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Guide To Buying A Static Caravan

Wednesday 26th February 2020
By Laura Canning
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By Laura Canning
So you think you want to buy a static caravan? Good choice. While there’s a lot to be said about #vanlife and life on the road, there are heaps of reasons to buy a static caravan too. Your base is permanent, so you can decorate it easily and have all the kit you want for your holiday. Surfboards, bed linen, kitchen kit… keep it all in your static caravan and start your holiday the second you arrive.

Statics are also brilliant to use as a bolthole, to escape to when you like. Last-minute weekend away? A couple of weeks by the beach in the summer? A few months living in your static for a change of scene? All are easily possible with statics. Best of all, you can rent your static caravan out when you’re not using it and make up to £10,000 a year.

As with buying a campervan or other RV, there are a few things to consider when buying a static caravan. We’ll cover this in several articles, but for now, a quick overview.

What should I consider when buying a static caravan?

The most important thing for most people to consider is budget, which usually leads to the question: will you buy a new or a used static? We give the full lowdown on that in our New vs Used: Buying Static Caravans guide, but for now, here are the other things to think about.

Why do you want a static caravan?

This may seem like an overly simple question, but in fact thinking carefully about why you want a static caravan and what you’ll use it for will help in finding the right static for you. 

Do you want a van you can use as much as you like, or will it be more of an investment that you let out? Are you buying a static caravan as a base for a particular location, in which case you’ll need to think about whether you’ll use the caravan out of season? Would you like to use your static as a quiet getaway, or for lively family holidays with lots of other people nearby? All these can influence your decision.

Where do you want your static caravan?

We’ll cover static caravan parks below, but for now, think general location. Seaside town or out in the countryside? Several hours’ drive away or just down the road? Anywhere at all as long as there are plenty of facilities close by? Off the beaten track for nearly-wild holidays? 

Once you know the type of location you want, start looking at specific settings, such as Welsh coast or Lake District.

How much will it cost?

Static caravan sales aren’t just about the cost of the static itself. Buying a static caravan, new or used, comes with associated costs that you’ll need to factor in.

These include:
  • caravan park fees: it’s very likely that you’ll site your static caravan on a caravan or holiday park. The annual fees for this vary, but are usually in the range of £2,500 to £5,000+. See this site for a good guide to holiday park site fees; Haven’s estimated site fees for 2020 are here.
  • static caravan insurance: a must, especially if you’re letting the caravan out to hirers. This is usually covered in site fees, but double check.
  • gas, water and electricity
  • furniture and fixtures: if you buy a new van, you’ll want to kit it out and decorate it how you like. Buying a used static caravan can be cheaper in this regard, but you’ll probably want to add some extra things. 
  • contents and equipment: yes, you can bring much of what you need from home, but you’ll have to buy some things to make your van comfortable and cosy, especially if buying a van brand new. Pans, plates, towels, bed linen, duvets and pillows, food cupboard items, a TV, games and cleaning equipment are just a few things that could be on your list. You might also want to have a spare surfboard/sports kit/bike just to use when at your van.
  • upkeep and maintenance: hopefully your van will stay in good condition, but we recommend always having some money set aside for emergency repairs

Remember too that there may be associated leisure costs depending on what holiday park you site your caravan on. Some parks are all-inclusive, but for some you’ll need to include a budget for things like pool/spa use, games equipment hire and entertainment.

Finding a static caravan park 

Once you know the ideal location your static caravan to be sited (eg, south coast, Scarborough, Scottish Borders) and the type of holidays you want (eg, quiet, busy, family), look at parks according to your budget for annual site fees. 

Parks that charge more tend to include free or discounted entry to leisure facilities and entertainment – this might or might not be an important consideration for you depending on where your van is and what you’ll use it for. 

Holidaying with children on the Cornish coast for three weeks every summer could mean you’ll be out and about most days, so don’t need to factor in park leisure costs. A park that you go to every weekend might be where you want to use the spa or have a discounted meal in the park restaurant. 

Browse parks in your area, ring up and ask questions, and go to visit before making any decisions. Time your visit to see what the park and the local area is like at that time – for example, if you like pubs, restaurants and nightlife, visit on a weekend. 

Ask about rules on site too: is letting allowed, can the kids use the pool without you, are dogs required to be on leads?

Choosing your static caravan 

You have plenty of options for static caravan sales, whether new or used. The park you choose could have static caravans for sale on site, or you might want to buy off site and move your static there. You could also use a caravan sales company (on site or off), or buy through trade magazines like AutoTrader and 

Then think practical issues to narrow your choice down:

  • how many bedrooms? Would you like extra sleeping space in the living room? (If so, do you have room for campbeds or airbeds?)
  • how do you want the space laid out – a bigger kitchen but smaller bedrooms, or a kitchenette but with a big living space?
  • are you planning to sublet?
  • do you need to adapt any part of the van  to suit guests’ accessibility needs?

Still not sure about buying a static caravan? Hire one for a holiday instead, to try before you buy. We have static caravans and lodges all over the UK: browse our many listings here.

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

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