Purchasing A Van To Hire - Insurance

Discussion in 'Motorhome Insurance General Discussion' started by kaasbroodje, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    I'm considering purchasing another van for the sole purpose of hiring it out.

    I'm thinking panel van with all facilities ( Autosleeper Topaz, Trophy, Symbol, La Strada kind of thing)
    Not looking to spend a fortune, think this type of van is a good starting point, desirable, easily fixed, not going to depreciate much and perhaps yield a good return ?

    I've done a fair bit of reading but nothing compares to other people's experiences or recommendations.

    Anyone care to comment ?
     
  2. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I believe there are various agencies that deal with hiring out a van for you. Personally, I am so attached to our van, I'd never let anyone else set foot in the drivers seat! :D
     
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  3. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    I won't consider hiring our own, nobody borrows it, no matter how close or careful they may be....

    I've been considering buying a van specifically to hire for quite a while, I'm quite sure I can generate business and make it pay - I'm happy to do the legwork and miss out the agency if possible. Seems daft to pay a middleman 30% when I'm capable of doing it myself..
    Insurance is the unknown for me, do I get a blanket one year cover for all situations, or get the minimum cover and 'pay per use' as it were.
    There appears to be lots of companies who will offer varying levels of cover/service/clauses - some first hand experience would be good to hear...
     
  4. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    there are a few problems that constantly arise with this when I've seen it discussed. One I remember is: what do you do if they don't bring it back?:censored:

    As by giving them permission and the keys the police wont want to know and it becomes a civil matter I believe..

    and that just the tip of the iceberg:unsure:
     
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  5. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Where I used to work, one of the medics hired out a van which he purchased brand new. After two years he got rid it and stopped altogether. He was fed up with the mess and the grief that came with dealing with 'Joe Public'.

    You need to be quite committed and organised to see it through......... possible....... but certainly not 'easy money' :eek:
     
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  6. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Agreed.......... and it's a flippin big iceberg at that :eek:
     
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  7. Gizmouk

    Gizmouk Funster

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  8. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    This is a very valid point, a contract, a copy of driver's licence and credit card deposit will only get you so far... and it's not as if a tracker is that effective...

    I guess it depends if you're happy with the risk... of it not coming back / coming back damaged / breaking down and so on...

    I'm thinking that if I can get a van ready for hire with a budget of 10k (2000ish pvc 8k, 2k for legal, insurance, breakdown, hab check and service)
    I can recover my initial outlay reasonably quickly - @ £400pw, 25 weeks hire and it's paid for.
    The van isn't depreciating much (if at all) and there's always the potential that a hirer might want to purchase the vehicle (try before you buy idea)

    I wouldn't dream of committing a huge amount of funds to the idea - the maths only work for me on a cheap van.
    With 20-40k to invest, I'd buy property, that's a more attractive proposition...
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  10. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    If I was going to hire a MH I would want it new or no more than 2 years old. A 15 year old van could be a liability, breaking down, fittings inside not working - and the folk hiring will not be best pleased if their annual holiday is ruined and you don't have another van to replace it with. Getting it abandoned in the Highlands because they walk away from it would be fun. I doubt the AA would pick it up unless you had some sort of business account with them - at a suitable cost no doubt.

    If you have £10K burning a hole in your pocket give it a go but do all the sums first - cost of advertising, insurance, repairs, and of course business insurance to cover you for being sued by customers because they can't use the MH they planned to hire.
     
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  11. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    Again, all valid points, I can only go by my own experience.
    I've got ten years experience with 15yr old vans, I haven't found them any less reliable than a new vehicle.
    Same with internals, of course things can fail, but is new more reliable ? I'm not so sure !

