Become self-employed with the rental of caravans / mobile homes


Camping or extended tours with caravans or mobile homes have enjoyed unbroken popularity in Germany for generations. It is a feeling of freedom and the greatest possible closeness to nature, which, especially in times of the fast-paced digital world, can contribute to relaxing deceleration. Where the spatially very limited cult Bulli from VW was once used, nowadays mobile homes can be of considerable size and partly luxuriously equipped The market for such a rolling home has been booming for years. To that extent, it is worth it in this post with the business idea , their own business with the rental of caravans or campers' to address planning oriented.

A differentiated look at this business idea at the beginning

Since the purchase of a mobile home or caravan is associated with high costs, the option of renting such a vehicle, typically for vacation, is obvious. Based on this consideration, a potentially high demand for the rental of mobile homes and caravans can be assumed, whereby the initial situation for the targeted location must of course be specified in more concrete terms. Anyone who owns a mobile home and does not use it for many weeks a year can develop a business idea from it and approach the rental commercially. That would be a possible business direction, but due to the limited scope it is more in the direction of a secondary business.Those who want to become self-employed full-time will have to make the business model larger or have a fleet with several vehicles available. With the business plan, the commercial basis for such a business operation must then be laid in every respect. It turns out that this business idea allows a very flexible approach to be able to earn money by renting your (own) motorhome.

Business start-up with caravan rental: start your own business with mobile relaxation

  • Analysis of the initial situation
  • Topics & challenges for the business plan
  • Setting up a motorhome rental: requirements
  • Earning from renting out mobile homes?
  • Necessary insurance for this business idea


Analysis of the initial situation

Germany as a location generally offers very attractive conditions for setting up a motorhome rental: More than 11,000 km of well-developed autobahns, a dense network of petrol stations and more than 3,500 campsites speak for an attractive and very diverse infrastructure. So there are enough destinations, even within Europe, that can be reached with a rented caravan or mobile home. Since Germans prefer to spend their camping holidays in their own country, many potential customers will appreciate the excellent infrastructure.

Facts for the business plan

The great interest in mobile homes can be seen in the growing number, which has recently increased sharply to over 486,000. The Federal Motor Transport Authority assumes that there are more than 600,000 caravans in Germany. Since a strong slump around the global economic crisis of 2008/09, a very stable growth course can be observed, which speaks for predictable framework conditions for this business idea. Industry experts speak of a real boom in this sector that should make ambitious start-ups sit up and take notice. The number of registrations, which have been increasing sharply for years, do not speak against the rental of mobile homes or caravans,because not every household will be able to (or even want to) raise the sometimes high five-digit costs. Renting a motorhome on favorable terms can therefore be a very attractive and flexible option for such interested parties.

Market shares and strategic direction

As far as the strategic direction for a mobile home rental is concerned, the market shares of the manufacturers in Germany must be taken into account. Because based on these values, the potential demand can be better classified. Which manufacturers and models do potential customers particularly like? As far as basic motorhome vehicles are concerned, Fiat is the market leader in Germany with around 45%, followed by Volkswagen with 22%. A look at the German manufacturers of mobile homes shows that Knaus Tabbert is the market leader with almost 26%. Other manufacturers such as Fendt, Bürstner, Hymer or Dethleffs have relatively equal market shares between 7 and 9%.

By choosing a specific manufacturer, entrepreneurs set the basis for a specific target group . In this context it becomes clear that a sound market knowledge is required for this business idea. Which manufacturer offers which models? Which functions and which comfort can be enjoyed? What added value should your own mobile home rental score by focusing on one manufacturer? Which manufacturer offers different models so that an attractive solution can be created for every budget and different ideas? These and other questions should be answered in the business plan with a recognizable goal orientation and profitability.

Topics for the business plan

As indicated in the introduction, entrepreneurs have to decide on a basic strategic direction for this business idea: Should sharing be operated and their own mobile home rented out? Or should the business model be expanded, with its own fleet that is offered for rent? The second option is much more planning and cost-intensive, so that the foundations for sustainable business success must be laid with a well-founded business plan. If you want to rent out your own caravan, you just have to register a business and take care of the marketing. However, there are numerous well-known portals available for this, which means that the time resources and costs to be invested are kept within manageable limits.

Anyone wanting to set up a motorhome rental company must first find a suitable location: Where can the motorhomes and caravans be safely parked, cleaned and serviced? Where can the handover be arranged? Ideally, the location is suitable for a large catchment area. The heart of the business plan for a motorhome rental will be the financial part: The purchase and maintenance of the vehicles can result in high costs that can be managed with a reliable financing strategy. Of course, not all vehicles have to be bought from scratch, which would greatly increase the business risk. In the course of planning, discussions with manufacturers should be checked with a view to advantageous leasing options. These should be calculated very carefully for the first few business years. Alternatively, it is also an option to buy used motorhomes or caravans in very good condition. The business plan must show how customers are to be won (see next point) and under which conditions the rental is to be an economic success. Potential donors will take a particularly critical look at margins. A high occupancy rate will be vital for a motorhome rental. Because the vehicles just stand around, they cannot bring in any money. However, they will always incur fixed costs for the necessary insurance alone.

