Guide to buying a campervan or motorhome: 25 Tips

tips for choosing a campervan or motorhome

Motorhomes and camper vans have increased in price due to their popularity since Covid. Many people have taken the opportunity to convert or buy a motorhome and enjoy exploring the countryside.

So many options are available, which can be confusing and overwhelming. Often not realising the hidden costs as well as the basic essentials. What do you need to consider when buying a motorhome or campervan?

Before buying

  • Decide on a budget – Stick to a budget you can afford. It is not just the initial purchasing costs you need to consider
  • Style – 5 styles: coach, campervan conversion, micro camper, low profile, and A Class motorhome. Each has there own specifications and is suitable for different types of travelling.
  • Basic facilities – The more facilities you have will increase costs, consider the main essentials – number of beds, cooking facilities, alarm system, ventilation.
  • Extra comforts – Add extra comforts and safety equipment, but ensure they comply with safety regulations and do not take your vehicle’s weight over the limit.
  • Insurance – Comprehensive insurance provides you and any third parties with full coverage for accidents and theft. Price varies depending on campervan or motorhome from £758 to standard 2 birth ford transit to £2058.
  • GAP Insurance – One-off fee to pay any shortfall of insurance settlement and finance in case of a write-off or theft.
  • Driver – Check driving licence categories as these affect the weight of a vehicle you can legally drive. Average 3,500kg to 7,500kg depending if you passed your test prior to 13 January 2013.
  • Fuel efficiency – Will not always be as specification, as it depends on the style of driving, terrain and upkeep of the vehicle.
  • Campervan or motorhome MOT – Year inspection Class 4 up to 3,500kg or Class 7 for above weight.
  • Second-hand or new – New vehicles have a 1-3 years warranty cover, and there will be minor bedding issues. Older vehicles will be out of the snagging period. However, depending on age have its own associated mechanical issues depending on how it has been maintained.
  • Research style and size – Visit campervan shows and dealers with all of your family. Make sure you all can fit comfortably inside.
  • Road tax – Always check with deals, as the cost depends on CO2 emission, weight, and engine size. In some cases, there is an additional charge of £390 per year.
  • Frequency of usage – Average family will use a campervan 30-60 days a year
  • Towing another vehicle – Save money, add convenience and take your everyday car on your trips
  • Bike rack – Ideal if you are restricted on space inside.
  • Storing your campervan – Check the deeds of your home to see if you can park on your driveway. The average cost to store in a secure facility is 0.93 – £1 per day.
  • Safety Check – When you get the campervan, ask your local garage to complete a safety check. The average cost is £120.
  • Returning your campervan – Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 to return within 14 days. However, if on finance, it will be dependent on your agreement.
  • Reliability – Check the full maintenance history and buy a reputable brand from a well-known dealership.
  • Breakdown cover – Avoid being stranded and hefty bills to get back home.
  • Historical History – Check to see if there is a finance balance outstanding, stolen, written off

What is the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?

Motorhomes and camper vans are vehicles that can be used for recreational purposes. They are designed to give you the freedom to travel, providing you with a home on wheels. Depending on the style and budget will determine the features, including berths, cooking facilities, toilets, and showers.

  • Motorhome – Larger, more luxurious motorhomes, with more facilities including up to 6-berth, shower, toilet and more storage area. They are not as compact as campervans and can be heavy to drive. Important to check your driving licence as the weight of the vehicle will determine if you can legally drive.
  • Campervan – Smaller than a motorhome, with a standard living area and basic facilities. Awnings can be added to provide additional shelter. Typically long or short-wheel-based vehicles. They are easier to drive and compact. More popular if limited budget and flexibility, ideal for couples or single people.

1 – Set a budget and stick to it

Setting and sticking to a budget is very important when buying a campervan or motorhome. It is not just the initial purchasing price that you need to consider. You also need to consider hidden costs, such as storage when not in use, road tax, insurance, maintenance and running costs.

Identifying your budget in advance will limit your choice. However, it will provide you with an honest view of what you can buy within your means without getting into debt.

