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Outermotive - Classic VW camper hire based in Warwick






Classic VW camper hire based in Warwick, conveniently placed in the Midlands.  Enjoy a retro holiday!  We also have VW Sales and a VW Workshop for all repairs, restoration and servicing.



Here, Digger talks to Karen at Outermotive about their Retro camper/VW Beetle hire and repair service in the heart of England.




Colin and Karen


Digger: Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and the background to Outermotive?  

Karen: My husband Colin is the expert on VWís and from when he was born he inherited his dadís love of Beetles particularly. He was under the bonnet of Beetles, whether he liked it or not. But not so much on the camper side of things.  

Digger: And what were you up to?  

Karen: Me? I used to work at the courts in Warwick, a completely separate kind of thing until I had my children and what have you. But I always wanted to have a camper van and I remember my parents saying I shouldnít have one because I couldnít fix it if it went wrong. (Laughs)  

Digger: Fortunately you didnít take their advice.  

Karen: No, but I did wait until I met Colin. (Laughs) It was something that really came together when we got together and Colin was an engineer at the time for the British Touring Cars and Porsche GT Club and those kinds of things. The work on those is very seasonal and each year youíre looking for the next job. So we started to think about doing something of our own. And then the idea of having a camper came back to us.  

Digger: And you both bring different skills to it.  

Karen: Yes, mine more admin and business and that kind of thing. And then Colinís got the practical Volkswagen and other historic cars from his historic rally cars experience. So we could have a camper van ourselves (Laughs) we thought weíd perhaps start hiring them and have a workshop for fixing them for customers.  

Digger: You have a few campers?  

Karen: We have three.  

Digger: Itís good for people to have a choice. What sorts of packages are you offering?  

Karen: Basically for weeks and weekends mostly but one thing we like to try to do is to be flexible with our hire dates. I know a lot of places are much more rigid where you have to start it on a Friday. Whereas we like to start on a Friday because itís simpler (Laughs) but because we know peopleís lives are so different now and they work in all kinds of different jobs at different times. So we try to be a bit more flexible and if someone wants to do Tuesday to Tuesday then they can.

Digger: My girlfriend and I tend to be like that Ė we try to avoid the busy times and the obvious times. People tend not to fit into moulds as you say.  

Karen: Absolutely.  

Digger: As long as it works for you.  

Karen: To be honest, it doesnít seem to make too much difference in the end. Each year we said ďShall we change it?Ē but you can end up booking in short trips for people at short notice and it doesnít seem to make too much difference overall so we carried on that way.  

Digger: What makes Outermotive stand out?  

Karen: Weíre fussy and quite particular. As far as the hireís concerned weíve tried to keep the vans weíve got as original as possible. Although the latest one weíve done weíve made a completely new interior but weíve made it in the same style exactly as the old one and itís all hand-made by a carpenter. Some people just like to strip all that out and put a more modern bed in there and thatís about it. What weíve done Ė we quite like them how they were back in the seventies and even with our house weíre probably the same.  

Digger: People canít expect any real modern concessions?

Karen: They have the same things that another van would have. Itís got new curtains and nice and fresh upholstery and what have you. Itís just that weíve done it keeping the retro style which I think is important for us and for the clients. To keep it in the style it should have been in, I suppose.  

Digger: What sort of clients are you getting and where are they coming from?  

Karen: All sorts of clients. It really is actually. I donít know what we expected when we started, perhaps mainly younger people but it really is every age which is great actually. We have younger couples heading off to festivals or groups of four girls going off for a weekend somewhere.  

Digger: What are the best things about what you both do?    

Karen: I suppose itís making people happy at the end of the day. Itís really nice when young kids see the camper going along the road too and they say ďOoh look, a camper van.Ē And the excitement when they arrive and when they come back they donít want to give the camper back.  

Digger: Ah!  


Karen: Yes. It is things like that which really make you want to do it. From the workshop side of things for my husband itís somebody bringing along something that either doesnít work or is looking a bit worse for wear and sending it out fixed and shiny. We fix a lot of customer Beetles and other vehicles in our workshop and weíve got all sorts in there at any one time. Thereís no denying that Germans are good at engineering.

Digger: Thatís right. Most of the mid-range managersí cars these days are either Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Why is retro, and why are VW campers and Beetles, so enduringly popular?  

Karen: I was born in the seventies so I might be biased but I still love all things seventies Ė flared trousers and so on. But I think it was a simpler time.  