Marketing & customer acquisition for motorhome brokerage

For the cost reasons just mentioned, it is important that the caravan and mobile home rental business picks up speed right from the start. It must therefore be checked which existing portals should be used for the rental with the greatest possible range. From an economic point of view, it is also necessary to take a look at the conditions, because operators of a mobile home agency will sometimes have to pay high commissions to the portal for a successful placement. On the other hand, a high-reach and largely automated customer acquisition can be used with little effort. Possible portals would be Paul Camper and Campana. These are also useful if founders opt for sharing with just their own motorhome.

Be present as an attractive option for motorhome rental

Apart from that, it is important to increase awareness as an independent company with a clear profile and to be findable for interested customers. A search engine optimized homepage is therefore a central element in a contemporary marketing mix with a large reach. Interested parties should be able to get an overview of the vehicles and rental conditions on the homepage. Ideally, there is already the option of booking in order to attract interested customers immediately. From a purely legal or contractual point of view, it should be ensured that this process is binding. Bookings in advance give you a higher degree of planning security and liquidity can be positively influenced by the not unusual partial payments in advance .

Setting up a caravan rental: requirements

If you want to share and rent a caravan privately, you will have to register a business. This applies in the event that the rental of mobile homes should regularly generate income that is then taxable. Insurance issues should be clarified in every respect and also put in writing for each rental. For example, tenants can agree not to be reimbursed the deposit in the event of damage. This is also not uncommon for rental cars and should therefore not have too much of a deterrent effect if the deposit is within manageable limits.

Clarify formal requirements early on

Anyone who wants to start a company with a whole fleet has to deal with higher hurdles. In any case, a business must be registered. Depending on the size of the fleet, founders may have to prove their financial standing and a certain amount of capital has to be shown for each vehicle. In the course of the business registration, insurances will have to be presented for the registered vehicles so that the business idea does not result in immense financial risks. As a rule, the founder himself will also have to prove his own suitability, as this trade is of a security-related nature. In ongoing business operations, foundersMake sure that the mobile homes or caravans are regularly serviced in accordance with the legal regulations . In terms of quality, customers will also expect a rented motorhome to be in perfect condition.

Every business transaction must be secured by contract

A watertight rental agreement should be drawn up for each rental, in which all key factors are included. When handing over the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle must be documented and noted by both sides. When the goods are returned, they are checked. It should be contractually regulated what happens in the event of damage and how tenants generally have to treat the motorhome. Refueling regulations (handover again with a full tank?) And costs for exceeding the rental period should also be considered. Since founders can always use the same template, it should be professional and legally secure. It can therefore make sense to fall back on the expertise of an experienced lawyer.

Earning from renting caravans / mobile homes?

Anyone who opts for the sharing option and rents out the motorhome when it is not needed themselves has to be prepared for additional income. If you believe the above portals, sales are between just 4,000 euros per year and up to 36,000 euros. Of course, the occupancy rate and the cost structure are decisive. In order to be able to make a living from renting a motorhome, several vehicles and a well thought-out pricing strategy will be necessary . The average rental period is given as around 40 days.Longer times are attractive for customers, as there are usually discounts. A long rental period is also an advantage for the landlord, as a vehicle is used to capacity for several weeks. In principle, it can therefore be a win-win situation.

The profit depends heavily on the workload

If a high occupancy is achieved, profits above the mentioned 36,000 euros per year are certainly possible. However, this requires high-reach marketing, an exclusive offer and excellent customer service. And ultimately, the earnings with a motorhome rental can only be high if the costs are kept within limits. Therefore, business operations should be set up leanly from this point of view, whereby the necessary insurance for the business operation should not be saved. It should not be underestimated that the income can be subject to seasonal fluctuations. In this respect, it becomes a challenge, especially in autumn and winter, to be able to ensure high utilization of the motorhome fleet.

Sensible insurance to minimize financial risks

The risk is in the truest sense of the word when motorhomes or caravans are rented out. Therefore, a high-performance liability insurance is necessary, which explicitly also applies in the case of commercial rental. Comprehensive protection against theft should also be considered. The sums required for high-performance insurance cover can quickly reach significant levels. For example, if such an insurance costs well over 1,000 euros a year, little is left of sharing income. In this respect, day-specific supplementary insurance is a flexible option. These can be concluded via placement portals.

Note possible problem areas

The problem here is that the insurance cover can expire if the intended rental period is exceeded . Founders should check the necessary insurance coverage very carefully, also in order to offer potential customers security-oriented added value: Who wants to rent a motorhome if they have to raise a large amount in the event of damage? Potential tenants also want to know what the maximum costs will be in an emergency.

Summary for the business idea

  1. The motorhome and caravan market has been booming for years. Those who cannot or do not want to buy a motorhome will want to consider the option of renting for individual vacation planning
  2. In general, Germany as a location offers very attractive framework conditions for the implementation of this business idea: Apart from the excellent infrastructure, the culturally anchored enthusiasm for camping and touring plays an important role
  3. If you want to start your own business with renting mobile homes / caravans, you have two basic options: 1. Sharing (ie renting your own mobile home when not in use) and 2. Starting a company with a larger fleet of mobile homes and / or mobile homes
  4. So that business can pick up speed right from the start, it is important to focus on range. In addition to your own, search engine-optimized homepage, the options on numerous placement portals must be checked
  5. Apart from the occupancy, the rental conditions play a key role in earning a motorhome rental.