Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Motorhome Rental Business in the United Kingdom
The idea of starting a motorhome rental business in the United Kingdom might be a daunting one, especially when you look at the bigwig companies dominating the market. It’s not an easy ride, especially if you don’t understand more about the industry and the market. However, startups have many opportunities, particularly in a niche market such as campervan and motorhome hire. You can follow this guide on starting a motorhome rental business in the United Kingdom.
The motorhome rental business is guaranteed when there is a surge in a staycation in the United Kingdom. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the motorhome market has seen a decline. This is evident by the sales figures at the beginning of the months of 2020. However, the market started gaining momentum in mid-year, as campers began looking for safer vacations.
Typically, recreational vehicles are temporary living quarters for camping, seasonal use, and recreational travel. Motorhomes are also commonly used in several activities such as festivals, concerts, and multi-day events. The good news is that they reduce vacation costs by an average of 50% over other traditional vacation activities.
The design of a motorhome allows one to travel, and it comes with all the basic amenities, such as cooking equipment, one or two beds, and a toilet. The younger generation is now adopting motorhomes, raising the demand for the services to the benefit of the owners. If you’re planning on starting a motorhome rental business in the United Kingdom, now is the time to venture into it. Some of the major players in the sector are trying to consolidate their sales by slicing down the costs, while smaller players are concentrating on new product launches.
The sector is taking another direction that will significantly benefit starters planning to jump into the bandwagon.
Business Registration Process
Whether you’re a newcomer or an RV pro, it is safe to say that you could be the next big money-maker in the motorhome rental business in the UK. You might not be sure how to start, but here are some of the things you can consider:
Research Your Target Market
Before starting, you must get familiar with your market and any primary trends. The market research will give you a clear understanding of the industry and whether it is worth venturing into it. Get to know your audience, their demography, taste, and preferences. More often, motorhomes are suited for large groups such as families and friends. The type of RV to buy is also vital as camping adventure in the wilderness will opt for a 4WD rental instead of a family going for a short vacation.
Analyze Your Competitors
The moment you know your audience, then you must also look out for competitors. Get to know what type of caravan they’re using, their pricing or whether they are offering special services. Investigate the number of vehicles they manage and whether they’re always booked out or not. In return, it gives you an insight into what you should expect in terms of demand, among other things. Remember to take note of what your competitors are doing.
Getting the Right Location
Potentially, finding the right location depending on how much you’ve done your market research. Typically, a customer would pick up the motorhome from your location before heading to their destination. Entrepreneurs in major cities or travel hubs tend to get more customers than those away from cities. The location serves as a launching pad for clients as people like to hire and board right close to home if not near the vicinity. Therefore, it could be a good start if you begin on your doorstep. So long as you have your garage, driveway, or parking space to your house, that’s enough.
Secure the Necessary Insurance
If you decide to provide customers under a rental contract, you should go for self-drive hire insurance, which is a legal requirement. This policy covers both the driver and the vehicle during the hiring period. Owners may often opt for a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you pay for the cover each time your car is on hire. However, you have to know that the pay-as-you-go cover will vary each period your vehicle is on hire.
Pricing Your Services
Once you have your motorhome kitted out and ready for hire, the next thing is determining your rental value. All you need to do is make it much more competitive yet fair, affordable, and profitable. It is vital to assess all aspects of your vehicle and what it’s worth. Look at things like the current model, the number of people that can sleep and the interior fittings. In a nutshell, your unique selling point.
Subsequently, you can check out your competitor’s pricing setup. How much they’re charging for similar rentals and use that as your pricing guide. Remember to bear in mind seasonal demand, meaning you have to adjust your pricing with each season rather than putting a fixed price throughout the year.
Register Your Business
Operating as a business means that you must have an existing entity that is registered. As you plan on starting a motorhome rental business in the United Kingdom, people will take you seriously if your business operates legally. You can start as a sole trader, enter into a partnership, or even a company. If you are enlisting company incorporation services in the UK, ensure that you secure all the requirements necessary.
Promote Your Business
Venturing into any business as a startup means that not many people will identify with you. This means you have to advertise your business to your target audience. Within your local area, you can distribute your business cards and set flyers around. Get the words out there with word of mouth; attend events or associations that promote motorhome rental businesses. Consequently, you can create your social media platforms with the correct information and content about your services.
Develop Your Website
To market your business further, develop a professional, on-brand website. Ensure you include your contacts and the full description of the services you are offering. Put some testimonials and case studies of the people that have benefited from your service. You can go ahead and fit your website with booking software that accepts card payments. This means you must set up both a business bank account and a merchant account.
Open a Business Bank Account
As you’ll be getting several bookings, and now that you’ve set your website and your merchant account, you must open a business bank account. The benefits are that it separates your personal and business expenses and builds your company’s credit history. Before you do that, you must first identify the most appropriate bank that suits your business type. Remember that each bank has varying requirements for opening business accounts. For company registration in the UK, ensure you have a registration certificate.
Licenses, Permits, and Regulations
As an entrepreneur planning on starting a motorhome rental business in the United Kingdom, you first must understand the regulations about the sector. The DVLA, which is the authority responsible for registering campervans, your vehicle does not need to have graphics to be re-registered. If you consider converting a van to a motorhome, you need to consider whether or not you want to re-register with authority. Although it is not a requirement to re-register, you can continue using the vehicle as a campervan.
A Guide on Changing a Vans Classification to Camper Van in the UK
The following information is with regards to classifying your van into a motorhome:
- The moment your van is near the completion of a motorhome, you must contact the DVLA
- The law requires you to change your V5C (log book) document and get it back to them. You also need to change the vehicle body type to ‘Motor Caravan.’ This is the term commonly used by DVLA to refer to motorhomes in the UK. You can check out the government website or seek further help from a United Kingdom corporate service provider like 3E Accounting.
- Ensure you include a cover letter explaining the process that you have undertaken to the vehicle. Again, include the photographs of the converted vehicle. Moreover, include the vehicle’s number plate in the shot both the front and the rear side of the car.
- Once you’re done with the conversion and the DVLA are satisfied, they’ll return a new V5C document to you alongside the body change type.
The law requires that once the vehicle has been officially re-classified by the DVLA, you must change the insurance. You must cancel your existing policy and apply for a new policy for the motorhome van.
If any further assistance on starting a motorhome rental business in the United Kingdom, 3E Accounting United Kingdom might be the answer. You can contact us and we will be ready to provide you with assistance.