Here’s our simple, straightforward and honest guide to Haven caravan ownership. Is it worth the money? What will it really cost you?
We’ve looked at the likely running costs alongside the probable income from renting out your caravan.
The short answer is that the outgoings and earnings vary with Haven ownership a lot.
This is because the costs depend on which Haven resort you choose and how often you use the caravan yourself. This guide will give you some ballpark figures, but you'll then need to arrange a meeting with Haven armed with a calculator and a list of questions (see the bottom of this blogpost for some suggested questions).
Anyway, let’s start with a strained metaphor about caravan ownership which may be helpful.
Why buying a Haven caravan is like buying a Lamborghini
Buying a caravan with Haven isn’t like buying a house or a flat. You aren’t buying it so that it gains value and can be passed on to your children.
A better comparison is with leasing a Lamborghini (bear with me, this metaphor will make sense).
When you lease a Lamborghini, you aren’t thinking of it as a long term investment. You buy it so that you can use it and have fun with it. You might take your friends for a spin or show it off to your brother-in-law. You might even let him drive it.
You accept that it is losing value, and that you’ll be paying annual costs for it, but it’s better value than hiring a Lamborghini every weekend and it’s yours to play with.
Buying a Haven caravan is similar. You pay something up front and you accept that it is losing value and that you will have ongoing costs to pay.
After a few years, your caravan will need replacing or a bit of money spending on it to keep it going.
The key difference is that with a Haven caravan you can hire it out to recoup a lot of your money.
If I’ve lost you, let’s try a more straightforward explanation.
How does Haven ownership of caravans and lodges work?
Alright, let’s try a simpler explanation which is nothing to do with sports cars.
When you become a Haven caravan owner, you can come and go for about nine or ten months of the year. Your friends can stay in the caravan and you can rent it out to holidaymakers for a profit.
There are four main costs to consider:
How about a couple of examples of Haven ownership costs?
What an excellent idea.
We’ve rummaged around on the internet and found a couple of recent brochures which give a bit more idea of what you’ll probably pay.
We found a 2020 guide to ownership at Haven Lakeland Holiday Park in Cumbria and found estimated running costs ‘from £7058’. That includes:
We also found a 2020 guide to Haven’s Burnham on Sea and found a total cost of £6828 including:
Keep in mind that this figure is a couple of years old and that the cost of living has increased quite a bit since 2020. Haven caravan parks pay for gas and electric at commercial rates, so they aren't affected by price caps on residential properties. That means you might pay more for your gas and electricity than you do at home.
So, I can expect to pay about £600 a month to own a Haven caravan?
Well, it depends.
If you’re being optimistic then your outgoing costs might be as little as £5458 per year or about £455 a month. That figure includes site fees and running costs and is from the Haven website.
However, I would consider that as a best case scenario.
A lot of Haven caravan owners will be paying out more like £8,000 - £15,000 per year if you’re in a larger property in an action packed resort with lots of facilities. That is more like £666-£1250 a month.
If you want to think long term then you should really also include depreciation of your caravan. This will vary depending on the caravan or lodge that you buy in the first place. Haven suggests it could be as much as 15% of your caravan’s value per year. That would be a whopping £7500 in the first year of owning a £50,000 caravan but more like £3000 per year on a £20,000 caravan.
We came up with a ballpark figure of £2000-£4000 per year depreciation after looking at the price of various used caravans on the Haven website.
If we use the £2000-£4000 figure then that that would put the total monthly cost of caravan ownership at about £600 a month as a lower estimate or about £1600 a month at the higher end.
So what are the plus sides of owning a caravan?
Don’t worry, there’s good news too which explains why Haven have so many owners.
Firstly, you can significantly offset your costs by renting your caravan out for the weeks when you aren’t using it.
There are three main ways of doing this:
We will move onto the costs and income that you can get from renting out your Haven caravan in a moment.
Before that, we will mention the second main benefit of owning a caravan with Haven – the money you will save on paying for holidays.
In our guide to the 10 best Haven holiday parks we found that a week in August 2022 ranged from £685 to £1720 in the cheapest accommodation available. That’s the peak time price – you will pay much less during term time or spring/autumn.
It’s worth doing a quick calculation of your recent visits.
If you have fallen in love with a Haven resort and regularly stay there for two weeks in August, a week at Easter and a week at May half term then you could be spending £2500 - £5000+ on the cheapest accommodation available.
If owning a caravan would save you £5000 a year in rental fees then ownership suddenly becomes much better value. In the best case scenario, you’ve covered your annual costs and have the caravan at your disposal for the rest of year.
However, if you prefer to try different resorts on each holiday then it seems fairly obvious that Haven ownership isn't for you.
How does it work if Haven sublet the caravan for me?
The simplest option is to let Haven manage the property for you. They are onsite to deal with any problems and will know what prices can be charged for it.
The actual amount you get will also depend on which Haven lettings scheme you sign up for. The two options are:
This is very confusing - how about some real figures?
Alright, alright, calm down.
Let’s say that you are the proud owner of a two bedroom caravan at Haven Devon Cliffs (great choice, by the way). The caravan is rented out for a week in August for £1000 (that was roughly the cheapest price in 2022). You would pay:
That means that you will take away £485.20, which is roughly half of the total booking. This may sound like a big cut but it actually compares quite well to a lot of holiday cottage lettings companies.
So, which Haven ownership lettings scheme is best? Will I make a profit?
It’s not possible for me to say with any certainty which Haven owners lettings scheme will work out better for you. Sorry about that but there are just too many variables.
The income you will get from your Haven caravan depends on the location, your grade of caravan, overall demand and how much you want to use the caravan yourself. There are other unpredictable factors, such as how much the sun shines. If it's very sunny then people tend to stay in the UK so there will be more demand for your caravan and you'd be better on Haven's Flexi scheme.
However, you’ll get a good idea if you ask some very specific questions to Haven when you visit the site which you are considering for ownership.
What questions should I ask at a meeting with the Haven ownership team?
As you may have gathered by now, there are a lot of factors which will determine if ownership is good value for you.
I would start by visiting a Haven site armed with a calculator and a list of questions, including
There is also some pre-visit research that you can do yourself:
What are the other perks of Haven ownership?
Owners at Haven also get some other sweeteners, including:
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© COPYRIGHT 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.