A detailed guide to campervan hire in Europe


September 20, 2018 • Travel

The campervan has made a dramatic comeback. After the concept was launched in 1947, campervans have drifted in and out of vogue, and with the growth of glamping they are now most certainly ‘in’.

Campers are beloved for many reasons. By combining accommodation with a road trip, they are an ideal way to take an off-piste holiday. They also allow you to travel with everything that you need to make your personal world that little bit more comfortable.

So, if you want to get in on the action, where do you begin? How do you hire a van in Europe?


Plan your itinerary

This one may seem obvious, but it’s often something that people forget to plan. The call of the open road can be beguiling. However, in reality, it’s helpful to know where to you want to travel to, and when.

Why? It removes much of the hassle later down the line. Knowing where rest stops, borders, and camp spots are located can help to keep you on track. There are now plenty of apps that can help with plotting an itinerary and sticking to it.


What features are most important to you?

Campervans come in many different shapes and sizes. There is the romantic allure of the traditional VW, but these have low fuel efficiency, are slow, and are prone to breaking down.

Newer styles of camper tend to be less evocative of that bygone camping era. However, some of the latest models offer an astonishing array of features. For modern reliability, VW’s latest offering, the Transporter, brings the idealism of the 1940s straight into the 21st century.


Get travel insurance

Travel insurance is a prerequisite for driving in many European countries, including popular road-trip hot-spots such as Crete.

Some insurers, such as van insurance from one sure, regularly deal with policies for people who are traveling back and forwards to the Continent on business. Going with an insurer used to working with vans and campers is a better choice than opting for normal car insurance because they are specialists in all things diesel.


What’s your budget?

Traveling by camper sounds like a cheap option, and it can be. However, there are plenty of hidden costs that can affect your holiday.

For instance, miles per gallon can make a significant difference to your budget, and this might affect your choice of van. Generally speaking, the newer the camper, the more cost efficient it will be.

Self-catering is always an option on a campervan road trip. As long as you’ve planned your itinerary carefully, you should always be able to survive without splashing out on restaurant dining.

However, vanlife enthusiasts recommend being very careful about sticking to a daily budget whilst employing life-hacks to keep costs down. These include knowing where the cheap campsites are, and planning where to top up on free water.


Check requirements for driver licenses and permits

The EU is relatively straightforward in that most countries follow the same rules. However, some countries (such as Switzerland) are not in the EU, and have their own rules and regulations.

There are great resources that shows EU driving requirements, and you can also check out the government portals for any country that you’re planning to visit.


Closing thoughts

Campervan holidays can be some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences. They are also environments with a high potential for unexpected stress. Planning in advance, and making sure that essentials such as routes, the ideal van, and travel insurance are taken care of well ahead of time, can save a lot of headaches further down the road.


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