Learn more about our VW campervan rental policies at Firefly Vans in New England. We offer renovated camper vans for rent and outfit our camper vans with high-quality camping gear.
If you visit any company that rents vintage VW camper vans, you’ll find several pages dedicated to rules and usage guidelines. The main reason for this is that these older restored VW camper vans are very valuable and time consuming to restore and maintain. Because of that, it’s important that you understand how best to care for our vehicle while you’re renting it. If you’re unable to drive a stick shift (standard) vehicle, or would be better served by a newer vehicle with more amenities, we encourage you to pursue a more conventional car rental option. If however, you’re all about making memories, are a bit nostalgic and welcome the frequent interactions you’ll have with passerbys as they ask about your vintage camper van, then these rules and responsibilities won’t seem burdensome.
- We provide a brief orientation about how to operate and care for our vans (about 60-90 minutes). We’ll walk you through the included camping gear and ensure you’re comfortable with driving the vehicle. After you’ve had time to ask questions, we’ll ask you to sign a Renter’s Agreement that states you understand everything we shared with you and will abide by the Agreement requirements. We’ll also send you the Renter’s Agreement as part of the reservation process.
- Our vans are manual or “standard.” Before you hit the road, we’ll give you a chance to drive around the block a few times so you’re comfortable with the shifting pattern, gauges and the nuances of driving a VW bus or vanagon in Maine. If you have never driven manual or standard vehicles, we kindly ask that you seek out a different vehicle. Our clutches, transmissions and engines are new, but they are expensive to replace and relatively easy to abuse if you’re not familiar with driving manual.
- For our 1986 vanagon, we’re happy to include a bike rack or cargo basket (connected via the hitch) at no additional cost. We want you to be well prepared for your trip, so let us know if we can do anything to improve how we outfit our vehicles. Since we’re a small business, it’s easy for us to go the extra mile to make sure you don’t have to worry about anything other than having fun.
Rental Periods & Driving Distance
- Bullwinkle can van be rented for up to but no more than 2 weeks at a time. If you’re willing to bring Bullwinkle back for a service after 2 weeks, we may be willing to extend this period for you. The minimum rental period for Bullwinkle is 6 nights (7 days).
- Half Throttle can be rented for up to 7 nights; possibly more if we can discuss the details. The minimum rental period for Half Throttle is 2 nights.
- Bullwinkle and Half Throttle come with 125 free miles per day (or 875 per week). By way of example, Acadia National Park is 430 miles round trip from the Firefly Van pickup location. At the end of your trip, your total miles will be added up and divided by your total number of days. This amount is used to calculate your average daily mileage and to assess any additional mileage fees. Every mile driven above the allotted daily will be charged $.35 for Bullwinkle (1986 Vanagon) and $.75 for Half Throttle (see our Outdoorsy pricing page). So, if you drive Bullwinkle an additional 200 miles (or 1075 miles) over 7 days, you would be charged an additional $90 for your rental.
- We do not allow Bullwinkle to be driven more than 1200 total miles per week (6 nights, 7 days) or Half Throttle more than 1000 per week (6 nights, 7 days).
- We ask that you avoid driving on gravel or dirt roads.
- Please be aware that we have on-board GPS tracking devices that allow us to monitor your itinerary. We only allow our vehicles to be driven in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Driving through Massachusetts (especially Boston) is challenging enough with a newer car, so we ask that you do not drive in Massachusetts for any reason. Since this is our first year of operation, we do not allow our vehicles to be driven to Canada.
- Because we have strict rules about where you are allowed to drive, we rely on our tracking devices to ensure you’ve operated our vehicles in a responsible manner. Be very careful when executing tight turn arounds on less improved roads as it’s easy to get stuck if you’re not careful. When getting stuck due to driver error, it will be your responsibility to cover the cost of remedying the situation.
Pick-up and Drop-off
- Our vans are typically available for pick up after 10AM on the starting day of your rental and due back by 2PM on the last day of your rental. Please discuss with us if you need an earlier pickup time and we’ll do our best to accommodate. There is a $150 charge for late drop offs that will be taken from your deposit.
