Caravan rental is already widespread. Many companies, whether smaller or larger, offer different types of caravans, trailers or vans for hire. There has also been a big boom thanks to the corona. Caravan holidays offer a new form of accommodation. It allows you to travel freely, exploring places you might not even get to.
Caravanning is growing like mushrooms after the rain. We started with a motorhome in 2015. After 10 years of experience travelling with a car around campsites, hotels and guesthouses. At that time there were only a few caravanners. And only a few companies that offered campervan hire. Therefore, if someone wanted to rent a caravan, they had to pick it up in another town. Maybe even at the other end of the country. Now there are more and more caravan rental companies, which makes this type of travel and holiday more accessible to people from smaller towns and villages.
Caravan hire for holidays
Renting a caravan and going on a trip is the best way to experience this kind of holiday, travel or life. Try travelling without restrictions, live on the beach, in the mountains or in an ancient town. Try a modern campsite or free-standing in the countryside with your family or friends. Experience a holiday full of freedom without expensive decisions. Renting a caravan will help you check that it fits your lifestyle and that it suits the rest of the crew. Caravans are rented by families and even groups of friends.
Hire a caravan before you buy
Hiring a caravan is, in my opinion, the cheapest way to find out if caravanning is for you and what 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
In Europe today you can rent any type of caravan. Whether a small VW California campervan or a Mercedes Marco Polo. You can rent a semi-integrated campervan or an integrated 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.
Book a date
Although there are plenty of caravans for rent, don’t delay unnecessarily in booking your dates. The date depends on your travel flexibility. If you are tied to summer holidays or exact dates for choosing a holiday, it is better to book your caravan rental well in advance. Otherwise, you may be left with some inferior pieces, unnecessarily large or older ones.
The top season in caravan hire is definitely summer. However, if your crew isn’t tied to the summer holidays and you like the southern landscapes, don’t be afraid to go on holiday in September. You’ll get a better price for your rental. There are fewer tourists everywhere at that time and the weather by the sea is ideal until the end of September.
In addition to such longer holidays, you can also rent a caravan for weekends or holidays. Don’t limit yourself to summer. Caravanning is beautiful in every season. Winter is also no problem in most new caravans.
If you decide to rent a caravan from a town further away from you, keep in mind that you have to pick up the caravan at the caravan rental company on the exact day and return it there afterwards. You need to drive your car to the rental company, pack up and leave your personal car there while you holiday in your rented caravan.
Choose your caravan hire
“Holidaying in a rented caravan is no cheap luxury and so the price of the rental may be the most important factor”
You can choose a caravan hire company based on location, references, type of caravans and their equipment, available dates, price and recommendations.
The terms and conditions may vary minimally but in essential ways. Make sure you don’t underestimate them and read them in advance instead of Facebooking.
In addition to choosing a caravan rental company, you also have to choose a specific type. Well, this is where the biggest dilemma comes in. Now you start making compromises. Big or small? Introverted or prefer a van? From personal experience, I can tell you that something different suits everyone. I clearly had the idea right from the start that the length had to be under 6m. We did get to look at some lovely huge cars at the show though. They are nice and comfortable, but our roads are mostly in countries and places where the roads are narrow. That’s why we stuck to the strictly predetermined parameters – the length of the car and the length of the bed. At my 194cm this is not easy. That’s why it’s so individual, because everyone has their own style of travel, different needs and wants to see something different. For more information, see other articles, such as how to choose a suitable caravan for hire.
Take a caravan in a rental company
What about the car you bring to the rental company to pick up your caravan?
You have to arrive at the rental caravan on the agreed date. Make time and an extra person available. Unless the caravan rental company is a few streets away, where you can also walk. So you need a person to chauffeur your car back home. Yes, you can also take a taxi. Some caravan hire companies may have customer parking and so you will leave your car parked with them for the duration of your holiday. It is definitely worth considering the safety of such parking. It’s individual and you should ask your caravan hire company if they recommend it and if they even have space for it.
Time for training and what’s where in the caravan
“Set aside about 1 – 1.5 hours for them to introduce you to the caravan, show you what is in the caravan and how it is used”
It might not hurt to take someone else from the crew for training. At the caravan hire shop they’ll show you where to fill up with water etc. A caravan is such a hut on wheels and apart from filling up with diesel you need to do other servicing around it, or know how to operate its equipment. So for the perfect caravan holiday, we’ve put together some guides to help you get to grips with the caravan. You won’t have to call anyone at midnight to find out how to turn on the water.
Most caravan hire companies have a servicing point so they’ll hand the caravan over to you ready for camping. This means it will have at least a partially filled drinking water tank, an emptied waste water tank and a toilet. A charged house battery, a full gas bottle. The caravan will be cleaned and washed. Nowadays, you can find rental companies that use ozone for cleaning or use eco-friendly bedding cleaning services. They also take for granted a technical service before the rental, in which they fix any defects or minor damages to the caravan. The rental company will also carry out a check of the operating fluids of the motorhome.
Price for caravan rental
The price depends on the season, age and equipment of the caravan. A service charge is usually added to the caravan rental price for cleaning, full gas cylinder, assistance on call. Caravan hire companies have a security deposit in their terms and conditions in case of damage, breakdowns and the like. Newer caravans for hire have breakdown insurance. (If a rental company doesn’t have this, they’re gambling a bit with their caravan.) For older caravans for hire, taking out breakdown insurance can be problematic.
Rental companies may have a minimum number of days to rent a caravan, which may be different for different seasons
“A maximum mileage limit per day is also common”
Camping accessories may or may not be included in the price. For example, camping chairs and a table may be provided by caravan hire companies at an extra cost. Some will also rent sports equipment such as SUPs, bicycles or electric scooters. This is usually extra equipment at an extra cost.