Picture of Martyn Raybould

Martyn Raybould

Buying your first or next Motorhome


Buying a motorhome is no small investment, so here are some tips from  Engineer Aftercare Warranty on buying your first or next Motorhome !  Buying safely and wisely is very important to ensure you save money on unnecessary expenses and your investment value is secure if you came to sell the vehicle in the future.  We always recommend buying from a quality Dealership like Dyce Caravans, Derby Motorhomes or Caravansandcampersltd or Broker such as Motorhome Depot, but buying privately is exactly the same process and just needs more care.  Buying from a recognised dealership is always going to be safer than buying privately, but follow these simple steps and you can get the vehicle you want safely.

Bailey of Bristol make a range of vehicles but view different manufacturers to be informed and get reviews

There are also some excellent videos to watch at The Motorhome Man and We Buy Any Motor Caravan

An Engineer Aftercare Warranty is designed to provide peace of mind, however buying a quality vehicle that has been properly maintained is the most important thing to having relaxed holidays with your family.  A quality warranty will not give you the peace of mind you want from a badly maintained vehicle, because several failures of important components will spoil your holiday, whoever pays for a repair! (See more below on Warranty)

Look for a previously well-maintained vehicle from a fastidious owner

We have listed our top tips below to prompt buyers, then added some further advice at the bottom, for more information and advice on buying a motorhome, visit our friends at motorhomescampervans.net.


  1. Do your research!  Check the vehicle on the DVLA, check reviews on vehicles for generalised warranty claims to that model, check on retail prices for similar vehicles with dealers or other sellers, explore sites like Motorhomescampervans.net.  This is a great site with thousands of items and adverts for pretty much everything, including buying a motorhome. The RAC book ‘Motorhomes A First Time Buyers Guide’ is an excellent purchase from Veloce Books at £9.99
  2. Completely ignore the layout, the ergonomics and shiny exterior!  That is something to do when deciding on your budget, the layout and the functionality you need, long before planning on viewing an actual vehicle to buy
  3. So, you have the vehicle layout, style, number of beds and budget.  Now, lets look at the actual steps to buying a motorhome you have found
  4. Never view a prospective vehicle when it is raining!  Unless the dealership can let you see it indoors in their large, dry and well lit workshops!  NEVER view a vehicle at a petrol or service station, go to the owners home or the CaSSOA storage site, so you can see where it has been stored for the last years of ownership
  5. Ideally, arrange an Approved Workshops Scheme (AWS) pre-purchase inspection.  This is a detailed review by an registered engineer to give you a wort’s and all assessment of the Habitation section (Not the Motor section)
  6. Review the FULL documentation, there are 2 types of documents with a motorhome.  1: The motor section service history (This maintains the vehicle, much as a car service to the engine, gearbox etc) 2: The Habitation checks service history (This maintains the Habitation section and appliances for safety and functionality).  If a vehicle has missed any required services under a manufacturer warranty, then any cover from them is now void!  For instance, a Habitation check is needed every year to enjoy the manufacturer 10 year water ingress cover, if the previous owner missed any single year because the vehicle wasn’t used, that warranty is no longer valid. (Engineer Aftercare Warranty will cover water ingress during any warranty period on vehicles up to 7 years old where the Habitation service was completed to manufacturer requirements)
  7. If there is no document history AVOID THAT VEHICLE! If there is a document file and the odd year missing, make sure that the vehicle has had an appropriate full/interim service within 2 years or 20,000 miles and an AWS Habitation service in the last 12 months. 
  8. Now visually check the vehicle in detail, press every switch and ensure everything works.  If nothing happens, ask what the switch should do and why it’s not working.  The issue might be a small one, such as a faulty switch, but it might be a replacement bed motor which can cost hundreds of pounds!  Switch on the gas cooker, open the fridge/freezer, turn on the oven and check the water systems and waste/toilet.  Do they all work as they should?  In the Cab, are there any engine warning lights flashing or is the service light on?
  9. If you get here and feel completely happy with this particular vehicle, sit down in the vehicle and discuss how much they want and how much you are willing to pay.  Hopefully you can find common ground and settle on a price.  This is the point where your previous research will pay dividends, if the buyer is asking too much money, then explain you have seen other vehicles at X price and try to find that agreed value
  10. Finally, NEVER meet and just hand over cash!  Buy using a card with bank permission (Ideally a credit card), or BACS to a recognised bank account in the dealer or person’s name.  NEVER pay until you have the FULL documents, all sets of keys and the actual vehicle!

More advice on buying your motorhome:

If you are buying from a Dealership, look at the vehicles, are they clean and shining or scruffy and dirty, look at the workshops and are they well laid out, clean and well organised?  These are signs of a quality Dealer or other.  How much warranty will they give you if you buy the expensive vehicle?  If only 3 or 6 months why?  Ask for 12 months cover, and ask who provides that warranty? 


  • 12 months warranty cover, means the Dealership is confident in the preparation of that vehicle and in its ability to be very unlikely to have early issues during your ownership
  • Who provides claim service in the event of an issue?  If it is the Dealer, that will be fine if your motorhome is at home or near them.  But if they are in Hull and you are in Cornwall, then what?  If you have to drive all the way back to Hull for a malfunctioning cooker, that will spoil your holiday.  That is why Engineer Aftercare Warranty comes with a full AWS approved workshop facility to call on any one of over 500 approved workshops, UK wide.

We hope this advice will help you the owner to make an informed decision on buying a quality and well-maintained motorhome to enjoy many years of great holidays.  And, if you would like to help to offset the cost of ownership, or to upgrade your budget to buy something even more impressive?  Engineer Aftercare recommend Goboony, Peer to Peer rentals, you can then allow others to share your experience while making income to offset or subsidise the costs.

A final tip on Motor Section service history!  We recently had a vehicle based in Surrey, with owners from the South, but the service history said the previous services were carried out in Glasgow?  That vehicle had clearly had the documents stamped fraudulently with a rogue stamp, so check the documents in detail.  And never be afraid to ask searching questions!  If in any doubt whatsoever, then WALKAWAY!

Be well and have a great touring 2021!

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