There has never been a higher demand for motorhomes to hire. More and more people are realising how incredible motorhome travel is, and looking to rent one for their next trip. So there has truly never been a better time to start your own motorhome hire business.
You may be wondering… how do I start my own campervan hire company? There are a lot of factors to consider and plenty to get arranged. You’ve got to think about insurance, costs, predicted income and more. But don’t worry, it’s really not as difficult as it seems! We’ve broken down the entire process, with our top tricks and tips for starting a motorhome hire business from home!
How do you start a motorhome rental business?
The popularity of motorhomes has skyrocketed in recent years! This is partly due to the pandemic, as we were forced to travel closer to home and avoid planes or public transport. Motorhomes were the best way to get a taste of freedom during this time, and provide the flexibility we needed to travel safely. Even with the pandemic coming to a close, a huge number of people have experienced motorhome travel for themselves and are determined to repeat the wonderful experience. They’re looking for motorhomes to hire, and yours would be perfect!
Before starting any business, you have to do some market research. This helps you to get a good overview of the market you’re hoping to enter. It also highlights whether it makes financial sense to actually set up this business. It’s important to never miss this step, no matter how excited you may be.
To start, simply make a list of all the motorhome hire companies in your area. These are going to be your competitors! You know how the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer…
Explore their websites to discover how much they charge, and see if you can find information on what they earn. How many vehicles do they manage? What do they offer? Where are they located? By answering these questions you gain insight into the demand and how it is being met. This will also help you later when you’re determining what you’ll offer and charge.
It’s vital to see if you can find something that your competitors aren’t offering. This will allow you to distinguish yourself on the market and stand out from the rest. What gap in the market can you fill? What will cause a customer to choose you over them? Hint: it doesn’t have to be a lowered price!
Find the Right Location
You can start a motorhome rental business from anywhere. You just need to be accessible. So you can open your business right from home, as long as people can get there to pick up the motorhomes. All you need is your own driveway and a garage or designated parking space. You need to be able to store the motorhomes, and potentially the car of whoever picks up the vehicle for the duration of their trip. All the admin can happen right in your living room or at your dining room table. This ensures you’re not wasting costs on rent before you have to.
If your business grows, as it surely will, you could always invest in more motorhomes to hire out. Then you might need a larger storage area, but there are many possibilities across the UK.
Purchase and Costs
Now that you’ve done your thorough market research and considered where you’ll locate your business, it’s time to buy the motorhome! Unless you already have one, in which case you can skip this step.
How much does it actually cost to buy a motorhome? This can vary greatly depending on the model, year of production, brand, number of sleeping places, size, amenities and more. You also need to consider whether you’ll buy a new motorhome or go for second-hand. Generally, you can expect to pay between £15,000 and £150,000 on a motorhome. It depends on your budget and intended investment.
Buying a more expensive and luxurious motorhome means you can ask a higher daily rate later. But if you want a small compact van, you can still earn a good amount and have a smaller starting investment.
Either way, don’t be deterred by the initial investment. Your motorhome hire business can earn it all back, plus plenty of profit!
Consider the Practical Matters
There are a lot of practicalities to consider in a campervan rental business, such as cleaning and repairs. After each period of hire, the campervan needs to receive a thorough and professional cleaning. You might also need to make some minor repairs every once in a while, or get larger repairs done by a professional. Consider whether you’ll do cleaning and repairs yourself, or outsource them, and to where. Take these costs into account when pricing, although significant damages will be paid for by the traveller.
To ensure that your travellers have a carefree holiday, you’ll need to fit the motorhome with a number of supplies. We recommend purchasing the following:
- Kitchen tools (pots and pans, cutlery, cooking utensils, bowls, cups, mugs, glasses).
- Linens (sheets, pillows and duvets)
- Cleaning products and tools (Dishwashing liquid, all-purpose cleaner, dishcloths, sponges, dustpan and brush)
- GPS system
- Bike rack
- First-aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Gas bottles
- Electrical cables and/or adapters
Instead of immediately investing in a website, advertising costs and a marketing specialist, you can start by listing your campervan rental business on Goboony. This will allow you to utilise our advanced booking system rather than creating your own. Goboony is both suited to private owners and small businesses, and we allow you to customise your listing to your own specifications.
Benefits of using Goboony as a small business:
- We’ll bring travellers to your listing using social media, paid advertising, organic content marketing, email marketing and more! This will save you time and money, and allow you to benefit from our leading position on Google.
- You can sync your calendar, so even if you take bookings elsewhere you can have them all in one place.
- We receive 20,000-30,000 visitors daily, and a huge number of them can visit your motorhome.
- Dedicated Support Team to answer your questions and assist.
- Secure payment system to give both parties peace of mind.
- Choose your own cancellation policy and we’ll ensure that you’re always compensated.
- Get bookings outside of peak season as well.
Even if you have your own website and booking system, using a platform like Goboony can be a way to supplement your income and get more bookings.
Determine Rates and Generate Income
How much can you earn from hiring out a motorhome? This depends on your rental prices, the cost of maintenance and your business, and how often your motorhome is hired. Additionally, in the motorhome hire industry, revenue is seasonal: peak season is usually April to September, but there’s a lot of demand for bank holidays and festival season. You can find an overview of how much income you can expect when hiring out a motorhome.
When determining your daily rates, consider the following:
- How big is the motorhome?
- How many sleeping places does it have?
- How new (or old) is it?
- Is there something unique or quirky about it?
- How much do your competitors charge for a similar motorhome?
- How much does it cost to cover insurance, inventory, cleaning etc?
Your prices should also reflect the seasonal interest, and don’t be afraid to ask more for certain bank holidays or popular periods, e.g. Glastonbury. On Goboony, we have a feature that allows you to set a different price for each rental season, as well as specific dates like Easter or the August bank holiday.
Also, remember that you can always adjust your prices later! Perhaps set them a bit lower to begin with, and increase it once you have some great reviews.
Regulations and Insurance
Now for the less exciting aspects of starting your own company!
- Tax - Campervan hire businesses produce taxable income. You’ll need to pay VAT over bookings, so be sure to factor this into the price. You may also need to pay income tax depending on how much you earn annually. We recommend consulting a tax professional or doing thorough research.
- Insurance - You must insure any motorhomes that you plan to hire out. Your regular motorhome insurance will not cover hirers. If you’re first testing motorhome hire, you could use a daily insurance like Goboony Motorhome Day Insurance. This is applied to all bookings through our platform. Alternatively, you can opt for an annual insurance like Alan Boswell, which involves a one-off fee. Ensure that you have 24/7 roadside assistance.
- Legalities - When starting your motorhome rental business, you’ll have to choose a legal form, e.g. a sole trader, a limited company and more. Take a look at which legal form fits your situation best. Consider what is best for arranging liability, whether you’ll bring other people in to your business and what is the most advantageous tax-wise. If you plan to hire out one vehicle, you can list it on Goboony to postpone this decision until you’re more aware of what you’re looking for.
Now you should have everything you need to open your own motorhome rental company! Hiring out motorhomes will not only allow you to share the freedom of motorhome travel, but to welcome that freedom into other areas of your life. You’ll get to decide when you work, and take plenty of time to travel in your vehicle as well. Hiring out on Goboony can make the process easier and take care of plenty of admin costs, so that you can focus on the customers.