If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’re wondering whether buying a caravan in Spain is still a viable option for you or not. You may be unsure of what rules Spain has implemented and whether you can still live on a campsite in Benidorm full time. Our Benidorm Campsites have some of the largest populations of retired British ex-pats and holiday home owners throughout the whole of Spain so we feel we can give a first hand account of how we see things moving forward.
We’re contacted on a daily basis asking for clarification on the changes since Brexit and we’ve seen lot’s of conflicting information on social media. We’d like to help clear up some of the information and hopefully help you make a clearer decision when planning your future.
How Long Can I Stay In Benidorm For After Brexit?
This is the big question and one that seems to be getting answered wrong the most. To live in Spain for a full 12 months of the year, you would be required to apply for Residencia / TIE card. Without Residencia / TIE card, you’re allowed to stay in Spain for a maximum period of 90 days every 180 days. To simplify this – you can stay in Spain for 2 x 3 month periods as long as they’re broken up with a 3 month period (where you’ve left the Schengen zone) in the middle. This gives you 6 months in total to stay in Spain in during the year. We’ve had clients on the Benidorm Campsites stay for these periods for a number of years before Brexit was even a thing. Most people who live on the Benidorm campsites would return to the UK during the hot summer months. A typical stay for someone who lives on a Benidorm Campsite would be:
- Spain – January – May / October – January (8 months)
- UK – June – September (4 months)
With the rules that came into play after Brexit, this means that we’ll need to think more specifically about how we break up stay periods. 8 months will become 6 months and it will affect those the most that planned on living in Spain on a full time (12 month basis). For those that don’t have Spanish residency, (as an example) these are now the most common months to stay in Spain:
- Spain – October / November / December
- UK – January / February / March
- Spain – April / May / June
- UK – July / August / September
This calculation was made using the Schengen Visa Calculator on the Benidorm Seriously website. Visit their website to check out your own dates – https://www.benidormseriously.com/schengen-visa-calculator
Can I Still Live On A Campsite In Benidorm?
To live on a campsite in Benidorm full time (12 months of the year) would mean that you would need to apply for a Residencia / TIE card. Campsites in Benidorm still allow people to live there full time and this won’t change as most of the Benidorm Campsites are largely based around long term clients. We’ve seen a small number of owners who didn’t apply for residencia leave us before the 31st March deadline but Benidorm Campsites are still mostly occupied by British ex-pats.
Will Campsites In Benidorm Change After Brexit?
Benidorm campsites have always been the main-stay for Brits visiting Benidorm (especially in the winter months) and will continue to be so. Benidorm campsites are good hospitality businesses that have always catered for all nationalities and they tend to do well at making sure those who stay with them (either long term or short term) are well looked after as paying guests. The main change that we’ll see is a more regular changeover of clients on the campsites to fit in with duration of stays that are now allowed. Benidorm campsites have always had a mix of both holiday home owners and those that live full time and believe it or not, holiday home owners account for large percentage of caravan owners on each of the campsites (and they won’t be affected by the changes).
Read More: Benidorm Campsites | Camping Villamar is one of the most popular Campsites in Benidorm. Primarily a British Caravan Park this is a perfect option for those looking at a ‘home from home’ experience on a long stay Campsite….
How Can I Justify The Campsite Site Fees If I Can Only Use My Caravan For 6 Months?
Benidorm Campsite site fees vary for each Benidorm Campsite and the cost for annual site fees is reflected by the services the campsite offers. Personal financial circumstances will dictate whether something is good value or affordable but we’ll to try to put things into perspective:
- Annual site fees: Annual campsite site fees are discounted against daily prices. For stays over 90 days you will usually get a significant discount against the daily price (of more than 50% in most cases). The average annual site fee comes in at 4,800€ per year and this is usually for 2 people (with the exception of Camping Almafra which is for 6 if you own a mobile home). 4,800€ sounds a lot but if you’re in the market to purchase a holiday home or caravan to live in you will more than likely have investigated the cost of similar UK campsites which have significantly higher annual fees. Exchange rates also play a part in the annual site fee cost and 4,800€ at todays exchange rate is 4,100 GBP. Annual site fees include water, communal rates, taxes and in some cases – an allowance of electricity. Annual site fees can usually be paid in 2 x 6 month payments to help spread the cost.
- Shared ownership : We’ve seen an increase in shared ownership to offset the cost of purchasing the caravan and covering the cost of the site fees. This is a great option for those that want to ensure the caravan is being used for 12 months of the year.
- Sub-letting: Sub-letting is a great way to cover the cost of site fees, make a little bit of money (or a lot depending on how business savvy you are!) and still allow you the freedom and flexibiltiy to use the caravan when you want to. Please note: this is currently only available at Camping Almafra in the Benidorm area.
- Holiday Costs: Benidorm has always been known for its cheap winter getaways as we have a huge amount of hotels that would mostly be left unoccupied due to a lack of Spanish & other European visitors. This sees hotels reduce prices significantly and offer great deals that appeal to the Brits looking for some winter sunshine. This is not the case in the summertime as we see huge demand from Spanish and French tourists and the prices of hotel stays skyrockets. If you like your summer holidays in Benidorm then a caravan is a great alternative as the cost of annual site fees would likely not cost the same for a 2 week hotel stay for a family of four. Plus, you’re guaranteed the comfort of your own holiday place and Benidorm Campsites offer the same (if not more) by way of food, drink and entertainment.
- Sunshine: What’s the cost of guaranteed sunshine? We know our answer but we’ll let you decide that one!
Is Now The Right Time To Buy A Caravan In Spain?
In our opinion, now is the best time to buy a caravan in Spain! For over 10 years we’ve seen demand outstripping supply which has increased the cost of buying a caravan in Benidorm year on year. Brexit has created some uncertainty which means that we have more available caravans for sale and prices have dropped. We don’t expect this to last as when people understand and adapt to the rules regarding Brexit, caravan sales in Benidorm will get back to previous levels or higher.
Will The Rules Change Or Will Spain Adopt A Visa Policy?
We would like to think so but at the moment nothing has been confirmed. We’ve heard rumours of Spain introducing a visa system to allow longer periods of stay but we’ll have to wait to see if this is something that happens.
We hope you’ve found this article useful and if you’d like to chat with others about Benidorm or leave a comment, please visit or FORUM section.
BEFORE YOU GO… Check out these pages which might be of interest to you :
CARAVAN RENTALS IN BENIDORM | Static Caravans, Mobile Homes and Touring Caravans For Rent on Campsites in Benidorm have become a great choice for those that are either looking for their next Summer holiday, their Winter getaway in the sun or for those who are looking to ‘try before you buy…Read more
USED CARAVAN SALES | Used & Resale Residential Mobile Homes, Touring Caravans, Static Caravans, Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, American Trailers & Park Homes For Sale In Spain – Benidorm, Albir, El Campello…Read more
Disclaimer: The information contained within this post is given on an ‘as is’ basis and can change daily. For upto date guidelines please visit the government websites in the relevant country.