2 – What are the different styles of motor homes?

There are 5 different styles of motorhomes available.

  • A class motorhome – One of the most popular motorhomes, which is represented in the price. These have full comfort, including kitchen, toilet, and shower facilities. They are more luxurious motorhomes and ideal for long-term travel. However, they are large, and if they are over 7.5 tonnes, you will need to check your driving licence to see if you are able to drive it. It also depends on when you obtained your driving license; after Jan 1997, you are restricted to 3.5 tonnes.
  • Coach-built – Coach-built motorhomes are similar to low-profile motorhomes or campervans. They have the same facilities, such as a separate sleeping area, shower, toilet, kitchen area, table and seating area. However, they have additional sleeping areas or often a dome over the driving section of the vehicle. It is not as aerodynamic as a low-profile campervan. They have the same chassis as a commercial van but often with a higher roof space. These campervans provide comfortable and functional living spaces with a sleek and modern design.
  • Camper van conversion – A conventional van that has been converted professionally by an individual to accommodate sleeping and cooking facilities. Pre-converted campervans are available. Although buying a van and converting yourself is cheaper, saving money on labour costs. It will be a steep learning curve, and depending on your skills, you may need to have some of the work, such as electrics, completed by a professional. Converting your own van allows you flexibility for the inside layout, so it meets all of your needs.
  • Micro camper – Ideal for one person or max two that can convert into an everyday vehicle. The back seats fold down into a bed for two people. During the day, the rear seats can be used for everyday travel. Another option is to organise the back seats to create a U-shaped bench with a removable table in the middle. There is limited storage; you can store cooking equipment and minimal luggage underneath the sleeping area. Very compact and not possible to stand up inside. A Citroen Berlingo is a well-known model.
  • Low-profile campervan or coach-built motorhome – Similar to the coach-built motorhome, they are low to the ground and have an aerodynamic design to reduce wind resistance and good fuel efficiency. Visually they have a sleek, streamlined look with a slanted bonnet. Sectioned off bedroom, kitchen and a shower, toilet area. Also, with a set seating and table area. Ideal for families and often have the facilities to increase the sleeping area with fold-down beds.

3 – What are the main requirements of a campervan?

The requirements of a campervan or motorhome are dependent on your needs. Campervans have a variety of facilities. However, it does depend on the design, size and cost. Consider the listing below and place them in order of importance.

  • Number of berths – Can range from 2-berth, 4-berth, 6-berth or 8-berth.
  • Passengers – The number of passengers it can legally carry with secure seating and seat belts.
  • Storage area – You want to be able to store your personal items out of view, plus any cooking equipment, without having to move or step over all of the time
  • Kitchenette area – Not all will have cooking or an area to clean dirty dishes. A small kitchenette is ideal if you intend to use it all weather. Or do not have an awning to cook underneath. If you are using a campsite, these facilities will be available for cleaning cutlery, dining, and cooking gear.
  • Toilet and shower – Not all campervans will have built-in toilet or shower facilities. Although it is nice not to have to leave your camper at night. These will increase the costs as you will need a waste tank installed, and it will need to be emptied on a regular basis. You can keep a portable toilet like a Castaway 20L from Amazon, which has a flush and level indicator. It can also be easily dismantled for emptying on a campsite in the chemical waste. With this toilet, there is no spillage rather than using a cheaper toilet, such as a 5L lightweight toilet. These remind me of a bucket with a lid that can easily tip over.
  • Headroom – This is very important, especially if you have a bad back like me. Although it does help that I am short, so I do find it easier than most people to stand up inside a Base Vehicle, Ford Transit. If you do decide on a low-ceiling campervan, invest in a good awning. If the weather is bad, you don’t want to be stuck inside a motorhome with restricted height. At least with an awning, you can stand up correctly under shelter.
  • Ventilation system – Ventilation is very important. Otherwise, you will have major issues with condensation. Especially if you are cooking inside and when sleeping. Not only will a ventilation system stop condensation, but it will also help to remove odours and help to regulate inside temperatures.
  • Dining area – Some campervans have a secured table and chairs. The driver or passenger seats can be rotated to increase eating space. Or, for smaller campervans, the table can be removed at night to make the bed. The benches convert into beds as well as seats during the day so you can eat at the table.
  • Leisure battery – Also known as an auxiliary battery, where you run electrical devices and charge mobiles whilst you are pitched. They are a reliable source of power, or you can connect to an external power source on a campsite via an EHU. The leisure battery is kept charged by connecting the vehicle charging system so it charges when the vehicle is running. Or can be connected to solar panels.
  • Alarm system – Campervans or motorhomes will all have a factory-fitted alarm system. Not only will it help to keep insurance costs down, but it will also help to increase your safety at night. Similar to everyday vehicles, you can set the alarm with you inside. Plus, depending on where you keep your motorhome when you are not using it, this will help to deter any potential theft.
  • Front and rear sensors – Campervans can be tricky to park, often with obscure visuals. Parking sensors will help with manoeuvrability so you can park safely and avoid damaging your vehicle or any others. They also help you park in tight areas, especially when shopping during your holiday, as parking bays seem to get smaller and smaller. I found it hard to get used to parking my campervan, and having that additional reassurance does help increase your confidence.

