Hiring a caravan is, in my opinion, the cheapest way to find out if caravanning is for you and what kind of caravan to actually buy. Probably every caravanner I know has had at least one caravan. Not because the previous one didn’t work, but because something didn’t suit them. Over time, he found that he actually needed or wanted something else.
That was the case with ours as well. We started with a semi-integrated motorhome and ended up with a camper van with a bathroom.
I would definitely recommend renting a motorhome before actually buying a motorhome. Rent 3 different types – a huge campervan, a micro campervan and something in between. You’ll find out for yourself what the pros and cons are. What suits you best, for your way of travelling.
I know people who have rented a big alcove but ended up buying a VW California.
Renting a caravan at home
Nowadays it is possible to rent any type of caravan. Whether a small VW California campervan or a Mercedes Marco Polo. You can rent a semi-integrated but also an integrated motorhome or caravan. New models are available, but also older “old skool” versions for less money.
“Renting a caravan is much cheaper in the off-season”
It is possible to rent a caravan, even for a weekend. In low season it is of course more expensive and you need to rent a caravan for at least a week. Rental companies sometimes give discounts for long-term rentals in the off-season. Sometimes they also set a maximum mileage.
The price nowadays starts from 50 EUR per day for a trailer or some old skool caravan. It goes up to €150 per day for a more luxurious version or top season.
When renting a caravan, you usually pay a refundable deposit of around 1000 EUR. Sometimes there is also a one-off service charge for cleaning and washing the caravan. This fee varies, usually between EUR 50 and EUR 100.
When renting a caravan, you will usually get a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor furniture as well. A full gas bottle and water tank. Basically, you come to the caravan as an apartment, where you just bring your clothes and food.
Caravan hire abroad
“In addition to renting a caravan at home, you can also rent a caravan abroad.”
This will save you a lot of time and maybe even money. You fly to Spain, for example, and there you are already driving the caravan. Some rental companies also offer surfboards, paddleboards, bicycles or other equipment for a small fee.
This was very popular in Portugal, for example, where you could choose from lots of different kinds of vans. Depending on the size and number of beds. Check out the company Indiecampers, they have vans in several places in Europe.
There are also specialist caravan hire companies right in tourist destinations. You get there comfortably by caravan and at that point you just cruise slowly with the caravan and enjoy your caravan holiday. I’ve only seen such rentals in Italy so far, but I’m sure they exist in other countries as well.