We’ve enjoyed some glorious summers these past few years. The Met Office has said that 2022 was the hottest summer in England since records began in 1884 – the sunniest too. Against that background, you can be forgiven for wanting to guard your motorhome with more than a little jealousy.
Sadly, though, there are very few of us who have the opportunity of spending every waking moment in our cherished motorhome. There are going to be too many days when it has to sit idly in storage while we are off to work to earn a living.
But the very attraction that keeps your motorhome so close to your heart is likely to captivate many other people too – those who are looking for a short break or holiday with a difference, or those who might be thinking about buying one for themselves and want a first-hand experience before doing so.
By renting out your motorhome – especially if it is one as highly sought-after as an Auto-Sleeper – you might ensure that it is not only being put to maximum good use, but you may earn a tidy amount of cash into the bargain. If nothing else, the income might help to cover the costs of maintenance, servicing and repairs. If you intend to let it out on a regular basis, the income might even allow you to invest in a higher-specification model.
Renting it out – legal considerations
As well as any income, you’ll also be taking on a degree of responsibility when renting out your motorhome – falling foul of any legal considerations could leave you with a hefty penalty.
As the owner and registered keeper of the vehicle, for example, you must continue to pay the road fund licence, maintain a valid MOT certificate if necessary, and keep valid insurance up to date. To comply with the law, the latter needs to cover a minimum of third-party risks but for your own protection, you are more likely to choose comprehensive insurance – and check with your insurer that cover remains valid during any period it is rented out to others.
Because you are still the owner of the vehicle, you will also need to ensure that the motorhome remains thoroughly safe and roadworthy – and, since renters will be sleeping in it, you might also want to arrange a comprehensive habitation service.
It is also your responsibility to ensure that anyone renting your motorhome is not only insured to drive it but also holds the appropriate driving licence.
Make sure you are also aware of any legal obligations and health and safety requirements you may have letting out your motorhome, such as gas and electricity records, carbon monoxide detectors etc.
You might already know or have been recommended by someone who wants to rent your motorhome, but in many cases, it might mean advertising its availability.
When creating your advert, remember to give clear and precise dates on which it is available, an accurate description of its condition, size and how many people it may comfortably sleep. And, of course, the daily or weekly rental charge.
As you begin to receive expressions of interest, make sure – for your own security and peace of mind – to find out as much as possible about any potential renter. It’s your motorhome after all and you’ll want to know that it’s in a safe pair of hands.
Once you have established a degree of mutual confidence – and taken care of the legal considerations we have already outlined – you may arrange to meet and hand over your motorhome for the agreed period. It is worth having put the homework into drafting a formal hire agreement, inventory and checklist of “dos” and “don’ts”.
Run through these checklists carefully and remember to accept the renter’s money before the agreement is signed and you hand over the keys to your motorhome.
In this day and age of the internet, there are websites and apps that offer to take over all this hard work on your behalf – effectively acting as letting agents for you and your motorhome.
Many have ready-made formats for advertising and listing your motorhome, pre-screen potential renters on your behalf, have pro-forma rental agreements, and also arrange to handle the collection and processing of rental payments.
It is worth stressing once again the importance of reliable insurance cover before you rent out your motorhome to anyone else – it is essential for both your and your renter’s peace of mind and security. You are at risk of breaking the law if the insurance cover is inappropriate or inadequate.
Depending on your current insurance policy, renting out the vehicle could invalidate the policy so you might need to arrange specialist motorhome insurance that specifically covers your renting out the vehicle to others.