Jun 05

Is it worth buying a Static caravan?

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?

man-with-question-markThere are two types of caravans:

  • 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.


How much do they cost?

New-pound-coins-imageStatic 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.

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Are there any hidden extra costs?

HiddenCostsBuying a caravan is a big decision so it’s important that you think about all the facts – work out your budget for buying and the annual running 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.

This article from a static caravan owner explains the annual costs of owning a caravan. Take a look here. 


Caravan insurance

handing holding a piece of paper which says insuranceAs 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.


So it Is it really worth it?

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.


Still want to buy one?

So if all that hasn’t put you off then maybe the caravan lifestyle is for you. If you are going to buy a caravan we recommend you buy second hand.

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.


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13 thoughts on Is it worth buying a Static caravan?

  1. Be soo careful as they lose money very fast not a good investment when you come to sell we have purchased one £20,000 4yrs ago selling it now only offered £4,500 immaculate condition never been rented out beware

  2. We just bought a caravan in Claton on Sea St Oysth . I spent hundreds of hours I researching and the only thing I can say never trust the sales agents in the park they are there for business and to rip you off. Sadly making a lot of people’s lives a misery once they get you to buy a caravan and use their park resort. It’s a ling story but if you are interested I can share it with you please email me [email protected].
    Long story short we managed to buy lovely caravan cheap from family run business and park called Hutleys. The only transparent company with no hidden costs or a life spam for caravan and how long you can keep it on sight. Other companies won’t allow older than 10 years caravans to remain on site and force you for an upgrade they also won’t allow you to sell it privately if you will have enough of their harassment.

    Good luck
    Also a young professional

  3. I am toying with the idea of finding a caravan in an attractive place as poss. I am a bit put off by the fees – £3,000-£3,500.

    This is roughly double the Council Tax for a 3 bed semi and a lot of money. Also you may want to sell/have to sell and I don’t know how many months/years that could take esp if the caravan is getting on in years.

    I think I may hire for a year or 2 and see how that goes, would work out cheaper if you hired say 4 times in a year, different places, more interesting ???

    But you wld have to promise yourself to book each year so doing it becomes a proper alternative to owning a stati, rather than just a talking point down the years!

    1. Hi Stella – Have you thought about buying a tourer instead? You could still find a seasonal pitch for it if you wanted to and then tour from there if you fancy it. We did this for a few years with ours – finding a different seasonal pitch each year. Then we toured for a year and now we have it in storage in France. Fees for seasonal touring pitches are much cheaper than those for a static (roughly half?) Ours was 6 years old when we bought it, we have had it for 6 years and it is still worth almost the same as what we paid for it. We have a huge awning with ours which we left up whilst it was seasonally sited and more than doubled the space in the caravan. The awning also has two extensions – one of which we use as a bedroom and the other as storage area. The best thing of all – if we want to sell we can and we don’t have to give anyone else a commission and no-one else has any say in who we sell it to – if we want to take it to France and leave it there for a couple of years – we can. The possibilities are endless but the most important thing of all is that we know we are not going to lose our life savings on it! All the pros and cons are here in my blog:

  4. Slight amend to my last comment – make that *without* them having invested in one! My grandparents bought a stunning caravan overlooking the sea in Cornwall in the mid-80s – brand new. We got use out of it until they sold it in 2000 – family, friends – it was incredible. Caravans aren’t ‘trendy’ so they get a bad rep – but the right one can be brilliant.

  5. I’m a young professional who is realistic enough to realize I’ll probably never get on the housing ladder in the UK. I’d still like to own something – for personal use, family use, as an investment and for a rental income – so that is why a holiday home seems very appealing. I’m well aware they take upkeep but then so does a house… Does anyone have any recommendations of ‘good’ sites or companies/models of caravan? I’m a complete novice – and I’ve heard some horror stories – but I also remember genuinely blissful caravan holidays as a child. Frankly with my grandparents having invested in a caravan, my childhood would have been very different indeed…

  6. It’s something I’m considering for when I retire, hopefully in 4 years time. Very helpful to read your opinion, thank you!

  7. Depending if you want one as a holiday home and a rental income from it but if you want one to live in as a permanent home it’s Cheaper than buying a house and if you look around you could probably end up with a larger living space,easier to maintain the interior,decoration etc.flats these days may be more high spec fitted etc,but you would be hard pushed to find an apartment that is as spacious as a static caravan can be. Also location is a big factor,how much would a flat cost overlooking the sea or a countryside view out your kitchen window? Yes caravan’s have come a long way since the 80’s,especially with underfloor heating too, but so has the price,yet still a good option i think to consider,especially if you can’t get on the housing ladder due to finances…! Definately an option i’d say to investigate, have a holiday in one to get the feel of being there and imagine it as your home,test yourself with one before buying i’d say,just to be sure you can caravan live as a lifestyle choice, i know i would,houses are such a headache,


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