UK holidays: How to experience ‘van life’ before investing in a motorhome or campervan

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This year has been an unusual year for the travel industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer people took to the skies and instead decided to travel domestically. While airlines and some international travel companies have struggled, the trend has seen some companies thrive.

Indie Campers, a campervan and recreational vehicle rental company, has seen a demand for motorhome holidays this year.

The company’s figures show a 350 percent increase in British people booking trips in the UK, compared to last year.

Indie Campers’ most popular destinations for UK customers have been London and Edinburgh with a third of locations being in the UK.

In light of this, Indie Campers decided to launch a new subscription plan allowing people to experience van life without being tied down to a large investment.

The subscription plan is either for annual payments or monthly payments and allows Britons to rent campervans long-term.

The launch also coincides with more people now working from home or “working from anywhere”.

Express.co.uk spoke to Indie Campers’ market representatives Pernille Hembre and Melita Dsouza about the opportunity for Britons.

Ms Hembre explained how the company saw a lot more “digital nomads” wishing to travel for an extended period of time.

She added: “We also saw a lot more people travelling alone which suggests they are working and travelling.

“We really saw this as an opportunity.”

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With more and more people working from home or at least for the foreseeable future, and people not being able to travel as much this year, Ms Hembre explained that this is a way for people to travel within the current restrictions.

She continued: “This could be a good way for people to, within the current restrictions, within the time they have, to have totally new experiences but in a totally different way.

“So basically, it’s a way to make sure people can get out and see new places either in Europe or domestically.”

She described the opportunity as “long-term slow travel”.

Ms Dsouza said that there has been a surge in interest in “van life” but that many don’t want to invest straight away in a campervan.

“The interest in van life has increased and a lot of people are contemplating buying a campervan,” she explained.

She continued: “Instead of buying – it’s a massive investment to buy a motorhome – people like us who are aspiring and want to work from anywhere, they can get into the subscription model and take a van for at least two months and see if they like it and then make an investment.

“I think we’re the first to bring this model in the UK as well.

“The idea is to give them an opportunity to experience the van life for a few months to a year.”

For those who aren’t sure whether they can fit their entire life in a van for a few months, Indie Campers has an answer for that too.

Ms Dsouza added: “We’re really open for people to come and test the vans and see if they can fit their life in there and then subscribe to it.”

Subscription prices vary upwards from £631 per month (£20 per night) for the annual plan.

In locations such as London and Edinburgh, a campervan subscription will cost around £993 per month (£32.02 per night) on the

annual plan and from £1,054 per month on the monthly subscription.

Although it comes with a hefty price tag, when comparing this with how much the average household spends each month, it works out to be relatively affordable.

According to personal finance website NimbleFins, on average UK households spent £586 per week (£2,538 a month) to cover living expenses in 2019.

This includes transport, food, clothes and rent or mortgage payments.

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