Renting a caravan is a great money saving option for families to have a cheap holiday.
But rather than renting a caravan, have you ever thought about buying one of your own?
Read on to find out how much static caravans cost and if they’re really worth it.
- What is a static caravan?
- How much do they cost?
- What about hidden costs?
- Caravan insurance
- So is it really worth it?
- Where to buy a caravan
- A static caravan: this is permanently on a campsite and does not travel with you
- A touring caravan: this is towed behind a vehicle
A static caravan will normally stay on a single plot for many years, and have many of the modern conveniences you would normally find in a home.
Static caravans start at different prices, depending on their age, model and location. At Haven Holidays you can buy a used static caravan for around £13,495. Or you can pay over £100,000 for luxury models. Their deposits are £3,000 or 20% (whichever is greater). And you’ll need to factor in your site fees too.
Park Holidays offers free static caravans for those who want one, which sounds like a really good deal. However, whilst it might be tempting to get yourself a new caravan if you can afford one, we would recommend against it.
The additional costs soon rack up! As the owner of the ‘free’ caravan you would be responsible for pitch fees that average around £3,000 a year, about £250 a year for water and rates, around £300 a year for gas and electricity, and you would also have to pay for Caravan Holiday Home insurance which costs between £200-300 a year. All in all you could be looking at £3,850 a year for your free holiday home!
If you are thinking about paying for a new caravan (which can easily cost upwards of £20,000) then be aware that caravans depreciate in value extremely quickly. It could easily be losing thousands of pounds a year, although exactly how fast it will depreciate depends on the model.
Are there any hidden extra costs?
Every caravan has a different set of costs but owning one can cost at least £3000 in maintenance a year, and you’ll have to budget for pitch fees, insurance, gas, repairs and more.
As with all insurance, it pays to shop around. Look out for companies that specialise in caravan insurance.
Static caravans are prone to weather damages, such as storms, flooding and falling trees.
Most insurance policies include Caravanners Legal Protection as standard. This protects your legal rights should your caravan be involved in an accident which isn’t your fault.
It gives you the right to recover your losses from the person responsible, including those which are not covered by your insurance. It will also provide you with legal representation should legal action be necessary.
As a caravan owner you will also be at the mercy of the park owners so make sure you research carefully before signing any contracts. Have a good look at the licence that you will be asked to sign as they are usually written to protect the site owner and not necessarily the van owner.
The site owner has overall control of the arrangement allowing you to remain on site.
- You will have to pay their pitching fee.
- you may well only be allowed to have a caravan under a certain age in the park
- and, when the time comes to sell, the park owner may want to sell the caravan for you and receive some commission. Whilst you can refuse this arrangement, the park owner can refuse to keep the caravan on their park site which will make it considerably more difficult to sell as other park sites may not accept it either.
- You will absolutely need to be paying for caravan insurance as well and it’s worth using a comparison site to find the best deal available.
- There is the possibility to get some of your money back by renting out your caravan but there are a lot of other caravan owners doing the same thing, which is why caravan holidays are so cheap. Some park sites are also closed at some points of the year and you won’t be able to rent it out at that time (which also rubs salt in the wound when you consider the costs you are paying).
- If you buy a tourer caravan you’ll have more flexibility where you can leave it and you likely won’t run up the same costs that you would at a holiday park site. You will, however, need somewhere to store it and some local councils won’t allow you to leave it on your driveway.
Again, research thoroughly before buying to make sure you are getting the used caravan at a fair price. We also recommend that you don’t get a caravan that is more than two hours drive away from you as you will probably not get the use out of it.
To search for a caravan to buy you could begin by browsing the caravan autotrader website. Remember, some park sites won’t allow older caravans (usually caravans older than 10 years).
Finally, make sure you take into consideration all the potential costs before you splash out because renting once a year may well be a lot easier and less costly than having your own caravan.
Do you own a caravan? Maybe you’re tempted to buy one? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.