We’re Launching A Classic VW Campervan Rental Business
My girlfriend is slightly obsessed with Campervan’s, particularly the old style Volkswagen Campervan’s and so one day after a crazy day at work she set out to buy one. Within a few days we had brought a 1979 type 2 VW Campervan called Dirk. Dirk was a shortened version of Derek and as we kept referring to it as ‘she’, with the 60’s in mind we renamed him Lola (like the Kinks song). Being cost conscious we decided she (Lola) had to pay her keep (and hefty purchase price) so we decided she was to become a business, we where to rent her out to campers and for weddings.
Now the VW Campervan rental market is a serious business with an minimal rental cost of £100 per night. We rented out an exact copy near Stonehenge and enjoyed the night (despite it being November). This proved vital research and so with our new camper-van we have set about preparing her (removing rust, repainting and mending any mechanical/engine issues). This has meant as complete novices to motor mechanics we’ve had to roll up our sleeves and learn on the job. Paint is a nightmare I’ve found and prepping bodywork with a Dremel is a no-no. The engine is fairly new and simply needed a new battery. The costings for all this has left us hoping to break even in the first year but none of this would work without customers.
So far we have put an ad in camperbug.co.uk (click here for lola) and have had quite a lot of feedback and inquiries. I believe (possibly depending on t&C’s) we could fire Facebook adverts to this page. We could also utilize our VW Campervan page on Facebook I Love Campervans with over 5000 likes and follows. Something i setup for my girlfriend to play with well before we thought of getting a van. It turns out we are the only classic van available in the north west (UK) which gives us a major advantage. The website takes a percentage cut for advertising and insurance isn’t too bad rendering total net profit of around 50% of costs. (this doesn’t include upkeep, labour, wear and tear etc) and a deposit of £500 must be paid to cover excess and as generally a deposit.
Hopefully by June the bodywork will be perfect and we’ll have a enough bookings, but it goes to show how simple the process of starting a business can be (albeit with enough capital to buy a VW Campervan). It will also be something of business project to report on here and hopefully bring a lot more insight, particularly regarding the tourism industry and applying online marketing practice to fully utilize such a traditional offline business. Stay tuned for regular updates on BizVinci.
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