4 – What can you add to your motorhome?

You can add many things to a motorhome or camper van over time. This will help to keep initial costs down when buying. Plus, you can purchase on the basis of need. You will be surprised how your needs will change as you start your campervan holidays. However, remember to monitor your vehicle’s weight limit.

  • Solar Panels – Installing solar panels on the roof will give you electricity and more freedom. Plus, installing solar panels will help keep camping costs down if you enjoy pitching up your campervan on a campsite.
  • Additional storage – Add additional overhead storage, under-bed storage,, cargo nets and a bike rack.
  • Upgrade kitchen equipment – Increase kitchen efficiency by upgrading refrigerator, cooker including hob and adding a microwave.
  • Entertainment systems – Add TV and an entertainment system to enjoy the evening while relaxing or during bad weather.
  • Awning or canopy – Additional shelter or living space, giving you extra room and shelter from the sun whilst outside.
  • Heating and air conditioning – Keep nice a warm during the colder months, or cool yourself during peak season.
  • LED lighting – Increase LED lighting to let you dim in the evening or create a calming cosy environment.
  • Front and rear cameras – Extra security at night so you can see what’s happening outside when you are safely locked inside. Also ideal for reversing into tight spots.
  • Safety features – Add carbon monoxide monitors and fire extinguishers, and blankets.
  • Pet or children gates – Bespoke gates that can keep your dogs inside or your kids safe, allowing you to open your campervan doors.

5 – How much will it cost to insure my campervan?

Insurance is available under 3 different categories. Third-party is the cheapest option; however, if you are involved in an accident, your motorhome or campervan will not be covered.

  • Third Party – This is the cheapest type of cover you can get, but it will not cover your vehicle if you are involved in an accident and it is your fault. It will only cover the other person’s vehicle and personal injury.
  • Third Pary Fire and Theft – Your van will be covered if stolen or damaged in a fire, and additional cover for other third parties.
  • Comprehensive – Most expensive insurance. The third-party is covered. Your camper van and motorhome will also be covered if it is your fault.

Cost of yearly insurance or monthly payments

The insurance figures below are based on me, with 26 years of driving experience with 10 years plus no claims. Europen and legal cover, loss of usage. Total yearly mileage 10,000. Prices will vary per provider and if there are any modifications to the vehicle.

Fiat 2 – berth Automatic Wariwch Duo – Purchase value £68,995

  • Excess £750 – £961 – £1410 – Paid in full
  • Excess £200 £2058 – Paid In full
  • Average monthly cost £106 – 117

VW Transporter T28 Startline – 4 Berth – £53.995

  • Excess £600 – £758 – £843 – Paid in full
  • Excess £200- £300 – £906 – £1,799- Paid in full
  • Average monthly cost – £84 -£166

Base Vehicle Ford Transit – 2 berth – £49,450

  • Excess £400 – £475 – £647- Paid in full
  • Average monthly cost – £40 – 66

You can reduce your insurance by storing your vehicle in a secure area, such as a compound and upgrading the alarm system. If you are storing it at home, behind locked gates with CCTV on the vehicle, this will also help to reduce costs.

