Motorhome buying tips

If you are facing the prospect of your first-ever motorhome purchase, the following tips from choosing a model to motorhome finance might prove very useful.

Take your time in selecting a model

This may be a question of stating the obvious but it needs to be said.

There’s an awful lot to learn about motorhomes and if you don’t have that knowledge through prior personal experience, you’ll need to get it through extensive research.

In particular, look at the sizing.  Some first-time motorhome buyers choose very compact vehicles. That’s fine but after a while, you may find that the lack of space becomes an annoyance – particularly if you want to use it with family and friends.

So, research, research and research again before signing that cheque.

Exercise common sense when considering private sellers

There is no fundamental showstopper reason why you shouldn’t buy a pre-used motorhome from its existing owner.  The big advantage there may be (though surprisingly, not always) price.

However, apply the same protective checks you should when purchasing a motor car from a private individual, including:

  • verify the identity and address of the vendor;
  • make sure you get an outstanding vehicle finance and the other checks;
  • be certain that the person selling the motorhome is actually authorised to do so, usually meaning that you should ask for evidence that they own it;
  • only agree to an irrevocable transfer of funds when you are present at the same time to take immediate possession of the vehicle. Remember, vehicles can be damaged in between your final inspection and you being handed the keys, which is why you don’t want the payment to take place before you have had a final look and are standing there with outstretched hands ready to take possession.

Be cautious about customised motorhomes

This usually only applies to pre-used vehicles purchased privately.

Previous owners may have made what they consider to be great enhancements, but experience shows these are not always of the required quality unless they were completed by a professional.

Some of the quality and even occasionally safety issues involved are evidenced by the fact that many professional dealers will strip-out DIY customisations from motorhomes they have purchased, prior to their on-sale.

Keep some budget back for enjoying your acquisition

However you might have constructed your motorhome finance, typically as a combination of funded sums plus your own contribution in order to purchase a vehicle, keep some of your money back as a reserve.

That’s because almost inevitably after you’ve done your first few trips, you’ll find that certain accessories are likely to become very attractive as a way of helping you enjoy your holidays that bit more.

Having some cash in your bank to buy them would be a good idea.

Think security

Motorhomes, particularly the more prestigious marques, are very attractive to thieves,

Give added weight to those that come with enhanced security systems and just like the advice above on accessories, be prepared to spend some money to upgrade these in order to give you greater peace of mind.  You may also find that the cost is partly offset by reductions in your motorhome insurance premium.

Take a motorhome driving familiarisation course

The majority of motorhomes are no more difficult to drive than a typical family car but they are larger vehicles and that can take a little getting used to.

If you have experience of driving small to medium size vans, you should have no trouble with a motorhome.  If you don’t, spending a small amount of money on a few hours’ practice driving and training would be a wise investment.


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