What Does ‘Private Sale Caravan’ Really Mean?

Explore your ownership options with Lyons Holiday Parks and find out the pros and cons of purchasing a private sale caravan.

Beginning your search for a holiday home in such a saturated market can be overwhelming. Simply Googling the term ‘caravans for sale’ can bring up a myriad of results from holiday parks, third party ads, and even social media sites promising the best of ownership.

At Lyons Holiday Parks, it’s our mission to always be transparent when it comes to holiday home sales. With almost a century’s worth of experience in the industry, we can honestly say we have your best interests at heart. And when it comes to reliable knowledge and a trustworthy source…well, let’s just say we’ve been around since caravans were converted out of disused school buses!

In this blog post, we want to talk about a different way of purchasing. Although purchasing a private sale caravan is generally approved by us, it doesn’t really leave the unsuspecting buyer in the best position.

What is a private sale caravan?

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To put it simply, a private sale caravan is when an owner on a particular holiday park sells their unit to another individual without ‘going through the office.’ This means that the deal is done between the original owner and the new purchaser, and all paperwork is signed between the two parties in question.

The only formal involvement from head office (of the caravan park) is a small commission fee for allowing that unit to be kept on-site, as well as the sign over forms that must be completed to document the new owner.

What about a non-private sale caravan?

The opposite of this would be a dealership or company-bought caravan. This means buying a unit straight from the sales office of a caravan park. There are hundreds to choose from in North Wales, and it’s normally easier to get a feel for the park when you meet a company representative who can show you around and take you through the policies and park standards.

This whole private sale caravan vs dealership saga is easier to comprehend when you compare it to buying a car. When you buy a car privately, you do your own research. You spend some time finding the right make, model and year. You might ask family and friends with an automotive streak for their opinion, take it for a test drive, and haggle the price.

When you buy a car from a dealership, you present your needs to the salesperson, and let them do the looking for you. You sign the papers in-house, complete all the legal work, and are normally bound by some sort of protection scheme which contributes to the sense of trust.

All you need to know about a private sale caravan – if you’re a buyer

So, you’ve found an area of the world that you want to visit week on week, year on year. The next step in your ownership journey is sourcing the perfect holiday home. You search the internet high and low, ask around on Facebook, browse local dealerships and speak to a friend of a friend who knows a man with a van. Inevitably, you find that private sale caravan prices are on the whole lower than holiday homes found in a dealership.

It’s common knowledge that buying anything privately – a car, caravan, a kettle from Facebook marketplace – can result in less impact on your wallet. But one thing private sales don’t factor in is the associated costs. No matter how cheap and cheerful the deal might seem, you’re almost guaranteed with any private caravan sale of hidden extras.

Hidden costs can occur due to the lack of policy and formality often seen in a dealership deal. Yes, you may be able to negotiate or ‘haggle’ with the private seller on the asking price. But there can be many hidden costs due to the lack of policy and formality often seen in a dealership sale.

Things to take into consideration when looking into a private sale caravan include:

  • No warranty – dealerships often offer at least 3 months warranty on any used unit. This means fixing any snags, such as boiler repairs, shower cracks, window damages etc, will come from your own bank account.
  • Site fee slip-ups – at Lyons Holiday Parks, we offer a site fee discount to any new owner who buys directly through us. This can save you thousands (and we mean thousands) through money off the following years’ site fees. A private caravan sale means two lots of site fees will be paid for the exact same caravan – and you’re then entering into a grey area of signing over the plot.
  • You might lose the plot (literally) – although many private sale caravan vendors guarantee entry onto a sought-after park in a prime location, the exact plot you may get as a private buyer is not guaranteed. The holiday park in question reserves the right to relocate the caravan onto any plot, meaning you might not get all you bargained for with the previous owners.
  • Disconnection and resiting fees – as above, moving the holiday home you’ve just bought from one plot to another can cost the new buyer a fair few bob. This is because the holiday park’s reconnection process is a service which costs, and as the new holiday home owner, it will be your obligation to cover the expenses of resiting that particular unit (onto a plot you might not want!)
  • Safety comes at a price – mandatory checks such as gas tests and electric tests would be the responsibility of the new owner, which can also tot up the overall price

All you need to know about a private sale caravan – if you’re selling

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The industry is incredibly popular at the moment. And we will always be dedicated to providing a lifetime of happy memories for you and your family. But there comes a time when you know it’s right to say goodbye to ownership at a particular park. There are two paths to go down if you’re looking of selling your holiday-park sites caravan. The first, you sell it back to the park, which offers you an outright price, and the deal is done in the office.

Second, you advertise your caravan privately on the likes of Facebook, third party websites, newspaper adverts, or even word of mouth. We don’t want you to leave, but we feel it’s our duty to assist you in any aspect of ownership, including selling up. This is why the company (or park) has the first refusal on any holiday home. This is our way of offering you support, and guiding you with a ballpark figure of what your unit is worth.

However, there are some things to consider before selling privately:

  • Holiday park rules – the holiday park you’re sited on normally has the first refusal on your holiday home. This means they will offer you what they deem is a reasonable price. But watch out, as they may keep a percentage of your commission as company policy.
  • Age limits – a crucial question is can your holiday home be privately sold? For example, Lyons Holiday Parks’ policy states that holiday homes that are more than 10 years old cannot be sold to a private buyer. As of next year, 2011 will be the cut-off point for Lyons owners. This means all holiday homes manufactured before 2010 must be sold back to the park itself.
  • Part-exchange is an option – love the lifestyle but not the accommodation? Why not trade your older model to us for a part-exchange deal!
  • No hassle, no stress – save yourself the trouble of listing and advertising your holiday home and let us do all the work for you. Plus when you sell back to Lyons, it’s a guaranteed sale within 1-3 working days.

What’s the buying process with Lyons Holiday Parks?

We offer a range of holiday homes both new and used, and take pride in matching the perfect caravan to whichever family, couple, or group of friends walk through our ever-open doors. Our ownership process is easy and stress-free. You’ll always have the support of our friendly sales team who have experience, and above all, an honest tongue.

To find out more about how simple buying with Lyons can be, visit our blog post which shows the 5 easy steps of holiday home ownership.

Want to find out more about ownership or speak to an advisor? Call us today on 01745 362020!

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