Camper vans have risen in popularity due to staycations [Photo Credit: Indie Campers]

UK camper van sharing economy business launches

UK: Indie Campers, a new business aiming to become the Airbnb of camper vans, has announced its plans for launch.

The company, who currently owns a fleet of over 1,200 vans, has announced the opening of a marketplace to facilitate rentals between van owners and renters.

Indie Campers was founded in 2013 in Portugal, by a group of friends who had purchased three vans. It has since expanded to over 40 countries, adding various extras to its offerings such as key holiday furnishings, travel planning support, and concierge services for destinations.

In the UK, staycations provided a much-needed boost for tourism this past summer, with summer visits boosting the economy by £24 billion. Furthermore, many have seen this boost as an opportunity for investment, with holiday let purchases rising this August.

With the market for campervans and other low-interaction holiday options growing due to the global pandemic, owners have been looking for opportunities to rent their vans out when not in use. By tapping into the sharing economy model made popular by companies like Airbnb and Uber, Indie Campers hopes to both fill the needs of renters and help owners supplement their income.

Indie Campers CEO Hugo Oliveira told Lonely Planet: “Within the current changing travel landscape, this move enables us to align even more with the ever-emerging trends of the sharing economy, adding to our supply of flexible, authentic and sustainable travel experiences, and matching the growing widespread interest in getting into nature and away from the crowds.”

When owners place their van on the marketplace, the company will provide them access to its full support infrastructure which has allowed it to expand so rapidly. This includes van storage,  vehicle set up and customer meet-ups, which Indie Campers claim will simplify the rental process for pre-existing owners.

The marketplace for camper van hires will be fully rolled out by the end of 2020.

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