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Motor Home hire

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StepOne
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Motor Home hire

#70963

Postby StepOne » July 31st, 2017, 2:08 pm

Anyone got any experience of running this kind of business? My wife and I have been looking for something she can run herself with a bit of spare cash we have. Looked at options like holiday rental (property too expensive at the moment), coffee shop/van (hours are too long). Then I was hearing at the weekend about a friend of a friend who started a motor home rental business this year. He has three vans, and is so busy that he is getting another 3 for next year.

Looks to me like the cost of a decent motor home would be 40-50k (less VAT if you are VAT registered). They rent out for 750-900 a week.

Depreciation I reckon at 7.5-10k a year. Only other major cost would be somewhere secure to park it when not being used. There would be some admin costs - insurance, website, phone line, but pretty minimal I would think.

So, if you can rent it out 15 weeks of the year, that's costs covered. I don't really have any idea of usage rates for these things, but I would be surprised if it was less than 20-30 weeks, and potentially a lot higher than that.

Does anyone have any other suggestions about what I need to consider?

Thanks,
StepOne

staffordian
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Re: Motor Home hire

#70978

Postby staffordian » July 31st, 2017, 3:04 pm

I'm not sure if it was on these (or TMF) boards or somewhere else entirely, but someone else asked a similar question and the responses certainly made me think a one vehicle operation like that would be very risky.

Whilst I can't recall all the cons, the key one is how you would deal with a situation where the van had a major mechanical incident miles from where you live. Most hirers would expect a replacement vehicle in double quick time, and even if you overcome this issue, what happens to any hirers the folowing week if the home is out of action.

And as many hirers would be inexperienced (otherwise they'd probably have their own home) the chances of accidents and damage to the living parts might well be higher than you might expect.

There probably are some pros as well though :)

Staffordian

staffordian
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Re: Motor Home hire

#70982

Postby staffordian » July 31st, 2017, 3:23 pm


redsturgeon
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Re: Motor Home hire

#71005

Postby redsturgeon » July 31st, 2017, 4:54 pm

I don't know but I would guess that your 20-30weeks is optimistic and would think more in the 15-20 weeks as a model to base your costs on. Think about it, 26 weeks would be 100% usage from the end of March to the beginning of October. Insurance would probably be in the several thousands too and tyres, servicing/road tax all adds up.

A quick google suggests that it is a model that many have looked at and there are companies out there who will "help" you start up...which is a bit of a red flag for me.

I hired a 35 ft RV for a trip across America a few years ago and it was immaculate when we received it but looked much worse for wear after three weeks on the road.

Perhaps I'm too conservative but it would not be something I'd recommend to a novice to try to run.

John

didds
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Re: Motor Home hire

#71016

Postby didds » July 31st, 2017, 5:32 pm

If the RV idea doesn;t pan out 9and i would be cautious as they others above are) then what about AirBnB style spare-room-b&b type thing? assuming you have a spare room of course!

And... I was opining last week, there must be a niche for a "park on my drive, use my loo, plug in an electric extension cable" type offering (assuming space on the drive). £10 a night, maybe a tad less, maybe without leccy?

didds

Mike88
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Re: Motor Home hire

#71037

Postby Mike88 » July 31st, 2017, 7:14 pm

Sorry but it's a daft idea. You need to think what would happen if the vehicle broke down abroad leaving the person renting it the following week without a vehicle for his holiday. What for example would happen if you rented to an Australian couple who had flown to the UK specifically for a motorhome holiday only to find the vehicle was not available due to a breakdown/accident abroad? Legal action would/should follow.

Insurance is expensive and you would have to have very tight conditions about the state the vehicle was in when returned with regard to retention of deposit.

I have seen hired British motorhomes abused on foreign sites - I have lived on sites in France and Spain - and I can say from experience that hired motorhomes are badly treated by some families and require regular attention due to their flimsy construction. That is why motorhome hire companies tend to change vehicles regularly with many in such a poor state the normal rules of depreciation may not apply. There are stories online about motorhomes crashes and one particular story I recall was during the euro 2016 championships where a group of lads got their hired motorhome stuck in a tunnel abroad due to height issues and wrote the vehicle off.

Might I suggest the OP posts on the outandaboutlive motorhome matters forum where this issue has been covered in the past. Don't bother using their search facility as it is worse than useless but there are very many helpful people on there.

http://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/for ... Matters/3/

PS. I note that I made these points on the earlier thread so apologies.

StepOne
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Re: Motor Home hire

#71293

Postby StepOne » August 1st, 2017, 4:32 pm

A serious crash or breakdown would be less than ideal, but I don't see that it would be a disaster. Cancel any bookings, return their deposits, let the insurance repair/replace the motorhome, then carry on. Insurance would probably also cover the lost business. You could also, at that point, if you decided that it wasn't worth the hassle, sell the newly repaired/replaced vehicle. I think you would escape with the loss of maybe a few thousand pounds. And that's a worst cases scenario, assuming your very first hire went wrong. On the specific point of a breakdown abroad, the motor homes wouldn't be going abroad - they would be based in the UK, and would mainly be used in Scotland - target would be foreign tourists coming here, rather than UK tourists going abroad.

There are risks, but there are also plenty of motor home hire businesses around, some quite small (e.g. the example in my first post) and when I check availability on their websites, most seem pretty well booked up, so there must be demand. I've not been put off yet, but there's still a lot of research to be done.

Thanks,
StepOne

didds
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Re: Motor Home hire

#71334

Postby didds » August 1st, 2017, 6:27 pm

Having done some more thinking...

If Adele can cancel a gig at "the last minute" leaving ticket holders perhaps with a refunded ticket but no come back on a hotel room for the night in the locality running upwards of £200 and "wasted" travel costs, then T&Cs must be able to cover the situation of "broken down van with no replacement available, here's your rental money back, sorry about your stuffed holiday" with no risk to the renter - aside form a broken down van somewhere a few hundred miles away anyway.

That's not to say the previously mentioned concerns are not necessarily valid altogether, and if it ever happened I think your wife would need to have a tough hide to deal with perhaps understandably unhappy customers confronted with a stuffed holiday.

The devil is undoubtedly in the detail of those T&Cs. Get 'em nailed down.

didds

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Re: Motor Home hire

#71337

Postby didds » August 1st, 2017, 6:34 pm

More thinking...

when I google campervan hire all the hits on page 1 are through centralised "agencies" as it were... who campervan owners rent their campervans through. So such a set up potentially covers the breakdowns as its the agency that finds another rental presumably for people to continue whilst your's is dead. The downside I would imagine is that your line of profit is not as high as the agency will want their cut. Plus of course this approach may not leave your wife with the interaction with "the business" that she is looking for.

I see what seems more likely to be such "personal" rentals on ebay

eg http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mazda-Bongo-C ... 1988370989

didds


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