6 – Should you have GAP insurance?

GAP is an additional insurance cover that is advisable if you have finance on your vehicle. The insurance will pay the difference between the main insurers’ settlement figure and the finance balance. This will offer you peace of mind, as nobody wants to be left with a financial commitment and no vehicle. However, be aware that this cover will only last up to 4 years. – ALA Insurance offers GAP insurance plus motorhome or other vehicle insurance.

7 – Who will drive the campervan?

There are restrictions on UK driving licences which will affect the weight of a vehicle you can drive. This is known as MAM Maximum Authorised Mass. MAM is a combined weight including the vehicle, passengers, luggage, and any trailers you can tow.

If you passed your test prior to 19th January 2013, the weight limit is up to 7,500kg. However, if you passed your test after the 19th January 2013, you are only eligible to drive up to 3,500kg. It is important to check your category listing on your driving licence. You can check online via the Gov.UK website, which will provide you with the categories and the date you passed your test.

8 – Fuel efficiency

The ideal fuel efficiency of a camper van is, on average, 15-25 miles per gallon or 6.4 – 10.7 kilometres per litre. However, although a vehicle specification may specify these ranges, it depends on various factors.

  • Correct tyre pressure – always check your tyre pressure, as underinflation will increase fuel usage.
  • Wind resistance – this will be affected if you have a roof rack or tow a small car or trailer.
  • Service and maintenance – If the vehicle is properly maintained.
  • What the terrain is like – if you off-roading or driving in areas that have poor roads or steep hills, this will affect the fuel consumption
  • Weight of vehicle – how full it is with luggage or accessories.
  • Planning ahead to avoid traffic jams – try to keep to long straight roads and not in built-up areas.
  • Style of driving – drive steadily and consistently. Don’t drive like your everyday vehicle.

9 – Use as an everyday vehicle

Smaller campervans, like micro campers or van conversions, can be used as everyday vehicles. Although the larger campervans will not be economically viable due to fuel efficiency. Plus, there may be restrictions on the number of passengers you can legally carry due to secure seating areas with seat belts.

Micro campers can be used as everyday vehicles as the bedding area can be converted into passenger seating. Which will allow you to legally carry passengers.

Consider where you can park your vehicle for everyday usage, such as work or shopping areas. The larger the vehicle will require larger parking spaces.

10 – Maintenance and MOT of your motorhome

The type of MOT you will need depends on the weight of the vehicle. If the campervan or motorhome is under 3,500kg, a standard Class 4 MOT is suitable. However, if the vehicle weighs over 7,500kg, it is known as an annual test. If the vehicle is

  • Class 4 MOT – vehicles up to 3,500kg
  • Class 7 MOT – vehicles between 3,500kg plus

Service costs will vary depending if you have to keep with the main dealership or you can use a local garage. Often new vehicles need to be serviced by the main dealer to avoid invalidating a warranty. Check prices first, and they can start at £300 plus.

11 – New or second-hand motorhome or camper van?

Due to the increase in demand, motorhomes have not dropped massively in price. However, driving a new vehicle off the forecourt can lose approximately 15%-25% of its value. Depending on how old it is, a second-hand motorhome will have most of the issues fixed. However, there will be additional issues due to age. Purchasing from a reliable motorhome dealer is advisable rather than privately. This will offer you additional protection if there are any faults found.

There will be issues when buying a new vehicle, whether a mini camper, touring camper or motorhome. A new vehicle will have a warranty. On average, 1 to 3 years. This does depend on the manufacturer. However, you can reduce the stress and buy a second-hand which should remove any of the following problems with a vehicle.

