Hot tub buyer’s Guide: Comparison on Coast Spas versus budget hot tubs

budget hot tubs

What is the true cost of buying a budget hot tub?

When it comes to choosing a Hot Tub, knowing which one is right for you can be confusing. Should you buy a budget hot tub? Or splash out on a more expensive model?

Hot tub costs range from around £3000 to £20,000. So, buying a hot tub can be as expensive as buying a car. Everyone knows the difference in quality and manufacturing between a Rolls Royce and a Skoda. But do you know the differences between your hot tub manufacturers?

At Eagle Leisure, we sell Coast Spas. A premium, quality hot tub, with an average cost between £8000 – £10,000. So we often get asked why our hot tubs are more expensive than budget hot tubs that are sold online. 

In this post, we look at the pro(s) and cons of buying a cheap hot tub. And we look at the differences that make Coast Spas dearer than their online, low-quality counterparts.

What’s the difference between cheap and budget hot tubs?

5 seat hot tub
On first look, Hot tubs may kind of look the same. They all have acrylic shells, jets and a cabinet. But there is a lot more to it than that.

When purchasing products manufactured outwith the EU or North America, there are a number of issues relating to quality and service that you should be aware of, especially if buying from an online retailer.

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Pro(s) of buying a budget hot tub

1. Price

Let’s get the main (and only) one out the way first.

Hot tubs manufactured in China/sold online will be cheaper. Some might say a price that seems too good to be true.
This down to cheap parts and cheap labour.

Initially, low price is a pro! But the following ‘cons’ may mean your cheap hot tub costs more in the long run between running cost and repairs. 

There are usually two reasons for a low price:

1) Poor quality

How are cheap retailers able to sell ‘premium’ hot tubs, with all the bells and whistles for cheaper than quality manufactured hot tubs cost to make? 

You get what you pay for. And deep down you know that a low cost reflects cost cutting somewhere along the line. Whether this is through low-quality parts or low paid unethical manufacturing plants, costs are being cut somewhere (usually both).

This can be detrimental to your safety and your bank balance. With running and repair costs adding up over the life of the hot tub.

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2) Low-profit margins.

Why do you care if a company makes money as long as you get it cheap?

Hot tub companies that sell at a ridiculously low-profit margin go out of business. It’s happened more than one in the UK. This voids your warranty. If this happens, where do you go when you have a problem? 

If supporting sustainable business practices, and the local economy is high on your list of priorities then you may want to consider buying from a local, quality hot tub retailer. 

In most cases, budget hot tubs are a mixture of poor quality manufacturing, unethical manufacturing practices and low-profit margins. 

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Cons of buying a budget hot tub?

There are a few things that can go wrong if you buy a cheap hot tub. These fall into two groups. 

  1. Poor product quality
  2. Poor service quality

1. Poor Product quality

Budget hot tubs have Poor Shell Quality

If your shell cracks there are no economical means of repair.

Acrylic shells look the same. But how they are treated throughout the manufacturing process determines the shell quality and strength. 

On budget hot tubs, the acrylic is thinly stretched, rending it only as thick, strong and chemical resistant as a standard bathtub. This will not stand up to the heat and pressure fluctuations hot tub shells are subjected to and will likely crack and leak.

Coast Spa Hot Tubs are the first and only manufacturer to use Owens Corning© Fibreglass reinforced shells. With 12 layers of fibreglass, or more. Delivering the toughest and most durable shell available on the market.

Budget hot tubs have Poor Filtration Systems

Coast spas hydrocyclonic filtration

Budget hot tubs use cost-cutting skim filtration systems. With these, the filters sit behind the skimmer plate. They are constantly in contact with the bathing water. Which allows any debris that is trapped to float back in and contaminate the water.

Yuk! That’s not clean.

Coast Spas use a pressurised filtration system. The filters are completely separate from the hot tub water, so once the dirt is caught in the filter it stays there.

It is 83% faster and 20% more efficient than skim filtration systems. 

Budget hot tubs are poorly manufactured

Hot Tubs mix water with electrics, so ensuring that your purchase is safe for use is paramount!

Many budget hot tubs state that they are CE approved. But self-certification makes testing this difficult to verify if they come from outwith the EU or North America. They are also not wet-tested before the sale, meaning parts may not be fitted correctly with sometimes dangerous consequences.

