How safe is it to use Swap the Map ?
It's safer than renting a campervan from a company at the other side of the world. In that case you send you money in advance not knowing for sure there's a camper waiting for you over there. Or when booking a hotel with a swimming pool and a view on the sea, and then ending up in a dirty old building with a dried up pool and a sea at 3 km form the hotel...
Swap the Map puts you in contact with other swappers. You can call them, skype them, look them up on facebook and in google. You can watch a video of them and their vehicle etc... So you will get way more information then when booking a hotel or renting a campervan from a company. The people with whom you swap will take good care of your vehicle because a bit later it wil be their turn to return you the favour !
Part of the fun off course is the adventure. If you're not the adventurous type, you better book the same all in hotel trip every summer, there's nothing wrong with that either.
What about insurance and liability?
As every country (and insurance company) has different requirements this is one of the things to discuss with your insurance company and your swapping partner. You are not hiring out your vehicle so basically it's like lending your car to a family member or a neighbour, for which no extra insurance is required. But in some countries it may be necessary to have a suitable extension added to your policy to ensure you are fully covered when your swapping partner is using your vehicle. If you have a valuable vehicle, an all risk insurance might be a good idea
What if your vehicle gets a fine when your swapping partner is using it ?
When swapping you need to put somethings on paper off course. And take pictures of the vehicle before your swapping partner leaves with it so that there won't be discussions about speeding tickets, parking tickest or dents ans scratches. A good and clear agreement makes good friends.
Will your driver's licece be accepted elsewhere ?
All countries have their own regulations in regard to driver’s licenses, with most accepting an International Driver’s license. The party you are exchanging with can advise you on this as it may need to be addressed with their insurance company also. Next to having an international driver's license, you also need to check if you will be allowed to drive the type of vehicle that you want to drive. In some countries you need a seperate driver's licencse for a motorbike, a car or van under 3,5 ton, a truck til 7,5 ton or a big truck over 7,5 ton.
Do you have to exchange at the same time ?
No, and that's a big advantage compared to swapping holiday houses. You can go and pick up your swapping partner at the train station or airport, give him you maps and GPS. Learn him how to use your vehicle. Make him aware of local trafic rules,.... Once your swapper is back, you can check out the car and bring your new friends to the airport again. And a few weeks or months later it's your turn !
How long can you exchange for ?
This is up to what is agreed between both swappers, so you can swap as long as you want. The period you swap can be the same length but if you agree to swap two weeks versus three weeks, why not ?
Swap the Map is located in Europe and we have some strict privacy regulations here. We don't sell or publish your dates. Swap the Map also doesn't earn any money from advertising on the website by third parties. Our income comes from charging you € 30 a year for a subscription. During the startup period you get a free subscription for one year.