  • Electrical problems – Faulty wiring, blown fuses
  • Leaks – Roof, windows and doors.
  • Faulty appliances – Cookers, fridge, microwave
  • Plumbing issues – Leaks, clogs, issues with water pump or water heater
  • Mechanical issues – Transmission, brakes, suspension and other mechanical problems.
  • Awnings – Leakage or not fitted correctly.
  • Interior issues– faulty lighting, floor, upholstery

Recently I visited a motorhome show. A 21 Reg vehicle, 30,000 miles on the clock, was only £8,000 less than the new purchase price. This surprised me as the campervan had some damage to the interior. However, this does not deter me from buying another second-hand vehicle in the future. I don’t want any of the issues, especially if I am away and faults start to occur.

12 – Research the type of vehicle that you want

Always research the campervan you want, as you will be surprised how often you will change your mind. I always thought that a VW Transport campervan would be suitable. After visiting motorhome shows and dealers, I realised that it was too small.

If you buy for yourself and your family, take your whole family when researching. Sit inside, and move about to see how much space you have. Sit around the table, lay on the beds, and stand in the kitchen area. Imagine yourself living in the campervan for approximately a week. If the weather is bad outside, can you all spend an evening comfortably without climbing over each other?

This was the deciding factor that changed my mind about the type of campervan I wanted.

13 – Road tax costs vary depending on when registered

Before 1st March 2001, road tax cost is based on the vehicle’s engine size and weight. After 1st March 2001, the road tax is based on CO2 emissions, fuel type and weight. The lower the CO2 emissions, the lower the road tax. The vehicle is rated from when it was first registered. They are also classed under M1SP (Special purpose vehicle).

If it has a list of over £40,000, there is an additional payment of £390 per year from the 2nd year of ownership up to 5 years.

Check with the dealer before buying to confirm road tax costs, as they vary depending on the year of registration, as you do not want to be paying an additional £390 per year.

Road tax rates if registered before 1 March 2001

Weight of VehicleEngine Size12 Month instalment DDR12 Month installment DDR
Under 3,500kg (TC11)not over 1549£200£210
Under 3,500kg (TC11)over 1549£325£341.25
over 3,500kg (TC10)£165£173.25
Road tax for motorhomes registered before 1 March 2001

Road tax rates if registered before 1 April 17 – 11 March 2020 – RDE2 compliant

The average emissions of a motorhome or campervan is 61kg. If it is classed under the two different categories M1SP and has a certificate of conformity, the average cost will be for the first registration.

CO2 emissionsDiesel (TC49)/ Petrol (TC48) RDE2Diesel (TC49)Alternative fuel
1 – 50 g/km£10£30£0
51 – 75g/km£30£130£20
76 – 90g/km£130£165£120
91 – 100g/km£165£185£155
101 – 110g/km£185£210£175
Road tax rates if registered before 1 April 17 – 11 March 2020

    14 – Don’t leave yourself stranded

    A breakdown cover is important as you do not want to find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere and have a hefty bill to get your campervan or motorhome to a garage. Be aware that some insurances offer a free breakdown cover. They will only cover you from approximately 10 miles from your home. Always check, and don’t get caught out like I have in the past.

    Cover can start from £79 for the basic cover. Even if you have a new campervan, always ensure that you are fully covered if you break down.

    Why should you make sure you are covered?

    • Expertise and Experience – The breakdown specifically covers experts in motorhomes and campervans. Their technicians are knowledgeable about common issues and can provide specialized assistance, increasing the chances of a quick resolution.
    • European cover – Some breakdown cover policies offer European coverage if you plan to travel abroad with your motorhome or campervan. Ensuring that you have assistance and support even when away from home.
    • Continue your travels – If your motorhome or campervan cannot be repaired on the spot, breakdown cover often includes provisions for alternative transportation or accommodation arrangements.
    • Cost Savings – Breakdowns can be costly, especially if repairs are needed or if you require emergency services. Avoid big tow bills.
    • Peace of mind – Breakdowns can happen unexpectedly, and being stranded on the side of the road can be stressful and inconvenient. Having a breakdown cover provides peace of mind knowing that help is just a phone call away.

