Our guide to buying a pre-owned motorhome

blog / advice / vw camper / motorhomes

If you’ve decided to buy a pre-owned motorhome, whether it’s your first or you’re upgrading to a newer model, there are a number of things to consider to ensure you end up with the right vehicle for you!

Buying pre-owned is a great idea as it will be more affordable than buying new and you won’t experience the first-year depreciation. If you go for one that’s only a few years old, you’ll still benefit from that ‘new’ feeling, especially if you go for one that has been well looked after.

Bailey motorhome

Although buying pre-owned will mean you won’t get to order ahead and choose the spec and upholstery etc, you will be able to shop around to find the manufacturer and model to suit your needs and one that you like the look of as well.

The main things to consider when buying a pre-owned motorhome are: what your ideal budget is, what age motorhome you’re aiming for, how many seat belts and berths you require as a minimum, what level of model you’re after, what your must-have facilities are and what the mileage is. 


How much do
pre-owned motorhomes cost?

This depends on so many factors - the motorhome’s age, which manufacturer it’s from, the level of the model, the spec, how well it’s been looked after, the mileage… To give you a rough idea, if you’re buying from a dealership you should expect to pay between £40,000 and £50,000 for a five-year-old, mid-range, 4-berth motorhome. 

Start off by setting a budget for how much you want to spend. This may determine what age motorhome you’ll be able to afford, which manufacturers are open to you and whether you’ll be looking at entry, mid or premium level ranges. 

Ensure your budget is realistic - it’s important to get a motorhome that has all the features you want and need, but also one that you feel is good value for money. It’s not a good idea to spend more than you’re comfortable with, or to be so restrictive that you’re unable to get what you actually want.

Do some research to price up different manufacturers and models and compare the options. Which ones appeal to you and have the features that you need and want? Please get in touch if you’d like our help with this.

At Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes, we stock pre-owned motorhomes from all manufacturers as well as VW Campervans from Camper King to give you the widest choice! We’re always getting new stock in, so if you can’t see what you’re after on our website, please give us a call on 01962 714 844 to discuss your options with us.


Is it wise to buy a pre-owned motorhome?

Buying pre-owned is a great idea as you’ll miss the initial depreciation of buying a brand-new vehicle, yet reap the benefits of owning a modern one, perhaps only a few years old! The key is to be patient and willing to wait for the right one to come along as with pre-owned, you can’t simply order off the shelf!

If your budget is on the lower side, buying pre-owned as opposed to new will enable you to get a much higher spec model. It may also get you a more spacious one which would be beneficial, particularly for families. 

The other advantage of buying pre-owned is that you’ll be able to receive your vehicle almost immediately, rather than having to order and wait a number of months for a new model to be delivered.

Which manufacturer and range?

There are many different manufacturers to choose from so be sure to do your research to discover which one will best suit your needs. Different manufacturers will offer different prices, levels of quality, equipment and features, warranties and dimensions. Your search criteria will preclude some manufacturers and help whittle them down.

Once you’ve decided on a manufacturer, you’ll need to explore the different ranges on offer. A lot of this will be down to price, but there will also be many different options to consider within each individual range; things such as number of berths and seat belts and layout preferences will again help you to make a shortlist.

What size and layout options are there? 

There are three main types of motorhome: A-Class, Coachbuilt and Campervan; they all vary in size and offer something a little different. 

Please note that motorhomes being registered in the UK cannot be more than 12 metres long and 2.55 metres wide, or 2.6m if it has an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) certificate. 

A-Class motorhomes tend to be top-of-the-range, purpose-built motorhomes, with no join between the cab and the habitation. Size-wise, the average length is around 10m, the width 2.5m and the height 4m.

Coachbuilt motorhomes encompass super low profile, low profile and over cab motorhomes. These are referred to as Coachbuilt as the cab and the rear habitation are built separately. The main difference between low profile and over cab models is that over cab motorhomes tend to have a big bed over the cab, offering additional sleeping space, which is ideal for kids. 

Over cabs are often bigger and heavier than 3,500kg, but if you passed your driving test before January 1997 you can drive vehicles up to 7,500kg. If you passed post-1997, find out more about adding categories to your licence

Low profiles have a sleeker design than over cabs, making them more fuel efficient. They’re also lighter, usually under 3,500kg which means they can be driven on a post-1997 licence. Low profiles vary in length and are usually between 5.5m and 8m. Widths also vary from 2.1m to 2.49m, but if you’re planning on countryside travels, try to go for one on the slimmer side.

Campervans come in two sizes, the large size, which offer a washroom and more living space, and the more modest VW Camper, which is much more compact and offers beds and a kitchenette.

As for motorhome layout (campervans excluded), the main things to decide are whether you’d prefer a mid or rear washroom and what type of beds you’d like - French, island, twin or bunks? Some motorhomes come with ‘garage’ storage at the rear and others do not, so have a think about this too.

What different specs are there?

When it comes to spec, there's so much to consider! Every motorhome model will offer different styles, upholstery, features, kitchen facilities, storage - the list goes on! Make a list of your must-have features and facilities and try to be flexible about the rest to ensure you don’t write off a perfectly good motorhome because it doesn’t look exactly as you’d imagined! Your budget will also have an impact on the level of spec you can get so you’ll need to be realistic and focus on getting the best that your budget will allow.

Should I read reviews?

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few models, read lots of reviews of each. This will give you an insider's view of the pros and cons of each model from people who actually own and holiday in them. It may even highlight limitations of a model that could rule it out for you. Hopefully doing your research will mean that you avoid any post-purchase disappointment.

Where’s best to buy a pre-owned motorhome?

  • From a reputable dealer! Choose a dealer based on recommendation and reputation - it will put you at ease about purchasing from that dealership if someone else has had a positive experience with them.

  • You should receive excellent customer care and professional service. Everything will be taken care of for you.

  • You will receive a warranty with your motorhome purchase that will give you peace of mind.

  • Did you know? Winchester Caravan and Motorhomes has 4.5/5 on Google reviews and were awarded the Gold Award at the 2021 Owner Satisfaction Awards with an impressive score of 87.2%.

Why not pop in and see us for a cuppa and a closer look? Our friendly and knowledgeable team are ready and waiting to advise you on all aspects of motorhoming! Browse our pre-owned motorhomes online and get in touch if you need any more info!


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