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The Great British get-away begins… and it’s time for Brits to hitch their caravans and blaze a trail to their nearest leisure park for a summer of fun.  But sunburn and mozzie bites might not be the only perils laying in wait for sun-baked Brits over the coming months; July to August is traditionally a time when we see an increase in calls to our Legal Assistance Helpline to report legal disputes under Leisure Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) policies.

In this blog, James Waddy, Head of Commercial Development, outlines some of the difficulties that policyholders can encounter over the summer months.

The caravan holiday has become incredibly popular over the past two years as a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent restrictions on air travel.  The Caravan and Motorhome Club reported an increase in membership of 14% in 2021, over the previous year, with the number of new caravan and motorhome owners increasing.  Many of these were reported to be younger people, enticed by the freedom of the road and the relative low-cost of taking their holiday in the UK.

This increase in new leisure vehicle sales comes with an increase in potential legal problems however. Contract disputes are common when buying new or second-hand caravans or motor homes, and there are a few areas that new or prospective owners should be mindful of:

  • Buy through a reputable dealership – the law offers greater protections to customers buying through established dealers
  • 6 months’ grace – the ‘Sale of Consumer Goods’ legislation introduced in 2003 introduced an assumption that any defect found within 6 months of the sale must have been present at the time of the sale unless the seller can prove otherwise. This could be useful when pursuing a claim for defects in the vehicle
  • Check the vehicle carefully before it leaves the dealership including any repair or service paperwork – once the caravan leaves the dealership, it becomes the owner’s responsibility to ensure roadworthiness
  • Take care with private sales – the concept of ’Buyer Beware‘ applies in these situations and it’s up to the customer to do some basic due diligence to establish the trustworthiness of the seller

Buyers should always be vigilant when considering the purchase of a caravan or motor home, whether via dealership or private seller. It’s important to take the time to research the seller and conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle to identify any potential faults or defects, bringing another person along to act as an independent pair of eyes can help.

Finding your haven

Once the perfect caravan or motorhome has been purchased, the next logical step for many owners is to find the perfect site to pull up and enjoy the sights and sounds of a holiday park home. The Government estimates there to be around 2,000 sites around England, here a mixture of year-round residents and holiday tourists can reside on a short or long-term basis depending on the site.  Park homes can provide an excellent respite over the summer period, they often offer a range of activities for grown-ups and children alike, with sports centres, swimming pools and restaurants to keep everyone busy. Again however, holidaymakers and residential park home tenants can encounter legal challenges as they settle in for summer.

Most park home sites are privately managed rather than by local councils, and disputes with site owners are common, these can include disputes over pitch fees, and damage caused to customers’ park homes, it’s important to note that these kinds of argument are governed by contract law, as both parties agree to a set of contractual obligations when they begin renting pitch space at a site.

If any potential dispute arises, we’d advise our Leisure LEI policyholders to get in touch with us as soon as possible. Our team is available 365 days a year, 24/7 to offer expert advice and guidance, aimed to avoid the need for costly litigation; so, as the summer heats up, don’t let your holiday haven become a holiday from hell.

For further details on our products and services, please contact your Partnerships Manager or email

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