FAQ | RV rental Germany

Most asked questions about ADAC motorhome rental

Motorhomes / Caravans

Explanation of the difference between caravans and motorhomes

The terms motorhome and campervan describe units that can be driven on their own – that is to say they have their own engine – and are constructed and equipped to be suitable to live in.

Caravans and mobile homes are trailers that cannot be driven independently that are designed to be suitable to live in. Caravans and mobile homes must be towed by a vehicle.

Are caravans available too?

Yes – since 2012 we have been hiring out caravans / mobile homes too in addition to our drivable motorhomes / campervans.

What motorhomes and caravans do you have for hire?

ADAC motorhome rental has a variety of well known makes of motorhomes and caravans all in mint condition. They are mainly manufactured in Germany or Europe.

Which models?

The ADAC motorhome rental hires out a variety of motorhomes – starting with the nippy compact ReiseVan (activity class) for 2 to 3 people up to the spacious alcove motorhome for up to 6 people (galaxy class). You can find an overview.

How should I choose a motorhome?

The size of the vehicle will play a crucial role in ensuring you get the maximum pleasure from your holiday in your ADAC motorhome. Please pay particular attention to the number of passengers when choosing a vehicle. A holiday in a small motorhome can be wonderful for a couple but it soon becomes crowded with four people. That is why in our vehicle descriptions, we give you the number and dimensions of the berths as well as the number of permitted seats. The floor plans make it easy to understand the sleeping arrangements and the room layout.

What is an alcove?

The term “alcove” is used to describe the area that protrudes noticeably over the driver’s cab. This area contains a comfortable berth for two that can be accessed quite easily and comfortably from the interior if the motorhome using a ladder.

Bookings / Handover

Where can I make a booking?
What is the procedure for bookings?

Soon after making a booking, you will receive a binding reservation confirmation from us, which you should sign and return. A deposit of 20 % (max. €300) is then payable within 14 days of receipt of the booking. The balance must be paid (in accordance with the binding reservation confirmation that you have received) into the account (whose details you will have been given) at the latest 14 days before the hire commences.

Is it possible to change bookings?

If there is availability within the same calendar year at the rental station named in the reservation confirmation, and the length of the hire period is not reduced, then a booking may be changed up to 30 days before the agreed commencement of the hire without incurring any extra fees.

What are the hours for vehicle handover?

Our ADAC motorhomes can be collected on weekdays (Mon–Fri) from 14.00 to 17.00 (CET), and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 12.00 (at an extra charge) (CET).

Vehicles must always be returned in the morning between 9.00 and 11.00 (CET). Please consult your reservation confirmation for the exact times. No vehicles can be collected or returned outside these times or on Sundays or bank holidays.

Please do not come to the rental depot for your briefing and vehicle handover when it is already dark or we are about to close as we want to give you a comprehensive introduction to the complex technology of a motorhome and give you personal attention to meet your individual needs. To avoid having to wait, we recommend you ring in advance to make an appointment with the relevant rental station.

How long should I allow for the vehicle handover?

We want to give you a comprehensive introduction to the complex technology of a motorhome and give you personal attention to meet your individual needs. So please allow at least an hour for vehicle collection and do not come when it is already dark or we are about to close. To avoid having to wait, we recommend you ring in advance to make an appointment with the relevant rental depot.

Can I park my vehicle at the rental station for the period of the hire?

At most stations it is not a problem for you to park your car there – either free of charge or for a small fee – for the period of the motorhome hire. It is also possible at nearly all our stations to park your car free of charge in a quiet car park close by. If this is of interest to you, please contact the rental station directly.

Can rented caravans be delivered to a campsite?

Yes! With many of our partners, your rented caravan can, for a fee, be delivered by our camping professionals to a campsite booked by you within a radius of up to 50 km of the rental depot – and, of course, collected again. For this we would recommend, amongst others, the sites of the Premium Camps group.

Can I return the vehicle to another station?

No! For the time being, this is not possible.

Technology / Accessories

What accessories are in the motorhome?

Each ADAC motorhome is equipped with at least the following accessories:

  • awning / sun canopy
  • bicycle rack / storage area
  • radio/CD
  • CEE extension cable (max. 25 meters)
  • levelling wedges (max. of 2)
  • loan of a printed guide to sites
  • warning sign for Italy
  • High visibility vests (max. of 2)
  • 1 bottle of gas (propane, butane, max. 11 kg, depending on type)
  • WC sanitation accessories and fresh-water chemicals
What accessories are in a caravan?

Each caravan booked through ADAC is equipped with at least the following accessories:

  • small sun canopy (2x2 m)
  • Anti-sway coupling
  • CEE extension cable (max. 25 meters)
  • loan of printed camping guide
  • 1 bottle of gas (propane, butane, max. 11 kg, depending on type)
  • WC sanitation accessories and fresh-water chemicals
Can we take bikes with us? If so, how many?