Digger: It certainly was.  

Karen: I love the bright colours of them and the fact that you can just get into a camper and just head off. Itís so different from your sort of constrained lifestyle generally speaking whenever you go to work. Itís a feeling of freedom.  

Digger: Technology allows us to do things but it also saddles us in some ways.  

Karen: Yes, true. I think really I should be living back then. (Laughs)  

Digger: You never know! What sort of feedback are you getting from clients?  

Karen: Itís really positive. Thereís the occasional person that it doesnít suit, to be honest. I think people often like to try the campers if theyíre thinking of buying one as well.  

Digger: Yes, like a test drive.  

Karen: That can be useful and most people love it but there can be the occasional one that it doesnít. One client found the bed in the roof to be not enough room and didnít enjoy it but most people love it. If we had more campers to sell, which is something we can expand on, we could sell plenty of them to hire customers who come back and want to buy them. (Laughs) People just canít wait to do it again.  

Digger: What things should clients consider when booking a VW camper break?  

Karen: Practical things Ė pack light because itís really important for fuel economy and comfort in the camper. It is still camping at the end of the day albeit a more glorified form and a bit drier if it rains. (Laughs) So itís good to think about campsites ahead of time as well. What weíre hearing is that camping is experiencing a big revival and obviously that means that campsites are a bit busier in peak seasons and itís good definitely to think of where you might want to go and book ahead. Some people are not worried about that and just go off, so it depends on the individual. At the moment, certainly in the summer holidays, Iíd suggest that.

Digger: Pack light and plan ahead.

Karen: Yes, but really our campers do come with most of the things you need. Pots and pans, kitchen sink, torch, first aid kit, fire extinguisherÖ

Digger: Youíve thought of it all, havenít you?

Karen: Yes, absolutely. Thereís a table and a couple of chairs as well. And a hob.

Digger: So you just need to bring your bedding along?

Karen: Bedding, clothes, food.

Digger: I think most people would have that sussed, wouldnít they? So what are your retro passions Karen?

Karen: Apart from campers and flairs (Laughs) I also love vinyl.  


Digger: Are they in good condition?

Karen: Yes. Iíve got all kinds of bits and pieces but Iíve got some Technics record decks so I like to play records as well. I know itís more and more difficult to get hold of them but I like them. I donít know if I ever want to get rid of them. I like having that big stack of records.

Digger: The album cover artwork and the sleeve notes are sadly missed in these digital days. And itís all going east, our vinyl heritage, apparently. A few of my vinyl clients tell me itís going to ex-Soviet countries and Russia and Turkey and even the middle-east. There goes our heritage! But these things have a way of finding their way back eventually.

Karen: We love lots of older music.

Digger: Nice to hear that coming out of a VW camper. Where do you see the future for Outermotive? More vans?

Karen: Possibly notÖ I think we're going to keep it to about the level we have now. The reason being that we can maintain them better, we know what we've got. They do take a bit of maintenance and I guess that's something we can offer above some other places. Because we have the workshop we are able to maintain them correctly. 

Digger: And you're well positioned there geographically. 

Karen: Yes, absolutely, definitely. So I think probably we'll keep the same amount because the more vans you've got it is a lot to maintain. 

Digger: But you're not averse to taking other people's vans?

Karen: No, no, we obviously work on other people's vans as well so that's constant. We call springtime the silly season because everybody wants to get their van ready for the summer for all kinds of events and festivals and what-have-you. So we're always working on other people's vans.


Classic VW camper hire based in Warwick, conveniently placed in the Midlands.  Enjoy a retro holiday!  We also have VW Sales and a VW Workshop for all repairs, restoration and servicing.

In 1985 a very curious little boy with a knack for all things mechanical, picked up a spanner, stood on tiptoes and peered beneath the open bonnet of his fatherís newly acquired sunset orange 1972 Volkswagen beetle;  thatís how he caught the bug(!) and heís been addicted ever since....

The business provides individuals with a range of services including VW Camper Hire, VW Camper and Beetle Sales, a Workshop for all your VW Professional Servicing and Repairs, Mot Preparation and Restoration, also Parts and Products.  For those difficult to find and obsolete parts, we can offer a bespoke design and manufacture service. Our experience ensures that our customers get out on the road in style. Our services are tailored to meet your needs every time.

VW Camper Hire:-  01926 743107

Workshop:-  01926 408942





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