Van exchange: they did it!

Sophie and Daniel have temporarily exchanged their converted vehicle for a trip to the other side of the world!

They left Australia, and more precisely Tasmania, for a road trip to Ireland.

For 3 weeks, they traveled the Emerald Isle in the vehicle loaned to them by Sam, a member of the SwapTheRoad community.

Why and how did they borrow a vehicle? How did their stay go? What can we learn from this experience?

In this interview with Sophie and Daniel, find out how to travel the world for less!


Why choose a vehicle exchange?

When asked about their motivations behind choosing the exchange, Sophie and Daniel explain that “availability and financial benefits” were key factors in their decision.

They also express an “attraction to the sharing economy”.

Vehicle exchange has become an increasingly popular option for many travelers and community members. Because vehicle swapping is much more than a simple alternative to traditional rentals. It’s an opportunity to share available resources collaboratively and economically.

It maximizes their use and reduces waste, while fostering a sense of community and solidarity between members.


Vehicle selection and communication with the owner

For Sophie and Daniel, the choice of vehicle to borrow was based on several criteria, not least its location. They particularly wanted to travel to Ireland to visit family and friends. In addition to its location, they chose the vehicle because of the owner himself, with whom they had communicated beforehand.

The first contact with Sam was via SwapTheRoad’s internal messaging system, followed by WhatsApp and email.



One of the features of the SwapTheRoad platform is its internal messaging system. It enables members to communicate easily and securely to discuss exchange details, such as dates, conditions and any other relevant issues. Internal messaging provides a convenient, centralized means of organizing and coordinating exchanges, avoiding the complications associated with using different communication platforms.

It also includes an integrated translation module. This module enables community members to converse in different languages, automatically translating the messages exchanged. This feature facilitates communication between members from different parts of the world, eliminating language barriers and enabling more inclusive community participation.


Choosing SwapTheRoad: a well-thought-out decision

Sophie and Daniel explain that they “opted for SwapTheRoad because of its efficient points system for exchanges.”

Indeed, the SwapTheRoad concept is based on RoadPoints. This points system facilitates exchanges within the community. Members accumulate RoadPoints by making their own vehicles available, and can then use these points to borrow other vehicles. It’s a practical and fair way of facilitating exchanges and encouraging active participation by members.


Type of exchange and precautions taken

The exchange validated by Sophie, Daniel and Sam was non-reciprocal due to the distance (Tasmania – Ireland). Although no specific agreements or rules had been drawn up prior to the loan, Sam had taken precautions with his local insurer regarding insurance.



On the SwapTheRoad platform, members can exchange vehicles in two ways: reciprocal exchanges and non-reciprocal exchanges. Both types of exchange are made possible by RoadPoints.

  • Reciprocal exchanges :

In a reciprocal exchange, two community members agree to temporarily swap vehicles. For example, if member A lends his van to member B for a specific period, member B will also lend his van to member A at another agreed time. This type of exchange is based on a reciprocal agreement between members.

  • Non-reciprocal exchanges:

Non-reciprocal exchanges, on the other hand, involve a member making his or her vehicle available to another member without expecting in return to borrow a vehicle in the near future. In this case, the member lending his or her van earns RoadPoints, while the member borrowing the vehicle uses his or her own RoadPoints for the loan.

This system offers great flexibility to community members, enabling them to borrow a vehicle without having to find a direct match for a reciprocal exchange. RoadPoints act as a kind of virtual currency, allowing access to a wide range of vehicles available on the platform.

Journey and return of the vehicle

Once the exchange had been validated, Sophie and Daniel travelled to their destination by plane and bus.

Sam welcomed them and gave them advice on using his vehicle.

During the loan period, Sophie and Daniel kept in regular contact with Sam, sending him photos of their adventures.

The return of the vehicle went off without a hitch, despite Sam’s absence, who had arranged the return arrangements.


Experience and hindsight

Both rate the experience as perfect, giving the exchange 5 out of 5 stars. They highly recommend the experience to friends and family. Looking back, they wouldn’t have done anything differently, praising Sam’s “enriching encounters with new people, sharing of stories, flexibility and generosity”.


Sophie and Daniel’s story demonstrates the wonderful opportunities for connection and adventure offered by the SwapTheRoad community. Whether it’s exploring new horizons or bonding with other travel enthusiasts, swapping vehicles proves to be a rewarding experience in so many ways.

And if you too would like to try the SwapTheRoad adventure, take a look at our latest members’ vehicles below:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *