Guide to buying a used motorhome

Earlier this week we published an article on the essential toolkit for first time caravanners. Now we’re turning our attention to those of you looking at purchasing a previously owned motorhome.

The price you pay for a used motorhome will depend on a number of variants including its mileage, state of repair and any equipment or accessories being offered as part of the package.

Before you go to any dealerships or look at motorhomes being sold privately, it’s important to establish the type of leisure vehicle you want. You may be interested in a compact campervan, or you might prefer something larger.

There’s a wealth of information available online about the different types of motorhome available on the market. MMM magazine has a road test section on its website, as does Which Motorcaravan, and these are useful research tools to see how the models you are looking at have performed.

Another useful online tool is the forum – there are lots of motorhome enthusiasts out there who will be more than happy to offer advice and share their experiences.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a particular model, find 5-10 of those particular motorhomes for sale so you can compare the difference in price. It’s worth checking the descriptions carefully for the reasons behind their pricing structure; some might have a different interior layout or come with extra features.

Drop into your local dealership or make appointments to view three or four of your favourites from the selection you’ve seen. Among the important checks to make when viewing a motorhome are the comfort of the seats (you could be sitting down for a long time!), the number of seat belts and their condition, ventilation, headroom, access to the overcab if applicable and washroom facilities.

If you are buying privately, don’t be afraid to probe the seller about any issues to do with the standard of the vehicle – write down any faults they raise and get them to sign the piece of paper. Beware any sellers who want to meet you at a storage area or public venue such as a car park; they may not want you to visit their house for a reason.


Before you agree a deal, ask to see all the motorhome’s registration documents and proof of ownership to make sure everything is above board. You can check the history of the vehicle through the AA or RAC website.


Don’t buy anything without test driving it first – this will show up any mechanical problems and also give you a feel for the handling of the motorhome.
You might prefer to buy your motorhome through a dealership, which generally means a higher cost but more peace of mind. One of the benefits of using a dealer is that there are normally several motorhomes on site for you to test drive, which is particularly useful if you’re having trouble deciding which model to buy.

Many dealers will arrange a handover after you’ve purchased the motorhome to make sure you’re aware of all the features, how all the mechanical elements work and feel comfortable driving it on the public roads.

Coast is an expert in the field of motorhome insurance. To find out whether you could save money if you buy motorhome insurance with Coast call Freephone 0800 614 849.