If you’d like to buy an off-site static caravan in the UK, this guide contains the kind of insider tips and information that will ensure that you enter the process with a good basic awareness of the options, recommended courses of action, and possible pitfalls.
Preparing To Buy an Off-Site Static Caravan in the UK
Although most static caravans are manufactured in Yorkshire, most new static caravans are sold to parks and dealers and are sold from these to end customers around the country. The parks and dealers are spread around the UK although holiday areas, particularly coastal areas and/or counties that have a high concentration of caravan parks are also likely to have a leading dealer in the area e.g., Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall (Caravantastic). Static caravan dealers, therefore, tend to stock a good choice of makes and models, of different ages and with different features to suit the needs of many customers.
Even before searching for an off-site caravan to buy, here is a list of questions to ask yourself, the answers to which will ensure that you are prepared and have a good idea of what you’re looking for.
When do you need the static caravan?
Knowing as precisely as possible when you will need the off-site static caravan delivered is important because:
– Static caravan delivery companies have busy schedules and will need plenty of notice to ensure that your caravan is delivered on the day you need it.
– Caravan dealers show grounds are open to the public, are busy, caravans are sold on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, stock turnover is high, space in the show ground is at a premium, and buyers may be charged for leaving the caravan they have purchased in the show ground for too long before it is delivered. These factors mean that buyers should aim to have purchase and delivery close together.
– Ordering a new static caravan will involve a lead-time.
What do you need the static caravan for?
This is a highly relevant question because, for example:
– If the caravan is to be sited on a caravan park, it is likely that it will need to be a newer model e.g., under 10 years old. This will have an influence on the price and perhaps may involve the caravan dealer having to order a new caravan from the manufacturers where there will be a lead time.
– If the caravan is needed as temporary, on-site accommodation for the family during a self-build / home renovation project, you will need to make sure that you choose a static home that has enough space, the right features and layout (number of bedrooms, bathroom with shower/toilet combined or separate), has double glazing and central heating, and meets the needs (and approval) of all those who will be using it. Also, if the off-site static caravan is needed for a self-build, it may be wise to spend an amount at the upper end of your budget to get a better caravan and to take advantage of the Buy Back scheme, which could mean that you end up staying in a much better caravan without spending over your budget in real terms (because you sell it back at the end of the project).
Do In Need Planning For My Off Site Static Caravan?
What you need the caravan for will help answer this question. See our static caravan planning permission guide here.
How long will you need the caravan and what next?
If you only need the caravan as on-site accommodation for the duration of a self-build project or home renovation / home improvements project e.g., for 6 months, purchasing the caravan on Buy Back will not only mean that you get a substantial amount of your money back but also, that the dealer will arrange for removal of the off-site caravan.
Where will you put the caravan, how will it get there, and is the area suitable?
This is VERY important questions because static caravans are generally 10 ft, or 12 ft wide and are transported on the back of lorries. This means that:
– If the road/driveway leading to the property is not wide enough and/or has low hanging obstacles (trees, overhead wires), it may not be possible to deliver a caravan there.
– If the gate/gateway to the delivery location itself is not wide enough and/or has a high wall, stone gate posts or similar, the site is on a steep hill with narrow/winding roads on the approach, this could prevent delivery of the caravan by lorry and could a) require removal of a gate post b) require another vehicle to tow the caravan where the lorry cannot. It could also mean, in some situations that caravan delivery is not possible due to access issues.
– Narrow roads/winding narrow roads and/or a sharp turning to the property can make caravan delivery by lorry complicated.
The solution is to:
– Measure your gateway before visiting a caravan dealer and choose a caravan that allows reasonable width either side.
– Consider temporarily removing a gate post to allow yourself a wider choice of off-site caravan.
– Take a look at the likely route in for a caravan and, if there is a bottleneck, take a measurement at the narrowest point.
– Speak to the caravan dealer and/or request a site visit from the delivery company.
Where Will I Site The Caravan? – Preparing the Pitch
Buying on off-site static caravan means having a suitable pitch to put the caravan on. This involves:
– Creating a hard-standing surface to support the caravan and keep it level. A caravan will sit on the four corner legs and the wheels (in the centre) will be propped up but will still require support. This will mean either making a (concrete) hard standing in tramlines (lengthways, each side) OR, making a full concrete hard standing pitch, OR using blocks just under the legs and wheels. Speak to your caravan dealer about pitch preparation. The caravan delivery company will jack and level the caravan when they deliver it to the pitch, but MAY NOT connect it to other services e.g., water, waste, gas without an additional fee. Your will need to arrange the following:
– A gas safety check (and perhaps a new gas regulator) for the caravan. A gas safety check is a necessity if you plan to hook the caravan up to any gas supply.
