Brexit: Timeshare Update
Well, the 15th January saw one of the most important moments in British politics for decades. Theresa May’s Brexit deal was voted down in a historic defeat in the commons by 432 votes to 202 – in favour of rejecting her deal on the terms for Britain’s exit from the European Union on the 29th of March. Theresa managed to secure a win against the vote of no confidence put forwards by Labour’s Corbyn, but even so, uncertainty within government and throughout the UK is at an all time high.
While MPs can certainly seem to agree that they aren’t happy with Theresa’s brexit – no one can come up with an alternative deal, and with only 2 months to go before the planned departure, the prospect of leaving with no deal at all is hanging very starkly in the air.
MPs are trying to put forward a range of arguments including a proposed further referendum, a softer version of Brexit and even to stop it all together – whilst others are lobbying to help push Brexit through. At this stage it’s fair to say that no one can predict the outcome of Brexit and what will happen on 29th March 2019.
Impact of Brexit on Timeshare
We already took a look at how Brexit may affect owners who have timeshare property in the EU in this article. Today, we wanted to consider how the events of the vote in January may impact again on timeshare.
While no one can claim to absolutely know what will happen post-Brexit, there are a number of factors that allow us to make strong predictions for what could happen to timeshare owners after Britain leaves the European Union. Firstly, the EU region is home to many timeshare properties owned by British citizens. Countries like Spain, Malta, Greece, Portugal and resorts within the Canary Islands are among the most popular countries for timeshare ownership and it is clear that there will absolutely be changes to holidays within Europe once we are no longer a part of it.
The question of visas for travel has been brought up many times in Brexit debates. Will British people now have to apply for visas, much like they do to visit countries like America and Australia, to visit countries within Europe where we used to enjoy free movement? Well, the European Commission has confirmed that you won’t need to apply for a visa if you’re travelling this year. However, from 2021 onwards you may be required to pay a fee of €7 to enter the EU. Therefore, if your timeshare property is in a European country, it could bring with it extra costs and issues of applying for visas for permission to travel to your own property after Brexit.
If you ordinarily book a hire car for your holidays and vacations in your timeshare in Europe, then Brexit could change the laws regarding driving abroad. In non EU countries such as Japan and some US states, travellers are already required to pay for a license to drive. If you are a frequent traveller you may well be used to these processes. However, up until Brexit uncertainty, driving in EU countries has been just the same as at home for those in the UK with a valid license. In September 2018, it was announced that a no-deal Brexit could mean your driving license is invalid in the EU and that UK drivers may need to apply for an international driving permit (at a cost of around £5.50). Within the UK Government’s latest no-deal planning papers it said that: “your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself”. Essentially, when travelling to the EU without the correct permit or IDP you may well be turned away at the border or be fined. This could be very problematic for owners of timeshare that usually hire a car for their holidays.
We looked in our last article at potential rising costs post-brexit, including the impact Brexit could have on maintenance fees for timeshare owners. In this article, we wanted to look beyond the rising costs of the timeshare property itself, and look to the costs of spending money within Europe post Brexit.
Each year, the Post Office creates a Holiday Money Report which outlines costs in various travel destinations. It monitors the average price of purchases including alcohol, a dinner for two and sun cream and then calculates where the cheapest holiday destinations are. In their 2018 report, they found that long-haul holiday prices have dropped the most while holiday costs in European resorts have risen. Even though some resorts within the EU are still cheap to visit, it is perhaps not a good sign that costs of holidays within the EU are on the rise. Many people buy into timeshare to attempt to secure a good deal on a holiday in a location they love. It won’t bode well for owners of timeshare if they are trapped visiting a very expensive location each year whilst other, more glamorous, destinations, could actually be cheaper.
What’s next for timeshare post Brexit?
Clearly, Brexit is still shrouded in uncertainty. It may well be March 29th before anyone really knows how the UK will exit the EU, and even then it could take time for us to really feel the impact of Brexit in real terms. But, with the potential for a substantial rise in holiday spending money in timeshare locations within the EU, as well as uncertainty about freedom of movement and our rights while visiting European countries, we are seeing more and more clients who are looking for help and guidance of how to best release themselves of their timeshare agreements.
At Athena Law, we work closely with all of our clients to understand their unique situation and frustrations so that we are placed in a strong position to advise you on the next steps you can take or help you better understand the implications of Brexit on your personal situation. If you are among those who have concerns about the effect of Brexit on your timeshare, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us for help and advice about your options.
We have many years of experience in the timeshare industry, and we would be happy to help.
Call 0161 839 8847 today
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We look forward to hearing from you soon.