As another busy camper hire season draws to a close, we reflect on some of the changes we’ve seen because of the Pandemic. Our second summer living with COVID has seen an explosion in both campervan hire and camper ownership due to the need to staycation.
Overall, this is a positive thing – It gives campervan owners the opportunity to offset some of the costs associated with running and maintaining a camper. And it gives rental customers more choice around prices, locations, and type of recreational vehicle to rent.
However, there are several things to consider when weighing up whether to hire a camper privately or through an established campervan hire company:
Appropriate Hire Insurance
Established campervan hire companies will have dedicated ‘self-drive hire’ and public liability insurance. There are lots of risks to consider when you’re driving an unfamiliar vehicle on public roads. Couple that with issues surrounding gas and electrical supplies and it’s quite a specialist risk to insure.
Will a private owner have these in place, should the worst happen?
Hire Customers’ Safety
It’s compulsory for hire companies to have their gas and electric supplies inspected on an annual basis. The regulations around gas and electrics are much more stringent for hire vehicles than privately owned campers. In fact, there’s no obligation for private owners to have their vehicles inspected at all.
With the recent popularity of campervans, there has also been an increase in people converting vans to cash in on the surge in demand. The conversion industry is completely unregulated and has led to many shoddy, unsafe conversions finding their way into private owners’ hands.
Campervan Repair Facilities
At Devon Camper Hire, we have repair facilities on-site and carry a large stock of spare parts. If one of the hire campers need repairs when they’re returned, we can usually turn this around within 24 hours. This means it won’t impact the next rental customer’s dates.
Unfortunately, breakages and accidents happen from time to time. Will a private owner have the facilities, skills and spare parts to repair any damage in time, so it doesn’t impact on your hire dates?
Our full-time rental campers are mechanically maintained impeccably. They’re serviced according to the heavy use they sustain. Any serviceable parts are replaced well ahead of schedule, to ensure we have no down time during the season.
Many private campers are used sporadically, at best, and maintained according to this light usage.
Sometimes the unavoidable happens and, due to accidents or mechanical failure, vehicles must be off the road for an extended period. What happens if this down time falls within your hire dates?
We can often provide an alternative camper, should the worst happen, or source one from our network of camper hire partners that we’ve built up over the years.
One person’s version of ‘clean’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘clean’ to another person – We carry out a deep clean after every single use. Our campers are as clean as they were the day we took delivery.
We understand that finding any remnant of the previous hirer’s time in the camper (dog hair, sticky finger marks, etc.) can spoil the experience of the next customer.
Yes, you could probably hire a camper a little cheaper through a private renter. But in a worst-case scenario, if you have to claim on their insurance, will you be adequately covered? Do you want to run the risk of being let down due to mechanical issues, either during your use or which impact your hire dates?
If you’re looking for a West Country campervan adventure, check out the dates we have available: Devon Camper Hire Bookings & Availability