- Please ensure that you have enough time after dropping off your vehicle (60 minutes) to debrief and and talk about the condition of the vehicle. Also, don’t forget that traffic between our location and the Boston airport can at times be very heavy; especially during summer weekends. Allow yourself plenty of time to drop off your vehicle and arrive at the airport. You may want to consider spending the night in Boston (or some other airport) the night before your departure.
- Please note that Firefly Vans is not responsible for any costs incurred due to changes in travel plans that are a result of a vehicle breakdown or late arrival for vehicle drop off. Again, take every precaution to make sure you build in some buffer during your last few days to ensure you have plenty of time to arrive at the airport.
- Please take care of our vans. We detail each van in between rentals, but an excessively dirty van will incur an additional $150 cleaning fee.
Vehicle Drop Off
- We use only 91 octane gas (top grade) with Bullwinkle and Half Throttle. Please return your van will a full gas tank and use only 91 octane gas during your rental period. We will charge $25 if additional gas needs to be added to the van after it is returned.
- When caring for your Firefly van, we suggest you do your best to keep the vehicle tidy. A floor brush comes with your van to keep it tidy.
- Should a van come back with obvious signs of driving on gravel roads (e.g. paint chips, chips or cracks in the windshield), we reserve the right to cover any repair costs for this damage from your security deposit.
Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds
- Your initial reservation is secured with a 50% deposit. Full payment is due 21 days before your pick-up date or at reservation time, whichever is less.
- Cancellations must be made via email or phone request and must be received within 30 days of pick-up for a full refund. Cancellations made under 30 days will be fully refunded minus a $250 charge.
- Cancellations made less than 21 days from pick-up will forfeit all previous payments less the security deposit to Firefly Rentals, LLC.
- A $1000 security deposit is required for the use of Bullwinkle to cover owner-caused damage, unreasonable use, or excessive cleaning requirements. A $1500 security deposit will be collected for Half Throttle. The security deposit is generally released within 3 days after returning the vehicle. This charge is automatically charged to your credit card used for reservations 3 days prior to pick up.
- Firefly Vans reserves the right to cancel a reservation at any time (including at pick-up) due to natural disasters, changes in business conditions, unforeseen natural occurrences, or other situations that would make renting a van unsafe. This includes but is not limited to a renter showing up intoxicated or otherwise unable to safely operate the vehicle. In the event of a Firefly Vans initiated cancellation, a full refund including the security deposit will be issued to the renter.
- While we do our best to place you in the van you have reserved (since we currently only have two Westfalias), we reserve the right to place you in a different vintage Westfalia van if the vehicle you reserved is being repaired or is unavailable for some other reason. While the odds of this happening are low, we like to have several contingency plans in place since even fully restored vehicles that have been road tested might at times need a time-consuming repair. We will do our best to notify you as soon as possible if a change has been made to your vehicle of choice.
- Firefly Vans will not be responsible for the costs associated with any loss or damage to equipment, fixtures and fittings, windows, tires, loss of keys (this includes windshield rock dings and headlamp dings), or any negligent damage to the vehicle including dead batteries due to operator error. Should these damages exceed $1,000 for Bullwinkle or $1500 for Half Throttle (the total of the security deposit) the renter will be liable for all additional costs. This difference will need to be settled within 7 days of returning the Firefly Van vehicle.
- Our vehicles are regularly inspected and maintained by a professional mechanic. All damages to the van that are identified after the vehicle is returned, including windshield glass chips, dings, headlamps, etc., are the renter’s responsibility. Rock chips to the windshield and headlights, if they can be repaired, will be repaired at the expense of the renter. Should the rock chip be in the driver’s field of vision while driving, the windshield will need to be replaced at the renter’s expense. Chips too large to repair or cracks in the windshield will require replacement of the windshield, at the renter’s expense.
- All drivers must be 25 years old or older.
- We strongly recommend that you have road side assistance when using our vehicles. When checking out, you will have the option to purchase 24/7 roadside assistance through Coach-Net if you do not already have this attached to your personal insurance. AAA, Allstate and other insurers also offer trip interruption protection.
