24/06/2021
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Motorhome and campervan hire: The ultimate guide

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  Back to: Motorhome basics

There are lots of reasons why hiring a motorhome or campervan is a great idea. This hire guide will help to answer all of your hiring questions.

Hire guide contents

 


FEATURED: Motorhome hire
Motorhome hire - picture Bunk Campers

(Photo courtesy of Bunk Campers)

The motorhome hire guide

Everything you ever wanted to know about hiring your first motorhome.

From checklists for picking up a vehicle to commonly asked questions, we run down what you need to know...

Motorhome hire   

FEATURED: Campervan hire
Campervan hire (picture courtesy of Goboony)

[Image © courtesy of Bunk Campers]

The campervan hire guide

Everything you ever wanted to know about hiring your first campervan.

Let us take the stress out of campervan hire with this essential guide, including real-life stories and more...

Campervan hire   

 

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MMM is Britain’s best-selling motorhome magazine and it has been for over 55 years. Each four-weekly issue is packed with the best motorhome travel features, genuine reader reviews of campsites, in-depth motorhome reviews, plus the latest technical advice, buying tips and much more.

MMM’s fully searchable digital library gives you access to the latest issues, plus every edition of MMM since January 2012.


Why would I hire a motorhome or campervan?

motorhome freedom

(Photo courtesy of Fi Darby)

There are lots of reasons why hiring a campervan or motorhome might be your best choice. Here we list five great reasons why you should hire a vehicle for your next holiday, short break or national tour.

#1 A campervan or motorhome holiday gives you freedom

Hiring a campervan or a motorhome gives you, your family and friends the freedom to travel, to roam our beautiful country with the freedom to go just about anywhere you want, whenever you want. Always with your 'home from home' travelling with you. You may just park up at a fabulous campsite and simply enjoy the luxury of your hired vehicle rather than a tent. Or you might be more adventerous and undertake a fabulous tour visiting one spectacular place after another. Perhaps you want to adventure to wilder locations or more remote locations. Whatever you do, your hired vehicle will be your home from home, with you all the way.

#2 Campervans and motorhomes are expensive to buy

Not everyone has the 50k plus spare to buy a campervan or motorhome, and perhaps not even the time to make full use of such an expensive vehicle. Hiring a vehicle as and when you need it can make financial sense. Your hired vehicle will be safety checked, roadworthy at all times and usually in near perfect condition, professionally cleaned and ready for immediate use. Plus you are only going to pay for the time you are actually using the vehicle - a win win for everyone concerned.

#3 Hiring is flexible

If you buy a vehicle, that's it. You have one vehicle. But with hiring you can change the type of vehicle you want to hire every time you travel. Perhaps you need a campervan for quick weekend away, or a larger motorhome for your family and friends on a longer break. If it is just you and your partner for a night or two, not having a built-in washroom is fine. Or maybe you like the privacy and personal space of your own toilet and washroom. Whatever your needs are, hiring gives you the flexibility to pick and choose the right vehicle for your chosen holiday.

#4 Try with a hire before you buy

Perhaps you are considering buying your first campervan or motorhome. What better way to help you decide on a significant investment is there than actually trying out your vehicle before you buy. See what layout, vehicle type or even engine size suits you best by hiring and trying it out in real life first.

#5 Hiring is an economical adventure

Hiring a vehicle for a family holiday, a weekend away or a week-long tour is more economical than you might think. You get the freedom to travel wherever you want, without being beholden to expensive hotels or B&Bs. We are great fans of both campervan and motorhome hire for family holidays, for friends to get away somewhere because of all the massive benefits it can offer, without any large financial investment in a vehicle, nor any complications from storage or maintenance. If you have not tried it yet, we strongly encourage you to hire a vehicle and give it a go. You will not regret it!

 

Get MMM for just £2.99 a month!

test banner
special offer banner

MMM is Britain’s best-selling motorhome magazine and it has been for over 55 years. Each four-weekly issue is packed with the best motorhome travel features, genuine reader reviews of campsites, in-depth motorhome reviews, plus the latest technical advice, buying tips and much more.

