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Hiring a Motorhome in Cornwall

Our guide to hiring a motorhome in Cornwall.

Motorhome Hire – Everything You Need to Know

Here at Cornish Motorhome Hire, we’re big fans of motorhome holidays. With years of experience behind us, we know a thing or two about choosing the right motorhome for your upcoming holidays. If you’re a first-time hirer, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with choice. So, if you need some help, we’ve put together a guide to hiring a motorhome in Cornwall. 

Hiring a Motorhome in Cornwall: Image of a motorhome driving into the sunshine.

Choosing the Right Motorhome

When hiring a motorhome, the first thing you should do is work out what your requirements are. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself:

How many people are going on the motorhome holiday?

This is a really important question, as you need to make sure that when you hire a motorhome, it has enough legal travelling seats for your entire party. It’s also important to find a motorhome that will accommodate the correct amount of people, so each person has space to sleep, relax and dine in comfort – particularly if you’re planning a long trip! Also, if you have children accompanying you and their car seats require an ISOFIX anchor point, ensure the motorhome you choose has this functionality.

What’s the largest vehicle you’re comfortable driving?

This is probably the most essential criteria to consider. Motorhomes are much larger than a day-to-day car or van, so it’s really important to establish whether you’re actually comfortable in driving such a big vehicle before you go ahead and make a booking.

In addition, you should think carefully about the places you intend to visit and the routes you’ll take to get there. B roads and country lanes can be notoriously narrow, bumpy and hilly – not ideal terrain for a novice motorhome driver! If you can, try to stick to A roads and the motorways.

Do you need a van with all mod-cons or a more basic model?

Whilst it can be tempting to go for an all-singing, all-dancing motorhome you may actually be paying a premium for equipment and facilities you’re not actually going to use. When you see a vehicle you like the look of, make sure you check the features and interior specification to see if it meets your needs. For example, if you’re booking a weekend break then you’re unlikely to need a television or masses of storage space. If you’re pitching up at a full-service campsite, then you may not want to hire a van with a built-in bathroom or a fully kitted out kitchen. Conversely, if you’re aiming to take a longer trip, then hiring a motorhome with all the comforts of home would be a good idea.

What are you planning for your holiday?

The activities you enjoy whilst on the road should also be considered. For example, if you plan on bringing your bikes with you, you should ensure that the motorhome you choose has the appropriate size bike rack to transport all your bikes. If you’re a keen surfer and would like to bring your own boards, find out in advance if the motorhome has any facilities to transport them.

Planning Your Trip

Deciding on the length of your trip is one of the first big decisions you should make. Do you need to hire a motorhome for a few days, a week or longer? Longer trips may be subject to a discounted nightly hire fee, so if you’re on the fence about the length of your adventure, check to see if there are any deals to be had!

When you’re hiring a motorhome, it’s really important to discuss your planned itinerary with the hiring company. If you’re looking to take in the sights of the Cornish coast or other UK destinations, you’re unlikely to run into additional charges. However, if you’re heading up to Plymouth to catch a ferry over to the continent, then you’ll need to tell them this straight away. Discussing this at an early stage means you remain within the agreed hiring policy, prevent unexpected charges and be sure that you’re getting the best vehicle for your needs. 

Hiring a Motorhome in Cornwall: Map of Europe with pins and passports.

Read the hire company’s policy on mileage. Many companies have a daily mileage cap that’s covered by the hiring fee, so 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.

Be clear on 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, so double-check with the hire company before you book.

Get a general idea of fuel costs, as you’ll need to refuel the vehicle along the way. This is particularly important if you’re on a relatively tight or fixed budget.

The time of year you’re taking your trip should also influence your choice of motorhome. If you’re holidaying in the winter or hitting the slopes, then ensure you’re hiring a van that’s winterised. A winterised van is able to retain all functionality during the winter months, including providing a good heating system.

Here at Cornish Motorhome Hire, all of our motorhomes are fully winterised for your comfort. If you’re heading overseas during the winter, you should also take a look at the winter motoring regulations for the places you’re visiting. Some countries require motorists to carry warning triangles, snow chains, high vis jackets and even have winter tyres fitted, so it’s a good idea to check the requirements thoroughly before you travel.

Checking Your License

Before hiring a motorhome, you’ll need to check your license. If your license has a C1 category, then you’re able to drive any motorhome weighing up to 7,500kg within the UK. If you passed your test before 1st January 1997 and you’re under 70, this category would have automatically been applied to your license. If you passed your test after this date or are aged 70+ and haven’t renewed the category on your license, then you’re limited to driving vans that weigh under 3,500kg.

Optional Extras

When you’re hiring a motorhome, you’ll usually be able to choose from a number of different optional extras. This could be something simple, such as paying a fee to be able to bring your dog along or hiring a sat nav to bigger things, such as bike racks and awnings. Rather than relying on bundling extras onto your booking, always make sure you’re hiring a van that really meets your essential accommodation needs.

Hiring a Motorhome in Cornwall: Image of a woman sat outside a motorhome under an awning.

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 our 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!
  • Take your time levelling the motorhome up on the blocks provided
  • Stay nearby on the first night - ease into van life slowly!
  • Always have a 'banksman' outside the van to assist when reversing or manoeuvring