Hiring a Campervan in Cornwall
Our guide to campervan hire in Cornwall.
Campervan Hire – Everything You Need to Know
In our opinion, there’s nothing more enjoyable than packing up a campervan and hitting the open road. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned hirer, choosing the right campervan for your needs can be a little overwhelming. With so many models on the market and different van configurations available, it can be hard to decide on the right camper for you.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide on hiring a campervan in Cornwall. This guide will help you work out the best kind of vehicle to hire, the questions you need to ask yourself before you hire a campervan and embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
What Kind of Campervan Do I Need?
Once you’ve decided how long you want to hire the campervan for, you’ll need to finalise the number of people who’ll be joining you.
It’s important to ensure that when you’re hiring a campervan there are enough seatbelts for each traveller and that there’s space for each person to sleep comfortably. You also need to consider what you’re planning to do on your holiday so you can take those requirements into account.
Whilst vintage campervans are undoubtedly beautiful, they tend to be short on space. Despite claiming to accommodate parties of four, once the luggage is factored in it’s generally a tight squeeze even for two people. If your heart is set on taking a split-screen Volkswagen or a hi-top VW on a trip around the Cornish coast and there are more than two of you, it’s worth packing a tent. This will serve as an extra bedroom and give you some much-needed space to stretch out!
Modern campervans tend to be much more spacious. A great choice for families and small groups, you can usually comfortably accommodate four people in this type of camper. With a number of different layouts available to choose from, modern campervans have a host of cool features, including smart storage solutions, pop-top beds and cooking facilities.
Number of Travellers
If you need to accommodate more than four travellers, then a motorhome may be a better option for your needs. This type of vehicle can typically sleep four to six people and feature additional facilities, such as a bathroom, leisure space and fixed beds.
There’s a big difference between booking a camper for a weekend adventure and hiring a campervan for a several-week long road trip. For short trips, you may be happy to forego amenities such as a private bathroom and be happy to only have basic cooking facilities. If you’re taking a longer holiday, then having more home comforts may be more appealing.
Where Are You Going?
Regardless of whether you plan to travel to Europe, the length and breadth of Cornwall, the other end of the UK or the next county over, you should ensure you’re upfront with the hiring company about your intended destination. This is so you can avoid unexpected charges, remain within the agreed terms of the hiring policy and ensure that you’re getting the most suitable vehicle for your needs.
Make sure you know the hire company’s policy on mileage. Lots of companies have a daily mileage cap that’s covered by the hiring fee. If you exceed this quota, you’ll have to pay an additional charge per mile. Make sure you’re clear on this beforehand to avoid any unexpected charges.
Check whether you’re actually permitted to take the vehicle outside of the UK. Some insurance policies and breakdown cover services won’t cover you if you’re outside of the country. Always double-check with the hiring company before you travel!
Get a rough idea of fuel costs, as you’ll need to re-fuel the vehicle up whilst you’re on holiday. This is particularly important if you’re on a relatively tight or fixed budget.
Check out the roads you intend to travel on before you set off. If you’re hiring a campervan in Cornwall to explore the coast and quaint villages, you’re going to encounter a lot of narrow roads and country lanes. If you’re comfortable driving a campervan in those conditions, then great! If you’re not familiar with these kinds of roads or this type of vehicle, then you may want to stick to A-roads wherever you can.
Another thing to consider when you’re hiring a campervan is the suitability of the vehicle for the weather conditions.
If you’re heading to the continent to visit a ski resort, are holidaying in the dead of Winter or are heading north to the Cairngorms to hit the slopes, then you may want to consider a winterised vehicle. A vehicle that’s been designed with Winter touring in mind will feature a heating system to keep you warm in colder conditions. You will also need to check the Winter regulations for vehicles in the country you’re visiting, to ensure you’ve got the legally mandated equipment installed or available for use. This includes warning triangles, snow chains, Winter tyres and high-vis vests, but varies from country to country.
Does My Driving License Permit Me to Drive a Campervan?
Before you set about hiring a campervan, you should check that your license permits you to drive that kind of vehicle. If you have the C1 category on your license, you can drive a vehicle weighing up to 7,500kg whilst in the UK, meaning you’re covered to drive a campervan. If you’re under 70 but passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, then you’ll have this by default. If you passed your test after 1st January 1997 or are aged over 70, then your license will be limited to vehicles weighing up to 3,500kg unless you’ve renewed it.
What Extras Will You Need?
Most motorhome and campervan hire companies will offer a wealth of optional extras, such as awnings, portable loos and shower tents.
However, they may not offer facilities for transporting bikes, surfboards or snowboards, so if you can’t see the details in the vehicle description, check before you book. If you are travelling with children, ensure the child seats you have are compatible with the campervan.
Cornish Motorhome Hire’s Top Tips
Online advice is all very well, but nothing beats discussing your requirements with a hiring company that has plenty of experience. At Cornish Motorhome Hire, we always prefer to speak to you directly, particularly in the planning stages when we can answer all your questions and point out potential issues. We are very approachable and want you to get the best out of your holiday.
Our Top Tips
- Book your spot at campsites in advance
- If you're unsure of anything at the handover - speak up!
- Avoid low-lying areas in festival fields as they're likely to get boggy in the rain
- Always have a 'banksman' outside the van to assist when reversing or manoeuvring
- Stay nearby on the first night - ease into van life slowly!