    If your campervan or motorhome does break down, there are several items of safety gear you should always have stored. You need to be prepared in advance, even if you have roadside assistance. For instance, having warning triangles, a hi-vis jacket, waterproof clothing and good light for nighttime. Also another essential is having a fully charged mobile device. Portable power banks will help to keep you keep in touch with recovery services and your family at home. Avoiding any worries. Find out about more items that will help keep you all safe in the event of a breakdown.

    15 – Usage frequency: Your estimate?

    How often a family uses a motorhome or campervan depends on different factors. On average, it is 30 – 60 days per year. This includes long days, holidays, and weekends. It’s best to assess your needs and preferences to determine how frequently you and your family will likely use a motorhome or campervan throughout the year.

    • Holidays – The number of holidays allowed can impact the frequency of motorhome or campervan usage. Also, with children in school, this does affect weekend travels, and you can only have longer holidays out of term time. Having a campervan does make it easier for weekend getaways. However, this does affect how tired your kids are when they return to school. My son will be starting his studying for exams next year, which will have a larger impact on how often we can take trips away.
    • Budget – The cost of owning, maintaining, and operating a motorhome or campervan can vary. If you have a larger budget, you may be able to afford more frequent trips, including longer holidays and frequent weekend getaways. My limited budget limits our usage to a few select trips per year and for more cost-effective options like shorter trips closer to home.
    • Travel interest – A campervan is ideal for outdoor activities and remote locations, giving you more freedom. You are not worried about having an EHU connection, shower, or toilet facilities on a campsite.

    If you are not sure if a campervan is suitable or why a campervan is a perfect solution to your holidays, we can help. We have highlighted the good and bad parts of tent camping and campervans. See what ticks the box for you; hopefully, it will help you decide.

    16 – How reliable is the brand?

    Speak to other campervan or motorhome owners and use their knowledge as to the most reliable vehicle. If a make or model has a bad reputation, steer clear. Reliability is the most important factor, as you don’t want to find yourself with continuous financial outlay.

    Consider the engine performance and maintenance history. If there is no maintenance history, do not buy. Also, if there have been lots of modifications by a non-professional. If you are buying from a dealer, research the dealership before buying.

    17 – Why add a tow bar to your motorhome/campervan

    A tow bar is a valuable accessory for motorhome owners who want to tow a spare small vehicle behind their motorhome. The benefits of having a tow bar extend convenience and flexibility. Here are some advantages to consider:

    • Increased Mobility: With a tow bar, you can bring your car along on your travels. This offers the flexibility to explore nearby attractions or run errands without having to detach your motorhome from its camping spot. It saves time, eliminates the need for additional transportation arrangements, and enhances mobility at the destination.
    • Cost Savings: Rather than renting a separate vehicle or relying on public transportation, having a tow bar allows you to use your car for shopping or sightseeing. It is a great way to save money, especially during long trips or extended stays.
    • Eliminates the hassle of parking: Removes the hassle of finding parking spaces for the motorhome or campervan in crowded areas and provides a more convenient means of transportation.

    When choosing a tow bar, it’s crucial to consider the weight capacity, compatibility with the motorhome, and safety features. Following proper installation procedures and adhering to local towing regulations ensures a secure and enjoyable towing experience. With a tow bar, you can fully embrace the freedom and possibilities of their adventures while towing a space vehicle behind their motorhome.

    18 – Modifications: What you need to be aware of

    AI is important to be aware of modifications when buying a campervan or motorhome as it will have an effect warranty, insurance and legal requirement os of the vehicle.

    • Insurance – When applying for insurance, you will be asked if the vehicle has been modified. It will either increase or decrease the value of your vehicle resulting in a difference in premium charge. If it is not declared, you risk invalidating your policy in case of an accident or theft.
    • Warranty – The warranty supplied with your vehicle can become invalid due to modifications. If the motorhome is under warranty, check the terms to confirm if it is still covered.
    • Regulations compliance – Modification can make your vehicle unsafe. Check all modification has been completed correctly and comply with all safety and legal regulations.

