A proud motorhome owner will often be found looking at their cherished vehicle parked safely on their driveway, imagining their next great adventure together. However, motorhomes are an expensive investment, both in terms of the initial cost and maintenance. And we know most owners don’t use them all year round.
Indeed, they can spend far more time parked up outside than out and about on the open road. What a waste!
But that doesn’t mean they’re not a worthwhile investment. Far from it. They are, after all, a great way to explore the UK and beyond at your own pace in privacy and comfort.
But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make more use of them between trips? Maybe even to earn a little extra cash? Hiring your trusty vehicle out for just a week could bring in a tidy sum – easily enough to offset any essential costs like insuring your motorhome and servicing.
Just a few short years ago, the idea of renting out our homes and cars when not in use would have sounded far-fetched. However, with the growth of companies like Airbnb and Drivy, we’ve got used to the idea of using these expensive assets to provide some much-needed income.
If you’re wondering whether to rent out your motorhome, or thinking of a way to justify the expense of buying a new one, then read our guide to this popular scheme.
Just be sure to check your motorhome insurance will cover such an activity before you hand over the keys.
Why should you rent out your motorhome?
If you’ve ever considered renting out your motorhome then you’ll know there are plenty of benefits to be had by doing this. Here are just a few of the reasons to make this your first foray into the sharing economy.
Earning an income from their motorhomes is the primary reason why people start with that first internet search for “how to rent my motorhome”.
When owners realise they’re able to make a significant income from something that sits in the driveway for 11 months of the year they’re keen to get started.
Whether it’s to speed up those mortgage repayments, treat the grandchildren or book an exotic overseas holiday there’s plenty you can do with an extra few thousand pounds a year.
It’s a great time to get involved
With the ongoing staycation boom in the UK, there’s never been a better time to take the plunge.
There is a growing and unmet demand for motorhomes as they offer a great socially distanced way of holidaying around the country.
Firms specialising in both renting and selling such vehicles are simply unable to keep up with the present demand. Help others and yourself by renting out your motorhome when it’s not in use, and introduce more people to this brilliant way of travelling.
Buy a better motorhome
It’s always difficult to justify the expense of a top-of-the-range motorhome if you’re only going to use it a few times a year.
However, if you’re making at least £600 a week renting out your home on wheels, it won’t take long to make a significant dent in that original outlay.
Particularly as the better and more well-maintained motorhomes will always command a better price in the rental market.
Furthermore, renting out your dream motorhome will help compensate for any depreciation in value.
Off-set motorhome insurance and maintenance costs
Motorhomes do require significant ongoing investment to keep them in great shape and protected from harm.
The amount of rent on offer means you should be able to pay the annual insurance, maintenance and a whole host of other costs from your earnings.
Renting out your motorhome could also help subsidise your own holiday dreams – a great help when weighing up the pros and cons of motorhome ownership.
Meeting people and creating memories
Becoming part of the sharing economy is a fun and lucrative way to meet new and like-minded people.
It also allows other outdoor or travel enthusiasts, who maybe can’t yet afford a motorhome of their own, the chance to try out the experience.
What better way to use your investment than to promote such an exciting and eco-friendly alternative to foreign holidays?
How much money can you make?
The financial incentives are a tempting reason to hire out your motorhome. But how much you can make is dependent on various factors, including:
- The type of motorhome you have (Overcab, Coachbuilt or A-class)
- The age and condition of the vehicle
- How many people it can sleep
- Whether or not pets are allowed
- The time of year you’re looking to rent it out
- Personal rules or restrictions you impose on the hire
There are many companies online promising to take the effort out of renting a home on wheels.
Many have calculators to give you an idea of how much you could charge and what return on investment you can expect.
Will my insurance cover any damage?
Even if you’re just planning on renting to a friend or family member on an informal basis, you still need to speak to your motorhome insurance provider.
Find out what cover they can put in place before agreeing to a rental. Whether a road accident, damage to fixtures or fittings or even injuries, you must have adequate cover in place if you want to avoid problems down the road.
A standard motorhome insurance policy will not cover you to rent out your vehicle, so it’s always best to speak to your insurance provider and discuss additional levels of cover.
Who can drive my motorhome?
Motorhomes are large vehicles that take some getting used to. It’s important that you check that those renting are entitled to drive and feel confident.
Drivers who passed their driving test after 1st January 1997 will need to take an additional test to be entitled to drive a motorhome over 3.5 tonnes.
If they passed a test on or before 1st January 1997, then they’ll have the full entitlement and be able to drive motorhomes up to 7.5 tonnes. But while they might be entitled to drive your motorhome, do they feel confident to do so? It might be worth practising beforehand if they don’t.
How easy is it to rent out a motorhome?
