Opinion Former Article

NCC: New code of practice launched to help purchasers of caravan holiday homes

The National Caravan Council (NCC), the trade association that represents the UK caravan industry, has spearheaded the adoption of a revised Code of Practice to support the new model purchase and licence agreement for purchasers of caravan holiday homes.

Launched under the banner of the 'Fair Trader Holiday Park Home Owner Scheme', the new Code is supported by major players in the industry, including Bourne Leisure, Parkdean Holidays, Hoburne, Park Resorts and Bunn Leisure.

The aim of the Code is to ensure fair and transparent dealings between park and consumer when a caravan holiday home is purchased. The NCC's Deputy Director General, Alicia Dunne, explains: "We want to make sure that when someone buys a caravan holiday home, the processes and documentation between both parties is clear, transparent and fair in all ways.

"Particularly in these credit crunch times, owning a caravan holiday home is a major investment for the consumer - for some, it is buying the holiday home of their dreams. As an industry, we want to make sure those dreams don't turn into nightmares. The Code also contains a robust complaints procedure, which includes conciliation via the NCC and subsequently independent dispute resolution at no charge to the consumer, through the Independent Consumer Redress Service (ICRS).

"The Code is straightforward and easy for the layman to understand. It sets out principles of good practice and minimum standards required of participating parks, so that the buyer is clearly informed about what their rights and responsibilities are - especially the length of time that they are allowed to keep the caravan on the park - clear information on pitch fees and other charges and what happens if they want to remove it.

"We believe this will allow potential purchasers to easily identify parks that put the consumer firmly first - a 'peace of mind' guarantee that they are dealing with a business with high standards of customer care."

The scheme is the latest advance in the NCC's ongoing commitment to quality and customer care in the caravan industry, and an extended version of the Code is to be made available in due course.


Editors' notes

. The NCC is the representative body for the caravan, motorhome. caravan holiday home and park home industry, whose mission is to promote standards of good practice and excellence that benefit consumers. The Council represents approximately 500 companies and over 800 outlets.

. The Code of Practice sets out clearly the standards and practices to be followed in the sale, purchase of a caravan holiday home, and the agreement to occupy a pitch on participating scheme member parks. In particular it recognizes the importance of clear, unambiguous information with contracts written in plain English.

. The Fair Trader Holiday Park Home Owners Scheme Code of Practice should be read in conjunction with the Office of Fair Trading Guidance on Unfair Terms in holiday caravan agreements (September 2005) and the industry model agreements issued in February 2008.

Press contact: Louise Wood, Director of Communications, NCC, tel: 01252 796064, mobile:07887 562333; email: louisew@nationalcaravan.co.uk

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