The different types of solutions will vary depending on the types of swap and more importantly what you feel most comfortable with.
Read along to find out what you can do to hand over (or receive) your keys. We warn you, this can get creative…
If you have organized a non-simultaneous swap (meaning that you will be using each other’s van during different periods of time) it is very likely that you will be there to welcome your guest in person. You will be able to give them an in-depth tour of your van, show them how everything works, offer any advice, tips… and, of course, hand over the keys!
For simultaneous swaps or other situations in which you won’t be there to physically hand over the keys:
WITH SOMEONE YOU TRUST (needless to say this is the most recommended option)
Leave the keys with someone you know who will welcome your guest as warmly as you would: a friend, family member, neighbour… Make sure both sides are aware of who this person is, when and where they will be waiting for them or if they will pick the guest up from the airport, station, etc…
The host sends a copy of the keys to the guest’s house prior to their departure so they will be ready to go when they reach the vehicle. We recommend sending the keys via certified mail to avoid any mishaps.
Some owners install a small lockbox (where they usually keep another set of keys) with a code in the undercarriage of their vehicle. If you have one this could also be a possibility.
If you have agreed to leave the vehicle parked in a camping area talk to the owner of the campsite. They might be willing to keep your keys for you or offer another solution.
Leaving your keys at the station, airport…wherever your guest will be arriving can be very convenient. For a small fee, you can keep the keys in a locker for your exchange partner to collect as soon as they arrive.
Some parking lots offer a service where they can keep your keys until the vehicle is collected.
You can arrange for your keys to be delivered by courier to the address you have chosen at a specific time. It might be a little more complex to organize, but if for some reason your exchange partner doesn’t make it on time the package will be returned to the company’s nearest location where it can be collected.
Too risky for some, the ideal solution for others. Agree upon an address where the vehicle will be parked and make sure you inform your guest of the exact spot where you will be “hiding” the keys.
Our community is full of creative minds who will surely come up with even more or better solutions. Feel free to share your ideas and experiences in the comments section below.
“Share the key to your happiness…literally (and non-literally).”