Selling your motorhome needn’t be a slog. You might think you can save a few pounds by doing it yourself through an online auction or sales site, but the fuss involved usually outweighs the benefit.
Opting to sell to a professional dealer saves you time and also reduces your risk. Let’s look at why it pays to go pro with your motorhome.
What can go wrong with a private sale?
Motorhomes are complex vehicles.
The law around the sale of vehicles has lots of grey areas, so there’s plenty of potential for a sale to go wrong if one party believes they have been misled or misunderstands the condition of the vehicle.
This is the case even where both buyer and seller are experienced with motorhomes. Throw in a novice who doesn’t understand how to assess the condition of a motorhome, and the scope for conflict widens.
Get it wrong and you could end up on the receiving end of a legal claim. Even where a sale is not contentious, you may find yourself with a time waster or even worse, a fraudster.
There are lots of questions you should ask yourself before you go for a private sale.
What price will you ask for? What fixtures and equipment come with the motorhome? Will you allow potential buyers to test drive the vehicle? What will you do if a purchaser returns to you complaining that the vehicle is faulty? Do you understand the process of transferring ownership of the vehicle? How does the sale affect your motorhome insurance?
Cut out time wasters - go for a guaranteed sale
The benefit of selling to a dealer is that you’re unlikely to be turned down completely.
Whereas a private purchaser might want to correspond and ask questions, come to see the vehicle, then come with their partner or a mechanic, arrange finances and so on – potentially taking months to complete the purchase – a dealer will give you an immediate price and be much more decisive.
It’s true that dealers are looking to buy low and sell high, as that is how a professional makes a profit.
Yet a reputable dealer who gives a fair price is often a better option than a private buyer who takes up lots of your time and energy without the certainty of the sale going through.
A professional dealer knows their way around a motorhome much better than an amateur.
They know how to check for faults, understand common problems and will have a clear picture of what the vehicle is worth.
An amateur buyer might overlook an issue then come calling after the sale, wanting some or all their money back. Selling to a professional is likely to be much more clear-cut.
Protect yourself from fraudsters
Criminals know that motorhomes are costly vehicles which do not change hands frequently.
Unfortunately, this makes motorhome sellers an easy target.
These days, private sales are discussed by email or text message rather than by phone or in person, making it even harder to work out whether you’re talking to a bona fide purchaser or a crook looking for their next victim.
What form do these scams take? One involves bank transfers. A buyer arrives to purchase the motorhome and asks for details of the seller’s bank account to make payment.
Rather than typing the seller’s details into the app, they put details of an account in their own name.
The seller is shown a screen confirming payment has gone through, and hands over the keys to the vehicle.
A more sophisticated form of fraud uses email hacking.
Scammers spot the motorhome listing, get hold of the seller’s email account and gain access to it.
A genuine, honest buyer is found.
At the point where the seller emails the buyer with details of the bank account for payment, the fraudsters intercept the email and substitute their own, untraceable bank account, thus siphoning off the purchase money.
Criminals never fail to find creative ways to target people.
Even just inviting an unknown buyer to enter the motorhome to view it with you carries some risk, especially if you are female or vulnerable.
If you do decide to sell privately, be sure to check the terms of your motorhome insurance to see if there are limitations on what you can do.
Sell to a pro at any time of year
Sales of motorhomes peak in the summer months, when people start thinking of hitting the road and enjoying the sun.
But what if you want to sell in winter? Motorhome dealers are always keen to buy good quality used vehicles, so they will buy at any time of year.
It’s worth bearing in mind that new registrations of motorhomes occur only twice a year, in March and September.
These are also peaks for the secondhand trade, as purchasers of new vehicles often sell on their existing motorhomes.
Greater supply means lower prices for sellers at these times of year.
Trading in rather than selling outright
Many motorhome dealers will be looking to sell one vehicle and buy another.
Carrying out both of these transactions through private sales sites is an option, but it’s going to be time-consuming.
Choosing to sell and buy through a single dealer may represent great value without the hassle.
Don’t just take the first offer a dealer makes to you.
Tour a few dealers and negotiate to get the best deal. You could ask dealers to match the offer made to you by another professional.
How to prepare your motorhome for sale
Do you need to do anything to your motorhome before showing it to a dealer?
Firstly, make a good impression. Ensure the motorhome is squeaky clean, inside and out.
Get a habitation and vehicle service and check the MOT is up to date. Get weighbridge and damp certificates.
Failing to do any of these gives the dealer an easy way to knock money off the purchase price.
Before you approach a dealer, you should do a little research so you’re clear about the realistic price your vehicle will achieve.
Look at similar models of a similar age and you’ll soon have a rough idea of what you should ask for.
If you need help selling your motorhome, why not check out our blog on 4 ways to sell your motorhome?