    19 – Enhancing mobility: Adding a bike rack to your campervan or motorhome

    When it comes to campervans or motorhomes, space inside can sometimes be limited. However, if you’re an avid cyclist and want to bring your bikes along on your adventures, adding a bike rack to the back of your campervan is an ideal solution. The great thing about bike racks is that they are removable, so you don’t have to keep them permanently on your campervan. This gives you the flexibility to use them only when needed.

    For added convenience and space-saving, consider opting for a foldable bike rack. These racks fold onto themselves when attached to the campervan and can be folded and stored away when unused. This feature allows you to maximize space inside your campervan when you’re not actively using the bikes.

    Remember to choose a bike rack that is compatible with your campervan’s specifications and weight capacity. Additionally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and secure attachment to ensure the safety of your bikes and the campervan while on the road.

    If you love exploring with your bike in the countryside, through the forest, it is important to understand how this can affect the natural wildlife. Wildlife has to have the minimal contact as possible. Allowing them to carry on without being aware you are there. Especially during the breeding season. Want to find out more? Read our article on how to help the wildlife, try to be as invisible as possible, and keep yourself and your family safe.

    20 – Storing your campervan when not in use

    Your campervan will not always be in use unless you have decided to travel full-time. It is important to consider where you will store it when it is not in use. Especially if you have opted for a larger campervan. If it is not possible to store it on your driveway, there are facilities available where you can leave your camper van for short or long periods of time that have full security features.

    Check the deeds on your home, as some will not allow a campervan to be parked on a driveway. Even though you own the property. If you have to store on the road, this may not be possible due to blocking other residents, emergency service and safety.

    I can store a small campervan on my drive, but I am unable to store a larger campervan due to deed restrictions. I cannot park on the roadway due to the location of my house. So before buying, I had to think seriously about the additional costs of storing my campervan off my property.

    To store your campervan in a secure locked area away from your home can cost, on average 93p – £1 per day. Prices will vary depending on your location.

    Another consideration should be security. If you live in a high-risk area, there is a potential for your campervan to be stolen or broken into.

    21 – Ask your local garage to complete a safety check

    If you are not mechanically inclined like me and want additional assurance that you have purchased a safe campervan or intend to buy one, ask your local garage if they will check the vehicle for you.

    Depending on the garage, they may visit and view the vehicle before you buy. Otherwise, arrange to have a full safety check once you have purchased it. My local garage charges, on average, £120 for this service, which is a good investment compared to the price of a campervan. This will give you peace of mind that there will not be any unexpected big bills in a short time.

    22 – Can you return a campervan to a dealer within 14 days

    When buying a campervan, depending on where you buy it, always check if you can return it if you have any issues. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, you have 14 days to return a campervan in the UK. However, you need to be aware that if you have financed the vehicle and not purchased it outright, this is a separate agreement and may not apply.

    It is important to check the cancellation policy if you are financing the purchase of the vehicle, as not all agreements have this facility. This will not apply if you have purchased from a non-dealer, known as a private sale. You would need to contact the seller privately and arrange to return for a full refund.

    If you return a vehicle, It does have to be in the same condition as when you purchased it. Buying a vehicle, using it for your holidays, and returning it is not impossible.

    23 – Can you rent out your campervan or motorhome when not in use

    If you do not use your motorhome for long periods, you can rent it out privately. Combining your usage and renting can help to pay for the campervan financially, either any HP monthly payments, insurance and general maintenance.

    It is important to understand that you may have to pay an extra insurance premium. Some rental campervan websites will provide this service. Be prepared for damage, and the mileage will increase considerably. Not everybody will care for your motorhome as you will. So you will have to either fully clean after each hire or pay for a professional. However, this will be covered with an average deposit of £1500.

    The rental amount you can earn depends on the type of motorhome or camper van you have. The per night rental on average is £60 – £150 per night, less any costs for using an external website to advertise. A well-known company that you can rent your campervan is Outdoorsy. It is an American-owned company but is nationwide, and you can submit your campervan for rental.

