Renting vs buying a campervan for your family: Pros and cons

freedom of owning a campervan

Campervans offer a unique sense of freedom, giving you and your family a chance to explore landscapes and create amazing memories.

However, there are two ways you can do this. Renting or buying a campervan. Both have their own drawbacks. So what are the pros and cons of renting vs buying a campervan?

Renting or buying a campervan both offer unique pros and cons for family travel. Carefully consider each option to enable you to make an informed decision. However, it is essential that your decision aligns with your budget, long-term travel aspirations and preferences.

Maximizing your adventure: Discover the pros of renting a campervan

Discover the pros of renting a campervan for your family holidays. Experiencing the lifestyle of a campervan owner without the belong term financial commitments. Whether for a short weekend or a week, renting offers you flexibility for your family adventures.

  • Convenience – Renting a campervan means having everything you need at your fingertips. Enjoy the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen, cosy sleeping quarters, and bathroom facilities. It’s like carrying your home with you wherever you go.
  • Try before you buy – If you are considering buying a campervan but are still determining if it is for you renting is a great way to find out. It also allows you to access the style of the campervan, test size layouts, and features. Most importantly, it will give you insight into how easily you can drive a campervan.
  • Model variety – There are many different types of campervans or motorhomes to rent. You can choose the perfect campervan to accommodate your family’s needs. Enjoy additional luxuries that you may not have if you purchased a campervan.
  • Affordability – Renting a campervan can be a cost-effective option for your travels. Although the cost does depend on the size and model. For a 2-berth, between £97 – 120 per night, whereas a 4-berth can be, on average, £150 – £205 per day.
  • Flexibility – Renting a campervan will give you freedom during your holidays to travel the open road without restrictions. You can change plans, detour to new areas and book campsites along the way. 
  • Ready to go – When you collect the campervan, it will be in pristine condition. You will not need to clean before you travel as it will be done prior. No worry if there is sufficient water or gas for cooking.
  • Free breakdown cover – 24/7 breakdown cover, so you will not be stranded. However, you need to check with the owner as they may only have roadside assistance.

Exploring the disadvantages: The cons of renting a campervan for your adventures

Although renting a campervan for your adventures has its perks, it’s essential to consider the potential disadvantages. It is important to explore the cons of renting campervans for your family holidays to allow you to make an informed decision before deciding to rent.

  • Refundable deposit – The deposit is refundable, but you need to include it in your deposit. On average, it starts from £1500 plus and is based on your holiday length and value. It will take approximately 7- days from the return of the rented campervan for it to be refunded. It can take up to 7 days to be refunded because the owner will need time to check the campervan.
  • Return in the same condition – The campervan must be returned clean, water refilled, and the waste empty. If not returned in the same condition, this will affect the deposit refunded.
  • Restricted mileage – Not all campervan rentals have restrictions on the number of miles you travel. Read the terms and conditions, as not only will you need to return with a full tank of fuel, you will be charged a set amount per mile for wear and tear.
  • Limited availability – During peak season, campervans are in short supply. They are booked quickly, so you need to book in advance. It is very rare you can book a campervan at short notice unless there is a cancellation.
  • Restrictions on refunds – As your holiday draws closer, the amount of refund refundable will be reduced. On average, after 14 days, no refund will be given and prior 14 days, only 50%. There is normally 48 hours’ notice to cancel a booking from when you booked.
  • Insurance – You will have to pay for additional insurance coverage. It can either be by adding onto your personal insurance. However, I recommend paying a single premium to the campervan rental business to ensure you have full coverage
  • Restrictions on the interior – If you move any items around, you will need to ensure that they are placed back. The owner of the campervan will have items that are securely stored to avoid damage during transit.
  • Lack of familiarity – If you are new to using a campervan, it can take a while to families yourself with the layout and how everything works. When you collect the campervan rental for your family holiday. Ask the owner to go through everything with you, how it works especially emptying the toilet or shower waste. Ideally, make a video so you can double-check whilst you are on your travels
  • Increase in the rental – During peak season, campervans and motorhomes are expensive to rent. However, during off-peak season, prices will reduce on average by 20%-30%.

Unleashing freedom: Discover the pros of buying a campervan for your adventures

Owning a campervan gives you and your family the opportunity to travel and have some amazing memories. The freedom to explore whenever and were ever you want. Creating unforgettable, amazing memories for your family.

