7 top tips for buying a motorhome.

Top tips for buying a motorhome.

Thinking of buying a motorhome? Why not ask the professionals for their thoughts on what to consider when purchasing! We’re often approached by potential buyers of motorhomes looking for some advise on what to consider when investing.  Personal choices aside, we’ve listed a few general points that are sure to help you but the ideal motorhome.

Check Your Licence

Although more experienced drivers who passed before 1997 automatically have a C1 licence. Anyone passing from 1997 onwards can only drive a vehicle up to 3500KG including payload (contents of the vehicle) without taking a separate test.

If you don’t have a C1 licence be sure to check the vehicle you’re looking at is well under this weight limit. This then gives you plenty spare when loading the vehicle with passengers, equipment and the all-important bottles of wine! If not you will need to look into taking the correct test in order to drive your vehicle.

Visit The Shows

Sounds simple but be sure to invest some time in visiting the motorhome shows that are hosted around the country. The NEC holds the largest events, usually in October and February each year, but London, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester all hold their own exhibitions too.

The major benefit of attending one of these shows is the fact that you’ll get to see lots of different layouts, styles and ideas. Do you want a pull down or overcab bed? How important is kitchen space? Do the fabric choices appeal? By visiting a show and seeing more than 50 different models you’ll quickly start to get a feel for what you do, and don’t want in a motorhome.

Add to this the fact that all the major brands will have experts on hand to answer any of your questions and queries it becomes an essential step in the buying process.

Size Matters

Are you planning on your motorhome being for just the two of you? Are you going to be longer tours?

Depending on how you answer these questions will help decide the size and number of berths you will need with your vehicle. If it’s intended use is as a weekend van for the two of you to escape work for a couple of nights jump in and get a two berth, however, if considering longer trips, a good rule of thumb is to consider vehicles with 2 extra berths to what would normally be required. This ensures enough room for those longer journeys.

Equally it’s important to count up the number of seat belts Vs berths, there are 6 berth models on the market with only 4 seat belts, meaning at least two of the party will have to travel in a separate car.

Rent a few vehicles before committing.

This suggestion isn’t just for selfish reasons! If purchasing a brand new motorhome you may be investing over £50,000 into the vehicle. When considering this, a few weekends away in different vans to ensure you’re happy with the layout, sleeping arrangements or even motorhoming in general is money well spent.

In order to make this trial process as simple as possible we work in partnership with Adria. The cost of your hire will be deducted from the purchase price if buying a new vehicle from an Adria approved dealer. Also, out of season, we offer discounted split hires. These allow you to try two or even three different vehicles for one simple rental price. To see our fleet click here.

Warranties

If purchasing new, a warranty will come as standard, however, if purchasing second hand think carefully before committing without any sort of guarantee or warranty.

Motorhomes combine a house with a vehicle, two things with plenty of stuff to go wrong, It’s inevitable repairs will be required. Although most things can be fixed simply, on occasion more substantial work will be required, it may be worth the cost of a warranty to lessen this risk.

Running costs

A few things new buyers tend to forget about when pricing up a motorhome include the following things,

1) Insurance. <ost companies only allow a no-claims bonus to be used on a single policy. It may be more expensive that you realised to insure the vehicle.

2) Annual service and habitation checks. Although most people are aware of servicing, manufacturers also require an annual habitation check. This is to ensure the vehicle remains in good condition and damp free. As a guide a habitation check will set you back around £200 a year.

3) Tyres. Most motorhomes do a lot less mileage than standard vehicles and the tyres can actually perish before wearing down. Manufacturers recommend changing tyres every 5 years to prevent this, if purchasing second hand be sure to check the date stamped onto the tyres themselves. Motorhome tyres take more weight and subsequently cost more to replace, another factor to bear in mind.

Usage

Before buying, it’s worth weighing up the amount of annual usage you expect to get from the vehicle. If purchasing from new your motorhome will lose 15-20% of it’s value in the first year then 10-15% each year after that. This depreciation adds up to a lot of rental nights from hire companies in different parts of the country. Especially if the vehicle isn’t going to be out for a significant amount of the time.

Alternatively, purchased and not getting the expected amount of usage?. We do offer a service for owners wishing to rent their vehicles out. For more information, click here!

Good luck!

Hopefully these pointers will help get you on the path to motorhome ownership a little smoother than it could be. Feel free to message us with any thoughts or comments. Please give us a like or shout-out on Facebook if you found this useful!

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