Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the subject of motorhomes.
If I buy one second hand from a private owner, are there risks involved?
Just like buying a second-hand car, the seller’s responsibilities after sale are limited or arguably zero. By contrast, a dealership will have legal responsibilities that are more demanding and some of those will continue after the sale – particularly if they offer warranties etc.
Of course, you might sometimes find slightly lower prices from a private seller. It’s a question of weighing up all the risks against that.
Do I need a special licence?
In many cases – no. This may depend though upon the weight of the motorhome you select, when you passed your test and your age.
Anyone can drive vehicles under 3,500kilos. Over 3,500kilos and you will need to have passed your test before 1st January 1997. Note that if you’re over 70, you will need a medical examination if the vehicle weighs over 3,500k.
Can I import a supersize motorhome from the USA?
This one is commonly heard in motorhomes faqs, presumably inspired by those US TV shows and films!
The short answer is “yes” though it’s typically a very expensive business.
More seriously, US motorhomes will need an “EU certificate of conformity” in many cases and some may not be road-legal in the UK.
Do motorhomes need an MOT?
Yes, once they’re over 3 years old and that test, just like for cars, will need to be annual.
There’s nothing special about it apart from the fact that some MOT testing stations might not be big enough to accommodate larger motorhomes.
Can I take my motorhome abroad?
Yes – it’s one of the big attractions of this type of leisure holiday because the world becomes your oyster. In fact, many EU countries have arguably more and better facilities for casual motorhome parking than you might typically find in the UK.
Make sure your vehicle is fully legal on the road and that your motorhome insurance is up to date and valid for EU cover.
I have heard that parking at home can cause disputes?
This is often very significantly over-stated and typically problems here are rare.
There are five issues you need to think about in advance:
- your local council might ban on-street parking for safety or environmental impact (e.g. in conservation areas);
- the same might apply in rarer cases for on-driveway parking. This is usually again related to local area appearance concerns;
- it’s possible your deeds or lease might prohibit the parking of motorhomes or caravans on driveways. The question here often is – who would know or care?
- in some situations, parking your motorhome on your property might be an issue with neighbours if their view or light is suddenly restricted. People can become easily upset about these things;
- your motorhome insurance might have restrictions on where you can park at home. On-street is frequently excluded and some might also require garage parking when not in use (whether at your home or an approved site).
Typically, this is not a common area for concern though, providing a little common sense is used in advance.
Do motorhomes hold their value?
This is another regular in the motorhomes faqs inbox!
Broadly speaking, motorhomes don’t appreciate in value so they should not be considered to be a financial investment. There might be some rare exceptions, such as if you’ve significantly enhanced them but generally they depreciate.
That means they’ll typically be worth less when they’re 7 years old than they were when brand new.
However, typically they depreciate far more slowly than the typical car. In that sense, they hold their value well.