    With my van insurance, if I breakdown, there is a degree of cover for recovery/accommodation/vehicle for you to continue your journey - I don't know if similar policies are available for hire vans ?
    Interestingly, I've gotten home from work for the missus to tell me that another similar van is up for sale - could I buy two and have one as a back up ? I haven't considered this but will give it some thought...
    I admit, the van being unavailable for a booking/breaking down for whatever reason does concern me.
    I would have to provide good customer service, (that's the way I am) I guess I'd potentially have to arrange a replacement van and cover the additional cost (self insurance?).Again, it's this whole question of risk...

    Another reason for buying an older vehicle is that you can hire out at a much lower price. There seems to be an awful lot of folk who would love to try a camper out but find the £800 odd pound a week prohibitive.

    I don't particularly have money burning a hole, I've been toying with the idea for a couple of years...
    Cash in the bank is effectively devaluing, investments are certainly a risk, any debts I have are costing so little to service there's no point in paying them off ! Have a good job, so no need for a fresh career, what's one to do ?
    I quite fancy a new challenge, I've got a great idea for a self-build (to hire out) but can't share any details (it's secret :whistle:)
    I figure buying an off the shelf pvc is a good starting point before I commit £x on the project- what's the worst that can happen, will certainly be a learning curve regardless !
     
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  12. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Do you have previous experience of marketing, running a business, web page building etc? If not it will be a tough route to embark on. I'm not trying to dampen your enthusiasm but there is much much more to it than initially meets the eye.

    Amongst other things you WILL need to provide complete breakdown cover anywhere in the UK and offer the facility to compensate customers in the event of a spoilt holiday.....

    As I said earlier, Joe Public is not an easy beast to deal with :cautious:

    I have to agree with @DBK , if you intend to go ahead with this you would reduce your risk by offering new or nearly new vans. Yes, people don't like to pay a fortune for their week's motorhome hire, but neither do they want to be seen in something that clearly looks like they could not afford better :eek:

    Remember when people are on holiday, they expect perhaps more than they would settle for at home....
     
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  13. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    Yes to all of the above.
    Have oodles of experience working with the most disgusting, filthy, vile, ignorant people you could hope to meet.
    Of course, there's always one more to shock you, even when you think you've seen it all - that doesn't phase me at all.
    I had a very good business for a long time and for every horrible individual there were another five who were great.

    These days life is simple, I go into employed work, do a good job and come home.
    Work with mostly good people, don't get shouted at much, encounter the odd moron, who doesn't ?

    However, I am kind of missing a challenge in life, I'm not looking to build an empire (done that) but fancy doing a bit more with my time, perhaps a bit of motorhome hire will work for me ?

    I don't agree with the new/nearly new idea. This assumption is correct for some people and there are plenty of companies providing that service.
    I will be targeting folk who want an affordable adventure. They're interested in the journey / destination, escaping in relative comfort, not whether the van's more than three years old.

    For many, there is not much more vulgar than a shiny new white box - it's seen as ultimate consumerism.
    Let's face it, a growing number of people are anti-capitalism/consumerism and they're not always short of a few quid, this market is massively underserved. For these people, retro/old is good.
    Give them a 20yr old upcycled sprinter and they're relaxed and living the dream - just my view of it !
     
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  14. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Well, despite what we think (you did ask!) I would imagine you will go for it (y) Good luck but don't forget this years market will be over soon :eek: so maybe gear up for next year? :)
     
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  15. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    Always appreciate feedback, even if I don't totally agree. Never going to learn much if you don't ask or listen :)
    I hadn't intended to do it this summer, it's actually bad timing, as we're going away for the school holidays (whole six weeks :):D:LOL:)
    A couple of very suitable vans are up for sale which has spurred my interest. To my surprise, SWMBO has finally agreed that it might be a good idea, after being dead against it for a long time...
    Perhaps fortunately, both vans are 4-6hr drive away and I haven't had the time to go viewing... so it might well be next year - watch this space !
    Off to Glastonbury Festival in about ten days, maybe the sight of morons wrecking the hire Rimors and Autorollers will put me off again....

    Thanks for your input !
     
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