(This is a guest post by Brandon Saltalamacchia of The Van Clan)
If you spend your days dreaming about a campervan rental in Europe, then you’ve come to the right place.
Europe has so many fantastic historical landmarks and breathtaking towns and cities: the Venetian waterways, the Austrian lakes, the Gothic Cathedrals of Germany and Spain, to name but a few.
Sure, you can book an Airbnb to see these places, but why not try a campervan hire in Europe?
That way, you can get out of the main tourist zones, the places off the beaten track.
That’s why getting a campervan rental in Europe is one of the best ways to see this rich and vibrant continent.
But what if you’re visiting from the United States or further afield? It can be costly to ship your own camper across the pond, but with our guide, you’ll know all about campervan hires in Europe and hopefully, pick up some tips for planning your adventure.
Here are our top Van Clan tips for getting off-grid and adventuring on your own terms.
Campervan Rental in Europe Tip #1: Rent from an authorized company
One thing that you need to think about when considering a campervan rental in Europe is where you’re going on your adventure!
There are multiple ways to start the rental process, but their relevance to your needs will vary depending on the duration of your trip and the places that you want to visit.
Here are our top picks for a campervan hire in Europe:
Outdoorsy – our #1 choice for campervan hire in Europe
If you’re heading to the continent, then a good place to start would be Outdoorsy, the Airbnb of the camper van world.
Getting a campervan hire with Outdoorsy is really easy, with users booking a camper van in the city that they are traveling to and arranging a pickup time and place with the owner.
There are plenty of vehicles to choose from (so many that you’ll be looking through the many Volkswagen Bus Camper vans and Mercedes Sprinter Conversions for days trying to decide which one is right for you).
Drivers and owners are fully insured, and you have access to 24/7 breakdown and customer care in case you get stuck on the road.
Use the coupon code “wayward40” to get $40 off any campervan rental in Europe!
Wicked Campers – Runner Up
Wicked Campers makes incredible custom vehicles that, while not fitting into the category of being stealth campers, are sure to turn heads when you arrive at the campsite.
The company takes all of the stress associated with renting a campervan in Europe off your hands and makes the process super simple.
With a message of “cheap campervan hire” tempting travelers of all ages and the ability to rent both left and right-hand drive cars for both U.K. and European travel, Wicked Campers certainly get our vote.
Other Europe campervan rental companies to try
Quirky Campers – Campervan hire across the whole of the U.K. and New Zealand, with vehicles ranging from small, hand converted panel vans through to much larger overlanding campers.
Landcruise UK – Choose from trusted brands ranging from 2-6 berth campers at a price that best fits your budget. Perfect for last-minute adventurers.
Yorkshire VW Camper Hire in Europe – Yorkshire V.W. Camper Hire has a small fleet of modern V.W T5 campers that are ready to roll whenever you are.
Doing a van swap for a campervan in Europe
If you currently live, travel, or own a van in your home country, then you could always consider doing a van swap with another person or couple in the place where you want to visit.
Consider taking to Instagram and speaking to people who might be looking to do the same thing as you.
Van swaps might not be for everyone – having someone else in your home when you’re not there can be daunting enough, let alone a home on wheels that goes along the highway!
Still, it’s an inexpensive way of traveling in a fully-converted camper in Europe, and your only real expense will be fuel for your journey.
Make sure to know the rules when you do a campervan hire in Europe
A campervan hire in Europe doesn’t just revolve around picking up a fantastic vehicle and hitting the scenic spots.
There are a lot of rules and regulations regarding the equipment that you need for different countries, as well as how long you can stay in specific zones.
Countries within the Schengen Zone have a “90 days in – 90 days out policy”. This applies to a large proportion of the continent, save for eighteen countries that you can move into after your time in Schengen is up.
It can be a bit of a pain if you’re not travelling with a European passport, but with prior planning and as long as you make sure you leave enough time to move from one zone to another while you’re waiting for your next 90 Schengen days to arrive, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Different countries also require you to have various accessories and safety equipment in your campervan hire before crossing the border.
It’s a legal requirement to have Hi-Vis jackets and a warning triangle in your van if you’re traveling through France, and you’ll need tire chains if you’re planning on tootling through the Italian Alps over the Christmas period.
Speak to your camper rental company in Europe to see if these things can be included before you arrive, or head over to Amazon and pick up this European Travel Kit if you’re planning on renting from a friend or fellow van dweller!
Finding parking for your campervan rental in Europe
If campsites aren’t for you and you prefer getting out into the wild, then you need to check out an app called Park4Night. It’s a community-driven app that allows other van lifers and travel enthusiasts to upload some of their favorite places.
Expect beach park-ups, cave-side photo ops and much, much more.
Users leave comments and ratings to let you know if places are suitable or not, just like iOverlander, and you can add your own thoughts and pictures to the mix if you found a place to be truly special.
The top campervans to rent in Europe right now
We’ve rounded up a few really cool campervan rentals in Europe. These are all available on Outdoorsy. Remember to use the coupon code “wayward40” for $40 off any rental!
VW T6 Camper and Roof Tent – Campervan Hire in France
Rent this gorgeous VW T6 campervan and explore the French alps. Imagine parked near a crystal clear lake gazing at snow-capped peaks while cooking dinner outside this camper van. Doesn’t that beat a hotel?
This camper van in France comes with a rear slide pod kitchen, a sink and double burner stove. You’ll also find a fridge and all the kitchen utensils you need for an amazing trip.
VW Camper California – UK Campervan Rental
The VW Camper California isn’t available in California, but it is up for campervan hire in the UK!
This amazing campervan rental in Europe seats and sleeps up to four people and comes with a sink, stove, fridge, heater and two double beds.
It even has a retractable awning for sitting outside. Pick up this campervan to go explore the UK’s coastlines and gorgeous cities.
Budget campervan rental in Europe – Spain
If you’re looking for a budget campervan rental in Europe you’ve come to the right place. Surf Campers is on a mission to make van life in Europe affordable for everyone.
This cute little van rental in Spain is only $54 per night, and is perfect for exploring beaches, cities and sleepy riversides.
You can rent a Surf Camper in Seville, Faro, Malaga, Tarifa and Lisbon.
Campervan Hire in Milan, Italy
If you want to go retro, there’s nothing better than this 1985 VW camper van rental in Milan, Italy. This little van is perfect for taking you to the mountains, vineyards or the coast to relax.
Included in this van rental is free pickup and dropoff at the airport. Plus, you’ll get a complete set of camping equipment.
Exploring Italy couldn’t be better than in this vintage VW campervan hire.
Conclusion on renting a campervan hire in Europe
Thanks for checking out our tips on how to rent a camper in Europe. We hope that some of the sites that we’ve provided you with will help you find the perfect ride for your holiday and that some of the information about traveling once you get over here will be beneficial on your adventures.
The van life community over here in Europe is continuously on the rise.
If you’re looking for information or need help with how to rent a camper in Europe, there are always camper lovers on hand over on your favorite Van Life Instagram channels who will be more than happy to help.
Other stories you’ll love:
- Campervan Rentals: The Best Vans for an Epic Road Trip
- A stealthy campervan for a California adventure
- 10 reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains
Kristin Hanes is a journalist and writer who lives on a sailboat and in a Chevy Astro van in San Francisco. She worked in radio news for 15 years before a massive layoff in 2016. Kristin has written articles about alternative living published in Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire, SF Gate and The Bold Italic, among others.