24/08/2020
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Where to buy a motorhome

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A motorhome or campervan is firmly on your shopping list, but where do you go to buy your dream model?

Fortunately for the motorhome buyer, there are plenty of options. From attending a motorhome and campervan show, to visiting a dealership, or buying online, there is a range of choice. Let's take a closer look at some of those options...

Go to a motorhome show

If you’re planning to buy a motorhome but are new to the hobby, there’s no substitute for seeing a varied selection at a show.

This means you can compare many models in one place and get a feel for the type of motorhome or campervan you’re after, as well as which layouts will, or will not, suit your needs.

Usually, by this point in the year there would have been a selection of outdoor motorhome and campervan shows at which you could view hundreds of vehicles, but the show season has been delayed because of the lockdown.

The good news is that, as restrictions continue to be eased, motorhome shows will soon be able to start up. As ever, though, check with the organisers before you travel. 

Visit a motorhome dealer

Of course, the timing of these shows may not suit, or there may not be one near to where you live. In which case, it’s a good first step to research what campervan or motorhome dealers are in your area and what they sell – new, used or both.

Once you’ve worked out who is within a sensible striking distance, have a good look at their websites to see if they have vehicles of the size, type and price that fit the bill. There’s no point in travelling to a dealership that specialises in high-end German A-classes if you’re thinking of purchasing a compact campervan.

When considering dealers to visit, also look for specialist motorhome companies with long-term pedigree, as well as specialist workshops for servicing, repairs and accessory fitting.

Approval from the industry’s trade body, the National Caravan Council or membership of the Preferred Dealer Scheme operated by the Camping and Caravanning Club will give you added peace of mind, too.

Many specialist dealers are family-owned and can point to long histories – start with the ‘About Us’ section that websites may have. It’s also a benefit if they can show long-term affiliations with motorhome and campervan manufacturers.

Online and other options

If you’ve built up a fairly clear idea of what you’re after by reading MMM and our sister magazine, What Motorhome, you can save a lot of time and travelling by visiting the ‘Motorhomes For Sale’ section of this website, where you can use the search functions to browse by motorhome make, condition – new or used – and to set a minimum and maximum price.

Many dealers, as well as private sellers, offer their models for sale on the website so you can view multiple dealers’ stock all on one site.

Buying a motorhome at auction is another option, although it may not appeal to everyone. You might find a fixer-upper bargain, or a newer motorhome or campervan that’s been repossessed by a finance company but, remember, that what you see is what you get, which can be a daunting prospect for a newcomer.

You’ll also see campervans and motorhomes advertised privately, but you’ll have to weigh up whether the possibility of a good price is outweighed by the lack of a warranty – and the potential for a scam seller.

Genuine sales do exist, though, and you might get a few extras thrown in – outdoor furniture, gas cylinder, etc – especially if the seller is giving up on motorhoming altogether.

Remember, too, that legislation like the Consumer Rights Act only affects a transaction between an authorised commercial seller (ie, the dealer) and a purchaser, not private sales.

Wherever you buy your first motorhome, remember to check that everything works, that there is no history of accident damage or outstanding finance and that everything works as it should. Most of all, remember that, even if it is really competitively priced, it’s not a bargain if it’s not the right type of motorhome for your needs.

 

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