Purchasing a motorhome or caravan: what does it cost?

Is owning your own motorhome or caravan something for you, do you think? It’s wonderful to have the freedom that having your own camping vehicle gives you. But of course, buying your own vehicle is no small thing. As well as the purchase cost, you’ll also have to deal with some recurring costs. And they also differ between a motorhome and a caravan. This overview will give you an idea of what to expect if you want to buy your own ‘home on wheels’.

Many campers have gone before you. It’s true that owning your own camping vehicle has lots of advantages. And in terms of costs, camping is still one of the least expensive types of holidays. That’s particularly true if you spread the cost over a few years.

Purchase

It won’t surprise you to learn that there is a huge variety of motorhomes and caravans on the market these days. There are plenty of choices for both businesses and for individuals. Your search will need to start with a question: should I buy a new motorhome or caravan, or a good used one? It’s also important to do your research in advance. How much can you afford to spend? How many people do you want to be able to accommodate overnight?

Layout

You should also consider what sort of layout you want inside: there are different options depending on whether you choose a motorhome or a caravan. As well as the layout, you’ll also need to decide if you want an integrated, semi-integrated, alcove or a coach built motorhome.

For every budget

Age, mileage and brand determine price for the most part. Always remember: you can make camping as expensive (or as inexpensive) as you like. There are plenty of options if you don’t have tens of thousands of euros. You can be the proud owner of a beautiful used motorhome for between ten and twelve thousand pounds. The same amount will buy you a relatively new caravan!

A good towing car

Do you want to buy a caravan? Make sure that you include the costs involved for your car which will have to tow the caravan. For instance, do you have a good towing hook, or does that still need to be fitted? And don’t forget the extra exterior mirrors that you’ll need to attach to your car to ensure you can see the road properly.

Maintenance

A motorhome or a caravan will last for years, provided you have it maintained regularly. That also prevents dangerous and unpleasant situations on the road. Even though a caravan or motorhome will accumulate relatively few kilometres over a year, it’s still important to have it maintained regularly to keep it in good condition.

Some parts need to be replaced according to age, rather than according to number of kilometres travelled. Staying in the same place for a long time actually means that some parts need extra attention. That includes the battery and the tyres. And for the future, good maintenance increases the chances that you’ll be able to sell or trade in your camping vehicle later.

  • As a motorhome is essentially a car and caravan in one, it also needs to be maintained more often. That’s because with a motorhome, you also have to maintain the engine. If you’re planning to buy a motorhome, make sure you take into consideration the repairs you can expect to carry out in the long run when you’re calculating the overall price.
  • You’ll need to do an MOT on your motorhome. An MOT is mandatory for motorhomes that are 3 years or older. After your motorhome’s first MOT, you’ll need a new one every 2 years. If your motorhome is more than eight years old, you’ll need to do an MOT every year. The inspection itself may well only cost a few euros, but the repairs you’ll need to do can easily mount up. That’s why it’s really important to check the condition of a new motorhome before you buy it. It’s always a good idea to have a technical inspection carried out too.
  • Depreciation: The value of your motorhome or caravan depreciates every year. As the amount you’ll need to pay out every year depends so much on the brand, type, condition and year of manufacture, it’s a good idea to check the actual amount before purchasing.

Insurance

Once you’re on the road, you want to enjoy your holidays. If something does go wrong, having good insurance is important. The premium you’ll pay depends on several factors, including the year of manufacture, the market value, and the cover you want. But in general, it’s true that the more expensive your camping vehicle is, the more expensive insurance is too. There are plenty of businesses that sell motorhomes and caravans, so comparing the cost of the vehicle you want to purchase between them is a good idea. And do be aware that the costs are continuous, even when your holiday home is parked up.

Taxes

Before you buy, another thing to check is the cost of road tax for the model you’re looking at.

Renting?

Do you want to buy the caravan or motorhome of your dreams, while saving a bit on the cost? One option is to let out your camping vehicle. But do check that your insurance allows this.
What if buying your own camping vehicle isn’t quite in your budget at the moment? Then you might consider renting a caravan or motorhome. In that case, you can have all the enjoyment without any of the costs. Doing that is also a great way to find out which model and layout you really want, if you decide to buy one later on.

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Anouk Hulsman
  • Author: Anouk Hulsman
  • Impressive countryside, beautiful towns and cities, nice beaches or villages rich in history, there is nowhere that Anouk wouldn't consider visiting in her motorhome. As an experienced camper, she is always happy to share her tips for an unforgettable holiday.

    1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Surely MOT is every year after 3 years old

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