Frequently Asked Questions
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A private sale caravan is one that is being sold directly by an owner, as opposed to one that is being sold by the park or any other dealer. Generally, the static caravans and lodges are sited on a park, although you can have it removed if you want.
The main reason is because it will be cheaper than what the park can offer, in most cases many £1,000’s cheaper. Parks will generally have a high profit margin they need to make on every sale, and they'll also need to charge VAT. A private seller will generally look to undercut the park so the price will be lower. Some sellers may also be in a position that they need to sell quickly, so are pricing low to get a quick sale.
Buying privately also gives you a much wider choice of parks and caravans to choose from. Use our search function to find caravans that are on a site with all the facilities you need.
Parks will have a certain 'starting point' for caravan prices, so may not even sell older models. Some parks may only sell brand new caravans, so your choice will be limited to this season’s models. And just like cars, the depreciation rate on a new caravan is highest on new models. It makes more sense to let someone else take that hit, and to get yourself a great deal.
You’ll also be able to find the added extras you may want, something with decking for example.
Some people may need a bit of financial assistance to complete their dream purchase, and looking at a private sale caravan doesn’t mean that finance isn’t available. In fact it can make it easier. Private sales will always be cheaper than what the park can offer, so lenders will view the purchase as 'less risky’.
There are a number of benefits to arranging a personal loan as opposed to the park’s Hire Purchase Agreement (HP), but make sure that you weigh up both options. Some benefits include
- Not having to find an ‘up-front’ deposit that the park would insist on
- Having a wider choice of lenders and rates available, generally at fixed rates
- Having a loan arranged in advance gives you ‘haggling’ power
- You’ll own the caravan immediately, whereas HP means you’ll only own it at the end of the agreement
- You’re free to sell the caravan whenever you want, although you’d still need to pay off the loan
So where do you start? Probably the best place is your own bank. They’ll have a good idea of your financial history and will be able to make a quick decision. Whether you’re looking at a personal loan, or adding to your mortgage, the rates should be very competitive compared to a lender who doesn’t know your full history. The key comparison rate is the APR.
Parks will generally work in partnership with a few finance provider’s, and there’s no reason you can’t approach them directly yourself. These are generally advertised in the sales office.
If you want to search online, then Google “caravan finance” to bring up a list of providers. There will also be specialist providers available for those who have a ‘less than perfect’ credit history. Please be aware that applying for credit will be recorded on your credit score.
In summary, please don’t presume that you can’t look at private sales because you haven’t got the cash available. You’ll be able to get more for your money buying privately, and a little bit of homework could save you money and headaches down the line.
Buying a caravan privately is often cheaper than buying from the park, but if anything goes wrong with the caravan you won’t be covered by such things as a warranty or the Sale of Goods Act. It’s not our intention to put you off from buying privately, but just to make you aware of the importance of carefully checking the caravan before you agree a deal. There are plenty of articles available online that explain what to look out for when buying a caravan, but the most important rule is ‘Buyer Beware’, as you’ll have little come-back if you discover problems later.
The first rule is to make sure that the sale is conducted through the park’s office, who’ll be able to arrange the transfer of ownership, check or settle any outstanding finance, and will explain your new licence agreement in detail. Do not be tempted to hand over any money until you’ve checked with the park to establish that the seller is legally allowed to sell the caravan, and have found out what the true running costs are. And don’t be surprised if the park tries to show you some of their sale caravans, they don't like private sales!
Make sure that the caravan matches the description that the seller has written. Legally, the advert must describe the caravan accurately and only use original pictures (Misrepresentation Act 1967), so any discrepancy should be questioned further . Make sure you print a copy of the advert in case you ever need to refer back to it. When viewing the caravan, take your time to carefully examine the caravan, ask questions, and if you’re not happy with what you see, hear or the answers you’re given walk away. An honest seller won’t mind if you want to spend time checking the caravan thoroughly.
Any caravan that is sold on a park must have a new gas safety check and new electric safety check carried out, and the park will normally arrange this, although you’ll be liable for the costs. The previous owner cannot transfer any recent tests to you, even if they’re still in date. Any problems that arise will be your responsibility.