You can rent out your motorhome yourself but there are many companies out there who will sort much of the rental process out for you. They’ll help find renters and sort out the scheduling.
They might also provide valuable due diligence services by checking the driver’s licences and insurance of potential renters. But you’ll probably still have to clean, prepare and hand over the vehicle to your renters yourself.
That said, you’ll still be able to decide the rental rates, who you’ll rent to, how many times you want to rent it out and when.
Issues to consider
If you’re persuaded by some of these incentives, then it is still worth considering the responsibilities that you’ll be undertaking.
First you need to carefully consider if your motorhome is safe to use before renting it out to someone. If it isn’t, then think again.
Booking your motorhome in for an annual habitation service is good practice, even if you’re not renting it out.
This will examine the living quarters of the motorhome and is designed to check that the gas, electric, water systems and appliances are all running safely and smoothly. It also means any damp entering your motorhome is detected as soon as possible.
Meanwhile a mechanical service will concentrate on the chassis and engine of your motorhome and can include an oil and filter change if necessary. A motorhome in tip-top condition will mean smiles all round for you and your renter.
But even if you’ve got a good service history, you still need to check these items regularly.
- Repairs – Are there any necessary repairs that need doing? Dents, scratches, loose panels, paintwork and water ingress need to be checked for and repaired. If you aren’t going to repair them then make a record to ensure there are no disputes on return. Clearly damage affecting the safety and integrity of the vehicle must be dealt with as a priority before the motorhome is driven by anyone.
- Tyres – Whether or not there’s plenty of tread left, motorhome tyres need to be changed regularly if you don’t want someone to have a blowout while travelling at speed.
- Safety equipment – Having cooking and heating equipment is a great advantage for motorhomes. But it does create an extra risk of fire. Are fire extinguishers, blankets or smoke/fire alarms present, to the right standard and in date? And never forget the ‘silent killer’ carbon monoxide – CO detectors must be well-placed and in good working order, too.
- Interior faults – A broken fridge or faulty sunroof might not affect safety but they’ll certainly make the experience less pleasurable for your renters. Happy renters will mean positive feedback and more future income for you.
While your motorhome is in someone else’s care, you can still make sure your motorhome insurance will cover you in the event of theft or being broken into.
Motorhomes can contain some expensive items that thieves are only too keen to tear out and sell on.
Ensure that security devices like wheel clamps, a steering wheel lock, an electronic alarm and perhaps a tracking device are included. And your renter knows how to use them!
To protect your motorhome from any theft, make sure you have the right motorhome insurance in place before you let a stranger drive away.
Losing a set of keys is always a nerve-wracking experience no matter how soon they’re found.
Avoid the stress and strain of this happening by doing the following when hiring out your motorhome.
- Make duplicate keys - It’s well worth having an emergency set of keys kept in a safe place if ever the need arises.
- Hand them over personally - You’ll obviously want to give the hirer a complete rundown of the vehicle so it’s a good time to hand over the keys personally and know they are safe.
- Use a GPS tracker – Popping a small GPS tracker on the keys means you’ll always be able to find them. A tracker will also help make them more distinctive and less likely to lose in the first place.
- Add an address fob - If a tracker is too high tech then even your name and phone number on the keys makes it more likely they’ll find their way back to you.
- Add a float – If there’s any risk of your renters going near water then it’s worth adding a float to the keys. Just in case they fall in deep water!
Depending on where you are based in the country, some renters might want to take your motorhome over the Channel to Europe and beyond.
Before allowing this check the relevant country’s laws and regulations. Does your motorhome comply with their requirements? For example, in some European jurisdictions vehicles must carry emergency equipment such as warning triangles and reflective jackets.
If you plan on letting your motorhome be taken abroad, contact your motorhome insurance provider to check the policy covers you for the EU or other international destinations.
Is it worth it?
It’s entirely your decision but if you’re happy letting strangers drive your motorhome then it can be a worthwhile use of an asset.
As long as you’ve done all your checks there shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a great way of recouping some of the costs of buying and maintaining a motorhome and is relatively straightforward.
Motorhome insurance with Motorhome Protect
Savvy motorhome owners know that to make their experience as stress-free as possible they’ll need great insurance cover. Our team of insurance specialists at Motorhome Protect will always work hard to arrange for your home on wheels.
Insurance cover arranged through us can include a number of benefits including:
- Unlimited cover across all countries that are part of the EU
- Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,000
- Cover for motorhomes with a value of up to £150,000
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Consideration of all claims and convictions
Fill out our online form for a call back today, or call us direct on 01865 8184341.
Protecting your beloved vehicle is easy and straightforward with Motorhome Protect.
Get a quick quote to insure a motorhome today.
Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.