Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a newer model or simply aren’t getting the most out of your home on wheels anymore, we’ve put together a useful guide to help you work out the best way to sell your motorhome and how to get it ready to be sold.
Valuing and setting the price
The final amount that you will be able to sell your motorhome for is going to be dependent on quite a few factors.
Obviously, age, mileage and condition of the vehicle will come into play, but so too will the popularity of the make and model, the base vehicle, the specification and so on.
Calling around a few dealerships to get an idea of the price range they have sold similar vehicles for will give you a basic idea of what you could get for your motorhome.
You can also have a look around on online auction sites, classified ads and motorhome publications and members clubs to get an idea of how the same (or similar) vehicles as yours are currently priced.
Do motorhomes keep their value?
Motorhomes are typically much better at retaining their value and do not depreciate nearly as much as an average car might.
The popularity of the make, model and internal specification of your motorhome are likely going to have an influence on the resale value.
Which type of sale will give me the most profit for my motorhome?
How you end up selling your motorhome will impact the final figure that you make from it – just like selling a car, selling your motorhome to a dealership or part-exchanging is likely to get you a lower sales price than selling privately.
What's the best time to sell your motorhome?
The demand for motorhomes, either new or used, has certainly seen an increase in these post-pandemic times, so you may find there is a lot of interest when it comes to selling your motorhome now.
If we’re talking about the time of year, seasonality doesn’t have as much of an impact on the motorhome resale market as you might think. Fairweather enthusiasts might not be as active in their searches for a used motorhome during the winter months, but this shouldn’t stop you from putting yours on the market.
Preparing your motorhome to be sold
To achieve the best price possible, no matter the method you are choosing for selling your motorhome, you’re going to want to make sure everything is presentable and in working order.
We’ve created a presale checklist to help you make sure you’ve remembered everything:
- Deep clean your motorhome (inside and out) – use our guide to cleaning your motorhome for tips and advice.
- Carry out any outstanding maintenance work and safety checks – you’ll want to give your pride and joy a clean bill of health before putting it up for sale. Read our guide to maintaining your motorhome for a few pointers.
- Check your utilities – make sure cooking equipment and appliances are all in working order. Buyers will appreciate being able to see that taps, heating, showers, etc are in working order when viewing your motorhome.
- Habitation certificate – if you don’t have an up-to-date habitation service certificate (used to show the motorhome is in good condition and free from damp), it’s probably going to be worth your while getting one. You may find not having one can put buyers off or means you might have to drop your sales price.
- Other essential documents – make sure all the necessary paperwork is in order. This includes MOT certificates, service history, V5C document and VIN or MIN number.
- Remember the little details – check locks, lightbulbs, switches, sockets, etc are all in working order.
- Empty the interior and remove any personal additions – the closer you can get your motorhome looking like its original state, the better. Little extras and personal effects might prevent prospective buyers from seeing its full potential.
- Clean the upholstery and soft furnishings – get the interior as fresh and inviting as you possibly can.
- Give your motorhome a good airing out – make sure there’s no lingering musty smell in your motorhome as any sign of damp will be a major red flag to prospective buyers. Equally, the smell of cooking, campfires, cigarette smoke, damp dogs, soggy shoes and even strong-smelling air fresheners or cleaning products can be off-putting in a small space too.
- Test your systems and electricals – is the aircon, sound system, sat-nav, reversing camera, solar panel, retractable step, etc in working order?
- Instruction manuals and tools – being able to produce all the paperwork relating to the inner workings of your motorhome will show that it is coming from a responsible owner.
- Specialist tools – make sure any specific tools that come with the motorhome can be displayed or pointed out when a prospective buyer is viewing it.
The best places to sell your motorhome
Generally speaking, using dealerships or brokers is likely to take some of the hassle out of selling your motorhome, but this will reduce the profit you end up with, especially compared to selling it privately.
The options available for selling your motorhome include:
Whether you’re relying on word of mouth, social media, free ads or classifieds, private sales are going to be the best way to maximise the proceeds you get from the sale of your motorhome.
You will, however, be responsible for all the administration and responsibilities that come with the sales process (e.g. showing prospective buyers the vehicle, ensuring it’s legal for your motorhome to be taken for a test drive and so on).
Sites such as eBay and Gumtree may charge little to no fees to list your motorhome but be mindful that you may be entering a crowded market when using these sites.
The other thing to consider is that, whilst you’re maximising the return you make on the sale of your motorhome, you’re likely going to have to invest much more of your own time to achieve it.
Selling to a motorhome dealership
If you want to release the cash that’s tied up in your motorhome and either keep the proceeds or look elsewhere for another vehicle, selling straight to a dealership is going to be one of the quicker and lower hassle options for you.
Having said that, selling to a dealership will most likely get you one of the lowest offers on the resale market for your motorhome.
One of the quickest and easiest options for trading in your motorhome for something newer, or more suitable, is going to be by part exchanging your vehicle with a dealer or manufacturer.
Once again, you’re unlikely to get the highest return possible for your motorhome, as the manufacturer or dealership will be looking to make their own profit from the exchange.
Have a shop around for an offer from a few different dealerships when you’re looking to part exchange, to make sure you’re getting the best offer available.
Sale or return
You can enter into a ‘sale or return’ agreement with a dealer where you retain ownership of your motorhome, but a dealer will display it for sale on their forecourt (for an agreed fee and period of time).
Some dealerships may suggest transferring the ownership of the motorhome into their names whilst they are looking to sell it, but we recommend keeping the vehicle in your name until the sale has gone through.
You also need to be mindful that you have the correct motorhome insurance in place (both for when it’s on the forecourt and for on the road use) for your vehicle – check whether insurance will be your responsibility or the dealer's.
Always make sure you are fully aware of the terms and conditions that are in place when entering into this type of agreement with a dealer so that you know what the fee or commission will be, how much the price of the motorhome will be haggled, how long the dealer will hold onto the sale proceeds once the vehicle has been sold and so on.
Motorhome brokers operate in a similar way to sale or return agreements with dealers, in that they will take on the sale of your motorhome, in exchange for some type of fee or commission.
The benefits of using a broker are that they will usually be proactive about getting you the best deal possible for your motorhome because they will ultimately be taking their commission from that sale. The downside of using a broker is, you don’t know how long it’s going to take them to make the sale.
Selling at auction
You will most likely be putting your motorhome in front of traders and dealers if you enter your vehicle into a motorhome auction. Whilst you can set a minimum or reserve price that you want your motorhome to sell for, you’re unlikely to get the market value for it at auction.
Fees and commissions will be payable to the auction house that you place the sale of your motorhome with and there’s always the risk that it may not sell at all.