FAQ – Buying a holiday home

How far should I travel?

If you plan to go regularly, pick a park you can get to within two hours.

How can I judge a good park?

Look for a park with quality graded symbols (stars). Inspectors from tourist boards and trade associations grade parks on layout, landscape and atmosphere.

Should I buy new or used?

It depends on your budget, but some parks reject older homes (10 years +)

What size home should I buy?

If you will spend a lot of time there, get a spacious well-equipped model. If you visit less often and like eating out, small is best.

How much will it cost?

Most parks quote an all in figure for caravan and plot. You will also pay an annual pitch fee, priced according to facilities. Nearly all parks have mains electricity, water, sewerage, plus LPG.

When can I use my home?

Many parks are licensed to open from March 1st to November 31st, but some open for 10, 11 or 12 months.

Can I sub-let my home?

Check with your park owner. Some parks will even handle the business on your behalf, for a fee.

Should I insure my home?

Yes, it’s a significant investment

Can I get a loan to buy it?

Yes, try Zebra Finance (01332 680 400)

How do I know the park site owner is reputable?

Check your park owner is a member of the National Caravan Council or the British Holiday & Home Parks Association. Members must adhere to its Code of Practice.

How can I prevent disputes?

Get a Written Agreement from your park owner before you buy your holiday home or lodge.

If a park owner wants to remove my static caravan or lodge from the park, how much notice should he give?

He must give you at least six months, in writing.

When will park site fees increase?

The owner should give at least three months’ notice of price rises for improvements to facilities.

Will the leisure lodge home have a structural warranty protecting it?

There are two holiday lodge warranties: Platinum Seal and Gold Shield. New lodges start with a manufacturer’s statutory guarantee of 12 months, but some have an extended structural warranty such as Platinum Seal or Gold Shield for up to 10 years. Always check the conditions of these extended warranties as some schemes are only available from selected parks, regardless of any manufacturer’s extended warranty. Other schemes may cover all parks. If you automatically receive an extended warranty, check with the park site owner, not the manufacturer. Some schemes are underwritten by an insurance company and may also have ‘liquidation cover’, in case the manufacturer goes into administration. If a manufacturer offers its own extended guarantee this only applies while they remain in business. If you are buying a second hand leisure lodge, ask if it has a warranty, and whether this can be transferred to you as the new leisure lodge owner.

Where can I find independent help and advice once I’ve bought my holiday home?

The National Association of Caravan Owners (NACO) is an independent advisory service providing support to static caravan owners. Become a NACO member and you will have access to its specialist team, who can advise on disputes between home and park owners and caravan manufacturers. If necessary, NACO also provides legal advice where a valid complaint is not being heard. Membership costs £24 per year – NACO services for more details or call 01255 820 321.

If I sell my static caravan, will my park site owner get a level of commission?

When a caravan is resold on site and the agreement assigned with the owner’s consent,  a commission of up to 15% (plus VAT) is payable to the park. Never buy a caravan unless you have a plot.

5 Things you should ask…

  1. Not all holiday sites are the same. Is the site secluded and quiet or lively and family-friendly? Find out!
  2. If you buy a second hand caravan, get a full history of its former owners and hire a specialist park home surveyor to check it out. Many advertise in this magazine.
  3. Get a written statement from your park owner and go through it with a fine toothcomb. If you are unsure about anything, get further advice. Specialist solicitors advertise in this magazine.
  4. Remember that unlike residential park home owners, you are not covered by the Mobile Homes Act 1983. That’s why your Written Statement is so important.
  5. Order a copy of our annuals the Ultimate Lodges Guide and the Holiday Parks Guide by calling 01959 541444 or visiting Kelsey Shop.