Journalist and producer based in Spain working for UK press. My focus here is safe travel and tourism in Spain. I also cover current affairs, business, architecture and rural regeneration, and work / have worked for The Guardian, BBC, FT, The Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Business Life, Reader's Digest, Evening Standard.
The campervan rental business is booming at an all-time high, being deemed one of the safest vacation options for this summer all across Europe. With the UK reported to be running short on campervan and motorhome rentals, Indie Campers, one of Europe’s biggest campervan hire businesses, have just announced the launch of a new campervan rental platform, merging their own fleet with vehicles from private owners – says Indie Campers.
I am unapologetically posting Indie Campers’ press release because I think it’s a genius idea. I grew up on campervan adventures in wild places and have an appetite. I can’t afford a reliable campervan of my own (though if I could rent it out part of the year, I could). There are two campervans parked on the driveways of houses I pass twice a week and I don’t have the pluck to introduce myself to the owners and persuade a total stranger to rent one to me. This new venture is tick, tick (tick), tick.
So . . .
Boosting travel options across Europe. Campervan rentals in the UK have been booked out at full capacity and, at the same time, more and more Britons are purchasing campervans. Accordingly, Indie Campers have witnessed a growth of approximately 200% in UK domestic bookings compared to last year, and are nearly fully booked for the rest of summer.
Consequently, Indie Campers is now announcing the launch of their new online marketplace as an attempt to bridge the gap between supply and current demand for safe and sustainable travel options. The platform will include both the company’s own fleet of over 1.200 campervans and options from private and other professional owners. Peer-to-peer campervan rental platforms are not new in Europe, with players such as Camptoo, Rent My Camper, Goboony and Quirky Campers already offering the service in the UK. However, Indie Campers brings innovation to the sector in the sense that its offer will aggregate the company’s own fleet with private and professional owners, including the possibility of end-to-end operation and management of each vehicle’s rental process. “Within the current changing travel landscape, this move enables us to align even more with the ever-emerging trends of the sharing economy, adding to our supply of flexible, authentic and sustainable travel experiences, and matching the growing widespread interest in getting into nature and away from the crowds,” says Hugo Oliveira, the CEO of Indie Campers.
The company who recently was ranked the #2 fastest-growing travel company in Europe by Financial Times (FT1000, 2020), now aims to offer a camper vehicle for any occasion and preference, from small mini-vans to large motorhomes. “With this launch, our platform will operate as an integrated online marketplace. Much like Amazon, it will provide travellers with both vans from private campervan owners, professional players and our own extensive fleet all throughout Europe. From now on, we position ourselves as the fully integrated platform for road trips, by offering a wide range of rentals with different features and price points”, comments Hugo Oliveira.
Make the most of your campervan. According to data private vehicles go unused for 95% of their lifetime (Fortune 2016). By utilizing the existing campervans in the market, the paradigm of the circular economy is put to play, resorting to existing resources while they are not in use and enabling campervan and motorhome owners to monetize their vehicles. Indie Campers estimates that campervan owners can earn up to an average of £20,000 per year on their new marketplace.
On this new platform, campervan owners will have the opportunity to profit from Indie Campers’ existing customer base and industry expertise. The logistical and operational infrastructure of the company will be a key unique proposition for owners: “By offering private owners access to our infrastructure and resources, such as warehouses, staff and technological systems, we simplify the owner’s rental process in unprecedented ways in this sector. More than a normal online marketplace, we will provide the option of fully operating and managing the rental process for private owners, from setting up the vehicle to meeting the end customer and storing the van on any of our premises across Europe”, comments Oliveira.
Indie Campers has very recently opened up for campervan and motorhome owners to sign up to pre-list their vehicles. “Within only a few weeks, we already have nearly 2.000 owners who have signed up to list their campervans on our upcoming marketplace, which gives us added confidence on the importance of this new platform for the campervan rental community”, states the company’s CEO.
In order to make it simple for campervan owners to start renting out their campervans, Indie Campers has further partnered with industry-leading insurance companies across Europe, allowing campervan owners to rent their vehicles with safety and reassurance to mitigate risk.
How to join? Campervan and motorhome owners can now sign up to get their vehicles listed on the marketplace at http://www.indiecampers.co.uk/list-my-campervan. The Indie marketplace will be fully rolled-out by the end of 2020.
Indie Campers has a fleet of more than 1200 campervans in over 40 locations across The United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. See their website for service details. https://indiecampers.co.uk/ and Instagram.