Our motorhomes are all equipped with a bicycle rack/storage at no extra price, which can transport up to 4 bikes depending on type. However, the hirer is responsible for the proper fitting and securing of the bikes on the bicycle rack and for their correct transportation e.g. by attaching the required warning signs. (A warning sign for Italy is supplied with the hire vehicle, warning signs for Spain are only supplied on request for a charge). Bicycle rear racks are not applicable for e-bikes and balloon tyres. On each carrier rail is generally a load up to 15 kg allowed. The driver/renter shall be responsible for the correct use, loading and load securing.

  • Vany class: rear bicycle rack for up to 2 bikes
  • Activity class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 2 bikes
  • Elementary class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 2 bikes
  • Harmony class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 2 bikes
  • Melody class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 3 bikes
  • Easy class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 3 bikes
  • Holiday class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 3 bikes
  • Family class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 4 bikes
  • Galaxy class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 4 bikes
  • Premium class: rear bicycle rack / bike storage for up to 2 bikes
What accessories can I buy/rent?

At the rental stations we stock a comprehensive range of useful accessories that, subject to availability, can be rented and/or purchased. Your rental station will be happy to advise on these.

Our tip: accessories we recommend

In addition to the standard equipment / accessories, experience has shown that it’s a good idea to book the following optional accessories or buy them from a camping specialist outlet:

  • (charcoal) barbecue
  • melamine crockery (high-quality, light, unbreakable plastic crockery)
  • sat nav
  • bedding
  • crockery
  • warning sign for Spain
  • gas bottle adapter set for Europe
  • high visibility vests
  • first aid kit
  • tourist guides, site and camping guides
Diesel particulate filters?

A large number of vehicles in our rental fleet are already equipped with environmentally friendly, efficient diesel particulate filters.

Automatic gearbox, towbars?

We currently have a few vehicles in our fleet that have tow-bars and/or an automatic gearbox. The hirer must have permission to use any available tow-bar and must pay a supplement for this. On our online booking page, you can search specifically for these types of vehicles.

Anti-lock braking system (ABS)?

Our motorhome fleet consists of up-to-the minute, recently manufactured vehicles in mint condition on tried and tested chassis from Fiat, Ford and Renault and, with very few exceptions, they are fitted with anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

Are vehicles suitable for winter use?

Our vehicles are well suited to winter when used correctly and with proper attention paid to special conditions. They have full insulation and are adequately equipped with heating. Moreover, the have been manufactured and tested for winter suitability according to the strict provisions of regulation DIN EN 1646-1 1996 D for motor caravans.

How large is the fresh-water tank?

All ADAC motorhomes have a fresh-water tank for the problem-free supply of water on the road. The size of the tank varies according to the model and is between 80 and 120 litres. The fresh-water systems in ADAC motorhomes are cleaned, disinfected and emptied ready for handover to you. The fresh-water system must be empty when the vehicle is returned. Additives for fresh water, based on either chlorine or silver ions, are supplied in each vehicle.

Toilet chemicals

To avoid damaging the environment with sanitary fluids, we would ask you to use these as sparingly as possible and not to use more than recommended by the manufacturer. Please remember never to empty the contents of the toilet cassette straight into the natural environment and also never into gutters or drains in the street. Please dispose of the contents only in designated disposal points or in toilets connected to a sewerage system and water down the contents by rinsing away with plenty of water.

What fuel consumption should I expect?

In the ADAC motorhome fleet, we only supply the latest generation of powerful, fuel-efficient, turbo diesel vehicles. Depending on the load and driving style, you should expect diesel consumption of 10–14 litres/100 km.

Do ADAC motorhomes have the “particle emission” stickers obligatory for entry into some city centres in Germany?

Yes! Environmental conservation is very close to our hearts, as it is to all campers, and that’s why all ADAC motorhomes are supplied with a particle emissions sticker. The large majority of our vehicles have a green sticker, as ADAC motorhome hire was one of the first hire organisations in Germany to consistently use powerful, fuel-efficient vehicles with diesel particulate filters. A few motorhomes still have the yellow sticker (as a result of their type of construction), and this still allows them to drive into city centres.

What is the supply of camping gas like in Europe?

ADAC motorhomes are fitted with gas-powered equipment such as water heaters, gas heating, gas cookers and gas-powered fridges. For each rental you will receive a full German bottle of gas with a max. of 11 kg propane/butane, which is usually enough. If you need more gas during your trip in Germany, you can purchase a refill in nearly all DIY stores, campsites and specialist camping outlets. You should simply hand in the empty bottle and you will be given a full gas bottle. The price varies according to the seller: €15–25/11 kg refill.

