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Hiring A Motorhome In France


As the number one users of motorhomes in Europe, the French have plenty to offer if you fancy hiring your motorhome when you arrive at your chosen destination.  Unlike England where small hire companies seem to be opening up all over the country, the French market seems to be split into two predominant camps.

The first are the big national hire companies who deal in normal car and van hire.  These big budget companies have up to the minute models and you can expect a professional service.  Don’t however expect to find someone at the desk who speaks perfect English. Familiarise yourself at least with a few key words which you think may be useful and a basic ‘vehicle’ vocabulary so that you can at least make yourself understood.  Beware also of zealous desk agents who get bonuses when they manage to sell you their super insurance package!  Most web sites are in English as well as French and are pretty comprehensive, including user’s guides on everything from the electricity to the chemical loo. When you find yourself in the agency, leaflets about things such as insurance are usually printed in French and English too.

Prices will vary as they do in England according to various criteria – size, number of berths, number and age of drivers.  You will need to produce both your card and paper license and forgetting one of the two can result in you feeling really stupid and very disappointed because your motorhome will stay in the car park!  Deposits are strictly by credit card in the same name as the principal driver and if the principal driver doesn’t have a credit card the person who does is obliged to register as an additional driver (so you need the two licenses aswell) on the contract for an additional fee – beware!

The other option which seems to be really very popular in France is hiring ‘particulier à particulier’ – in other words, one person to another.  The French see this, quite rightly, as a means of recuperating the (significant) cost of their ‘camping car’ and statistics show that they hope to make between 4,000€ and 5,000€ by hiring out their holiday home for around 8 weeks of the year.  This business is managed by companies who have seen and exploit this gap in the market for everybody’s benefit.  Each party finds their mark and reaps the reward.  The prices are of great interest and very competitive. There’s a very comprehensive national network of hire points, not surprising seen the popularity of motorhoming in France.

Hiring a motorhome can really be a financially interesting means of travelling in France if this idea appeals to you for your annual holiday.  It can also be a great way to make the most of sporting events such as rugby matches or motor sports but also if you are a keen skier, a very good way to make the most of several resorts which can sometimes be accessed with one ski pass.  Whatever you decide to do, take the time to plan your trip, being attentive to what might seem minor details but which can become major details when you find yourself in a foreign country.