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What do I need to hire a campervan in the UK?

Hiring a campervan and hitting the road for a holiday is a great way to get away. You get all the joy of campervanning without the cost and care of ownership. There are now lots of campervan companies hiring out vans from locations across the UK, making getting behind the wheel of the van of your dreams surprisingly easy. Want to know if your eligible to hire one? To help you get started, here’s a quick checklist of the basics you're likely to need in order to hire a campervan in the UK...

A full UK driving licence

It goes without saying that a full UK or EU driving licence is a prerequisite for hiring any vehicle in the UK. Most (if not all) campervan companies will insist that drivers have held their licence for two years or more. Driver age is also important. Each campervan hire company is different but many will only hire to drivers between the ages of 25 and 70 years old. There are exceptions to the rules; a few accept drivers from 23 and some do not allow drivers under 30, so make sure you check the terms and conditions before you book.

A clean record

Your licence will also need to show a clean driving record. Campervan hire companies need to know their vehicles are in safe hands and will usually only hire to drivers who have not had their licence suspended, who have had no convictions and no at-fault claims on insurance within the past two years. If you have a small number of points on your license, such as for breaking a speed limit, this is unlikely to effect your booking, provided you meet the other requirements.

A Driving Licence Check Code

To prove you are fit to drive, you need a Driving Licence Check Code. This is obtained from the DVLA and can be done online. Some motorhome or campervan hire companies ask you to do this yourself and some ask for your details so they can do this on your behalf. To run the check yourself, head to the Government website with your National Insurance Number and driving licence at the ready. You need to input both along with the postcode of the address on your licence and it takes just a couple of minutes.

Two proofs of address

Your campervan hire company will usually need you to provide two proofs of address in the form of utility bills addressed to you and dated within the last three months. Council tax bills and bank statements are also usually acceptable but, as with all these things, check with the hire company you are using to avoid any hiccups.

A booking and a security deposit

As there are a few checks to carry out and insurances to arrange, it’s advisable to book campervan hire at least a few weeks in advance. As with hiring any vehicle, a security deposit is usually required when you hire a campervan or motorhome. Typically this is £500–£750 and will be held until the vehicle is returned after your adventure.

For European drivers and driving in Europe…

If you live outside the UK, you will be asked to show your passport as well as your UK or EU driving licence. If you are planning on driving to Europe in your hired campervan you will, of course, need to take your passport with you and you will also need a Vehicle on Hire Certificate which is authorised by the hire company. This can take a couple of weeks to organise so make sure you leave plenty of time. Be aware that for driving in France you are legally required to carry additional safety equipment (including a breathalyser, high vis jacket, warning triangle and more). The hire company should include this if they know you are planning to drive in Europe, but it’s worth checking that this is included. There's more information on the UK government website (which also includes further information about taking a vehicle outside of Europe and the EU).

Additional requirements

Although the above are usually the main requirements, be aware that not every campervan hire company is the same. One or two campervan companies may have additional requirements and, for insurance reasons, some campervan hire businesses may need further documentation (particularly for larger, long-wheel-base motorhomes). It's always best to read the terms and conditions in full when you place your campervan hire booking and, if you're unsure – particularly if you are under the age of 25 or over the age of 70 – it's best to double check with the company before you book.