It is a little more complicated abroad as there are some different gas bottle systems. You can get a detailed list about this here.

In general for trips abroad, we recommend you take Europa Sets available from well stocked camping specialist outlets:

  • the Europa-Füll-Set: four adapters for refilling German camping gas bottles abroad. 
  • the Europa–Anschluss-Set: four adapters to connect German gas regulators to European gas bottles.

Cost per set approx. €15.

How and where can I get fresh water on my trip?

There are now thousands of supply and disposal points across Europe where you can usually fill up with freshwater for a small fee or even free of charge. You can also replenish your water supplies at all campsites. In southern Europe, you can often fill up with water for a small charge at petrol stations. To avoid problems with illness, we recommend you only refill your fresh water tank from hygienic safe sources and use the additives supplied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and use a sand filter. You can easily refill the fresh-water tank of your motorhome from outside with a hose, watering can or bucket and funnel.

Costs / Financial Matters / Damage

How high is the security deposit?

The deposit is €1,500 per hire and motorhome (€1,000 for caravans) and is to be paid cash – or in the case of some rental stations also by credit card (without incurring a fee) – on collection of the vehicle.

Cancellation fees?

If you cancel your binding reservation to hire a vehicle, then the following cancellations fees apply:

  • 10% of the hire charge up to the 100th day before the agreed commencement of your hire; however minimum €50/reservation applies
  • 15% of the hire charge from the 99th to the 61th day before the agreed commencement of your hire
  • 20% of the hire charge from the 60th to the 30th day before the agreed commencement of your hire
  • 40% of the hire charge from the 29th to the 15th day before the agreed commencement of your hire
  • 60% of the hire charge from the 14th to the 8th day before the agreed commencement of your hire
  • 70% of the hire charge from the 7th day before the agreed commencement of your hire
  • 80% of the hire charge on the date your hire commences

The relevant date for cancellation is the date that the hire company receives written confirmation of cancellation. Failure to collect is deemed to be a cancellation. We specifically recommend taking out cancellation insurance to cover the cost of cancellation charges. An application form for this is included with the reservation confirmation.

Pricing across two different seasons?

The rental price is calculated per night and therefore takes precise account of any possible overlap between seasons.

Is there a refund if a vehicle is returned early?

Unfortunately, when vehicles are returned early, we are unable to credit you with any money for the unused days, unless the hire company is guilty of gross negligence.

Are there other additional costs?

Our daily hire prices already include VAT, a (commercial) liability insurance and fully comprehensive insurance cover with €1,500 excess and third party insurance with €1,500 excess per insurance claim, (Caravans: €1,000 / €1,000). A one-off service charge of €145 is charged per rental and hired vehicle (Caravans: €100). The fee is already included in our basic price (6 nights minimum rental period) and here shown prices and special reduced prices included.

If the vehicle is not cleaned, or insufficiently cleaned, on its return, there will be a charge for cleaning of at least €140.

If the toilet is not cleaned and/or emptied on return, there will be a charge for cleaning the toilet of at least €140.

Fuel costs, tolls, parking and site fees, ferry charges and fines and all other operating costs are borne by the hirer.

Are credit cards accepted?

We are currently able to accept ADAC Visa and ADAC MasterCard credit cards and Maestro/EC cards for payments and deposits at nearly all ADAC rental stations. Credit cards issued by other providers / systems are not accepted. Please enquire at your station in advance to check that your credit cards are accepted.

Service fee? What does this include?

A one-off service fee of €145/ €100 (motorhome / caravan) is charged per rental and hire vehicle and is to be paid together with the hire charge before the hire period starts. This service charge covers the following:

  • preparation of your motorhome / caravan ready for your use
  • personal handover of the vehicle
  • personal acceptance of the vehicle on your return
  • exterior vehicle wash on its return
  • 1 bottle of gas (propane, butane, max. 5 kg or 11 kg depending on type)
  • WC sanitation accessories and fresh-water chemicals
What about minor repairs?

Minor repairs and spare parts up to €150 can be ordered by the hirer from a caravan specialist without consulting the hire company and the costs will be reimbursed by us on production of the original workshop receipt – where parts have been replaced the old part should also be produced.

What to do in the event of an accident or damage?

The hirer must inform the police without undue delay after an accident, fire, theft, damage caused by animals or other damage. This also applies to accidents caused by yourself where no third party is involved. The hirer must also inform the hire company in writing without undue delay of all the details of the accident or damage even in the event of minor damage. The accident/damage report must, in particular, contain the names and addresses of all those involved and of any witnesses and the registration numbers of all vehicles involved. Claims for damages by others involved in the accident must not be admitted. Any other damage or particular incidents involving the vehicle must also be reported without undue delay, at the latest on returning the vehicle.

