Sundrivehire .. ???

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by scotjimland, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    This motorhome hire company Click HERE has been discussed in several 'forums' (including Facts) for all the wrong reasons..

    SundriveHire (Camper Van / Motorhome Hire) Anyone Used Them?



    latest post by admin of the efestivals forum


    Prices too low ?
    Not listed in companies house

    are they a scam.. or is it just a lot of malicious internet chatter ?
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    The admin guy is not shy is he:BigGrin: See how a spelling and grammar pedant ruins a good thread:Smile:
     
  3. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I haven't seen the prices, so it is hard to say if they are 'too low' - much of that depends on the insurer - base-line costs to break even would be around £450/week. Which would be fine in the winter just to tick over, but wouldn't be tenable all year, due to the costs in running hire properly - as I say, I have no idea what they are charging!

    There is a phrase on their website that would suggest that they are hiring other peoples motorhomes where it states 'the owner will ...'

    This would cancel out a 'pay-as-you-go' insurance policy (which would be cheaper) as they do not cover third party owned vehicles, suggesting they are on a yearly policy.

    This is not to say they do not own their own, but the ones written are all fairly new - so these will cost 20-40ish a piece, and the finance has to be covered for that.

    Having 90 vehicles may not be accurate for owned vehicles, but may include third party owned vehicles which would bump up the number of available vehicles.

    It may be that they are quiet this year, and have decided to hire out at a little over cost, rather than not at all and caught themselves out with over-bookings (much more 'last minute deal' shopping this year) - who knows?

    I wouldn't have thought it was a scam, probably just a company trying to expand quickly, and maybe at the wrong time. All sorts of things can happen, his insurers may have backed out of third party hires - which would account for the refunds on so many (assuming he has quite a few third party vans).

    As ALL hires must be paid by cheque or card, the scam wouldn't be a very good one - especially as with card paid hires, the company do not see the money until the hirer returns.

    Hard to say if a competitor started the rumour - wouldn't be worthwhile to either party, as there are plenty of customers out there if you offer good service. Even in the middle of a recession, in the poorest part of the UK, we are still much busier than we projected this year - in fact turning people away!

    Of course, it is possible a small problem was blown out of proportion. I would think the insurers have backed out of third party hires - mind you, if you have that many vans, you would look elsewhere before pulling them! I have noticed certain insurers (car or breakdown) keep reducing cover each year - luckily our insurer is ok!
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for your input ...

    I checked, a weeks hire for a 2 berth this month is £595 .. rising to £700 for a 4 berth ..

    and for a luxury 6 berth RV it is £1,400

    https://www.sundrivehire.co.uk/rates.html

    how does that strike you ?
     
  5. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Thats more than I charge! :Eeek:

    Maybe I should put the prices up!:BigGrin:

    I would charge £480 for a 2 berth ( not that I have any 2's!) and 5 berths are £680 - mine are not brand new though (5-10yrs)

    I would say, on the open market he is maybe £100-200 down on the 4 berth, and about £100 down on the 2 berth against the multi-nationals, but he should be cheaper being smaller.

    That said - he won't be making anything on the third party owned - as we don't make anything out of them - just enough to cover costs (which is why we limit them to 10 max ..currently have 4 T/P and 2 for the Shared ownership)

    I wouldn't say his prices are that wildly cheaper - Just checked Abacus (a large company), and he is only £195 down on their prices....so i estimated right:Wink: I know £200 sounds like alot of money, but if he has a virtual offce, that costs £30 a week, and many are third party owned, then he doesn't have the overheads a company such as abacus have, with large offices and yards dotted around costing 1-2k per month!

    RV is around the right money - most charge £1500 a week, non-drive.

    The only worrying thing is, it is believed that he delivers these...and that is costly!! Fuel alone to say drop one from midlands to cornwall, will be around £160 at least, there and back (m/h plus return car) - plus he has to pay drivers:Eeek:

    I would think he has got caught in the PBS trap and finding it hard to get out - they usually dig themselves deeper - he won't be the first or the last company to try that!
     
  6. BobProperty

    BobProperty Read Only Funster

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    Sorry to say but this screams scam. It's a get all the money you can off credit cards, supply what little you can get away with then tell all the punters that their credit card company will cover them. It stinks too when all the "support" is one post wonders and a poster who lied about the dates of some pictures. Further, where are the 90 motorhomes? No way has anyone gone out and bought 90 (that's what? 90 x £20k say - £1.8m :Rofl1: ) vehicles. So where are all the people who are sub-contracting vehicles to him? Then there was the fake address in London too and I've read less than half the posts on one site.
     
  7. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Card payment doesn't work that way! Card companies will only release funds when someone has received the goods/service. All standard when going into shops etc, but for hire, you have to wait until the vehicle is used, before they release the funds. Car hire, fine - you collect and pay the day you use most of the time - but for holidays, it is different as they are booking up to a year ahead.

    This is where the headache begins, and banks argue with insurers. The banks won't release funds until the product is received (a bit like an escrow account).....and the insurers won't insure unless the funds have been received...so what you do is charge a 'booking fee/deposit' Since your customer is receiving the booking of the holiday, they have received the goods - so that covers the insurance side, as well as the bank side. The booking fee/deposit is then deducted from the hire fee!

    It doesn't matter how much that fee is, and in my case, I charge an amount which splits the hire fee almost in half. That was due to research suggesting people would find it easier on their savings, if they had less to pay nearer the time of hire - enabling them to save for 'spending' money. It is flexible, and to me, I have no interest in the amount and always keep it fully refundable up until 28 days before departure. I want people to enjoy a holiday to remember, and will always try and help them acheive that.

