Richie Baird and Ishbel Moffat with their iconic VWs at Callander House. Picture: TSPL
AN EDINBURGH couple have turned their love of classic camper vans into a thriving business driven primarily by the power of the internet.
Ishbel Moffat and Richie Baird struck out on their own after both were made redundant from their jobs in hospitality. After settling on Falkirk as their business base, Vintage VW Campers began hiring out vehicles in April last year.Since then, the firm has expanded from one to six vehicles, while reservations in the first five months of this year have surged by 60 per cent. It is now almost booked solid through the summer season by holidaymakers seeking modern comforts with classic style.
“There is a real love for Volkswagen campervans, and what some people have called ‘modstalgia’ – this idea of taking the kind of holiday you might have had in the past, but with modern elements like a TV or DVD player,” said Moffat.
She attributes the firm’s success to digital know-how acquired through Business Gateway Falkirk, which has helped Vintage VW to build an online presence.
“Despite a delay with the website that meant it didn’t go live until we began trading, the skills I learned at the workshops enabled me to begin marketing on Facebook, ensuring we had plenty of interest and advance bookings when we officially launched,” said Moffat.
“With our bookings for 2015 up so dramatically on 2014 already, a total increase of 100 per cent by the end of the year is looking promising.”
The company’s rare and classic VWs from the 1960s and 1970s have been hired for trips across Scotland, though the majority of customers head to the north. Vintage VWs have travelled as far as Islay and Harris.
Moffat and Baird have also developed a sideline in wedding hires after taking “Meg” – a 1965 VW Split Screen – to the Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC in Glasgow.