– Access to and any equipment for – power supply (a hook-up cable and somewhere to plug it in).
– Access to and equipment for waste-water/sewage removal form the caravan e.g., a pipe form the toilet waste pipe to the sewer or a tank.
– If you are involved in a home renovation/self-build project you may still be able to use the bathroom and/or kitchen of the home anyway.
Who needs to be involved in the decision?
When choosing a static caravan, and you arrange to view the caravan, make sure that all those who have an interest in and will be using the caravan are present. This is a good way to ensure that all relevant questions are asked at the time and all decision-makers/influencers are satisfied with the outcome.
Finding A Static Caravan
A quick search online will tell you that off-site static caravans are advertised for sale in many different places including Gumtree, e-Bay, Facebook (Marketplace) and groups, Auto Trader, dedicated caravan sales sites, caravan park websites, static caravan dealer websites and more
Caravan Makes, Models and Features
There are many different makes/models of off-site static caravans with different design themes, layouts, and features. Popular, trusted manufacturers include Willerby, ABI, Atlas, Cosalt, Delta, Pemberton, Swift, and more. Static caravans typically have 2 or 3 bedrooms (there are some 1-bedroom models).
Viewing A Static Caravan
A static caravan dealer with a show ground is likely to offer you the ideal situation for viewing static caravan because:
– They stock many different makes and models, so you are more likely to find what you are looking for.
– You can easily compare different models on the spot.
– Travelling once to one place rather than many times to different private owners can save you time and money and make choosing the right model more likely.
Always contact the static caravan dealer your plan to visit as:
– They can arrange to meet you and direct you to any makes/models you may have discussed.
– They can make a selection of caravans for you to view based on your requirements, saving you time.
– They will be able to Inform you if certain items of stock have been sold / differ to what is shown on the website, or if anything has just arrived/is due to arrive that may match your needs.
Choosing The Right Size Static Caravan
BEFORE visiting a static caravan dealer, make sure that you have measured:
– The gateway to the property where the caravan will be delivered.
– The pitch that the caravan will be sited on.
– Any other possible pinch-points on the delivery route.
You may find the ideal static caravan for your needs during your visit and knowing the measurements in advance makes it much easier to decide, and to ensure that the caravan you really want is not sold by the time you have returned home and got the necessary measurements.
How Much Does A Static Caravan Cost?
Prices of off static caravans vary but reasons why you may need to allow more room in your budget include:
Age. Newer caravans may cost more.
Size. Larger caravans may cost more.
Features. Caravans with central heating and double glazing may cost more.
Distance. The further the delivery address is from the show ground could mean a higher delivery price.
Units (Lodges). Lodges are often split into 2 units which means two lots of delivery, plus the need for re-assembly at the delivery site. This can be a source of extra costs.
How Much Does An Off-Site Static Caravan ACTUALLY Cost?
If you are buying an off-site static caravan to go on a park, provided it is acceptable to bring a caravan on rather than buy through the park owners (check with the park owners first!), some of the other costs incurred through owning a static caravan on am park include:
– Connection/commissioning work.
– Boarding round the sides/landscaping work.
– Utilities and gas supplies.
– Site fees.
– Internet/broadband connection.
If siting a static caravan elsewhere e.g., on private land or next to the house during building work, costs could include:
– Gas safety check and connecting/commissioning + possibly a new gas regulator.
– Waste (sewage) removal equipment/arrangements.
– Electricity (through a hook-up).
– Preparatory work and materials to prepare the pitch e.g., concrete or slabs.
– Metal props (sometimes used to steady larger caravans).
Selling Your Off-Site Static Caravan
When it comes to selling your off-site static caravan, options include:
– Advertising and selling the caravan yourself (online advertising). This can take time, can be costly, can involve frustrations from ‘time-wasters’, will involve having to arrange and pay for collection and delivery yourself, and could lead to awkward disputes with the buyer.
– Selling back to the caravan dealer as part of a ‘Buy Back’ e.g., after a self-build project. This is a very convenient and economical arrangement as the dealer will collect the caravan for you and you receive money back on your original purchase.
– Contacting and selling to reputable static caravan dealer. Payment will be based on market value, the dealer will arrange to collect the caravan, and payment and sale is likely to happen quickly.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY ASPECT OF BUYING AN OFF-SITE STATIC CARAVAN, PLEASE CALL US ON 01278 780565, or CONTACT US ONLINE HERE.