Van, motorhome: exchange or rental?

You’ve got a recreational vehicle and you’re thinking about how best to use it. And you’re probably also wondering how to make the most of it when you’re not traveling yourself…

Rent it out? Why not? It’s a great way to make the most of your investment.

But did you know that today there’s another way to maximize the value of your vehicle? It’s called temporary exchange.

So rent or exchange: here’s some food for thought!

Put your vehicle on a rental platform

Today, there are numerous platforms where owners of converted vans, vans and motorhomes can easily put their vehicles online for rental, and make the most of their investment.

Money: this is probably both the major advantage and disadvantage of the rental system…

Once you’ve financed the platform in question, you as the owner finally receive the money corresponding to the duration of the rental you’ve granted to a private individual, who is rarely initiated to this type of travel and to the use of a vehicle like yours.

Of course, the economic compensation can be very significant, depending on the location, dates and type of vehicle you offer. However, it’s also important to bear in mind that, on average, 90% of the members of a private rental platform are not owners of a leisure vehicle. So it’s the remaining 10% – you and a few others – who enable the vast majority to take a road trip that will most often turn out to be a one-off…

Few of your renters will take into account the specific features or age of your vehicle, or the potential fragility of your equipment… They rent your vehicle for a few days, either to test this type of travel before considering a purchase, or to enjoy a unique travel experience for which they have paid and feel entitled to take full advantage, sometimes to the detriment of the vehicle itself…

To sum up: leasing can be a way of making the most of your investment, provided you’re not too attached to your vehicle.

Offering your vehicle for exchange

Imagine for a moment the possibility of renting your vehicle, but only to people who are initiated and accustomed to this type of travel… People who understand the value of your vehicle… People who would take care of your vehicle because they would expect you to take care of theirs…

This solution exists, and now has a name: the SwapTheRoad temporary leisure vehicle exchange!

But what are the other benefits, whether as a lender or a borrower?

  • Secure your trip:
    • When you communicate regularly with another owner on the other side of the globe to arrange a future swap, you inevitably get to know each other.
    • So you create a relationship with them that will only grow stronger over the weeks and months leading up to the exchange.
    • As a result, you can be sure that he’ll do his best not to disappoint you, and to limit the risk of cancellation, on either side…


  • Creating friendships: it’s this long-term relationship that you’re going to create beforehand and maintain together throughout the exchange and even afterwards that will make your exchange a unique experience on the human side in particular… Indeed, most exchanges give rise to genuine friendships!


  • Live an authentic experience:
    • On the scale of the temporary exchange and in terms of travel alone, you’ll be sharing much more than just a vehicle… Your respective travel experiences, advice and tips.
    • It’s a non-measurable bonus compared to renting a car, for example, and it’s invaluable to the experience you’re about to have!


  • Get the right insurance coverage:
    • All you have to do is contact the owner’s insurance company to indicate that one of your friends will be driving your vehicle for a few weeks.
    • The company will include the “loan of the steering wheel to a foreign third-party driver” in the insurance policy, either free of charge or for a relatively nominal sum.
    • As a reminder, here’s the reality: you’ve met this foreign friend on the Internet via the SwapTheRoad website, and there’s no financial consideration or economic benefit in the vehicle loan you’re about to make…


  • Enjoy normal wear and maintenance on your vehicle:
    • This is the advantage of lending your vehicle to someone who will use yours in return. He’ll take care of it as if it were his own, and will know exactly how to maintain it, being the owner himself…
    • Rather than leaving your vehicle in storage or in a car park, without driving it, you’ll gain in every way by lending it to another member… Today, we all know that wear and tear is not directly linked to the number of kilometers driven…


  • Free or almost free travel: that’s the founding principle of the temporary exchange, based on an exchange of courtesies… Even if you still have to pay for your plane or train ticket to get to your destination, your road trip and the use of the vehicle on site are totally free!


In a nutshell: temporary exchange means gaining capital so you can travel more cheaply… But at the same time, you can take care of your vehicle by lending it to someone you trust, who you know will take good care of it!

As you can see, the idea here is not to tell you that leasing is more attractive than trade-in, or that offering your vehicle for trade-in is necessarily preferable to leasing… In reality, these are two different solutions, but they can clearly be complementary!

That said, one thing’s for sure: if you already have your vehicle on a rental platform, there’s nothing to stop you from offering it for exchange… Join the many owners in the SwapTheRoad community !


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