Holiday Parks to stay in the loop when buying a static caravan:
1) Not adding up the associated costs
By no means is this our effort to put you off ownership, but the number one thing that instils initial reservations in potential owners is the associated costs of buying a static caravan. The largest sum of money of course goes on the unit itself, which can range anywhere between £20,000 – £120,000.
As well as the initial price, it’s also worth totting up the known associated costs to ensure the whole package is within your budget. Be sure to take into account the following:
- Transport or siting costs (sometimes included, depending on your deal and the holiday park you’ve chosen)
- Annual site fees, which can be paid in full or spread over the course of 3 or 6 months with Lyons, and vary from £2,322 to £4,178 across our portfolio
- Utility costs – although there’s no council tax to pay on holiday (non-residential) parks like Lyons, you will be required to cover utilities such as electricity and gas which are billed twice a year. Note that water is included within your site fees at Lyons Holiday Parks
- Winter drain down fees – many people are well equipped with how to winterise their holiday homes, but if you’re a new owner or a bit unsure, you can hire a professional for around £50
- Insurance – annual holiday home insurance is a requirement on most holiday parks and can vary depending on your make and model. Find out more about holiday home insurance here before buying a static caravan
Rest assured, here at Lyons we offer a multitude of finance options and affordable pre-loved holiday homes. We tailor each sale towards your needs and budget, and check your finance eligibility for you to ensure there’s never too much on your plate. Don’t forget that subletting is also a great way to make back some cash towards your site fees, which many owners love getting stuck into!
2) Not checking park regulations
It’s worth remembering that when buying a static caravan to be sited on a particular park, you’re effectively signing an agreement to abide by park regulations. Reading through the park rules is vital before any purchase is made, to ensure you fully agree with and understand the park rules and guidelines.
Mhairi Kelly, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, said the most common mishaps are around modifications to units. She said: “While we encourage people to make our range of holiday homes their own after purchase, adding home comforts here and there, we still find ourselves remind both old and new owners year on year that there are regulations about modifications and developments.
“Every aspect of holiday home ownership is covered in the park rules, which is distributed to every new owner as soon as they purchase.
For example, installing double-glazing on a single-glazed unit is not generally accepted across most holiday parks. Adding fixtures such as outdoor washing machines, sheds, paving stones or flags on the other hand is accepted, but permission from the park manager must be sought before work is carried out (across all Lyons parks.)”
The great thing about Lyons is our friendly sales team and the process by which we operate when you’re buying a static caravan. We’ll go through all your needs and requirements, and ensure we find the perfect unit for you to ensure as little (or as much!) work as possible is on the cards for you, depending on your preference.
3) Skimming over the Pitch Licence Agreement
Similarly to above, the PLA is a legally binding document that confirms your holiday home purchase and subsequently, plot rental at a particular park. It’s like signing a tenancy agreement with the landlord of rented property: you agree to keep the property (in this case, the plot/ pitch you rent) in good working condition, and carry out any necessary repairs if and when they arise.
At Lyons Holiday Parks, we’re proud of our high park standards which include regular site updates and developments, and an excellent grounds and gardens team. You’ll see this team around the park very often, so don’t be afraid to ask for tips and guidance, or even help!
Most notably, the PLA highlights that while you own the unit, you rent the plot itself. If we think your plot or exterior isn’t quite meeting park standards, we’ll kindly let you know and offer some advice on guidance on how to improve it. At Lyons, we operate a friendly drop-in service and frequent check-ins with our Counsellor Sales Persons in order for you to ask these questions, go through any recommendations or guidance, and even request information from local suppliers or traders.
Another thing to remember is the maximum age limit of a holiday home in a caravan park. At Lyons, the age limit is 20 years subject to the park manager’s discretion, but it’s always worth asking your sales representative before buying a static caravan to ensure you’re thinking of the bigger picture.
4) Getting the feel of the park before buying a static caravan
We mentioned above just how saturated the holiday home industry is. With so many parks to choose from, finding the right one for your family can be difficult and overwhelming! The great thing about Lyons is our diverse range of parks, facilities, amenities and locations, meaning that we’re bound to have something for everyone.
All it takes is one conversation with our friendly team of advisors, either on the phone or in person, to get the ball rolling from dreaming of buying a static caravan to owning your own holiday home in your ideal location! We’ll take into account your family’s needs, size, favourite things to do, and steer you towards one of our 14 parks that seems right for you.
Next, we’ll arrange an appointment with a CSP at your most suited park and invite you down for a coffee, a chat and a park visit. Here, you’ll get an exclusive park tour of all the wonderful facilities and amenities, so you and your family can see whether you’ll fit right in. You’re more than welcome to bring family friends, the kids, and even the dog if they’ll be visiting regularly!
5) Not realising how long the season is!
We love the holiday vibes in each of our parks, and we love being the bolt hole for thousands of people who want to escape everyday life. But we’ve found that many people who are looking at buying a static caravan don’t realise just how long the season is! Although we’re a holiday park and not residential, we’re fortunate enough to welcome owners for up to 50 weeks or 46 weeks of the year at some parks.
This means that it’s not just the coastal summer sun you can chase in your holiday home, but the autumn leaves changing the landscape, the stunning wild deer roaming around Eryl Hall in the springtime, and the falling snow trickling as you watch from your holiday home hot tub in December!