MMM’s fully searchable digital library gives you access to the latest issues, plus every edition of MMM since January 2012.

 

Get Campervan magazine from just £9.99

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special offer banner

Campervan is the exciting monthly magazine that will give you all the inspiration you need to explore the world in your campervan. Every issue is packed with inspiring travel ideas, road trips, reviews, and much more!

Campervan’s fully searchable digital library gives you access to the latest issues, plus every edition of Campervan since it was launched in 2014.


Motorhome or campervan? What should I choose?

Motorhome or Campervan (picture courtesy Bürstner)

[Image © courtesy of Bürstner]

Size matters

There are various sizes of campervans and motorhomes available, from large coachbuilt vehicles with an overcab to sleep the children, to two-berth campervans that make a compelling alternative to mud-filled fields and overflowing toilets at major festivals.

The drive matters

Think about whether you are comfortable driving a larger vehicle. Many campervans are no longer than a typical family estate, but many coachbuilts will be longer, taller and wider.

Reliability matters

A vintage VW camper might seem fun but, if it has low fuel economy or breaks down when leaving the rental station, then that isn’t going to give you a great holiday experience. Choosing a newer model, less than three years old, will certainly help to ensure your holiday is not interrupted by mechanical and performance issues.

Facilities matter

If you want to head to a campsite and use the motorhome as a home away from home, then a large vehicle will better suit your purposes than a small camper. If your campsites have electric hook-up then get a motorhome with an electric oven and even a hotplate. While a motorhome will have a shower and loo, if you plan to only use the campsite’s facilities and eat in local restaurants, then perhaps a campervan might be better.

Your destination matters

If you are intending to explore country lanes, high moors, travel over mountainous roads and wild camp, then a large motorhome will be less suitable. So match the motorhome type to the nature of your holiday. If you’re using ferries, bear in mind motorhomes over six metres long can attract a higher cost, so smaller is definitely better if you’re going to places like the Scottish islands.

In summary: Your choices matter

Plan where you are going and ensure the hire vehicle is capable of tackling the roads you encounter. Then ensure the vehicle will provide the facilities you need. Make sure your hire vehicle is going to be reliable and mechanically sound. Finally, make sure your hire vehicle is of a size you’re happy driving. Get these things right and adventure awaits you!


Hiring from a hire specialist

Great choice of vehicles

There are lots of well-established specialist motorhome hire businesses around, from small, family-run firms to large hire companies with multiple branches. Such places tend to offer a choice of motorhomes from different manufacturers and can offer vehicles to hire from basic little campervans to large family motorhomes.

Peace of mind

Renting from a specialist hire company provides you the peace of mind of knowing that you are hiring from professionals. Your hire vehicle will be professionally cleaned, serviced and safety checked before you even get in it.

Expert advice

There is also likely to be a massive range to choose from, plus you also get the benefit of expert advice about the right motorhome or campervan to suit your needs.

Fully insured

Finally, hiring from a specialist hiring company means you do not have any hassles sorting out the right insurance for your trip. Their staff will ensure your vehicle is suitably insured for the driver, your party and your destinations. Plus they can often offer the best prices on insurance because they have already negotiated great rates, meaning you don't have to spend the time on this complex topic.


Private hiring (peer to peer)

There is an alternative to specialist hire companies, private peer to peer hiring of vehicles from websites that specialise in helping you to find, locate and evaluate private hires from individuals with vehicles.

Sponsored by our trusted partner:

Comfort Motorhome and Campervan Insurance

It is fast and easy to browse

Fans of Airbnb will love companies like Camptoo, Camplify, Goboony, Quirky Campers and more, as the premise is very similar. If you have a campervan or motorhome sitting on the drive gathering dust, then you can put it to good use by renting it out for others to enjoy. Just sign up to create an online account and you can then start browsing the website to see what’s up for rent. Though they can be cheaper, quality and ages can vary considerably.

Insuring your private hire

There are many websites that offer booking and insurance and peripheral services for those looking to hire out their motorhomes, and conversely you may get a little more support by booking through one of these platforms.