Permitted / Conditions / Law

Is ADAC motorhome hire only for ADAC members?

No! Everyone who has reached the minimum age and has been in possession of the relevant licence (valid in Germany) for at least one year and can prove their identity with a valid passport or identity card can use ADAC motorhome rental. So it’s not just for ADAC members. Click here for a ADAC membership.

Benefits for ADAC members?

ADAC members enjoy the following benefits:

  • a special price for the handover and/or return of vehicles on Saturdays.
  • 3% discount on the daily hire rate (without service fee).
  • ADAC-TourSet® with maps and useful information.
Which countries can I drive in?
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Trips abroad are permitted within Europe with the exception of the following countries / regions:

Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Iceland.

Trips to war zones and crisis-stricken areas are generally not permitted.

Ferry crossings within Europe on approved ferries suited for this are allowed, and the motorhome is insured for this under the terms of the booking.

Why is it not allowed to take vehicles into some countries?

For insurance reasons, it is unfortunately not permitted to take our hire vehicles into some countries – e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia ... Furthermore, in general in the event of an accident or breakdown, we cannot guarantee the standard of service expected here in Germany in these countries . In the event of deliberate entry into these countries in breach of the terms of the contract, you will not be covered by insurance, and there will also be no limitation of liability in respect of the hire company. Moreover, in the event of a breakdown, no assistance will be organised or provided.

Driving licence classes?

For most of the vehicles in our fleet, the old German driving licence class 3 is sufficient. Driving licence class B is for vehicles with a permissible weight of 3,500 kg, for vehicles with a permissible weight of more than 3,500 kg driving licence class C1 is necessary.

What is the minimum age?

The minimum age is 21, and the hirer must have been in possession of a valid driving licence for the relevant category of vehicle for at least 1 year.

Minimum hire period?

As long as the rental is economically viable and subject to the availability of a van to rent, we will accept a booking. However, in the school holidays, the minimum hire period is 12 nights with the exception of last minute availability.

How many free km are included in the rental price?

The free km included and the cost of any extra km used can be found in the relevant pricelists and/or special offers.

Can I view the vehicle beforehand at rental station?

In principle you can view our hire vehicles at our 80 rental stations across Germany during normal office opening hours (Mon–Fri: 9.00–18.00, Sat: 9.00–12.00 [CET]). Please note that, depending on the station and the level of bookings, it is not always possible to view a complete cross-section of our hire fleet on site. We therefore specifically recommend that you contact the rental station by telephone beforehand to arrange a date for a consultation and viewing of our vehicles.

Can I take pets with me?

Pets may be taken for an extra fee but only with the express prior agreement of the relevant station (exceptions are marked in the internet booking engine with a "no dog symbol"). Please note that taking animals with you may lead to increased requirements for repairs and cleaning, resulting in additional charges. Furthermore we retain the right to refuse pets and/or place restrictions (e.g. on the animal being kept only in permitted transport boxes/arrangements in the vehicle). The hirer is responsible for the safe transport of pets in accordance with regulations and for complying with any entry or vaccination requirements.

Is “free camping” allowed?

There is not yet any uniform regulation of this in Europe, quite the contrary. Each country has its own regulations, provisions and laws concerning this. We recommend that you familiarise yourself in advance with the regulations of the countries you are visiting. You can find further information about this here.

In Germany, it is allowed almost everywhere to spend one night in a place for the purpose of restoring your “fitness to drive” (except where this is explicitly forbidden). However, behaviour that could constitute camping (including putting up awnings, camping tables and chairs) is not allowed.

For your own safety, we recommend you only stay in approved suitable places – e.g. caravan sites and camp sites. Listen to your instincts and stay where you feel safe.

Are ferry crossings permitted and insured?

Ferry crossings within Europe on approved ferries suited for this are allowed, and the motorhome is insured for this under the terms of the booking.

“Private” hire

Any person or company hiring out a motorhome for money is acting commercially. Therefore, there can be no private hire of camper vans in the real sense.

Please take time to check the entries in the vehicle papers when hiring your motorhome. Express permission as “self-drive hire vehicle” must be entered in these, or you will NOT(!) as hirer have any insurance cover in the event of a claim.

Holiday insurance certificate?

The subject of the contract is only the hire of an ADAC motorhome. The hire company is not responsible for travel services and/or a package of travel services (a trip). The statutory provisions relating to contracts for travel services, in particular §§ 651 a-l BGB, do not apply. The hirer will arrange his own trip and be responsible for using the vehicle. It is therefore not required, nor expected, that a holiday insurance certificate will be issued.