Six considerations when hiring out your holiday caravan

In a recent survey, 19% of our blog readers said they already hired out or are considering hiring out their static caravan or holiday lodge. Hiring out your holiday caravan could give you a welcome income boost but there are a number of important things to consider, not least making sure your caravan is properly insured:

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Does your park allow hiring out?

First and foremost you must ensure that hiring out is allowed on your park. Many holiday park agreements will restrict or forbid letting holiday caravans so before you start thinking about how you’re going to spend the extra income, always check with your park operator first.

Does my existing insurance policy cover my caravan whilst being let out?

You should always contact your insurance provider if you’re thinking of hiring your holiday caravan. This is because hiring out cover may not be standard on your static caravan or holiday lodge insurance policy, although it can be available as an optional cover.

Once you’ve added insurance for hiring out your caravan to your policy you may be able to take advantage of loss of rental income cover which reimburses you the money you would have received for pre-arranged bookings if your holiday caravan becomes uninhabitable as a result of damage.

You can also get cover for hirers and their families need to be rehoused should the holiday caravan become uninhabitable during their stay. Damage by the hirer is another useful cover feature, especially as you never fully know who you’re letting out to. Loss of rental income, guest emergency alternative accommodation and damage by hirer insurance cover options are now available from Leisuredays for a small premium increase.

Note – if your static caravan or lodge is being used by family and friends for ‘no financial reward’, i.e. no money is exchanged, you may not need to notify your insurer, as is the case for Leisuredays insurance customers.

Specialist policies such as ours, also includes public liablility cover, which will cover both yourself and hiring guests for damages and costs if death, physical injury or damage to the public or third party property arises from an accident involving the static caravan or lodge.

Who will manage the letting out of your holiday caravan?

If your park does allow hiring out it may also be able to facilitate in the marketing, booking management and upkeep of the caravan for letting too. You would most likely be expected to part with a percentage of rental fees in return for these services.  If you decide or are forced to manage the letting yourself there’s a few things to consider, we’ve got plenty of tips further down.

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Complying with laws and legislation

If you are renting out your static caravan or lodge you must comply with certain regulations that apply to landlords to ensure guests are kept safe.

You must have gas appliances tested annually and display a ‘Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate’ inside the caravan. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is required annually for electrical items that you have plugged into your caravan such as TV’s, DVD players, Kettles and toasters. Your caravan’s electrical wiring system will need to be tested every 3 years to receive a fixed electrical installation certificate. Again your park operator should be able to recommend a Gas Safe engineer or qualified electrician to complete these tests.

A working smoke alarm is a must, and if your caravan doesn’t already have them, you’ll need to buy a carbon monoxide alarm, fire extinguisher and fire blanket.

How can I keep the caravan looking its best?

Maintaining a high standard of presentation and cleanliness is crucial if you want to keep customers coming back. If you are busy, live too far away or are out of the country between lettings, it’s important that you arrange for the caravan to be cleaned by a third party. Consider employing a local cleaning company or check with the park operator, it may be that you can pay to have the park’s cleaning team to do the work.

Make sure you leave guests with the right items or equipment needed for a pleasant stay. Things like clean towels, fresh linen, duvets and pillows are often provided as part of the hire charge, even though some guests may prefer to bring their own.

You will probably be expected to leave guests basic kitchen appliances, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils.

It’s also worth ensuring you have reliable contacts to handle little emergencies such as if something in the caravan stops working like the heating or electrics. Again, your park operator will probably be in the best position to handle these situations for you or to put you in touch with local tradesmen whom they have experience of using.

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How do I organise handing the keys over?

If you live locally to your park you should have no problem handing keys over from guest to guest. Those who live further away might find this a bit more difficult. Again the park may be able to manage keys on your behalf. If not you may have to entrust someone local such as your cleaner to meet guests upon arrival with keys.

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What should I charge?

Always do your homework; have a look online, check the local papers or speak to your neighbours on the park. The more research you do the better idea you’ll have as to what’s a competitive price for charge people for holidays in your caravan or lodge.

Remember to take into account the condition and size of your holiday caravan – number of berths is a big factor of course. You could obviously expect to charge more for a newer, more modern caravan or lodge sited within a short distance of local amenities and attractions, but older caravans with fewer amenities nearby are obviously priced cheaper. The facilities and location of your park will inevitably influence prices charged.

If you’re hiring out during peak season, i.e. school holidays, Bank Holiday weekends, you should be prepared to increase your prices in line with increased demand.  Likewise be prepared to drop your price at the start or end of the season. It’s always possible to search for school term dates and bank holiday dates online to help your plan your seasonal pricing strategy.

