Caravans have been around for centuries and are now becoming more popular in the UK.
The reason people are interested in caravans is that they give you the flexibility and space, without the higher costs of larger motorhomes and RVs we all see regularly.
A question posed to us recently asked: ‘I recently moved to a new house and want to store my caravan rather than paying for storage. I’m told it’s legal, but can I store it on my land?’
It is legal for a caravan to be stored on a driveway or front garden. It is also legal to temporarily live within a caravan whilst maintenance is being carried out to your main dwelling. You will though need planning permission to store and live in a caravan as your main residence on your own private land.
Whether you want to buy 2-3 acres of land to live on in a caravan, or simply want to store your holiday caravan on your land at home whilst you’re not using it – there are some considerations you need to be aware of.
You may not know that 88% of planning applications are actually accepted. We’ll cover what this means in the article.
Regulations for storing a caravan at your home
In the UK there aren’t many regulations you need to adhere to if you want to store a caravan at your home address.
Your local council may ask you to register if you want to store your caravan for more than 3 weeks. The regulations change from county to county, so you will need to speak to your local county council or contact them through their website.
A list of all county council websites is available here
You need to ensure your caravan doesn’t obstruct any pavement or part of the road. This is just common sense of course.
It will never do to create a nuisance. It will just attract all sorts of unwanted attention.
There are some things though you may want to consider if this is your main intention:
Why you might want to store a caravan
Storing up a caravan is a good idea for many reasons. You may have the most perfect caravan in the world but you still have to use it some of the time of course.
Having access to your caravan any time you choose, without having to request access to a storage company, can sound really appealing – but there are caveats of course.
Free home caravan storage vs paid for storage
You have to weigh up the balance of the convenience of having it close to hand versus the need to keep your home free of the clutter that goes with owning a caravan.
If your garden area is small a caravan can block out a lot of light. No only for you, but potentially a neighbour too.
You need to consider the dimensions of the caravan against the size of the land, and also the impact not only you but the people around you.
Caravan storage costs range upward of £25 per month (or $40 per month). At £300 ($450) a year it is hardly surprising why so many people are tempted to store their caravan on their land.
Are you covered on home insurance for your caravan whilst on your land
Would your caravan be covered under your home insurance if damaged?
A benefit to most caravan storage options comes up with 24 hour security, usually by CCTV or night watch person and backup by a storage insurance policy.
Damage to your caravan on your own land could cost far more than the £300 a year storage cost.
Check your home insurance policy, or call their support centre, to find out if you could claim if you needed to.
How much space you need for your caravan
Space is a mandatory check, especially if you have not yet bought your caravan.
You will be left holding your head in your hands if your shiny new caravan is 2 feet too long to fit on your drive and overhanging on to the pavement or road.
Also consider extras not always part of the manufacturer’s specs such as towbars.
It would be an annoyance to have to take off and screw back on extras, such as a towbar, every time you wanted to use your caravan.
A caravan has three dimensions
As well as the obvious width and length of your caravan, you also need to factor in the height.
- Could this block all access to light into your home?
- Could this potentially block light into a neighbour’s home?
- Are there any low level phone cables running to the home that would need to be avoided?
As a carpenter once told me ‘Measure twice, cut once!’
Make sure you check your dimensions twice, just to be on the safe side.
Regulations for buying land and living in a caravan on your land
For a long time, I have had a dream of living off the land, so to speak.
Growing carrots and potatoes isn’t quite what I had in mind though. I’m happy to still continue to give my business to the local shops and supermarkets.
Finding a piece of land, a couple of acres will do, and set up home sounds as bliss as it does ideal.
We have just one issue. The UK local regulations on buying land setting up home.
With so much green land in the UK, and the shortage of affordable homes, you would think the idea of people building their own homes – leaving ready built, ready-to-move-in-to empty homes ready to be occupied – would be high on their priority list.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
UK Planning Permission for caravan storage
Planning permission is a long drawn out costly and frustrating process. This includes buying up a couple of acres with the intention of living in a caravan.
Every council website we checked in for this article had regulations to living on your own land – and this included freehold land.
If you want to live in a caravan on your own private land, including freehold land, you will need planning permission and consent from the local council.
Surprisingly for 2020, according to the UK Governments planning application statistics, 88% of all major planning applications were agreed by the local council in charge.
The Caravan Storage – Wrap Up
Here is a summary of everything we’ve covered:
- You can store a caravan on your own land without a permit, as long as you do not want to live in your caravan
- If you want to live in a caravan on your land, you will need planning permission, unless this is temporary
- 88% of all UK planning applications are agreed by local councils up and down the country. An application costs time and money, but if you can prove your intentions will not create a problem, nuisance or eye-sore you may be accepted. Try and speak to your local council before applying
Other Caravan Storage Questions
If you’ve still not found the answer you’re looking for, you may find it in the helpful FAQ section below:
Will there be any drawbacks of storing a caravan on my land?
You can’t live in a caravan without planning permission. You can stay in your caravan temporarily.
Is there a limit to how many caravans can be stored on my land?
There is no limit, as long as the entire caravan is on your land and not obstructing pavement, the road, or anyone else’s land
Can I store other peoples’ caravans on my land?
Yes, you do not need to prove ownership of the caravan to store on your land