How should I choose a static holiday caravan?

There are over 100 caravan parks in Northern Ireland, most of which are operated as privately owned businesses. If you are thinking of taking up caravanning you will probably have a region in mind and you should check out a few parks in that area.

Considerations when buying a caravan

Buying a holiday caravan is part of a package and it is usual that you will have to buy it from or through the park owner.

Some park owners are agents or dealers for particular types of caravans. You may be offered a choice of a new or a second hand caravan.

When thinking of buying, you should consider the following:

  • the prices of the caravans on sale and their likely resale value
  • what security of tenure is being offered - how long can you stay on that pitch before the licence is terminated or you have to buy a newer caravan
  • the cost of pitch rental
  • any other charges
  • what amenities are available on the park and nearby
  • the terms of any contract offered
  • where the caravan will be positioned
  • whether the owner is a member of an industry trade association and subscribes to the code of practice
  • your own personal preferences

Other things to consider

If a park owner does not have a caravan that suits you, they may agree to you going to another dealer and picking from their stock, but the seller will usually pay an amount to the owner of the park you have chosen and this will be included in the price you pay.

You should always ask what this percentage is and be prepared to negotiate.

The buying of a caravan, and where it will be put on the park, is all part of the one deal and grants you a licence (or permission) to use the caravan in line with the contract and park rules.

Some park owners may include, in the park rules or contract, a requirement that once caravans reach a certain age, or deteriorate in condition, the caravan owner must replace the holiday caravan with a more recent or new model.

It is very important to find this out at the time of sale.

Remember, buying a caravan and moving onto a pitch is a long-term commitment. To minimise problems, you should be sure that all the arrangements suit so there are less likely to be surprises in the future.

It is important to stress that, although you own the caravan, you do not own the land on which it is pitched. Therefore you have no legal right to sell your caravan on its existing pitch to another party.

These conditions also apply to touring caravans, which occupy a pitch on a caravan site for a continuous period of more than 28 days.

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