Create a budget and don’t blow it!
This is the first and most important rule when it comes to buying a used motorhome. Setting a budget and sticking to it sounds easy. However, there are several factors to take into account before you start bidding on used motorhome auctions. Obviously you’ll have a buying price in mind, but have you thought about running costs? In addition to insurance, you’ll need to pay road tax. Can you afford to actually buy AND put the motorhome on the road?
Do your research and shop around
The golden rule! Used motorhome auctions open up a world of choice but it’s very difficult to know whether or not the asking prices are fair. Look around a little and compare van types and prices. It’s a bit like buying a house, only in miniature!
Check the seller’s credentials
Let’s be honest; you don’t know the seller from Adam. That’s why it’s vital to check his credentials. When bidding on a used motorhome auction, it’s impossible to know if the seller is genuine. Fortunately, there are simple and fast ways of checking.
- Ask for a landline number and call it
- When arranging to look at a used motorhome for sale, request to meet at the seller’s home
- If the address on the log book doesn’t match the seller’s home address, ask why
- Trust your instincts; if things just don’t feel right for whatever reason, walk away
- Avoid sellers who insist on cash
Employ an expert
Although there are some bargain motorhomes for sale across the UK, you’re still looking at parting with a considerable amount of money. This is a sizeable investment, so unless you’re an expert it pays to get one in to advise you. Motoring bodies like the AA and RAC have their own certified professionals who will come and view a vehicle with you and give advice on condition and value. Costs vary according to vehicle size. You can expect to pay between £140 and £250.
Walk away from any used motorhome sale unless the seller can supply access to the vehicle’s history. A lack of paperwork is a sign of a stolen vehicle. The seller should be able to give you a stamped service history, a VC5 registration certificate (log book) and the MOT certificate.
You also need to check that the van will legally be yours on purchase, or if it’s still subject to a finance agreement with a loan provider. To do this, contact HPI Equifax and pay £40.
The test drive
Ok, so a test drive is a given but there’s more it than you might think. Buying a used motorhome could see you part with thousands of pounds so making sure the vehicle in question is comfortable to drive and matches the seller’s description is vital. Listen for bangs and rattles, make sure heating and aircon systems are fully operation, and any interior features like fridges and toilets actually work! Never take the seller’s word for it.
Parking your motorhome
In the excitement of bidding on a used motorhome auction, it can be easy to overlook practical considerations. Parking is one of the major factors that get overlooked amongst those buying a used motorhome.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Does the motorhome you’ve got your heart set on actually fit in your driveway?
Will you be able to park it easily in town spaces and at night?
Will the motorhome be secure in its permanent parking space?
Buying a motorhome will give you the freedom to roam the country at will but it’s only a pleasure if the waste side of things isn’t a problem! Some campsites don’t have dedicated service points so you’ll need to ascertain whether or not emptying the waste outlet will be possible in such a situation. A possible solution would be to fit an extension so again, check to see if this is possible.