Read the terms and conditions

Rental terms and conditions may vary from one campervan to another, too, so make sure you fully understand the terms and limitations of your hire agreement.


Vehicle hire FAQs

Front Lounge Motorhome - picture shows Chausson Titanium Premium motorhome

[Image © courtesy of Chausson]

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about hiring a motorhome or campervan.

  1. Q1: What is the difference between a campervan and motorhome?

    Answer: Generally speaking a campervan is smaller, but there is more to it. A campervan is essentially a van (mainly with a high-top or a rising roof) that has been converted to accommodate living space. A motorhome is traditionally a ‘white-bodied’ coachbuilt vehicle that offers a caravan-type living area built onto a base vehicle chassis. All motorhomes will have a toilet and washroom, but smaller campervans are not likely to have built-in toilets or washrooms. Whether you are hiring a campervan or a motorhome you will be suprised at the level of comfort and luxury that can be offered in either.

  2. Q2: What driving licence do I need to hire a campervan or motorhome?

    Answer: Although this may seem complicated, in reality all you have to show your hiring company is your licence and they will tell you what you can drive and which vehicles you can and can't hire. If you passed your driving test on or after 1 January, 1997, you are limited to driving a vehicle of no more than 3,500kg maximum weight. If you passed your test before that date you can drive a vehicle that weighs up to 7,500kg.

  3. Q3: Do I need to have a clean licence?

    Answer: Most hire companies will require a clean licence, with no convictions for drink driving at all. Some will also ask that you have had no insurance claims in the last three years; however, companies vary in their rules considerably so it is still worth calling the hire company to find out the exact rules.

  4. Q4: At what age can I hire a motorhome or campervan?

    Answer: Most hire companies will require you to be between the ages of 25 and 70. Again, company rules around this vary so if it seems like the age restrictions might apply to you, it is still worth calling the hire company and asking. Sometimes you may just have to pay slight additional insurance fees.

  5. Q5: Can I smoke inside my hire vehicle?

    Answer: Smoking inside a hired vehicle is almost always strictly forbidden. Some hirers used to set aside vehicles for those who wish to indulge, but this is rarely the case today.

  6. Q6: Can I take my dogs in a hire vehicle?

    Answer: Restrictions vary considerably, so you must ask. There is a reason they are restricted, because of damage, additional cleaning and risks from pet allergies for the next user. Some companies reserve hire vehicles for pets, so if you want to take your dogs, you should be able to find a vehicle from a hire company where pets are allowed.

  7. Q7: How much does hiring a motorhome or campervan cost?

    Answer: If you are hiring a motorhome or campervan, what you are actually getting is a fully equipped holiday home on wheels. It will be insured, kitted out, fully maintained, cleaned and ready for the open road! All you need to do is get in and drive. So don’t compare the cost to hiring a car, but rather compare it with hiring a holiday cottage or a hotel room and then add in the cost of a hire car to that, too. 

    See our individual guides for motorhomes and campervans for more details about what to expect to pay for your hire vehicles.

  8. Q8: Can I take my hired vehicle on a ferry?

    Answer: Yes you can, but bear in mind motorhomes over six metres long can attract a higher charge on many ferries where space is at a premium. So smaller is definitely better if you’re going to places like the Scottish islands. Also be aware that getting vehicles with long rear overhangs on some smaller ferries may be tricky due to the loading ramps. Make sure you check your destinations with your hire company if you are using a ferry, or especially before going abroad, because you need to make sure your insurance is valid for your destination.

  9. Q9: What should I pack in my hired vehicle?

    Answer: Think minimal. The hire vehicle will have the basics, so you don’t normally need to pack pots and pans. For the truly light traveller, make sure you’ve got your toothbrush, credit card and driving licence, and then hit the road! You can always pick up anything you need them from shops and garages. See our individual guides for motorhomes and campervans for more details about what to pack and what to expect.


Campervan or motorhome hire - the choice is yours!

So which vehicle type will you hire next? A more compact campervan or a fully featured motorhome? Check out our individual guides for your chosen vehicle and find out how much it will cost, where to hire from and what you can expect.