Damp can be a problem for older caravans, but is reasonably uncommon in statics and is hard to disguise. Evidence of damp should be easy to spot, with the tell-tale signs being visible mould, spongey floors or a musty smell. It’s also worth crawling beneath the caravan to look for discoloured floorboards. More subtle evidence could be curling wallpaper or peeling laminate on the internal wooden structures, but this may be due to condensation. If in doubt, it might be worth investing in a damp meter or calling in professional help.
Be sure to check with the seller which internal & external fittings are included in the sale. In many cases, the seller is happy to leave most things behind, but make sure you make a note of what has been agreed.
Unlike a sale arranged by the park, you’ll have little opportunity to snag the caravan and arrange for repairs to be carried out. You’ll be buying the caravan “as-seen” so you may need to budget for small repairs when you take ownership.
Finally, if everything feels right and you’re happy to proceed with the sale, make sure that you fully understand the park rules and charges. You'll be offered a Welcome Meeting with the park to go through the rules, so use this opportunity to ask any questions.
You won’t able to stay in the caravan until the gas and electric safety checks have been completed, and these tests can’t be carried out until the previous owner has vacated the caravan. Most parks will use contractors to carry out these tests, so you should generally allow two weeks. The park will be able to tell you when the gas and electric safety checks have been arranged for, and let you know when you can move in.
Before your moving in day, you’ll need to sign paperwork with the park and to show proof of your address and insurance. You should also ask the park to arrange any passes that you’ll need to use the facilities.
To protect yourself, make sure that any money is paid through the park’s office. They’ll be able to advise you of their payment options, but generally will accept credit & debit cards, cheque, BACS payment, banker’s draft or cash (to a limit). Make sure that you get for receipts for payments.We'd also advise not to part with any cash as a deposit with the seller. If any disputes arise, it would be difficult to prove that you have parted with your money.
It depends on the park, but generally no. There is work involved in moving a caravan, and the park will not want to lose a decent pitch to a private sale. If you decide to part-exchange in the future, you may be offered pitch move.
For any private sale, site fees will need to be paid until the end of the current season. Some parks may also insist on next year’s site fees as well, especially towards the end of the year. Any site fees that have been paid by the old owner cannot be transferred to a new owner, so be careful what is promised in the sale.
We always recommend that private sellers advertise their price to include any site fees that are due to the park, so the buyer sees a package price which includes all costs until the end of the season (except gas, electric and insurance). The package price should include the caravan, site fees, water rates, gas & electric safety checks, and the park’s commission. Double check with the seller and the park before parting with any money.
When you sit down to sign your paperwork with the park, they’ll explain when any bills are due, and also any payment options that are available.
Season lengths will vary between parks, but are generally between 7 - 12 months. The season length depends on the local authority and the park owners. When the park is closed there will be no facilities open, and access to the caravan will be restricted. Any advert posted should say what the season length is, and the opening and closing dates, but it is recommended you call the park to confirm.
If you are specifically looking for a long season, then you’ll be able to order the search results to show the longest opening times.
In a word, yes. Parks rules generally state that they require all the first season’s costs to be paid in advance. After the first season you will qualify for any payment plans that are available, for example to pay site fees via direct debit.
An offsite sale is when a static caravan is not required to be on a park. If you are looking at buying a caravan to put on your own land, this is a great way of getting temporary accommodation which you can sell on at a later date. All caravans are available as an offsite sale, but it would be down to you to arrange transport and connections, and to make sure you have planning permission to put the caravan in place. We can provide details of caravan transporters if you wish.
The static caravans advertised on this website will generally include site fees and park commission charges, but these charges won't apply if you're removing the caravan. Please speak to the park to confirm a removal price. Please note that the park may apply charges to disconnect the caravan and place it somewhere for a transporter to collect.
If you find anything wrong in one of our adverts, please let us know immediately. The adverts are posted by third-party individuals so we don't have the capability to check the caravans. If any caravan is wrongly described, sold, or is suspicious in any way we will rectify the problem.
We only accept adverts from private sellers, so if a caravan looks like it’s being sold by a park we will remove it as soon as possible. Only private sale caravans are allowed on this website.