Since the global recession hit, travelers have been looking for ways to make holidays more economical, while still seeing the world in comfort. Touring in motorhomes and recreational vehicles has become increasingly popular, especially for families.
When you travel this way, you save on the cost of hotel rooms, while still getting all the space, comfort and privacy you need. You can also save money by preparing some meals yourself. Saving on meals and hotels leaves you more money to see the country you’re visiting.
Touring the UK is something a lot of people dream of, and motorhome hire is on the rise as a way to travel. There are some important factors to consider, however, when you make the decision to rent an RV.
License and legalities
You need a valid driver’s license, as you won’t be able to rent a vehicle without one. In general, you won’t need an international driver’s license or a special class of license – your normal driver’s license will probably cover it as long as your license is in English.
Do check with your rental company beforehand, to verify if there are any age restrictions or vehicle size limitations you need to be aware of. All additional drivers must also present their license before they sign the rental agreement, when you pick up the vehicle.
Signs and speed limits
Signage and speed limits are also important, both for safety and to avoid problems with the UK authorities. It’s a good idea to read over the UK Highway Code before your trip, which covers the basics. Obviously you can’t read it as you go along, so make sure you know the standard UK speed limits on different types of roads before setting off.
You’ll also need to know the most common signs, such as Give Way, Stop, Traffic Lights and Roundabouts. US drivers traveling in England will find that driving on the left takes some readjustment, too.
Loading up your motorhome
When you first pick up your RV at the rental office, they will give you an overview of the vehicle. You’ll surely want to get on your way and start exploring, but use this opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
It’s also important to take the time to unpack and load your vehicle properly. You’ll be spending quite a lot of time in this space, and don’t want to be falling over things wherever you step. Here are a few tips to optimally organize your temporary home.
- Make sure all your driving accessories are in easy reach. Your maps, GPS, sunglasses and other accessories are needed frequently, and you can’t fiddle about trying to find them while driving. Plan ahead and keep them close by before you start.
- What happens if you crash? Make sure nothing heavy or unwieldy is directly in the path of the seats, as this could move if you have a heavy jolt, and hit a driver or passenger. Stash any heavy items away safely or strap them in place.
- Keep things neat. As tempting as it may be to wake up and set right off on your next day’s adventure, it’s a good idea to tidy up and put things away before you hit the road. You don’t want things falling and making a mess while you drive. It’s also easier and more pleasant to stop for lunch or a break if you can easily find what you need.
There are quite a few toll roads in the UK, the most notorious being the M6 Toll. These are roads built by private companies, that charge a fee to drive on them. The cost varies for different vehicle types, and a motorhome will be in a higher cost band due to the weight and emissions.
It’s often a choice between the quicker and costlier toll road, vs. the slower and free route alternative. Which to take will depend on your itinerary, budget, and preferences. Most modern sat-navs will warn you of toll roads, but plan ahead, so you know what your options are.
Azure Motorhome Hire is one of the UK’s leading and most established Motorhome and Campervan rental companies, and consider themselves experts on everything “UK”. With a large fleet of vehicles, including animal friendly models, their range fits the needs of everyone from motorsport enthusiasts to animal lovers.