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New vs Used: Buying Static Caravans

Thursday 27th February 2020
By Laura Canning
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By Laura Canning
Ready to buy your static caravan? As we’ve mentioned, there’s loads to recommend about static caravan ownership. 

You get to have a permanent base in an area you love and will come to know even more, and on a caravan holiday park with all the facilities you want for a perfect holiday. You can get home from work, get in the car… and be on your caravan decking, cold beer in hand, in time for dinner.

You can use your static caravan for low-cost holidays as much as you like – and hire it out to other holidaymakers when you’re not using it. If you do this with Camplify, we take all the hassle out of static caravan lets and leave you with all the advantages. See how it all works in our guide for owners.

But first things first – you need to buy your static caravan. We’ll cover the specifics of that in other blogs, but for now we address the most important question of buying a static caravan: do you buy new or used?

New vs used – an overview

As with deciding whether to hire or buy a static caravan., deciding whether you buy new or used will depend on the pros and cons of each. 

Your budget is of course a huge factor here too, and might determine from the start that you can only buy used or that you’re lucky enough to only consider new.

It’s important as well to revisit the reasons why you want a static caravan in the first place, before you go to buy. You might find it tempting to buy a bargain static in a park a few hundred miles from home, for example, when your previous “must-haves” included a caravan you could drive to easily after work. 

Remembering why you want a static caravan will help offset any impulse buys based on price or size alone.

Buying a new static caravan – pros and cons

The arguments for buying new versus used are similar to buying a van rather than hiring one. When you buy, and buy new, you have much more choice in caravan range, size and location than you do if you’re only hiring or if you’re buying used. Depending on budget, you could have the pick of static caravans up and down the country.

The main pros for buying a new static caravan are:

  • a new van is ready to move into straight away. No repairs, fixtures or fittings will be needed and the van is good to go.
  • you’ll have a much bigger choice of layout and specifications, so you can pick a caravan where the layout matches your own requirements. Or you might decide to buy a custom-built static caravan, where you can decide exactly what you want and where.
  • a new caravan may use the most modern materials and construction methods, such as solar panels, double glazing or built-in wardrobes.
  • the warranty on a new static will likely be better than on a used one, for example up to a decade for the caravan body
  • new caravans will bring in a higher rental income
  • you should have a bigger choice of caravan parks to site your static caravan on, as some only allow statics up to 10 years old
The cons:

  • budget – can you afford to buy new? (Saying that, many static caravan dealers and holiday parks offer good finance so you can spread the cost out over a few years; again, you can offset these payments by hiring your caravan out.)
  • static caravans have a big depreciation value, where their monetary worth decreases by thousands of pounds as soon as they’re sold
  • if you’re investing in a new static caravan as a cheap place to live permanently, be aware that most holiday parks don’t allow caravan owners to live in their statics year-round. You’ll need a full residential licence for this.

Buying a used static caravan – pros and cons 

Buying your static caravan used doesn’t have to be only because you can’t afford to buy one new. There are several advantages to buying a used static caravan:

  • a lower initial outlay means you can try static caravanning without a huge financial sinkhole if you decide a year or two down the line that it’s not for you
  • you’ll get a bigger spec for a lower amount of money
  • depreciation will happen more slowly than with a used van
  • you might prefer a second-hand van if you’re going to use it with your children or dogs
  • it’s more likely that you can haggle the price down
  • the previous owner may have added equipment or fittings that go above the static’s original spec 
  • if you sell the van later, the price difference between what you paid and what you sell for should be smaller

The disadvantages:

  • it’s likely you’ll have to compromise something, unlike buying a new or custom-built static where you can buy or design it however you like
  • you’ll need to check the static over carefully before buying (bring a knowledgeable friend if possible), or splash out for a survey report from a specialist park home surveyor 
  • there may be initial repair or maintenance costs
  • some caravan parks don’t allow older vans

Our used caravan buyer’s guide relates to campervans/motorhomes rather than static caravans, but a lot of it is relevant to statics too. Have a look at it before going to buy your static. 

And remember, whichever option you go for, make some of your money back by hiring your static caravan out on Camplify. You can get a feel for what you want in a static caravan too, by renting a van to see what you think. 

To find out how Camplify can work with you and your RV, register today here.

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