What’s the true cost of owning a static caravan? Everything you need to consider

Static caravans are more popular than ever. According to the National Caravan Council, over 365,000 UK residents1 are estimated to own one. The pandemic has persuaded many people to rediscover the joys of staycations.

One of the reasons so many of us love our home away from home at a favourite holiday park is that it can represent value for money. We may feel that a static caravan break is one of the most affordable types of vacation, but what costs are involved?

At Intasure, we’re one of the UK’s leading providers of static caravan insurance. We talk to owners of this popular type of holiday home all the time and understand the costs and risks. We’re always happy to share our specialist knowledge, so here’s an Intasure guide to the  costs of owning, running and enjoying a static caravan.

How much does a new static caravan cost?

The answer, as with most questions of cost, is “it depends”. A static caravan can be basic, luxurious or anywhere in between. Naturally, prices vary accordingly.

A new static caravan can cost anything from £15,000 to over £100,0002. In fact, you can pay more than that for a five-star experience. A high-end lodge can set you back anything up to £250,0003.

Is a new static caravan worth the money?

Today’s static caravans are very different from what you might have experienced in the past. Current models are beautifully built, superbly equipped and wonderfully comfortable. You can confidently expect features like central heating, fitted kitchens and bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.

It’s also important to remember that a static caravan is often a rewarding long-term investment. You can soon earn the purchase price back by saving the money you’d spend on package holidays—and by renting out your holiday home.

How much are second-hand static caravans?

There’s a thriving market for second-hand caravans, and one in decent condition can cost as little as £5,000 or more than £50,0004. Lots of caveats apply, however. Before buying one, get someone who knows static caravans to check it for hidden warning signs such as rust, damp, damage or leaks.

Remember, too, that some holiday parks have an age limit for the caravans they allow on-site. It’s vital to check that your purchase isn’t too old if you’re considering moving it to a new location.

How much does it cost to have a static caravan? Running and maintenance costs

Once you’ve found the static caravan you want to buy, you need to factor in the running costs to get an accurate picture of what you’ll pay. They include site fees (pitch fees), maintenance and everyday bills from utilities to insurance.

How much are static caravan site fees?

You’ll typically pay rent to the holiday park for the land your caravan stands on and the use of its facilities. This is the pitch fee. It’s likely your biggest single running cost, but you get more for your money than the right to use that piece of land. It also covers items like the water supply and upkeep of the park. Pitch fees vary significantly from park to park, and from location to location within the park, but as a guide can fall into the following annual price bands:

  • £2,000-£3,000 for smaller parks. Perfect if you’re looking for a tranquil site with a sense of community, rather than lavish facilities.
  • £3,000- £5,000 is what you can expect to pay for a mid-sized park. You can expect an on-site bar and perhaps an entertainment programme at the higher end. Maybe a small pool or a simple gym too.
  • £5,000-£10,000. For this kind of money, you can expect a big, upmarket park with more than one swimming pool plus bars and restaurants, a smart gym and plenty of organised entertainment for all the family, including children. There may even be access to a golf course or luxury spa.5

How much does it cost to heat a static caravan?

Modern static caravans have central heating and hot water as standard, so naturally, there’s a fuel bill attached. Your holiday park will provide metered electricity and maybe gas, although other parks sell bottled gas. The size of your bills will naturally depend on the location and energy you use, but it should be much less than you pay at home. Today’s static caravans are thoroughly insulated and fitted with the latest energy-efficiency measures, including double glazing.

Do I have to pay council tax on a static caravan?

Council tax isn’t charged on a static caravan unless it’s the owner’s primary residence. So your weekend and holiday retreat is council tax-free.6

How much does it cost to move a static caravan?

Most static caravans are purchased from a holiday park rather than the manufacturer, so they are often already in situ. However, you might find the holiday home you want on one site, and then wish to move it to another. In such cases, the park can usually fix you with a specialist removal company. This is essential because transplanting a static caravan is a complex process. It needs to be protected during the journey, expertly positioned, set up and levelled. The price will depend on the size of the structure, the accessibility of each location and the distance involved. As a guide, you can expect to pay between £300 and £3,0002. As you might imagine, moving a double unit from Cornwall to Caithness can be very expensive.

Insuring your static caravan

It isn’t compulsory to insure a static caravan, but it can make sense, and the park may insist that you do. The risk of fire, flood or extreme weather is genuine. Imagine the damage a falling tree could do, for example.

Intasure caravan insurance policies cover loss, theft or damage to the building and contents, plus public liability to protect your holiday home against compensation claims if someone gets injured.

Premiums naturally vary depending on the caravan, its location and whether you rent it out or not. Why rely on guesstimates when you can get a quote from Intasure right now?

Any additional costs?

Some parks will make an extra charge for draining down your caravan before winter: which can be a wise precaution to prevent burst pipes in freezing weather. This is unlikely to be more than £70 however you can check this with the park operator.

How to get a return on your investment

Renting out your holiday home can be the perfect way to let your purchase pay for itself. You can earn £500 a week or more in peak season with a smart caravan in a desirable location.7 There are a few things to bear in mind, however:

  • Read your contract to check that your holiday park allows residents to rent–and obey any rules they put in place.
  • As a landlord, you must have gas safety and electrical installation certificates.
  • Also install the smoke alarms, CO detectors, fire extinguishers and fire blankets required by law on rented properties.

Sources

1 thencc.org.uk/our_industry/statistics

2 camplify.co.uk/blog/how-much-does-it-really-cost-to-buy-a-static-caravan

3 myholidaycaravan.co.uk/buying-information/buying-articles/calculating-the-cost-of-owning-a-static-caravan-on-a-uk-holiday-park

4 autotrader.co.uk/caravans/used-caravans/static-caravan

5 caravansleeps.com/static-caravan-site-fees/

6 Caravans and houseboats (VAT Notice 701/20) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

7 ukcaravans4hire.com/

The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Intasure accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.