Where Is The Cheapest Place To Rent A Campervan?

How Can I Rent A Campervan On A Budget?

The number of people wanting to rent a Campervan has increased exponentially in the last 2 years. This is mostly due to the rise of Covid 19.

Due to the pandemic, the popularity of holidaying in our own countries, rather than taking a packed aircraft for a trip abroad, has skyrocketed. However, staying on crowded Campsites or in busy Hotels have also lost their appeal, probably due to the high numbers of strangers visiting them and increasing the chances of us contracting the disease.

Holidaying in a Campervan has suddenly became a lot more appealing, but not everyone can afford the high price of buying a Campervan outright.

Renting Campervans for the short duration of our holidays has become an affordable way around the costly obstacle of Campervan ownership. But where can you rent a Campervan? Actually there are several options available to those wishing to rent a Campervan for the duration o their vacation. Let’s have a look at them?

Is It Cost Effective To Rent A Campervan From A Dealership?

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Rent A Campervan - Main Dealership

No, renting a Campervan from a Main Dealership is probably going to be the most expensive option of all.

Many Campervan Main Dealerships also have a rentals department, somewhere on site they will have a number of high quality, fully serviced and kitted out Campervans for hire, but they won’t come cheap.

You are going to be paying out for the top of the range package, but aside from the high cost, it should also be a smooth and painless transaction, carried out by professionals.

I wrote out a list of the benefits of renting from a Main Dealership in another post, which was quite comprehensive so I’ll include it here so that you can see what you’re paying for when renting a Campervan from a dealership:

  • Pick up and drop off with a full tank of fuel
  • A comprehensive vehicle check at pick up and drop off
  • Comprehensive Insurance and Breakdown Cover
  • A Camper Van that is fully kitted out with bedding, cooking and cleaning equipment etc
  • Somewhere to park your vehicle for free while you are away
  • A good quality, new(ish), reliable Camper Van
  • A safe home for your security deposit, that you will almost certainly get back if you look after the vehicle

Although you will get peace of mind, renting from a Main Dealership isn’t the way to go if you are on a budget.

Is It Cost Effective To Rent A Campervan From An Online Agency?

Possibly, Online Campervan Agencies are becoming an extremely popular way to rent Campervans for short to medium breaks.

These Online Agencies are described a Peer to Peer Agencies, meaning that the purpose of their sites are to match up Campervan Owners with people wishing to rent their Campervans from them.

The whole process is arranged online through some form of website or portal and then a pick up point and a handover is arranged between the two parties.

Obviously the Peer to Peer Company is going to want to take a cut as some form of Commission for their efforts in putting the 2 parties together. They will also most likely hold the Security Deposit for safe keeping, as well as offering Insurance and Breakdown Cover options too.

On completion of the rental, a hand back and inspection of the Campervan will be arranged and the cost of any damages or losses will be taken from the Security deposit before it is handed back.

Most of these Peer to Peer Rental Companies have some sort of Rating System, usually comprising of a Star Rating of 1-5 where comments can be left by both of the Parties involved.

The current big players in the Peer to Peer Campervan Rental Market are:

The drawbacks with renting from a Peer to Peer Website are that Insurance can often be pricey, there is the extra cost of a Commission to be added to the deal, and Handovers can sometimes only be conducted in inconvenient locations further away from home than you’d like.

Is It Cost Effective To Rent A Campervan From A Family or an Individual?

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Rent A Campervan - Individuals

Yes, taking the option to rent a Campervan from a private owner is going to be the most cost effective option for most people as I see it.

Many Campervan Owners bought into the dream of “Van Life” then realised that “Work Life” prevents them from using their beloved Campervan as much as they would like.

As Campervans are so expensive to buy, numerous Campervan Owners choose to rent them out to try to claw back some of their significant outlay.

They generally advertise locally on platforms such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Even though renting a Campervan from an individual will probably be the most cost effective way to rent one, you need to do your homework to ensure you don’t get stung by an unscrupulous individual. Unfortunately there are a few of them out there.

