If you’ve invested a lot of money and time in getting your campervan just the way you like it, renting it out to a stranger can be quite a leap of faith. Here Peter Cook, an insurance expert from Sterling and a seasoned campervan user who rents his vehicle out regularly, answers some of your questions about renting your camper out for the first time. What’s the benefit of renting out your campervan? Unless you’re retired, you probably only have a certain number of weeks off work and free weekends during which you can get away in your van. For the rest of the year, it will probably sit idle. Renting your camper out has two main benefits: it provides a new money stream without you having to do that much work, and it ensures the van remains in regular use, meaning it will be better serviced and it won’t deteriorate because of neglect. How do you decide what to charge for the rental of your campervan? To come up with a price that will help you earn well without frightening off potential renters, assess the current market. Look at the cost of renting other vans in your area, work out what sort of van they have and what equipment levels they offer, and then decide what your van offers compared to theirs. If your caravan is similar in spec and equipment, go for a similar rental fee. If you are offering more, up the price accordingly. What restrictions would you put in place on the rental? Many people put restrictions on mileage and the length of hire especially if you are renting out an old but much loved camper. Owners wouldn’t want them to travel too far in a short space of time, similarly, the wouldn’t like it to be disappearing for months on end. Should you advertise your van for rental or rely on word of mouth? Friends and family usually rent for mates rates but it’s a good idea to advertise on campervan hire websites to get others interested. Is it better to rent to family and friends or people you don’t know? It’s better renting to people you don’t know. It can be a little awkward if your neighbour rents the van and there is a problem, either with them causing damage or something not working properly. If you rent to people you don’t know, you can sort those problems out more easily and you are probably never going to see them again so there are no reminders. How can you be confident your campervan won’t come to any harm? You need to do your due diligence. Check their driving licences and other documents and check they are who they say they are. You will get a good idea of what sort of people are renting your van when you meet them face to face. You’ll learn more about them when you let them take a test drive with you sitting next to them. Charge them a sensible deposit and they will work hard to protect your van and its contents so they don’t lose any money. What insurance do you need for renting out a van? You just need campervan self drive hire insurance, and breakdown cover is advisable too. What insurance does the person renting the van need? The person renting your van just needs motor hire insurance. What essential equipment should you include in the van rental? Vital equipment includes: a cutlery and crockery setleisure battery240v hook upchairs and tablecamping gas bottleBluetooth connection to the stereo You may want to add beach equipment such as surfboards and a barbecue, but most renters know what they are interested in and take their own extras. You should include an inventory of what is supplied in the van for the renter to check and for you to check when the van is returned to you. Is extra equipment covered by the insurance? Most insurance policies provide £2,000 contents cover as standard so all the extras will be protected. How can you make the experience even better for the renter? Send them details of the van before they rent it, give them a guided tour when they come to collect it, and answer all of their questions. It’s also a good idea to set up a WhatsApp group so they can get in touch swiftly and easily should they need to communicate with you during their vacation. Any final words of advice? Peter said: “I can fully understand a campervan owner’s reluctance and fear of stepping into the unknown and renting out their van for the first time. I felt exactly the same. But if you follow my example and advertise the van on reliable sites and do your due diligence on each hirer, you could soon be earning enough to cover the cost of your MOT, road tax insurance and service costs each year. That’ll make that little bit of worry well worthwhile.” Insurance for your campervan rental? With Sterling, you can insure your campervan for as little as £165 a year. Call 0344 381 9990 for a quick quote or request a free callback at a time that suits you.