Running a Volkswagen Camper Van Hire Company

volkswagen camper van hire

Running a Volkswagen Camper Van Hire Company

So I often get asked “do I enjoy running a Volkswagen campervan hire company?” It’s an un-resounding yes, despite the odd moments e.g. late night phone calls, and dirty post festival camper van hires – but even then made up for by the blissed out and considerably less knackered than they would be hirers!! How many jobs allow you to sell such a fun and enjoyable product and do it from round the corner from your home? After 200 odd campervan hires I still don’t remember a single customer coming back unhappy, even in the dire weather of spring 2013. Most have big smiles and massive enthusiasm, to the extent that some go and buy one, or even book another camper van hire straight away. Frankly, the new VW California campervan sells itself, they’re new, amazingly well put together, easy to drive, so many feature like a giant Swiss army knife van and well equipped by VW and us. Plus of course it’s the excellent customer service (ha ha) and convenient central Brighton station pick-up location.

I also get to work for only about 7 months a year. It’s a very seasonal business, kicking off in Easter and lasting until the end of October, but with a real peak from June to September. It can be a bit odd when you reach the quiet period, like after my 3 week November holiday this year, what do you do? All the boring stuff (accounts etc) and more interesting things like website development etc that you never did when you were busy of course.

I also get to use the campervans when they are free. We have become adept at sneaking out to the New Forest, or Wittering or Alfriston for a few nights camping between hires. Get the table and chairs out and the Cobb BBQ on, life is pretty sweet even out of season. A few weeks back we took one of the campervan hire fleet, Ernie, out for a day’s drive and a long walk on the South Downs Way. It was great to just lie down after a long walk and make a cuppa’ when we returned to Firle Beacon, making it that bit better than going by car.

Taking the vans out also has the practical purpose of checking for any minor undiscovered faults. Last year, incredibly, despite being our busiest we had no major problems with accidents or breakages. Yes even a £50k factory made new VW campervan hire has a few small bits that can break. But it’s almost always the same things (e.g. flexible upper bunk lamp that makes a great swing for children I expect!!).  We’ve learned to spend more time with our hirers on the camper induction, especially on the bits that confuse or are delicate, and now have a great two page essential information sheet which has made a big difference. So here’s to the forthcoming 2014 season, but in the meantime I’ll be taking the vans out for a chilly bike ride or surf and a nice warm up afterwards with the California’s toasty warm heater.

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