Holiday park rentals vs. private rentals
Holiday park rentals are where you rent either a private owner’s caravan or one of their fleet caravans from the park owner. There are a number of benefits when you choose this method of rental
The caravan will often be cleaned by the park staff or contract cleaners prior to your stay. This means that local people are responsible for the cleaning rather than an owner or a cleaner set up by a private arrangement with the owner. As you are renting through the park owner you have someone on the park that is responsible for any problems or maintenance required during your stay. If you book a caravan via a private owner you may be restricted to only being able to contact them through a mobile number and if you have any issues whilst on holiday its likely they will live miles away (as there is little point in owning a holiday home on your own doorstep).
Risk when booking a caravan
When you book through a booking agent or a park owner they will often have protection against you losing your money if they run into financial problems. You also have some comeback if the holiday isn’t as described. With a private owner you will often only have a mobile number and if you pay in advance and for whatever reason the caravan is unavailable you only have the owner (and small claims court) to negotiate with.
Ease of booking a holiday caravan
Most of the main park operators will allow you to book the caravan or lodge on line or via a call centre. They will also have a range of caravans that are available to book giving you a better chance of being able to getting the dates you need and a caravan that best meets your requirements
Caravan rental costs
Often booking through the park owner is a little more expensive than with a private owner as they have staff to pay and other overheads. A private owner, for example, may not be looking to rent the caravan as a business but just as a way to make a contribution towards their costs of owning the caravan e.g. ground rent etc.
As with everything sometimes things go wrong. When you book with a park operator they will have staff onsite to help as well as maybe having alternative accommodation (especially out of peak season) they can offer if you are unhappy with the caravan you have been allocated. With a private owner, there is just the one caravan so if something goes wrong then there is less that can be done to remedy the situation. On the positive side if you book with a private caravan owner in most cases you will know exactly the accommodation you will be getting. If you are booking to go back to a site having stayed at that caravan before or following a friends recommendation you know what you will be getting.
Private rentals generally have less time rented out compared to a fleet caravan owned by a holiday park or operator. This means an older caravan that has been privately let is likely to be in better condition. However, many park owners will offer different levels of caravan lets. You will often see that for an extra charge they will guarantee that your caravan will be with in a set age e.g. this season or last season. If the condition of the caravan is less of an issue e.g. it’s just a place to sleep and you are not planning to spend a lot of time in it then money can be saved by booking a caravan that’s older. Most park operators only use caravans less than 5 years old as they know that they get a pretty hard life.