    They will walk you through the process of renting your campervan, including insurance and deposit. Ensuring that you are fully covered. The insurance company is associated with Outdoorsy, so you will not need to shop around for quotes as they deal with campervans that are rented.

    There are several different factors you need to consider before renting your campervan. Market research is key to enabling you to access your competition, market trends and rental rates. You must also consider the legal commitments if you rent out your campervan. Whether a Limited, Limited liability partnership or sole trader. Read our article, and we will walk you through everything you need to consider and how you can make income when you are not using your campervan.

    24 – Why should you test drive a campervan before buying?

    Test-driving several different models and size is essential before buying. As each will give you a different experience. Always test drive several different styles and makes. Even if you are certain of the type of campervan or motorhome you want. As you may change your mind.

    Don’t test drive in safe areas such as flat ground. Test on bumpy roads and built-up areas. Don’t feel like you have to keep to a limited area. Take it off the beaten track and really test it. If the dealer is not happy, be prepared to walk away, as it is a big financial investment.

    • Driveability – Check to make sure you can drive comfortably. Reaching all controls and having good all-around visibility.
    • Annoying sounds – Always test drive with the radio off for a while. It’s not until you have driven a vehicle that you notice the annoying creaks or any other sounds.
    • Comfort for you and your passengers. – As drivers, we don’t always think of comfort for passengers. I always take several people with me as I want to ensure that passengers are also comfortable. Especially if we are going to be doing long trips in the campervan.
    • Rent a campervan for the weekend – Renting a campervan may seem like a lot of money at first, but it will give you and your full a full experience of campervan or motorhome life. You can see how you all cope living in a smaller area.
    • Driving experience – Check how easy it is to drive, how noisy it is, and how you cope with driving. Being a passenger in a campervan is totally different from the driver’s perspective.
    • Confidence – Gaining confidence as a driver and understanding the different controls. How do you handle the vehicle under various conditions?
    • Mechanical performance – Evaluate the mechanical performance. See how smooth it drives. Is there any pulling to the side as well as unusual noises?
    • Performance – How powerful is the vehicle, and if you are driving in hilly areas, is there sufficient power or visit too powerful? Test how it drives on uneven ground. Is it uncomfortable? Does it feel like a bone shaker?

    Not only do Outdoorsy allow you to rent your campervan, you can also rent a campervan with them directly. It is an ideal way to experience the type of campervan you want and to speak to the owner and find out more information on renting your campervan later if you decide to go ahead.

    25 – Check the status of a campervan: Checking for outstanding finance, stolen, write off

    When considering the purchase of a used campervan, it is crucial to thoroughly investigate its historical information before finalizing the transaction. While certain details like MOT and Road Tax can be obtained at no cost, obtaining a comprehensive report may require an additional fee. This report will encompass crucial aspects such as mileage verification, identification of theft records, write-offs, imports, clones, and, most importantly, an assessment of any outstanding finance balance associated with the vehicle.

    When purchasing a campervan from a reputable dealer, they are typically expected to conduct a thorough background check before engaging in any trade, purchase, or part exchange. However, it remains crucial to verify the campervan’s background for private transactions or dealings with lesser-known dealerships. This step helps safeguard your investment and ensures that you clearly understand the vehicle’s history, its condition, and any potential concerns before making the purchase.

    Related questions

    What is the difference between campervan travelling and tent camping

    Travelling in a campervan, it offers comfort, convenience, and flexibility. Whereas tent camping is more budget-friendly and is a more outdoor experience. The decision between a campervan and tent camping is a personal preference.

    Both offer the opportunity to enjoy outside life. But tent camping can offer more memorable adventures, especially if you are wild camping, compared to a campervan which has its restrictions.

    In a campervan, you can travel further distances and visit a variety of locations during your holidays. In a tent, you normally pitch your tent in one location. Explore during the day and return to your tent every night.


    I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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