Coast Spas have been recognised for their high-quality manufacturing process with an ISO 9001:2008 certification, the highest internationally recognised quality standard for manufacturing. 

Budget hot tubs are expensive to run

We constantly get asked how we can justify £10,000 hot tubs when others are £3000. But people forget to compare the running costs. Hot tubs should cost around £30-£40 per month to run. But we speak to people who are spending upwards of £100 per month. Which, is an insane amount to be paying on top of your normal electrical bill.

This is because budget hot tubs are poorly built for energy efficiency. They don’t use efficient pumps. They don’t have good covers. And they don’t utilise full foam insulation in the cabinet cavity. Resulting in poor energy efficiency and a sky-high electrical bill. 

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We always recommend you opt for full foam insulation. Alongside the standard energy efficient components and insulated cover. This should leave you with a monthly hot tub bill of £30-£40/month.

FREE essential guide...

Hot tub buyer's guide

Want to know what four things we think are absolutely essential to know before you make the big hot tub purchase?

Download our FREE hot tub buyer's guide for hints and tips on what to look for.

By downloading this you are agreeing to our privacy policy

If you download this buyer's guide, we'll also send you some more emails on hot tubs or offers that you might love. You can unsubscribe at any time. And of course, we will NEVER sell your details to a third party. Powered by ConvertKit

Service Quality

It’s difficult to source replacement parts for budget hot tubs

We carry out repairs on all different hot tub manufacturers. So we know just how difficult it is to source parts for unbranded hot tubs. Often in the case of cheap hot tubs repairs, we have to replace multiple parts. Which drives up repair costs. 

It’s not uncommon to get a ‘great deal’ on a hot tub. Only to spend the same amount (or more) on repairs over a few years. 

We source all the parts directly from Coast Spas, so can easily get high-quality replacement spares. All our hot tub have a unique serial number on them. Which, makes finding replacement parts easy.

Many companies won’t repair or service budget hot tubs

No matter how much you spend on a hot tub, problems can occur. Finding a reputable company to carry out service or repair work on your budget hot tub can be difficult. 

We always try to help, but it’s not always possible if the hot tub is unbranded or unsafe. And we know that a lot of the good hot tub companies within Scotland refuse to go anywhere near a hot tub if it doesn’t have a recognisable name. 

Even if you decide not to stay with us for a service plan. Any reputable company will be able to offer service and repair on a Coast Spa hot tub. 

Even if you decide not to stay with us for a service plan. Any reputable company will be able to offer service and repair on a Coast Spa hot tub.

The problem with budget hot tubs is that, not only do they have poor hot tub warranties. But it is difficult (or impossible) to claim them.

Best case scenario they send replacement parts. But, as with above, not many companies are willing to carry out the warranty work for another hot tub company.

All Coast Spas are delivered into place and installed. At Eagle Leisure we include delivery, installation, cover, cover lift, steps and a chemical starter kit in the cost of the hot tub. 

Budget hot tub companies offer kerbside delivery

Many online hot tub retailer delivery the hot tub to your front door ie. ‘kerbside delivery’. You then need to move it into place, at your expense and install it. 

All Coast Spas are delivered into place and installed. At Eagle Leisure we include delivery, installation, cover, cover lift, steps and a chemical starter kit in the cost of the hot tub. 

We filmed a video of our delivery and installation, so you can see how we do it.

FREE essential guide...

Hot tub buyer's guide

Want to know what four things we think are absolutely essential to know before you make the big hot tub purchase?

Download our FREE hot tub buyer's guide for hints and tips on what to look for.

By downloading this you are agreeing to our privacy policy

If you download this buyer's guide, we'll also send you some more emails on hot tubs or offers that you might love. You can unsubscribe at any time. And of course, we will NEVER sell your details to a third party. Powered by ConvertKit

In Summary

Hopefully, this has helped you understand that there is a difference betweenCoast Spas and budget hot tubs. 

The moral of the story is that looks can be deceiving. And you should never judge a Hot Tub by its cover (well, exterior).

Ultimately, whatever Hot Tub you feel comfortable and confident in buying is the one you should go with. It’s an expensive and exciting purchase, and you want to make sure you have no regrets.

But remember. If something seems to good to be true then it probably is!

If you have more questions why not get in touch, or some and visit us. 

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.