- Vehicle Insurance is required on our rentals and it must be obtained through our partner, Outdoorsy. The policy provides full coverage for collision and $1M in liability coverage. There is a $1,500 maximum deductible. The charge for this insurance is 10% of your rental total with no portion of that fee going to Firefly Rental. Credit card policies and personal automotive policy will typically not provide the proper coverage for a vintage camper van rental, so we feel this fee is well worth the cost.
- In the event of an accident, you must contact us immediately.
- When booking one of our vehicles with Outdoorsy, you will be required to pass a quick DMV check to ensure you do not have recent DUIs or excessive speeding tickets. If you fail to meet the DMV requirements, you will receive a 100% refund including any fees. This will happen within 72 hours of your reservation.
- We rent our vehicles to non-US residents. All renters must obtain the insurance described above.
Breakdowns and Delay
Our vehicles are kept in top-notch condition. In the unlikely event that your rental breaks down, there are several options. We’ll do everything in our power to keep your itinerary in tact.
- Although these cars are restored, they still have personalities and can break down. To help minimize the chance this will happen, we’ll provide some direction about how to monitor the health of the vehicle and take some precautionary steps each day to keep your van happy. Don’t forget that even with our newly rebuilt engines, these vehicles often max out at 55mph when climbing hills.
- Please be aware parts of New England have poor or no cell service. You may need to rely on a police officer or passer by to help you get to a gas station or phone if you’re out of cell range.
- If you are within a known service area, we have a network of trained, local mechanics who can undertake simple repairs to get you back on the road. We also recommend loading Van Alert on your smart phone so you’re able to tap into the larger community of Westfalia owners who are often eager to help a fellow Westy driver. Before any repairs to our vehicles are made, we need to discuss with the mechanic or individual making repairs. After the vehicle has been moved to a repair shop, Firefly Vans will work with the renter and repair shop to expedite any needed repairs in a way that prioritizes the renter’s itinerary. It is important that the renter understand that when he or she operates a Firefly Van vehicle that it is their responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is transported to a safe, professional repair facility if the van needs repair. Under no circumstances is abandonment of a Firefly Vans vehicle acceptable.
- If the issue is not deemed to be a simple repair, Firefly Vans will attempt to provide a back-up vehicle.
- If a back-up vehicle is not available and your vehicle is not repairable in a reasonable window of time (generally speaking, 24 hours), Firefly Vans will refund the remaining rental fees. Firefly Vans will not be responsible for additional costs associated with adjusting your itinerary. Our liability is limited to the refund of any remaining rental days and no other part of your trip such as your flight home.
- If you are outside of the prescribed area, or are deemed to be on a non-approved road, all costs associated with towing, repair shall be borne by the renter. Shoulders and unimproved campsites are generally non-approved, so please avoid these areas. There are plenty of developed camping sites all over New England.
- Each of our vans has a unique combination of supplemental camping equipment – both fixed within the vehicle and supplied as part of our service. In the event camping equipment fails or cannot easily be prepared, we will do our best to assist you.
- Upon receipt of your security deposit, all terms and conditions state herein are binding.
- As much as we love pets, we don’t allow pets in our VW Vanagon or Bus.
- We are happy to provide travel planning assistance but cannot be held responsible for making arrangements or guaranteeing the quality of your trip.
- Remember, campsites and ferries book up early–plan ahead. Firefly Vans is not responsible for lodging, parking, camping or similar aspects of your trip. Firefly Vans is not responsible for any penalties incurred through the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets.
- We reserve the right to cancel a rental agreement in the event of circumstances beyond our control including, but not limited to, extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, or other unforeseen emergency situations that would make travel impossible or unsafe. If a rental agreement is cancelled, a full refund will be given. This refund is limited to the amount actually paid to Firefly Vans. We also reserve the right to turn away potential clients on arrival. Due to the nature of the vehicles we rent, their increasing value and we are careful to ensure a potential renter is qualified and will exercise good judgment when caring for the vehicle. In short, if you are unwilling or found incompetent to follow our basic instructions for caring for our Westfalias, we exercise the right to not rent our vehicle to you.