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Buying a static caravan as an investment?

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Hi, I wondered if anyone had ever done this, say bought a caravan at a top site like a Haven.
I know the fees are about £6k per year and the caravans are about £25k and need replacing every few years or so but could you make money on the rental of them? I've always fancied one but not sure if you can make money on them.

Thanks.
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  • droopsnoot
    droopsnoot Posts: 1,765 Forumite
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    edited 18 August 2017 at 11:26AM
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    I haven't done it myself, but I do know someone who had two vans on a popular site in North Wales. Ended up after a few years they sold the vans (presumably for age) but ended up handling cleaning / handover work at the site for other owners because it made them more money.


    I think you've identified the issues - you pay quite a significant amount in site rental, have to replace quite often, don't get very much for the old van. You can do a worked example, get the site rental figure and replacement age from a reasonable site, look at the potential cost and sale value of the van, then figure out how much you need to make just to break even.


    If it's something you wanted to do anyway, and you will get a decent amount of use out of the van, then factor that into the calculations. On the one hand, if you want a van anyway, you can tune out a lot of the costs because they're there to start with, you haven't incurred them just to get a van to rent out. On the other, you won't make much by only renting it out when you aren't using it, unless you particularly want to use it when no-one else goes on holiday, and/or can change your plans at the last moment if you get a short-notice request.
  • scaredofdebt
    scaredofdebt Posts: 1,640 Forumite
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    As stated, do the calculations and see.

    You can work out most of the figures quite easily, what is the going rate (at various times of the year) for the caravan (this will vary by site and size etc but you can find out easily enough) and then the only tricky bit is working out the occupancy rate, ie how often will you be able to rent it out.

    So during summer you can probably expect to get it hire out most of the time but this will drop off a lot in winter, ie even reducing the price will mean it will be empty most of the time from Oct-March etc.

    If you can find a website that allows online bookings you can probably do some dummy booking to see if places are fully booked up though, but this won't be very accurate if you do it too far in advance.
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  • Annie35
    Annie35 Posts: 385 Forumite
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    the caravan sales team should be able to give you lots of info on costs & potential of the site.

    there are tax & capital gains relief & depreciation on furnished holiday homes, which is likely to be where its worthwhile or not. There are a few rules but basically it needs to be available for at least 210 days & letted out for 105 days, not including days your there yourself.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/furnished-holiday-lettings-hs253-self-assessment-helpsheet/hs253-furnished-holiday-lettings-2015

    i know someone who ran a few vans almost as a lifestyle job, they travelled up once a week to do check in/out/cleaning which gave more money then using the site services too.
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,727 Forumite
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    If the van is £25K, site fees £6K and let's say 5 yrs usage before removal (so depreciation say £5K pa for illustration purposes), plus say £1K pa for "additional items", then that's £12K net pa you have to make just to break even.

    If you are buying van with a loan, or on HP then you'll need a higher net amount.

    As a way of helping finance your holiday home, it makes some sort of sense, as a business, there may be more lucrative opportunities.
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  • scaredofdebt
    scaredofdebt Posts: 1,640 Forumite
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    Just out of interest, how much does it typically cost to get someone to professionally clean these vans for the next client? Ball park figures are fine.

    Be interesting to compare the returns from this versus buy to let as the start-up costs would usually be a lot lower. More work though and probably more risky.
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,055 Forumite
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    A colleague had one. He just about broke even in the rentals, with the costs of cleaning etc at every changeover. Once the family stopped using it for their own holidays, he decided it wasn't worth the hassle.
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  • mariashephard
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    Hi rent my caravan out and have managed to cover my ground rent and return an profit
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,727 Forumite
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    Hi rent my caravan out and have managed to cover my ground rent and return an profit

    Does the income obtained from renting out cover the annualised cost of the van as well as the ground rent.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • stressheadno2
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    Guys I know this is an old post but am looking for anyone who has experience of buying a static or a lodge on the parks at the lake district. Where do you recommend ? Want to use it for weekends with my wife and the odd week. Then to let it out to make as much back as possible to cover fees. All and any feedback would be a great help.Thanks.
  • MataNui
    MataNui Posts: 1,075 Forumite
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    Guys I know this is an old post but am looking for anyone who has experience of buying a static or a lodge on the parks at the lake district. Where do you recommend ? Want to use it for weekends with my wife and the odd week. Then to let it out to make as much back as possible to cover fees. All and any feedback would be a great help.Thanks.


    Cant help with the specific of the area you are looking at but as we are on the West Wales coast but can give a bit of general information. We bought last year after a lot of looking.


    Firstly asking for recommendations first is probably the wrong way round. You havent really said what you are after or perhaps havent even thought much about what you actually want. Parks can be either holiday parks or owners only. Owners only parks generally dont allow subletting so since you mentioned renting it out i will assume you are looking at a holiday park. Not all of these allow subletting and some only allow you to use them as your agent (and take a huge commission). Other things to think about are if its a smaller privately owned park or part of a big chain like Haven and the length of the season. Most are around 10 months, some of the private parks we saw are as little as 6 months.



    Another thing is how long you can keep the caravan on the park. Some sites insist that the caravans are less than 10 years old others say you can keep it as long as its well maintained. What we found as a vague generalisation is the privately owned parks tend to be more onerous with rules like this (though the annual site fees are lower) than the parks like Haven but the fees are much higher. Depends on your financial situation really. We are on a Haven park. Site fees and other costs all in are around 7k per year but there is no age limit on vans. You will find that a quality 10 year old used van on a park like this can sell for 25k to 30k but on a park with a limit would be virtually worthless. Its something you need to consider.


    We dont rent ours out and i would caution you to think carefully about it. The incomes rarely cover even just the running costs and thats before you add in the sometimes significant additional costs associated with renting. At our park you could rent yourself, though an agent or let the park handle it. Obviously yourself is most profitable, with the park being so bad you would need to rent it EVERY week to just cover the basic running costs. It would be a massive loss maker if you added in all the costs. In either case seeing the way some vans are treated and hearing the constant complaining from people who do rent their vans out has totally put me off.. I cant see us ever doing it.


    Would you be looking at a new or used van? There are options and potential bargains either way. If used there are also options of via a broker, private sale or through the park. Dont assume the park is the most expensive. Private owners will have an idea of the value of their van but wont consider thats not going to be the cost you pay. You will need to pay a commission to the park plus the rest of the years fees plus depending when you buy will have the next years site fee bill on the horizon. It massively adds up. In contrast if you buy from the park they will of screwed the original owner on the initial sale, screwed them again on the part ex or buy back and will be hoping to screw you. But. They have a LOT of profit already to play with and park sales will almost always include the current and possibly next year fees.




    Lastly i think you are looking at the worst possible time. This is when the mugs buy. They see the sunshine, perhaps take a holiday then walk into the sales office or hunt the classifieds. Private owners have no incentive to get rid quickly this time of year. They have already paid the site fees. The park has no incentive to do a deal either. They know another mug will be just round the corner. The best time is at the end of the season. Private sellers will want to avoid the next seasons fees and the park will want to shift stock to make room for new models and get rid of any buybacks they currently have sitting on plots.


    There is probably lots more i could tell you but that should be a start
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