how to make the right choice before setting off on an adventure?

The motorhome has experienced a tremendous resurgence of interest in recent years. According to the Syndicate of Leisure Vehicles, nearly 31,000 vans, vans and other new motorhomes were sold in 2021 in France, compared to 25,000 the previous year. And if we add second-hand sales, we exceed the 100,000 transaction mark: in recent years there has been unprecedented enthusiasm for this type of vehicle. But they are still very expensive to buy and not everyone can afford them. At the same time, a private rental market has developed, captured by specialized platforms.

The offer has therefore adapted: you can now rent motorhomes, vans or vans. And there is something for all tastes, all costs and all states of mind. It is clear, moreover, that the famous Volkswagen combi has inspired a lot of manufacturers for their vans which, moreover, are not always cheaper than motorhomes.

How to choose the right model? Why choose a fitted van rather than a van or motorhome? Or the opposite ? It all depends on the number of people you want to take on board, but also on the level of equipment, and therefore the comfort and autonomy desired. The van is the smallest of the three: it can accommodate four people, no more, and provides a fairly limited level of equipment. The motorhome, in its most classic version, is the opposite. More spacious and therefore more cumbersome, it has slightly more beds, up to seven, and it is much better equipped: toilets, shower, refrigerator, mini-kitchen. The van is the intermediate vehicle, similar to the van for the number of passengers but with a little more equipment. Of course, with a shower and toilet, you benefit from more comfort and autonomy, but in this case you have to take into consideration the constraints that this comfort induces: finding where to fill up with water and where to empty it. wastewater, for example.

Up to 3.5 tonnes, which corresponds to most vehicles in this category, a B permit, that is to say a car permit, is sufficient. But it would be a mistake to consider converted vehicles as cars. They are heavier, taller, wider and longer, especially motorhomes which are also taller. In particular the models with alcove, the prominence above the passenger compartment which corresponds to a bed. Those who drive these models should pay particular attention to signage that indicates limited heights, which is not an obvious reflex when you are used to the car. Another constraint is parking because these vehicles are not welcome everywhere. Parking is programmed! Fortunately, there are several smartphone apps that list suitable locations for these vehicles.

Beyond these physical constraints, we must also not lose sight of the fact that these converted vehicles are also veritable mini-houses which involve many questions: how to unfold the beds, change the gas bottle or evacuate the waste water? For anyone wanting to rent one, it involves a proper briefing, which means taking a long time to go through it completely. And this, before sitting behind the wheel. For those who would like to get started, do not hesitate to compare rental platforms.

What are the points of vigilance to have, how to choose the right platform and location? First, there are rental prices. And unsurprisingly, it is the vehicle owners who decide, regardless of the platform. They also most often decide the price of mileage packages. It is also essential to precisely assess the number of kilometers that you plan to travel if you do not want to end up with a salty bill. The platforms are regaining control of deposits and deductibles. The deposit is generally between 2,000 euros and 2,500 euros. They all also stand for deductibles, between 2,000 and 3,000 euros, or for service charges which are around 15%. It is above all in terms of choice that these platforms stand out. Yescapa and Wikicampers for example are the richest in advertisements.

New, these vehicles cost between 30,000 and 70,000 euros with some vulnerabilities, for example if there is a coachbuilt. This explains the high deductibles and deposits. But it is still possible, on two platforms, to reduce them considerably. On Indie Campers, the deposit can be 2,000 euros or 500 euros depending on the insurance taken out. Ditto at Hapee, it’s 2,100 or 750 euros. And for the franchise, it’s exactly the same thing; it can also be reduced considerably if one opts for a slightly higher insurance, of the order of 15 to 20 euros more per day. This deductible can thus be lowered from 2500 to 500 euros at Yescapa, from 3000 to 400 euros at Wikicampers and even from 2500 to 199 euros at Indie Campers.

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