Campervan ambition has led a pair to construct a thriving, quick rising rent enterprise with some further assist from Russell & Russell
When, again in 2015, Rob Dawkins felt he was ready to afford to fulfil a lifetime ambition by shopping for a campervan, he was greatly surprised by the fee. Even a second-hand mannequin got here with a chunky price ticket.
Nonetheless, he was in funds, and determined to make the leap, so he purchased a VW campervan which gave him and his accomplice, Alexandra Black, many hours of enjoyable driving and lingering in a single day all through Scotland.
Not lengthy afterwards, a pal requested if he may hire their van for a week-end journey. A deal was agreed and after the van was returned Rob’s entrepreneurial disposition began him considering that there was, within the East of Scotland, a niche out there for campervan rent.
At this time, with a 14 sturdy fleet of VW and different make campervans, Huge Sky Campers is a longtime Scottish campervan rent firm based mostly simply exterior Edinburgh on the Port of Rosyth in Fife. Conveniently situated for transport hyperlinks, it gives all-inclusive luxurious campervans, pet-friendly campervans, free, safe parking and transfers from public transport hyperlinks.
Mentioned Rob: “As campervan and out of doors fans ourselves, we would like our clients to expertise all the liberty and enjoyable of a campervan vacation in our beloved, stunning Scotland.
“Now we have a small and lovingly cared for fleet of campervans sleeping between two and 4 folks. All our campers, every one in every of which has its personal title and character – and no logos – are kitted out with every part our clients want for his or her journey, together with bedding, towels and tenting equipment like photo voltaic showers and out of doors tables and chairs.
“In contrast to some van rent firms, we don’t cost for add-ons, aside from moveable bathrooms and extra drivers, so the costs we promote are the costs clients pay.”
Demand is at present sturdy with solely restricted availability between now and November. Clients, Rob and Alex have discovered, are significantly drawn to the North Coast 500 and in addition to travelling over the ocean, normally by bridge, to Skye.
“Most individuals who rent go north the place there’s tons to see and revel in”, stated Rob. “Nearly all of clients are non-Scots. Pre Covid, 70 per cent have been from abroad and that’s constructing once more, however at present clients are principally UK-based.
“We don’t go for enormous, massive motor houses, since they don’t are likely to do effectively on Highland nation lanes.”
Turnover for Huge Sky Campers is at present round £0.5m and Rob and Alex’s plan is to maintain on rising. Whereas aware of the environmental affect of diesel vans they’re taking a look at going electrical however the kind of fashions wanted are usually not actually on the market. As well as, provides Rob, there would wish additionally to be a considerably massive uplift, particularly in rural spots, of charging factors.
“We’re always taking a look at how we are able to enhance and have plenty of concepts for progress. Early summer season of 2022 has seen plenty of last-minute bookings and we’re recurrently signing clients up for 2023, a lot of them for important occasions together with weddings and honeymoons.
“We cost a nightly price and we’re on the dearer finish of the market however imagine we offer the very best vans and the very best service. On their return all automobiles are sterilised and valeted.
“Now we have the capability to undertake fundamental upkeep on the automobiles since our staff is fairly skilled within the types of factor that may go flawed and we even have a superb relationship with a neighborhood storage which providers the vans twice as steadily as regular automobiles.
“It’s uncommon to have a breakdown, although often automobiles get bashed. I’ve spent fairly a little bit of time tutoring abroad guests about driving on the left-hand facet of the highway however, very often, some clients can get slightly confused.”
The corporate has been a shopper of Russell & Russell for simply over one 12 months and the expertise has been a superb one, not least due to R&R director, Rosslyn McMaster’s consciousness of the campervan market.
“Huge Sky Campers is a traditional instance of an entrepreneurial enterprise which Rob and Alex have grown from a flash of inspiration into an organization which offers a serious enhance to Scotland’s vacationer trade. It’s a enterprise that’s, actually, going locations, and we’re delighted to assist them alongside the highway with our monetary recommendation”, stated Rosslyn.
Mentioned Rob, “we clicked with Rosslyn and although it took us some time to extricate ourselves from our earlier advisers, partly the results of Covid, we believed R&R would have the ability to assist us run the enterprise extra effectively. And so it has proved.”