Why is this important?
What is a holiday club?
Buying membership of a holiday club promises you the chance to buy cheaper holidays from a particular company.
Some holiday clubs are protected by special regulations, called The Timeshare, Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Regulations, or Timeshare Regulations, for short.
If you belong to a holiday club covered by these regulations, you get special protection, such as the right to a cooling-off period when you can cancel the agreement if you change your mind.
This page helps you work out whether you’ve joined a holiday club, and whether you’re protected by the regulations.
What you need to know
Holiday club agreements signed in a European Economic Area (EEA) country are protected by The Timeshare Regulations. Check if your holiday club agreement is covered by the regulations.
For more advice on holiday club agreements signed in Europe outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre (ECC). They will help you try and sort out your problem with the timeshare company and can give you legal advice. Go to: www.ukecc.net, or telephone their consumer helpline on: 08456 04 05 03
Have you joined a holiday club?
Buying membership of a holiday club promises you the chance to buy cheaper holidays from a particular company. You won’t have chosen a particular apartment or resort but the chance to buy accommodation and sometimes flights at a discount.
You will usually have to pay a fee to join the club and membership fees. Your membership fees should be split into yearly instalments of equal value. You will still need to pay for each holiday you book on top of your yearly membership charge.
For example, you might agree to pay £120 a year in return for the right to book accommodation and flights at a 10% discount on high street prices.
Other kinds of holiday agreements
If this doesn’t sound like your holiday agreement you may have bought a timeshare.
When you buy a timeshare you buy the right to use holiday property for a set amount of time each year. The property will often be part of a holiday resort but it could be a caravan or a canal boat.
You may have another type of holiday agreement that isn’t for a holiday club or a timeshare and so won’t be covered by the timeshare regulations. For example, it might be:
- multiple accommodation bookings – for example, an agreement between you and a hotel to book a room for a series of stays over a period of more than one year
- lease agreements for a continuous period – for example, a long-term holiday let
- a hotel loyalty scheme – as long as no charge is made for belonging to the scheme.
Is your agreement covered by timeshare and holiday club regulations?
To work out whether your holiday agreement is covered by the timeshare regulations, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- did you sign your agreement on or after the 23 February 2011?
- did you sign it in a European Economic Area (EEA) country which has enforced the timeshare laws ? – some EEA countries such as Spain, haven’t
- are you a consumer? This means you joined the holiday club for your own use and not for business reasons
- does your agreement last for at least one year, or can be renewed to last for at least a year?
- does it give you the right to stay over-night in holiday property for more than one night?
- did you agree to pay for your agreement?
- was your agreement with a company and not a private individual?
If you can answer yes to all these questions, this means your agreement is probably covered by the timeshare regulations. The regulations give you special cancellation rights if you change your mind about the agreement and other kinds of protection if you have problems.