What are the UK costs for owning a motorhome.

Nov 26, 2011
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We are looking to buy a motorhome early next year but we are trying to decide the best options considering our own predicament.
We live in France and ideally it would be better to have a LHD van whilst travelling through some of Europe.We may only stay here a few more years and return to UK after that and so a RHD (from UK) would come in handy for when we return and is therefore an option.
The problems are that most of the used vans here are fixed-bed (and I consider this a waste of space) and short on cooking facilities . Another major factor being the vans here are more expensive although the exchange-rate is helping in more recent months.We are also looking at the annual general costs and this may help us decide on the LHD/RHD options.
If we buy in UK we have to pay Annual Road Tax (none in France) and have an Annual MOT (every two years in France on cars but not sure about campervans).and I presume annual certification for gas, electric etc? Insurances are probably similar but there may be a restriction on how long a UK insured van can be on the continent annually; again I'm not sure.
If we have to take the UK van back to UK each year there are ferry costs as well as the UK tax, MOT etc and therefore this makes it more expensive than the French equivalent.
What I would like members to help me with is:
1 How much is the road tax?
2 How much is the MOT and Gas/Elec certification?
3 Are there any other annual costs/considerations other than normal running, repair and service costs?
We would be looking for a 4 berth van, for the additional space, but threre are only 2 of us (and the dog of course).
Your help and advice would be gratefully received.
Thank you and regards
 
Nov 26, 2011
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Maybe my post was too wordy and long or maybe you are all out touring various countries whilst the weather is good, but I thought there would have been one reply to the above post by now ( 3 weeks).

Any help or advice would be appreciated as these are some important issues to us prior to purchasing.

Thanks one-and-all!
ronali
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Thanks for the "prod!" For my part, I saw your post when I got back from holiday but yes, it WAS a bit long. I put it aside thinking "I must respond to that when I have time ...!"
Your specific questions:
1. Road tax varies to some extent, as with cars. But as far as I know mine is typical, at £220pa.
2. MOT is "privatised" these days, with no Govt-fixed fee, so it depends on the garage you go to. But it's not significant alongside the other anual costs. Gas & electricity "certification" isn't a legal requirement, but of course it's a good idea to have the whole "habitation" side checked over regularly by someone who know what thye're doing. Once a year is usually advised, although I confess I don't follow that scrupulously myself!
3. The biggest cost is depreciation, but that does tend to be slower on motorhomes than on cars. Mileage will be a factor in that of course.
Another question is whether to run a car (which depreciates faster) as well. If your motorhome is fairly compact, and you don't need two vehicles at the same time, there's a good "depreciation" argument for using the van as your sole vehicle (as we do), although of course that will add to its mileage. Swings and roundabouts - you need to do your own sums on that one!
Remember that either in France or UK, you need a "proper" address in the country where your van will be registered. In practice it's usually insurers, rather than statutory bodies like DVLA, which are more interested in how "genunine" your address is, and how many days a year you spend in the "wrong" country, but if a UK-registered van was in France nearly all the time questions would be asked in the end!
Looking back over what I've written here, maybe another reason I (and others?) have held off form replying is that none of your questions have simple, definitive answers!
But whatever you decide, all the best with your new passion!
 
Nov 26, 2011
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Thank you Tony. That was a very good and informative response and I appreciate it.
I understand the legalities as far as registering a vehicle in the cvountry of residence but it was compromised a little by the fact that we are now looking to maybe come 'home' (back to UK) in couple or more years and, if we buy a van in UK now (cheaper) then it would also be useful when we get back too, whereas if we bought in France (much more expensive and not so much choice of internal layout) we would need to sell here and re-buy in UK then; probably losing money in the process!
Anyway, I appreciate your help and thanks again.
Regards and best wishes
ronali
 
Jan 23, 2011
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Hi ronali
Continental Vans (LHD) are generally much cheaper than UK (RHD) models. They have a lot bigger market & benefit from larger scale of production. Although they also generally have no Oven in the spec.
 
Apr 11, 2013
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Not having sufficient insurance is something that can occur with any of
your possessions. When it comes to your motorhome, though, this is one
area that can't be left to chance. This article outlines the Nine
Golden Rules of Motorhome Insurance. Follow these to bring you
peace-of-mind.

More Info CCI
 

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