  • Endless family exploring – Owning your own campervan allows you to travel wherever your heart desires. You can travel for short or long weekends, increasing spontaneous trips and finding hidden gems to explore.
  • Home away from home – Create your campervan so it is a home away from home. With your own unique style, the interior can reflect your family’s personality. Having a cosy, comfortable environment to relax on your travels.
  • Cost saving – After a while, you will save money owning your campervan. Although the original investment can be daunting, it will be worth it. You will save money on not having to dine out and finding budget friend campsites. Or if exploring Scotland and not between March and September, you can pitch your campervan freely in the national forest, providing it is not on private property. You need to be aware of Scotlands Byelawas before you travel. Read our article, and we will explain what you can and can’t do to avoid any problems.
  • Earn additional income – Owning a campervan allows you to earn extra income by renting it out whilst you are not using it. Either promote yourself privately or use an external agency to promote your camper van. Renting out your campervan may not be for everybody. However, it will help you pay expenses and earn extra income for your family travels. We have a full breakdown of how you can earn extra income from your campervan and what you need to be aware of for setting up a campervan rental business.
  • Memories – Having the freedom to travel and create lifelong memories for your family, Your children can repeat the stories of your travels to their children passing on the love of adventures.

Managing expectations: Understanding the cons of buying a campervan for travel

Quite a few people dream of owning a campervan and travelling the world. Or have the flexibility to take your family away for short breaks. Although many people are doing this today, there are some cons you need to consider.

Section 4: The Cons of Buying a Campervan (around 100 words): Consider the potential drawbacks of owning a campervan. Alongside the upfront costs, ownership involves expenses like maintenance, storage, insurance, and depreciation. It also requires commitment and responsibility for maintenance and repairs. Assessing these factors will help you determine if the long-term investment and responsibilities of ownership align with your family’s travel goals.

  • Upfront costs – The initial upfront costs of buying a campervan, either in full or on hire purchase. The larger the deposit, the better finance option you will be given, and you can negotiate on the price.
  • Maintenance and repairs – Campervans need specialised maintenance and repairs. Because of this, it is not cheaper.
  • Loss of vehicle value – As your campervan ages and mileage mounts up, the value will decrease. This is known as depreciation. However, if you decide to set up a campervan rental business, this can be offset in your tax return. This is also reflected in when you sell, if you are unsure that the finance is finished or the selling value covers any remaining balance.
  • Limited usage – If restricted to school and bank holidays, your usage will be limited. Winter can restrict travelling unless you are an exceptional driver and do not mind the cold.
  • Storage and parking – When you’re not exploring in your campervan or motorhome, finding the right storage solution is essential. If you’re fortunate enough to have secure storage space at home, that’s fantastic! If not, research local storage facilities that cater specifically to campervans and motorhomes. These facilities provide secure and dedicated spaces to protect your vehicle from the elements and potential theft. Storing your campervan or motorhome can cost around £1 per day.
  • Long-term commitment – Purchasing a campervan is a long-term commitment not only for the running and upkeep but also for hire purchase. If circumstances change, this can cause unnecessary stress.
  • Finding a reliable dealer – Finding the right dealer can be difficult as you want to use somebody that is referred. There are also lots of checks you need to do before buying. If you are yes/not about buying a campervan, we have 25 tips you need to consider before buying. It is worth reading as it is important to understand where to check to ensure that the campervan is not stolen or written off if you are buying privately.

Related questions

Can you sleep in a layby overnight?

Legally sleeping in a campervan overnight in a layby in the UK can vary depending on local regulations and specific restrictions imposed in certain areas. Laybys in the UK are for motorists to pull over and park temporarily. However, although England has strict restrictions, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland regulations vary. Laybys will be clearly signposted stating no overnight parking or sleeping.

It is always important to research the areas first. Check local bylaws, council and highway agencies for additional information. For instance, in Scotland, you can park in a layby, providing it is not dangerous, obstructing other road users, and not private property. Wales also has available laybys for parking overnight. However, this does not apply to every layby. Check for signs first.

We have car camped and stayed in laybys in Wales. Although not on major roads. We prefer to find roadways with pull-over facilities that are not in plain view of other motorists. I also check for local pubs, as they will often allow you to camp overnight for a small fee. There may not be toilets or shower facilities, but it is a place you can stay safely.

Do I need a TV licence for my campervan?

A TV licence covers standard TV, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, BBC IPlayer and any other devices you can stream or watch programs. Either in your home or away, including campervans, motorhomes, and static caravans providing there are not two different locations watching simultaneously.

The Communications Act 2003 section 363 states, “it is an offence to watch live on any channel, TV service or streaming service or use BBC iPlayer* on any device, without a valid TV Licence.” If you get caught, you can expect to be fined up to £1000 and court fees. Because it is a criminal offence it will show on any criminal background checks. In comparison paying a fee of £159 for a years, it is not worth taking the risk.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

Recent Posts