RENTING A CAMPERVAN
IDEAMERGE / MCRENT
This is the company we used to rent our campervan, chose our van easily via their website and easy contact with the reps who got back to us pretty quickly with as much info as we wanted, they are a trustworthy company and we had a GREAT experience with them with wonderful staff
After MUCH research I found out that the easiest and cheapest place to pick up a van is in Germany, mainly Dusseldorf.
There are quite a few campervan renting facilities but the one I went for (after many review readings) was Ideamerge and they are a 3rd party agency for MCRENT who were the company we hired the van directly from when we got to Germany
We wanted to start in one country and end in another but found only a couple of companies allow that and its VERY expensive so we decided that pick up / drop off in Dusseldorf was fine.
Once we actually decided that we were GOING TO DO THIS… we gave them a deposit of 1200 euros and from then we knew there was no going back 🙂
P.S. I did a lot of research so was very happy with our choice, there are a lot of options out there
PICKUP LOCATION – McRent Rhein-Ruhr GmbH
McRent is in Mulheim on the outskirts of Dusseldorf:
– 15min drive from the Airport
– 25min drive from the City Centre
– 1hr 15min bus ride from the City Centre
Kölner Str. 159, 45481 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
COST FOR THE CAMPERVAN
In total the costing came to AU$11,800 which we were happy to pay as splitting in 3 ends up being $4000 each for 73 days of accommodation which equals around AU$55 per night (and we had our own kitchen on wheels and our total freedom… BARGAIN!)
We estimated the fuel cost to be around $4000 for the 3 months (it was around that if not a bit more) and the insurance was $925 total
So all up total cost was approx $5,500 per person
ADDITIONAL INSURANCE – Rentalcover
Now additional insurance is a MUST! – I didnt want to get this but after reading the many pages of fine print I found out that our campervan insurance does NOT include everything, mainly the interior damage and roof of the campervan
Did you know that the roof, the side mirrors, the windscreens and the tyres are NOT covered under the insurance included in majority of the campervan companies? – make sure you ask the right questions
I researched quite a lot of companies and was very happy with the one I chose in the end as their customer service was fantastic and I was happy with the cover they had as it filled all the holes that the rental company comprehensive insurance didnt
If you were not to chose another rental company, once you go to pick up the campervan, they themselves will suggest that you take out additonal insurance for those hidden exclusions and you end up paying MUCH more than if you were to get it seperately as we did
Our agreement included the following:
– Travel days – 3 months
– Limit of claim – EU€2600
– Travel in – Europe
– Drivers – ALL drivers of vehicles corvered
– Zero excess rental cover – This insurance policy includes EU€2,600.00 coverage for all types of single & multi-vehicle accidents plus things the
rental companies do not insure in their insurance (theft, towing, tyres, windscreens, key loss Interior damage) and the many additional charges from rental companies (mainly admin/processing fees, “loss of use”, credit card and relocation fees) . Claim Fee is EU€0.00. Can be cancelled up to the time of pickup.
CLAIMING FROM RENTALCOVER
We ended up using this additional insurance, we damaged a side mirror and the plastic bumper at the rear of the van – McRent charged us what I thought to be ALOT for these damages and ended up being AU$1500 but we claimed it all back and Rentalcover were awesome and deposited the money to us but only after we filled out a detailed form but as long as you get the invoice for the damages and you basically write down how and when the accidents took place you should be fine
We had paid $925 for the insurance so we saved $575 but it covers all seperate accidents during that time
WHAT AREAS WILL YOU BE TRAVELING TO?
We didnt have a set plan on which countries we would be traveling around but please note that some of the European classified countries may not be included in your campervan hire, so make sure to ask – for example with us Bosnia, Serbia and Albania were not added to the list of countries but we just asked them to add it in just in case
Excluded countries are – Bulgaria / Romania / Morocco
WHATS INCLUDED IN THE HIRE?
Its important to check what is included in the hire as if its not there you may have to fork out additional $$ to purchase, our hire included the below:
“Our basic total rental price includes unlimited kilometers, any applicable taxes and fees, liability insurance (i.e. third party, “green card” insurance), as well as collision insurance (with an EUR 1500 deductible, i.e. excess) and comprehensive insurance (i.e. covering fire, natural disaster, vandalism, theft of vehicle, etc with an EUR 1500 deductible).
Likewise included is 24/7 roadside assistance throughout the domain of the insurance.
Included in the vendor’s preparation fee are two bottles of LP gas (one full, one partially full), full fresh water tank, and chemicals for the toilet and waste water tank (except with the VW pop-top camper van, which does not feature a toilet), as well as the exterior cleaning upon the return occasion.
Further items included are a water hose for refilling the water, a grey water hose for emptying the grey water (i.e. the run-off water from sink and shower), outside RV extension cord (cable drum), two 230 V connector adapters, jack, warning triangle(s) or the equivalent, warning vest, first-aid kit (if required by local law), and two stabilizing wedges (if vehicle has total permissible weight over 3500 kg).
There is no charge for additional drivers.
QUESTIONS TO ASK (and confirm)
– Leveling blocks included
This is useful for when you are parking overnight on uneven ground
– Bike racks included?
(is this extra cost?) best way to get to city centre is by bike
– Outdoor awning included?
Nice for those sunny days to sit outside and sip on some rose in the shade 🙂
– Outdoor chairs and tables?
This came in SO handy basically every day – we had a brand new set of 4 folding chairs and a table)
– Kitchenware included?
We had a brand new plastic box full of brand new IKEA cutlery and plates etc so we didnt have to purchase any
– Bedding included?
We opted NOT to include bedding and to bring our own as it was summer time and we didnt need blankets, we bought from home our own bottom sheets and a top sheet and pillow cases, in the end McRent ended up throwing in free pillows which was a bonus
– Snow tires or chains included?
If you are traveling in winter in some European countries its a must to have these
HEATING & AIR CON
If this is something you cant go without you will need to check from the beginning of your booking adventure as it depends on the model of the van. The more expensive and larger brands have air con but most dont – ours didnt. We did get very hot in some countries mainly in Italy once we started traveling out of the mountains and we couldnt stand how hot it was so moved back lol – we had checked for aircon at the beginning of our research but we didnt find many with and those that did were just too big and expensive.
If it DOES have aircon, does it power from electric or gas? this is important if you are free camping and arent connected to electricity (we found after 3 nights of free camping we had to find a place to recharge the van)
How many gas bottles does the van come with? – I would recommend 2 full bottles to begin with as in 3 months we changed it once (we cooked every day on the gas stove) and we did get it swapped at a service station as you need to return it back with a full bottle
(If you dont know how to change the gas bottle make sure you get them to show you as it can be a bit tricky if you havent before) we are regular campers so had no issues
Fridge is off gas when driving and free camping and clicks over to electricity when connected (make sure to know how to use this as this will be important to know if it somehow clicks off or changes setting, which happened for us – dont want the fridge leaking all over the place! lol)
TOILET DISINFECTANT / CLEANER
You may laugh but this is SO important as you will be dragging your toilet around with you the whole time, like a Louis Vuitton draggy suitcase LOL (its so funny to watch everyone do this though) so, this stuff kills the odours big time and breaks down the waste to the degree that you dont even smell anything (it actually smells pleasant!) We asked for an extra bottle and im certainly glad we did
LEGAL EQUIPMENT INCLUDED?
Some countries require legally some equipment so you MUST ask the company if its included (they usually tell you though) – i.e.
- Reflective vests
- Warning triangles
- First Aid Kit
- France – require a breathalyser
A good website for this to check out