Hiring a Motorhome – 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Vehicle

Motorhome hire is increasingly popular with British holidaymakers and in the summer of 2010 record numbers are expected to hire a motorhome. Deciding which one to opt for can be a bit of a minefield, but if you take the time to consider the following simple points the task of selecting the right vehicle need not be such a headache.

1. How many people have to sleep in the motorhome?

With motorhomes ranging in capacity from sleeping two at the small end to up to 10 in the very largest vehicles, your first consideration will be how big a motorhome you need for the job in hand. If you’re a couple wanting to escape to the countryside for a week, look for motorhomes advertised as ‘2-berth’. For larger groups, look for multiple berths. But bear in mind that ‘6-berth’ might not mean you can accommodate 6 large adults very comfortably. For greater space, comfort and luxury, you should tend towards a larger model, e.g. if there’s four of you, consider hiring a 6-berth motorhome.

2. What sort of terrain will you drive the motorhome on?

Most motorhomes are sturdy and built for long-distance driving and if you rarely plan to stray from tarmac, then any model will suffice. However, study your itinerary carefully and research the likely terrain before you book your motorhome. If you’re planning to go off-road, or will need to drive on dirt roads, mud tracks or rocky lanes at any point in the journey, you’ll need to budget for a 4X4 motorhome or one specially adapted for off-road terrain.

3. Are you legally qualified to drive a motorhome?

Anyone who passed their driving test before 1 January 1997 has a C1 entitlement and is automatically qualified to drive a motorhome up to 7.5 tonnes in weight. Those who got their license after that date have B1 status and can only drive motorhomes up to a maximum of 3.5 tonnes. Check your license status before putting the ink on any motorhome hire agreement.

4. What kind of mileage can you expect from a motorhome?

Modern motorhomes are built for long distances and typically use efficient diesel engines, but fuel consumption obviously depends on how large the vehicle is and how much weight it is expected to bear. As a general guideline, a typical 2-berth offers around 35 miles to the gallon, a medium-sized model offers between 20-30mpg, while the large US-built ‘RVs’ may only manage 10mpg. Look out for LPG-conversion, which can slash fuel costs by up to half.

5. Take your time!

As with any holiday plan, it is really worth taking the time to research motorhomes extensively before you opt to hire one. The trick is to choose the right model for your budget and your intended use. Whereas a VW Camper might appeal to the hippie in you, it might not be the most practical solution for accommodating a family. Do your research carefully and pick a motorhome that ticks all the boxes.