I strongly advise that you at least go and see the vehicle before agreeing to rent it, note it’s general condition and take a few photo’s that you can use as evidence if you were to need to.

Test drive the vehicle if possible. If the owner has concerns about you test driving it, then at least get them to take you on a short trip around the block in it so that you can note its performance.

Check that all the safety equipment such as spare wheel, jack and tyre levers are there. Any good owner will have some form of inventory of what is included in the rental. You really need to do an Inventory, otherwise you have no way of fighting your case if they accuse you of losing or damaging something when you come to return it.

Security Deposits can also be an area of contention with private rentals. How much it should be, where will it be held, and your likelihood of you getting it all back will need to be discussed too.

You are more than likely, but not always, going to have to arrange your own Insurance and Breakdown Cover for the duration of the hire too, which is a cost you will also have to factor in.

Agree on a Fuel Policy. Will you collect it full and hand it back full? Or just replace the fuel to the level that it was at when you picked it up? This may seem insignificant, but it could be the difference between you getting your Security Deposit back or not.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Arrange Insurance For Campervan Rental?

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Rent A Campervan - Arranging Insurance

This is quite a difficult question to answer, as everyone’s circumstances are different and we all pay different premiums for our insurance.

If you are planning to rent a Campervan from an Individual, you should speak to your Insurance Company first and get a ball park figure for the period of the rental.

The price you are going to have to pay will depend on the number of claims you have made, your years of driving experience, how much the Campervan is worth and many other factors.

If you have a good record and several years of driving experience, you will probably be quoted a very low figure. These people should take out Insurance with their own Insurance Company. For those people with a more patchy record and fewer years of experience, you are probably going to be quoted a higher figure.

Once you have this figure, you can go onto a Peer to Peer Campervan Rental Website and compare the price of Insurance for a rental from them. For some people, it could end up being cheaper to rent from the Peer to Peer Company.

If you are planning to rent a Campervan from a Peer to Peer Company arranging Insurance and Breakdown Cover with them can be as simple as just clicking a button or ticking a box on the online form. Some people prefer the lack of hassle over a small cost saving of having to arrange it themselves.

How Much Security Deposit Should You Expect To Pay When You Rent A Campervan?

If you are going to rent a Campervan worth as much as a house, then you can expect to pay a very large Security Deposit.

However, when renting through a Peer to Peer Website, or from an Individual, a figure of around £1000 – £2000 is not unreasonable.

Is There A Cheaper Option Than Renting A Campervan?

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Rent A Campervan - Friends And Family

Yes, borrowing a Campervan from close friends or family on an informal agreement is an excellent and cost effective way to arrange a Campervan holiday without breaking the bank.

If you have a close friend or family member who owns a Campervan, and doesn’t use it permanently, they may be more than willing to lend it to you informally at a very low cost or even for free.

If they are kind enough to agree to this, you must look after it, keep it safe and hand it back in better condition than when you borrowed it, and definitely undamaged. They are trusting you with their pride and joy after all.

You are still going to have to sort out Insurance and Breakdown Cover, but your other costs are going to be reduced significantly.

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Rent A Campervan? – Summary

There are 3 main places that you can rent a Campervan:

  • The most expensive place to rent a Campervan is going to be from a Main Dealership
  • The mid range option for renting a Campervan is from a Peer to Peer Website
  • The most affordable place to rent a Campervan is going to be from an Individual

You are probably going to have to arrange your own Insurance when renting a Campervan from an Individual. Depending on your Insurance history, this may end up being expensive. If this is the case, it is worthwhile comparing the cost of renting through a Peer to Peer site, as it may work out better for you.

If you have a friend or family member who owns a Campervan, it may be worth asking them if you could borrow it from them on an informal agreement. You will still have to arrange Insurance and Breakdown Cover if you do this.

I think that covers the subject of the cheapest place to rent a Campervan, all that remains is for you to go out and do it and experience Van Life for yourself.