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In our day-to-day work with our guests, we often encounter situations that we would never have thought of ourselves. I would like to pass on what I have learned about driver’s licenses, large vehicles and speeding tickets. After all, you don’t have to have made every mistake yourself … :-)

Bring your driver’s license

It is well known that you need a driver’s license to rent a car. However, not everyone is aware that you also have to present it for the hand over of the vehicle. In fact, we are legally obliged to ensure that a customer is in possession of a valid driver’s license. Otherwise we would probably be liable to prosecution. After all, we would make driving without a license possible in the first place.

For example, one customer was almost doomed because she couldn’t find her driver’s license.

Apparently she had taken it out of the car beforehand to fill out the contract for the camper. She must have forgotten to put it back afterwards. In any case, the document could not be found on site with the best will in the world.

The end of the story was that she had to make the two-hour journey home and back once more. As a result, she lost a good half day before she was fortunately able to set off after all.

As I felt very sorry for her unfortunate situation, I did a little research in the meantime. I found out (without guarantee) that it should also be possible to go to a local police station and have the possession of a valid driver’s license confirmed there. This should allow us to hand over the vehicle.

Moving large vehicles safely

Although larger electric campers in particular push the permissible total weight to the limit, our vehicles are generally light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tons. The background to this is that only vehicles up to this weight may be driven with the standard class B car driver’s license.

Now, the Sirius is a very compact vehicle, and you would think that it should be no problem to drive it accident-free. In reality, however, we always get vehicles back with collision damage.

You forget that you have a bike rack at the rear and drive into a wall. Or you overlook the fact that the bikes protrude over the roof of the vehicle and get stuck on the ceiling in the underground garage. Or you try to turn in the most impossible places and bump into an “invisible” bollard.

Incidentally, this overstrain by no means only affects novice drivers, as one might think. It is also the age group that has driven accident-free for a long time, but is only used to their own car.

Our immediate conclusion from these incidents was to equip our new Polaris with all kinds of cameras and security systems. In the hope that this will prevent damage during maneuvering in particular.

As a renter, however, you should be aware from the first meter of the journey that you are driving an unfamiliar and significantly larger vehicle. And that the risk of accidents is many times higher. We therefore ask you to keep calm, especially when maneuvering and in tight situations. Don’t let your desire not to obstruct the traffic around you force you to do so. It’s always better to put up with the temporary displeasure of complete strangers than to lose your 1,000 euro deposit because of a little carelessness …

And if there are two of you, just do it like in the “good old days” when there were no cameras and parking beepers. One gets out and instructs the other by hand signal. That actually always works!

Speeding ticket

The last topic, on the other hand, is actually amusing. Since we started, we have had numerous cases where a customer has driven out of the yard full of joy, only to zip into a speed trap right at the end of town!

The explanation is usually that you don’t have to change gear and the electric motor is so quiet that you don’t even notice how fast you’re going. Especially if you are driving an electric car for the first time, I can well understand this explanation. After all, it is a very special experience to glide quietly, effortlessly and comfortably along the roads. But that’s why the manufacturer has built in a speedometer that you have to look at from time to time! :-)

It’s interesting that some people, as creatures of habit, sometimes can’t even get used to it for a week or two. It is certainly not an isolated case that we have received two speeding tickets during one rental. As far as I remember, the record was three tickets in ten days!

Since we, as the owners of the vehicles, are contacted by the responsible authorities, we are sure you will understand that we will then pass on your data. And since the processing is usually still done by fax or e-mail, which takes some time, we take the liberty of charging an expense allowance of 15 euros per ticket.

Our advice: Enjoy the great driving experience in the electric camper, but keep an eye on the speedometer. And in keeping with our “slow travel” philosophy, a more leisurely driving style is a good idea anyway ;-)

Published On: 7. July 2023
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