Swapping Vs. Renting your Van


Pros and Cons analyzed

Temporary Van Swap Pros and Cons analyzed

Some of the van owners we have spoken with, about our van swapping community, have told us they have already thought about renting their van, were doing that at the moment, or on the other hand, have answered to us that they will never rent their vehicle.

Therefore we thought it was due time to write a short article reflecting about the differences between temporary renting and swapping your van.

There are many websites where you can easily post your van (Indicampers, Yescapa, and Goobony to name just a few), fill in some small info and in no time, you will be renting your van to strangers and getting money in return, which leads us to the only advantage of renting your van: The money. After a more or less substantial cut from the website, and very likely another one from the government of the country where you are living, you will get some money that you can spend on whatever you like.

The economical compensation can be very big depending on the location, dates, kind of vehicle etc. Yet, there are a number of disadvantages to take into consideration, and that can be very important to particular van owners and make the renting option more profitable for business like profiles than for individuals with one much loved vehicle.

Disadvantages of renting your Van:

  1. No insurance: Absolutely no normal insurance company is going to cover an economical utilization of the vehicle (not even for tokens). Period. When renting your van in this kind of websites we recommend reading extremely carefully the fine print. But reality is simple, most of the times you are either not covered, or you are forced to get an additional and very expensive insurance coverage. Everything else it´s usually fairy tales.
  2. Vehicle wear down: When inexperienced people use your van, they are going to wear it down much faster than when you use it. They will probably not total your vehicle, but you will very likely have to repair a blind, a drawer or something in the kitchen every single time you rent it. Sadly people don´t take care of rental vehicles as if they were their own. This is clearly visible on rental cars that are always full of scratches, and it is even more dramatic on campervans, due to people inexperience. Anyone who has ever rented a motorhome knows that there are usually lots of little broken things, that are not nice to have in your own personal (beloved) ride.
  3. Taxes and commissions: Renting a van and then spending your money on renting another van somewhere else is the best deal for the van renting website (no wonder there are more and more everyday) and the government.
  4. Insecurity: From the point of view of the renter, that the van you have booked and you are relying on for your holidays, gets broken down by a previous renter letting you stranded it´s pretty easy, as well as a change of plans from the van owner.

    How does this Work?


    Why is temporary van exchange better?

    So… what are the advantages of temporarily swapping your van? When we started this project, we disliked the idea of renting our van for this reasons.

    For us, a temporary van swap is better, since:

    1. Insurance Covers You: You just need to call them in advance and let them know a particular friend of you, is going to be driving your van. They will include them in the insurance coverage for free, or for a small sum. And you are not lying; you just met this friend online, which is perfectly legal. There is no economical profit.
    2. Vehicle wears down normally: When you lend someone your motorhome and they let you use theirs in return, you know they are going to take care of it as if it was their own, and you are also sure that they know how to take care of a van, since they own one!
    3. Neither taxes nor commissions: Depending on how you find your fellow vanswapper you will pay nothing, or a small fix amount to subscribe to a website, not a huge percentage commission.
    4. More security: When you have been doing video calls with some fellow campervan owners, and you get to know each other, you can trust that they are going to do their best not to let you down. There is way less chances that your trip gets cancelled. You will be doing the same thing!
    5. It´s great to make friends and get lots of local tips! This was a somehow unexpected bonus.

    Therefore, we believe that arranging a temporary van swap is cheaper, and much safer than renting out your campervan to some strangers and using the money to rent a van somewhere else. We have no doubt that the benefits are big and compensate the disadvantage of giving you less flexibility than a bunch of cash.

    Of course, these are just some things to consider, your final decision will depend on your preferences and of course about your economic situation. Hope to see you all on the road (the rental vans as well)!