Need an Automatic/Rental Business start-up.

Discussion in 'Buying a VW Camper' started by pinkie, May 8, 2016.

  1. Hi,

    I'm new here and have had a peekabout but probably better to just say 'hello' to you all and ask advice directly.

    I am looking to buy 2 vans initially, to rent out, but I only have an automatic licence, and I know that cuts down vastly on what I can buy.

    I love the T2 vans, but the hazards of buying is a bit scary for me!

    Having said that I used to have a Mercedes Hymer 550 1992, and had no problem going over to Holland and buying it myself, but clearly an easier buy.

    It's a minefield with the vw's.

    So my question to you guys is; (my budget is around 30k for 2 vans, definitely one t2, and I don't mind if the second isn't,) what to buy for camper rentals in your opinion (I'm up in Dundee) and budget. Plus anyone know of any up for sale.

    Thanks so much for any advice.

    Obviously I don't want to do any work, I just need them good to go!
  2. Sensible budget for 2 vans I reckon, finding 2 autos could be the downfall !! American imports probably the best bet, the Americans like their autos !!
    Skcor, Moons and pinkie like this.
  3. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Administrator

    I wouldn't think of renting out 40 year old vehicles tbh.
    mgbman, chad and pinkie like this.
  4. Hi and welcome.

    For £30K you should be able to get 2 good vans for that money.

    Having a auto license shouldn't stop you buying a manual van just stops you driving them.

    Good luck. My advice don't by anything freshly painted and if you like importing get a couple from America.
    pinkie likes this.
  5. You sound like a minimum effort kind of a person. You're making a big mistake.
  6. zedders, yep you got me right there, but I am not afraid of importing.
  7. What will you do when it goes wrong mid hire? Provide a replacement or say "tough, sorry your summer holiday is ruined"?
  8. well do what every other rental business does, have appropriate aa/rac cover in place, and if it can't be fixed either provide an alternative or partial refund.

    it's going to happen at some point, but it's 'damage limitation' in how you deal with it with your customers, as in any business.
    stooboo and 72wilma like this.
  9. Flakey

    Flakey Sponsor

    Good luck with the venture,
    Personally I wouldn't hire a classic vehicle off someone who knew nothing about them and I wouldn't hire one of mine to people who didn't know or respect the vehicles.
    I'd want to know every nut and bolt of a vehicle I was hiring out to families!
    pinkie likes this.
  10. I wont even let the mrs drive mine because she thinks you just get in it and it drives like her car
    A mate of mine hired an early couple of years ago
    Got in it and thought he would see how fast it would go and nearly wrote it off at first round about
    Hes a respectable 50 year old

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    chad, zedders and pinkie like this.
  11. Flakey, I totally understand that. Although everyone starts their learning curve somewhere, and I intend to learn about them as I go along, I may be a woman but I am more than capable.

    As for rentals, I have to make money and it seems a sensible plan of action to me, obviously dependant on not buying turkeys.
  12. CraigyP, that's helpful to know! Clearly will need to do thorough pre-rental guidance! With the way you drive written into the contract.

    Apart from the whole rental scenario, has anyone got any decent contacts for buying in the USA? Where to look etc.

  13. Seriously, you may get away without serious mishap, or you may be volunteering to shovel money down a hole. You have to be doing it for love because despite the high prices you see on line, it's a lot of work even if the 40 year old mechanicals don't let you down. Good luck.
    72wilma and pinkie like this.
  14. Thanks for all your tips, I think you are probably right, I should look at newer vans instead. I can't afford to shovel money into things that may possibly go wrong.

    Life is indeed too short!

    Thanks again.
  15. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

    T4 1900 turbo diesel, high top or pop top conversions, you could buy 3 probably 4 with £30k, but auto only hires may limit your rental market
    72wilma likes this.
  16. It might be worth looking at the newer Danbury imports rather than trying to buy a 40 year old van and "hoping nothing goes wrong" - you'll in theory have a more reliable van, happier punters, and less of a learning curve.

    Either way good luck...
    pinkie and matty like this.
  17. For a hire van I would go for a Danbury newer mechanicals, engine a bit more robust and can be looked at by normal vw garage
    For most hires they would not know the difference from Danbury to a proper bay

    You do need to watch out for rust through especially the gutters
    pinkie and art b like this.
  18. pinkie and alpha981 like this.
  19. Hi Pinkie

    I did it. And.......
    Its a lot of hard work, which I expected.
    Insurance is expensive
    AA costs £300+ if you have all inclusive with hire car etc. (which you need)

    It cots a fortune to maintain the camper in 100% tip top condition.
    People want to rent off you in Scotland (Yorkshire in my case) and drive to Cornwall and back in a weekend (yes really)
    If you give the customer a proper induction it takes about an hour, including a mini driving lesson. All my customers understood the need to have mechanical sympathy. I installed a tracker that alerted me if they drove over 55 mph. Only one did go to 57 mph for 1 minute. Although it may have been second gear.

    if you "don't want to do any work, just need them good to go!" then its 100% going to go wrong. in my shortlived experience over one full season I had:-

    • Broken Window winder,
    • Leaky Roof light
    • Broken rear light
    • Leaky fuel lines
    • Leaking sink
    • broken window washer
    This with one camper that was in fantastic condition. Luckily non of these ended in a cancelled hire

    If you vet all the customers in advance you can weedle most nutters, but some always get through the net.

    To actually make a living you need half a dozen campers, with a spare for when one is being serviced/fixed etc.

    If you really must do it, hire out newer t4/t5's. Or look at imported mazda bongos or similar you get some crackers for £12k to £15.
    mgbman, 72wilma, chad and 1 other person like this.

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