Buyers' Advice: Things NOT to do with your Holiday Caravan
Live in it:
Selling your bricks and mortar, releasing a big chunk of equity, and buying a static caravan or lodge, is not something that we recommend doing. Your position is very weak legally – you will not be protected by the Mobile Homes Act. Also, residential occupation of a caravan or lodge on a holiday licenced site could see you in further trouble.
We are seeing more and more action from local authorities with reference to this “problem”. You could find yourself contravening the park’s site licence, or your contract; your warranty could be voided, or at the very worst you could be made homeless.
If you want to retire to enjoy the environment of a caravan or mobile home park, choose one with residential status. Check with the park, and the council as to whether the park has a residential licence. One tell-tale sign is that residential units often cost a great deal more than holiday caravans. You will also be afforded the protection of the Mobile Homes Act.
Buy it as a financial investment:
Contrary to what you may have been told, a holiday caravan is not a financial investment. Everyone knows how quickly a new car depreciates (as much as 60-70% in the first three years of motoring), but what of holiday caravans? We often describe the purchase of a holiday caravan as a package: the caravan, the park, & the pitch.
In some resale circumstances you may only be able to resell the caravan. We have heard stories of people losing 50-60% in the first year when they sell back to the park or trader.
Still interested? Then do your homework. Many people look at it in this way: If the caravan is £35,000 and they have a contract term that spans for 15 years – this is the cost of holidays when they want, with an idyllic setting, or a garden, or a space where children are free to run and play… and this is something that they are happy to invest in.
In most cases holiday caravans do not appreciate in value, although there will always be the odd one that does. If you are in a position where you need to sell your caravan sooner than expected try your best to sell to a private buyer, as in many cases you can expect to sell at a higher price.
Run a business from it:
As with residing in your holiday caravan, you may find yourself in contravention of your contract and/or your park’s site licence.
If this is not the case, ensure that you have everything detailing your ability to do, in writing, in a contract.
National Association of Caravan Owners