06/08/2010
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Hiring a motorhome: the small print

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Hiring a motorhome: the small print


Before signing the hire contract (or paying a deposit), make sure you read the company's terms and conditions for renting a motorhome. Ask for a copy in the post or download them from the website. Here's our top tips:

Deposits
Often a fixed amount (though sometimes this is negotiable). Can vary with the value of vehicle being hired or is a percentage of the total cost of hire.

Extras
Hire companies can offer a wide range of optional extras, such as awnings, barbecues, bikes and/or bike racks, sat nav and TVs. Think carefully about what you might use before you book.

Driving licences
Check your driving licence for the vehicles you are allowed to drive - if you passed you test after 1st January 1997 you are likely to be limited to 3,500kg all in.

Age
Hire companies can stipulate a lower and upper age limit for drivers, often defined by the insurance policy. Those under 30 or over 65 may have to shop around or pay a supplement on top of the cost or hiring a motorhome

Medical conditions
Talk to the hire company about any medical issues or conditions you might have before you book.

Insurance
Your hire may only include full comprehenisve insurance for one main driver, and then you can opt to pay extra for any additional people to be added to the insurance policy. It's worth it as you can share the driving or someone else can drive in the event of an emergency or accident.

Excess is the amount of money you will have to pay in the event of an insurance claim against the motorhome. This can vary greatly from one company to the next. You can pay an additional amount to reduce this (Collision Damage Waiver).

Breakdown cover
Should be included, but may only extend to UK cover. You'll need to get this extended for travel to Europe.

Handover
Instruction manuals that come with motorhomes can be lacking in info and complicated, so make the most of the vehicle handover when picking up the motorhome. Take note or catch the process on a video camera to refer to once away for the depot.

Returning the motorhome
Take note of charges for anything you might forget to do when returning the 'van. This includes not having a full tank of fuel and forgetting to do a final empty of the toilet.

The hire companies

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