Looking to upgrade your current motorhome? Perhaps you’re searching for your first-ever home on wheels? Or maybe you remember the house trailer you used to travel in as a child? If so, you’re probably wondering which route you should take on your buying journey – new or used.
It’s a question all motorhome owners ask themselves at one time or another. Of course, there are pros and cons to buying both new and used but in this article, we’ll concentrate more on the latter.
Whether you buy new or second hand, motorhome insurance is still important to protect your vehicle and your possessions while you’re out on the road. Motorhome Protect can find cover for motorhomes up to the value of £150,000, so when you’ve found the perfect model for you, make sure you give us a call.
Why buy a second-hand motorhome?
We all crave that ‘new motorhome’ smell and seeing a shiny new model gleaming on our driveway. But is that new feeling really worth the massive price tag that comes with it? And remember, new doesn’t necessarily mean perfect in all cases.
Some of the main reasons people choose to buy second hand mobile homes include:
Bye, bye VAT
The price of new motorhomes can be upwards of £40,000 – a major investment in itself before you even consider 20% VAT. On second-hand motorhomes, there may be a small amount of VAT to pay but not as much as 20%. If you do buy new, the VAT will usually be included in the price you see advertised but make sure you double check before signing on the dotted line.
All new motor vehicles suffer from depreciation when they’re driven off the forecourt and it’s no different for motorhomes. Buying second hand will save you thousands of pounds on the new price. You’ll gain the most by going for a model that’s around three years old – the main bulk of the depreciation would have occurred and you’ll get a recreational vehicle with all the latest tech and mod cons for about £10,000 less.
No teething troubles
As we mentioned above, buying brand new doesn’t always guarantee that your motorhome will be problem free. Some models can experience issues straight out of the factory like damp or problems with the electrics, but if you’re not the first owner, it won’t be your problem. Buying second hand means someone else has had to rectify all the teething troubles, leaving you to enjoy the fruits of their labour – if they’ve done it right, that is!
Added extras – for free
When people are caught up in the excitement of buying a new motorhome, they tend to invest in all the little extras, too. Think awnings, satellite TV, air con and so on. Second-hand owners get to enjoy all of these accessories without having to fork out for them in the first place. Again, just check that everything is in good working order before you part with any cash.
If you buy a used motorhome from a dealer, they may make the package more desirable by throwing in a few extras like a warranty, a free inspection or the first year’s road tax for free. Better still, if they sold the vehicle to the first owners when it was brand new, they’ll know about its service history and any little niggles it’s had in the past.
Why buy a new motorhome?
For some people, the lure of having something brand new is too much to resist.
Buying a brand new motorhome means you’ll benefit from all the latest tech and gadgets and safety features.
You’ll have the protection of the manufacturer’s warranty and the dealer’s advice if anything goes wrong.
And you have the pleasure of knowing no one has ever slept in the beds, cooked on the hob or taken a shower in your motorhome before you.
You can also customise it to your exact specifications so when it’s delivered it should be exactly as you imagined.
Top tips for buying a second-hand motorhome
As Out and About says, if you’re buying a used motorhome from a private buyer, you should look for stickers in unusual places as they could be hiding something nasty underneath.
They also suggest you should:
- Look down the sides of the motorhome for ripples or dents.
- Test the floor – a spongy feel could be a sign of delamination. Learn more about what delamination is and how you can fix it on a blog on our site.
- Smell inside the motorhome – a musty scent might signal damp.
- Take it to the weighbridge to make sure it’s suitable for what you want to use it for.
- Press against the side of a coachbuilt motorhome to test thickness and quality of the build.
- Check all electrical things work like the hob, grill and oven, as well as any showers, flushing toilets and taps.
Try before you buy
If this will be your first-ever motorhome purchase, you might be wondering if it’s the right thing for you. That’s perfectly understandable considering the large financial commitment you’ll be making.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club offers a ‘try before you buy’ service where you can hire a motorhome from around £300 for three nights. This is a good option if you want to see whether the motorhome lifestyle is for you – and if it is, how much you’re willing to invest in getting the perfect model.
This also gives you the chance to try out certain bed or seating layouts to see which one works best for you. That way, you’ll know what to look out for when searching for second-hand models.
Motorhome insurance with Motorhome Protect
Buying a used motorhome can represent extremely good value for money, especially if you go for a model that’s only three or four years old.
But whether it’s new or just new to you, you’ll still need to get some motorhome insurance in place before you set off.
We can find cover for your vehicle and its contents, including camping equipment up to £3,000.
With unlimited mileage cover and past motoring convictions considered, Motorhome Protect is the best place to come for a quick and easy quote for motorhome insurance.
Get a quote today.