    But as a scam, it really wouldn't work! As the banks won't release payment (especially when taken in full) until AFTER the hire!
     
  8. BobProperty

    BobProperty Read Only Funster

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    Rainbow, I think you need to re-read what you wrote with a scammer's viewpoint. They can't get the money up front if it's for hire but they can for a booking fee. They get the full money when the hire is complete. So, all a scammer needs to do is process everything as booking fees and they got paid. Or just put half through as booking fees. 90 motorhomes rented out for Glasto at say £600 for the week is £54,000. Half it, £27,000. Not bad for a copied website and a £30 accommodation address.
     
  9. BobProperty

    BobProperty Read Only Funster

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    By the way. As I am being a bit "open" here, if this does result in criminal charges I expect the thread or some posts to be removed, I have no issues about that.
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Glastonbury 2011 campervan scam unveiled....

    http://www.metro.co.uk/music/866537-glastonbury-2011-campervan-scam-unveiled
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  11. paulmold

    paulmold Read Only Funster

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  12. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Sorry, not been on a couple of days - under a mountain of paperwork!:Doh:

    I understand where you are coming from, and what I said was based on the 'insiders' view - you CANNOT charge the full amount as a 'booking deposit/fee' There has to be a second, traceable payment for the hire that follows. It is a little complex juggling act.

    That is if you are doing it properly anyway!

    If it is a money scam, then the guy is pretty stupid! If you were doing something on that scale, you wouldn't base yourself in the UK for a start!:Rofl1:

    I would think most of his owners have turned round and refused to let their vehicles go to festivals - only he has waited until after he has booked to ask them....which is just silly! That option should be given on sign up, for the owner to decide for themselves.
     
  13. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    The address given is a Virtual Office,,,
     
  14. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    Which is wholly appropriate.........


    As what they offer are appears to be VIRTUAL MOTORHOMES.........:Eeek:
     
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  15. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    Its funny but all con men sound quite plausible dont they?
     
  16. BobProperty

    BobProperty Read Only Funster

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    I think that is the question. Being generous, the guy has not researched the details of what he is doing and is now trying to make the best of it. e.g delivering motorhomes - send me an 8.5t RV from the home counties to Manchester? That's probably £100+ in fuel and you haven't paid the driver yet. He needs a HGV/PSV licence, will be driving for at least 4 hours, etc. HMRC will be expecting their VAT. Given his ability not to get the details right, I wonder what insurances he has. As has been suggested, he might have had an arrangement with a few people who have not been told their pride and joy was going to become a love-bus at Glasto.
    At some point the recklessness of the business plan crosses over into the bodged what-can-we-do which then becomes what-can-we-get-away-with. If only the business and its proprietor lose money then he can say he tried and failed. If other people start to lose money then it's wrong and somewhere it crosses the line into scam territory.
     
  17. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    One hears so many sad tales of these people who live off renting out other peoples goods, bit like drop shipping where the seller just passes on an order to a wholesaler who then ships with no retail comeback if it goes wrong.

    Moral of the story is go to a reputable dealer with premises and proper back up who owns the van or goods.

    Peter
     
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  18. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I do agree, the whole delivery thing bothers me - yes he can hire at that price, it isn't wildly less than anyone else. But with delivery....he is being a little niave to say the least!

    RV's do get delivered - not seen an RV/5TH wheel hire company yet who will allow you to drive them - they get delivered to a site and you stay there! I shouldn't imagine their insurers would want anyone driving them - the expense, size, import vehicles - it ticks all the high risk boxes! Being that other firms hire for £1500 delivered, then yes, it is viable....though in my opinion from a business point of view, smaller motorhomes are more tenable when considering costs/profit, than an RV (Unless of course you are a dealer) which is why very few motorhome hire companies have them on their fleets.

    There could be some degree of 'trying his luck' - either because he doesn't know what he is doing, or he is trying to fool the system in some way, such as not insuring through self drive, as he delivering them to stay on site - a foolish thing, but some idiot may try it!

    The people who have been 'victims' should be able to cancel the order with their card company as they have paid the whole fee - which the C/C hold in escrow, as the sale isn't 'complete'. I would hope for their sakes, that their card companies are wise to it - certainly with the level of complaints he is getting, then he will not be able to gain merchant services again!

    There have been many people having a bash at hire over the recent few years, many are not experienced at it, or do not do their homework - some of the results are frightening, he seems to be trying to get too big, too soon with alot of PSB (Positive Bull S***) trying to appear bigger than he is - I see this fairly often, and shake my head! Only it appears he is trying to use the same tactics to talk his way out, with really bad results!

    As for being 'untracable' with virtual offices - these can be rented, but require ID, and also he has appeared on Radio - so they must have found him!

    We shall have to see how it all pans out - interesting though! If he has just messed up his business plan - no he didn't plan it, surely - if he messed up his business, he did it wholesale! If it was a scam, then he didn't plan that well either. Can I beleive it is innocent or unintentional idiocy? Maybe! I have seen some have a go heros doing it very badly! We shall have to see!

    I would far rather stay small, earn less, (over-)do it right and ensure my customers are happy & safe!:thumb:
     
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  19. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Just as an update - I have just had a call from Sundrive, asking if we had any motorhomes free for their customers, as they had been 'let down by some owners'

    So kind of confirms my initial suspicions!

    It would appear that they are making an effort to supply vans at least, by hiring from other companies.
     
  20. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Are you going to take the risk :Eeek: after reading all the above :Wink:
    terry
     

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