If demand to hire your unit is good, it’s a good idea to be quite strict in the length of time you allow bookings rather than allowing hirers choose whatever days they want so as to minimise periods where your caravan is left empty. You could offer full week stays, or Monday to Thursday mid week getaways complemented by Friday to Sunday short weekend breaks. You’ll need to factor in some time for cleaning, so your conditions on hiring will probably need to stipulate that guests have to be out of the caravan by 12pm on the day of departure to allow cleaners to prepare it for the next guests.

Whilst on the subject of financials, it’s also worth bearing in mind that the income you derive from hiring out your caravan can be taxable by the HMRC. We’d recommend discussing this with a qualified accountant.

How do I market my letting?

Fortunately you can attract customers to hire your holiday caravan without spending large sums of money. Word of mouth is key; tell your friends, tell other people on your park and ask that they spread the word.

Social media is another great way to bring in business and it’s free! Upload details of your letting, tag or tweet local businesses, organisations or groups on Facebook and Twitter and you should begin to see a significant increase in enquiries.

Advertising in a local paper could also work, so too could uploading a post to any of the popular static caravan or holiday lodge forums.

There are of course websites where you can list your holiday caravan for hire in exchange for a small fee. They may even manage bookings for you.

It’s worth checking out how other owners have described their units in adverts to ensure your advert or listing contains all necessary information but also stands out from the crowd; good quality photos of the caravan inside and out, a list of key features of the caravan and equipment provided and details of amenities in the surrounding area, are often included.

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For more advice…

We recommend speaking to your park operator for more information on hiring out. They should be able to answer any question you may have.

What’s your experience of hiring out?

Would you recommend it to other holiday caravan owners? Share your story in the comment box below.

To get a quote for your static caravan or holiday lodge insurance click here.

13 comments on “Six considerations when hiring out your holiday caravan

  1. We have just renewed our caravan insurance with you but have not received paperwork. Our site Leakes East Runton need a copy on site as well.
    Regards
    Janet Wright

    1. Hi Janet,

      Apologies about that. If you could ring our Contact Centre on 0800 14 88 414 or 01422 396 770 (mobile friendly), one of our advisers would be happy to help. Unfortunately we can’t issue paperwork without knowing all your details. I’m sure you would rather keep this private information offline.

      Many thanks

      Leisuredays

  2. Does a caravan site require insurance to cover anyone who rents out there caravans belongings encase of loss or theft ?

    1. Hi Mark,

      It’s up to the owner of the static caravan or lodge to ensure they’re covered for loss or theft. The park wouldn’t be responsible for this. That’s why it’s so important to check that hire out features are included under the policy.

      Thanks
      Leisuredays

  3. Please can you let me know if it is required by law to have the shower disinfected against Legionaires disease before renting out to people?

    1. HI Gillian,

      Thanks for your query. According to the Health and Safety Executive Website (HSE) landlords of all types are responsible for “ensuring that the risk of exposure to legionella in those premises is properly assessed and controlled.” Click here to see the FAQ page and select the ‘As a landlord, what are my duties?’ option for full details.

      I hope this helps.

      Many thanks

      Lucie

  4. I had a caravan fire due to supposedly a towel on a radiator losing everything the caravan was rented directly from the site but they refuse to pay for losses are they liable or is it just unlucky ? Ps there welcome pack states 25 pound deposit this is for anh loss or damage whilst staying in our caravans thanks

    1. Hi Mark,

      We’re sorry to hear that. Unfortunately we can’t say who is and isn’t liable as parks can often set their own liability terms. We would advise that you check again with the park operator and have a close read through the small print on your booking terms in details for further clarification.

      Sorry I can’t be of more assistance on this occasion.

      Lucie
      Leisuredays

  5. How old does your caravan need to be to let it out I heard you can let it out if it’s over five years old

  6. When hiring a caravan from a private owner do they need to give you a contract and receipts for any transactions when you’ve booked a holiday with them?

    1. Hi Kim
      We just provide the insurance cover for owners who let out their caravans. We’re not sure of what the owner needs to provide to someone hiring their caravan. It’s a good question though so we will try to look into more.
      It probably makes sense to get at least a confirmation email or signed letter from the owner, confirming the dates of the booking and the amount paid and of course any terms of the hire.
      Thanks

  7. Well…I have just bought a second hand static caravan on a very , busy popular site in Barmouth , Gwynedd.. I was quite surprised about a comment made by a gentleman who said very negative things about hiring your caravan out. Saying there is no money in it….I hope to hire mine out from Aug this year..already taking bookings.. Going very slowly & steady at it..this season.. With some fab opening offers for friends….I want feedback & honesty this year.. There maybe one or two teething problems …hopefully not..but the prices you can charge in the peek months..is crazy…I can’t understand we he said such negative things.. Very off putting for someone about to start out in a new business venture. …some people on this site I am going on own several caravans .they wouldn’t be doing that if there was no profit in it….!!

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