FEATURED: Motorhome hire
Motorhome hire - picture courtesy Bunk Campers

[Image © courtesy of Bunk Campers]

The motorhome hire guide

Everything you ever wanted to know about hiring your first motorhome.

From checklists for picking up a vehicle to commonly asked questions, we run down what you need to know...

Motorhome hire   

FEATURED: Campervan hire
Campervan hire - picture courtesy Goboony

[Image © courtesy of Goboony]

The campervan hire guide

Everything you ever wanted to know about hiring your first campervan.

Let us take the stress out of campervan hire with this essential guide, including real-life stories and more...

Campervan hire   


Top tips for vehicle hire

Here are some general top tips when hiring a motorhome or campervan.

  1.   Get the right size of vehicle!

    Make sure you get the right number of, and types of beds in your hired vehicle, to suit your party and make sure the layout suits your needs.

  2.   Be considerate while on holiday!

    Consider the rural communities and towns you are visiting. It's not OK to empty toilets into anywhere other than designated points, without prior approval. Take your rubbish home with you. Don't park in passing places to admire the scenery. The Lake District has issued this code of conduct that probably applies across the UK.

  3.   Plan your routes

    Do plan where you are going and ensure your hired vehicle is capable of tackling the roads and expected conditions.

  4.   Travel light

    Don’t take things you aren’t going to use. Taking too much is a burden you can easily avoid. Your hired vehicle might be big, but the space fills up quickly.

  5.   Pack carefully

    Don’t unpack your crockery into the cupboards, or have things loose before setting off. Your hired vehicle will still experience bumps and jolts and flying debris can be dangerous as well as noisy.

  6.   Know how your vehicle works

    Do ensure you know how everything works on your hire vehicle before you leave home. Try it all out and become familiar with it.

  7.   Stay seated

    Don’t allow people to wander about the hire vehicle while in transit. They should be seated and seatbelted at all times.

  8.   Turn off the gas

    If your hire vehicle has a gas supply, don’t travel with the gas turned on. Ask if the gas appliances in your leisure accommodation vehicle (LAV) have been safety-checked and serviced. If you’re holidaying in the UK in a touring caravan or motorhome the hirer must do this by law and is required to provide an up-to-date Landlord Gas Safety Record.

  9.   Drive carefully

    Do give yourself enough room to drive around corners by swinging out wide if you are in a motorhome or even some of the larger campervans. Your hire vehicle is probably bigger than you are used to.

  10.   Park safely

    Do use levelling wedges when you park up. Your hired vehicle is probably larger than your normal vehicle so parking safely and horizontally will be a big benefit for you.

  11.   Be safe with electricity

    If your hired vehicle has an external electric hook-up, plug your electric hook-up into your hired vehicle first and then connect it to the campsite supply.


Expert motorhome advice to your door!

Why not subscribe to one of our fabulous magazines and get expert advice, travel ideas, technical help and all the latest news for your motorhome and your motorhome adventures!

MMM Motorhomers' Magazine

Want to know more about MMM magazine?

Every month MMM has articles written by motorhomers who have been there and done it, from great UK and European (and further afield) tours, campsite reviews, owners' reports and DIY projects among other things. MMM's tests, reviews and expert buying guides are not to be missed. MMM's technical advice is a must and includes everything from weekend jobs to longer-term DIY projects. And much more!

About MMM magazine  
What Motorhome Magazine

Want to know more about What Motorhome magazine?

Every issue of What Motorhome magazine provides essential buying advice for anyone looking to buy a new motorhome or campervan or upgrade their existing model. With a pedigree of over 30 years of offering the best motorhome and campervan buying advice, every issue of What Motorhome includes more new motorhome and campervan reviews than you will find in any other magazine.

About What Motorhome  
Campervan Magazine

Want to know more about Campervan magazine?

Campervan is the exciting monthly magazine that will give you all the inspiration you need to explore the world in your campervan. Every issue is packed with real-life campervanning experiences, inspiring travel ideas in the UK and further afield, the best campsites to stay on, campervan road tests and reviews of the latest models, and much more!

About Campervan magazine  

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