Left hand drive motorhome insurance
Have you always dreamed of touring in a big American RV? Or an imported European motorhome? If so, the chances are it will be left-hand drive (LHD). Despite the UK’s requirement to drive on the left there’s no reason why you can’t happily tour in a left-hand drive motorhome.
But you will need to tell your insurance provider it’s a left-hand drive motorhome. To get the very best deal on a motorhome policy it’s vital that your insurance advisor has as much relevant information as possible. After all, you don’t want to be left without appropriate cover because you failed to tell them something important.
As a motorhome insurance specialist, Motorhome Protect has over 45 years’ experience arranging competitive insurance cover for a wide variety of motorhomes and campervans. That experience means we can offer LHD motorhome insurance at a fair, and surprisingly competitive, rate.
Pros and cons of a left-hand drive motorhome
With European touring so popular among motorhome owners, buying something with left-hand drive is a big temptation for many, particularly if it allows you to purchase your dream vehicle. But what are the benefits and possible drawbacks of buying such a desirable machine? Let’s take a look.
Greater range of options
By opening yourself up to left-hand drive motorhomes you could discover a whole new exciting range of vehicles to choose from. After all, many of the world’s best motorhomes are made and sold in foreign markets such as America and Europe.
So, if you have your heart set on a Burstner, Dethleffs, Winnebago, Roma, Adria, Hobby, Hymer or other specialist manufacturers then left-hand drives might be your best option.
Just make sure you’ve got the right insurance policy to cater for its particular needs.
We all fantasise about quitting the rat race and moving somewhere exotic. Well, if you invest in a left-hand drive motorhome then it could be easier than you think.
Remember, if you go motoring in Europe you’ll want insurance that’s up to the task!
A left-hand drive motorhome can be harder to sell in the UK as many people will justifiably prefer to buy one offering right-hand drive. This means there are potentially good deals to be had if a seller is getting desperate.
However, always do your research to make sure the deal is as good as you think. Just like finding the right insurance cover!
Harder to sell
On the other side of the coin, this may not always work to your benefit. Remember, when the time comes to sell your beloved left-hand drive vehicle you might find it tricky.
Left-hand drive motorhomes are still a bit of a niche market in the UK. That’s why you’ll want to talk to an insurance specialist about finding the right cover.
Layout and feature differences
There can be differences in how left-hand drive and right-hand drive motorhomes are laid out by manufacturers and what features they contain.
For example, European left-hand drive motorhomes often have smaller kitchens and ovens. Fixed beds also tend to be more popular. You’ll also find European standard plug sockets. All matters worth bearing in mind.
Is left-hand drive motorhome insurance more expensive?
Motorhome forums are very lively places where you’ll find lots of invaluable advice and guidance from passionate motorhome enthusiasts. When asked whether the UK is more expensive for LHD motorhome insurance, many owners say in their experience ‘no’.
However, motorhome insurance doesn’t always have such easy answers and this may not be the case for everyone.
Factors which could cause higher insurance premiums include:
- Getting spare parts from abroad can take longer and be more costly. This not only means higher repair costs for your insurance claim, but also a longer period of time that a courtesy vehicle might be needed for.
- Many owners of left-hand drive motorhomes like to drive them in Europe. This can lead to higher mileage and higher insurance premiums. Although, if you have unlimited mileage insurance cover offered by Motorhome Protect then this shouldn’t be a concern.
- Some American imports have sizable engines which can affect the cost of insurance.
- Many super-sized American and European motorhomes have huge windscreens that could lead to a big insurance claim if damaged.
- If the vehicle has not been built to European standards, then it might need to be modified to be legal to drive on UK roads. For insurance purposes being road legal is vital.
But remember, if your motorhome is left-hand drive, it doesn’t automatically mean your insurance cover premium will skyrocket.
The great thing about motorhome insurance obtained through a reputable company like Motorhome Protect is that it’s flexible and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Speak to our helpful insurance team and we can quickly gauge your needs.
We’re always ready to go above and beyond when it comes to finding you great insurance.
From getting the right insurance cover to driving on the left – eight top tips for driving left-hand drive motorhomes
There’s much to recommend with regards to a left-hand drive motorhome, particularly if you’re planning on venturing over to Europe.
But if you’re keen to take the plunge and buy your left-hand drive beauty, there’s still a number of important tips that are well worth remembering:
1. Insure left-hand drive motorhomes the easy way
Before parting with your hard-earned cash, speak to your insurers about whether they can cover that particular model of left-hand drive motorhome, and at what price.
2. Don’t forget costs of transportation, import tax and registration
If you’ve been motoring around the continent in your European motorhome and are planning to return to the UK then there are some expenses you need to take into account. If you aren’t driving the motorhome back yourself then you’ll need to pay someone else to do it.
You'll also need to register and tax the vehicle in the UK if you plan on returning permanently.
You’ll definitely need to check the current situation regarding import duties and tax.
You can find guidelines and forms for importing vehicles on the government website.
3. Stay on the right side of the law by fitting headlamp beam adapters
Headlamps of left-hand drive vehicles can cause dazzle to oncoming drivers when driving in the UK. It’s a legal requirement to fit headlamp beam adapters to prevent this. You can be fined if you fail to do so and it could even invalidate your motorhome insurance.
4. Practice makes perfect when driving on the left
It’s obvious we know, but getting behind the wheel of a left-hand drive motorhome will feel very strange at first. But a bit of practice in a quiet area will soon get you well trained.
5. Be vigilant on road positioning
Driving a left-hand drive vehicle on the left means you could feel uncomfortably close to the edge of the road. It’s all too easy to overcompensate and drift into the centre. When you’re driving such a large vehicle this can cause unnecessary danger.
Again, practice is important – alongside the right motorhome insurance policy to guard against bumps and scrapes.
6. Look twice when exiting
The main door of a left-hand drive motorhome will open onto the opposite side from what you’re used to. If you’re parked on a street then be careful. The door will open onto the road rather than the pavement side.
Look twice if you want to avoid a claim on your insurance policy.
7. Watch your speed
If you’re buying a European left-hand drive motorhome then be aware the odometer could be calibrated to kilometres rather than miles per hour.
8. Stay alert when overtaking
Being positioned on the left of your vehicle does make it riskier to overtake as you can’t see oncoming traffic as clearly as you can in a right-hand drive motorhome. If you do decide to overtake then take your time and stay alert. Insurers love careful drivers.
How to get a cheaper quote for motorhome insurance cover
Speaking to the team at Motorhome Protect is just one of the ways to achieve a cheaper quote for motorhome insurance cover. Other ideas include:
- Buy from a reputable dealer who can make sure your left-hand drive motorhome meets the right safety standards.
- Store your motorhome in a locked garage.
- Update your security with a vehicle tracker, steering lock and other gadgets.
- Choose a higher excess for your insurance policy.
- Build up your insurance no-claims bonus with careful driving.
- Don’t add unnecessary modifications.
- Join a motorhome or campervan club for exclusive offers on motorhome insurance policies.
Read our Motorhome Protect guides for more advice on how to get the best out of your home on wheels and your insurance policy. For the best protection you’ll want great quality cover by getting a quote from our insurance team.