Caravan Holiday Homes for sale

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Static Caravan Privately

Eyeing up a static caravan? If so, you’ll be inundated with choices. Will you be wooed by the shiny new models waiting at the dealership, or are you attracted by the knockdown prices which are attainable on the private market?

Buying a static caravan privately can offer several advantages, but there are also some potential downsides to consider. In this guide, we take you through some of the pros and cons which are important to note before you begin your search. We also get the inside track from an expert on buying privately.

Buying a static caravan privately – the pros

Bag a bargain

For many, the big perk of buying a static caravan on the private market will be the price. There is the potential to pick up a property at a lower price than you could buying new or used from an official dealer. You also stand the chance of bagging an absolute bargain in cases where private dealers have advertised their holiday home for well below the market rate. This could be because they need to sell fast, or because they have miscalculated the value – regardless, if you are in the right place at the right time, making the deal of the century is possible!

Wide choice

When buying privately, you are giving yourself a wider range of brands and models than is available on the market for new static caravans. That’s because of the wider time frame which the private market encompasses. Being able to choose from a broad selection of static caravans manufactured in several decades gives you a large spectrum of different designs and specs.

The ideal spot

Where to pitch your static caravan is an important part of the buying process – some would say more than choosing the caravan itself! While you are scouring the private market, there is every chance of coming across a static caravan which is located in a holiday park that ticks all your boxes. If you do strike lucky, you are essentially killing two birds with one stone!

Similarly, on holiday parks which are nearly full to capacity, buying from a private dealer might give you ‘the keys to the kingdom’. If a holiday home which has been privately advertised is already located at a park where you really want to stay, purchasing it allows you to seal the deal and secure that coveted pitch.

Buying a static caravan privately – the cons

No sales package

Buying a new or used static caravan from a dealership typically gives you the advantage of a sales package which private dealers don’t offer. That means after sales support for a given period, and the guarantee of a pre-delivery inspection. Leading dealers such as Salop Leisure are members of the National Caravan Council’s (NCC) Product Approval Scheme. These dealers operate to a stringent Code of Practice.

Less sell on value

It’s a fact of life that a used static caravan bought on the private market is likely to have less sell on value than a new static caravan. This is especially the case if you are looking at an older model. A lot will come down to the condition of the static caravan itself, and for this reason, it is absolutely vital that you do not agree to buy before you have made a thorough inspection of the home.

When buying privately, you should start by checking exterior panels for damage or wear, ensure vents are properly sealed and that doors and windows are secured and functional, and confirm that all appliances are in good working order. You can verify that the water system is working by flushing the toilets and turning on the shower.

No finance options

Buying a new or used static caravan from an approved dealership can give you access to a range of finance options. These typically include caravan hire purchase agreements, which allow you to start using your static caravan right away after paying an initial deposit and agreeing a repayment schedule. One of the downsides that come with buying private is the lack of finance options. If you don’t have the money to purchase a used static caravan right away, the requirement to pay the entire sum up front to a private dealer can be unrealistic.

Scammer alert

Unfortunately, in the digital age there are online scammers operating with the intention of tricking customers, and there have been such cases reported in the private static caravan market. Scams can involve being asked to pay or make a deposit for a holiday home before you actually see it. In some cases these advertised properties do not actually exist, with photos taken from elsewhere. As a rule, you should never agree to a request of sending money before you have inspected the static caravan.

You should also be wary of any invitations to follow a link within an email. Some scammers are involved in an activity known as ‘phishing’, which involves compromising the personal details of unsuspecting internet users, such as credit card details. If you are given a link to an advert on a site, type out the URL into your internet browser’s address bar, rather than following the link.

Caravan age limit

If your intention is to pick up a fairly old static caravan on the private market for a reduced price, you can encounter many opportunities. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that many holiday parks operate a policy which includes a caravan age limit. In some cases this can be to ensure that the holiday park does not become overrun with too many older models which could be deemed out of place, or unsightly.

In general, the permitted age of static caravans on a park will be up to 15 years old, but this can vary. If you do have your eye on an old static caravan from the private market, you should take these park rules into account.

The inside track

We spoke to Kevin Barrett, Editor of Holiday Home Living magazine, to get his thoughts on the merits of buying a static caravan privately.

Kevin says: “There are some fantastic deals to be had on the private market for static caravans, but equally, some offers can turn out to be not quite what they initially seem. Ultimately, the private market offers used holiday home buyers a wider spread of choices, and it is worth having a look to see if you can spot a bargain.

“Used static caravan buyers should always remain vigilant in the private market, and ensure that they inspect any property thoroughly before agreeing to a deal." 

Unsure about buying a static caravan privately? You can choose from a wide range of used static caravans and new static caravans at Salop Leisure. Many of our models are available for immediate viewings.