An army medic is furious with a caravan park after being offered £500 for a holiday home he bought 18 months ago for £20,000.
James Smith is due to be redeployed to Afghanistan in August for the fourth time and wanted to get rid of the holiday home before he left.
But he was astounded to hear his caravan’s value had fallen by almost 100 per cent.
Mr Smith believes the £18,000 depreciation is ‘absurd’ but Beauport Park claim it is a fair reflection of its value to them.
“I’ve been taken full advantage for,” he said.
“They can’t do enough for you when you want to buy but when you want to leave it’s a different story.
“I was expecting about £10,000 but to depreciate by almost 100 per cent is absurd.”
Mr Smith bought the caravan he came back from his previous tour, after living there for a few months, he now lives with his with his fiancé.
The park is run by Park Holidays UK who said the sharpest fall in the price of a holiday home, like a car, is within the first year.
A spokesman said it is unusual for people to buy one to then sell it 18 months later as it would not worth it, and they ‘strongly advise’ customers not to do so.
“The price we offered to this customer was a fair reflection of the value to the park of that holiday home at that particular time,” the spokesman said.
“As the start of the holiday season is coming shortly, we have ample supplies of caravan holiday homes and have no need to increase our stock levels: the price we offered was simply a goodwill gesture.
“The customer is not, of course, obliged to sell his holiday home to the park and is at liberty to seek a private purchaser.
“This is a not uncommon practice with us and other parks, and we have indeed suggested to the owner that he is more likely to achieve a better price selling to either a private buyer or a trade buyer – and we have offered to advise him of the details of possible trade purchasers.”
Mr Smith initially went to Trading Standards to complain. Despite them being very helpful in getting some money back, Park Holidays were doing nothing legally wrong.
The Royal Army Medical Corp soldier has now managed to recoup some of his investment as he had only paid for around two thirds of the caravan so he was able to strike a deal with the company.
But he is still glad to have nothing to do with Beauport Park anymore after a number of false promises.
Mr Smith claims that he was told he could let out the holiday home when he is not using it but when he tried to organise it, he was told that was no longer possible.
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