How to Sell My Motorhome - Our Complete Guide

  • 11th January 2019
  • Purpose

I Want to Sell My Motorhome - What Are My Options?

When it comes to selling your motorhome there are many factors to consider and decisions to make. In fact, it can all seem a little overwhelming. Different people have different requirements and motivations when it comes to selling. Fortunately, there are a number of options available and something that should suit everyone. In this guide we look at all of the things that you should think about before making a decision. Our aim is to give you enough information to help guide you towards the best route for selling your motorhome.

Are You Sure Want to Sell Your Motorhome?

The first thing to consider is whether you are absolutely sure you want to sell your motorhome. It seems a strange thing to say, but we do speak to people that tell us they sold their motorhome and now regret it. But then again, we also speak to plenty of people that tell us their motorhome has been sitting on the driveway unused for a year! It's a big decision, so just take a few minutes to think about the reasons for and against selling your motorhome, before proceeding.

Get a Motorhome Valuation

Is selling your motorhome dependent on how much it is worth? If you are thinking I will only sell my motorhome if I can get X amount for it, this is the obvious place to start. Unfortunately, there is no "Glass's guide" for motorhome prices. Well there is, they just aren't very accurate. There are a couple or reasons for this. One is, that motorhomes and campervans are a very small market compared to cars. So Glass's guide and similar organisations put little or no effort into compiling a really accurate database of used motorhome values. In fact, there is so little used motorhomes sales data to go on, it would actually be very difficult even if they wanted to.

The other reason why it is difficult to produce an accurate motorhome price guide, is that every motorhome and campervan on the road is almost unique. Motorhomes and campervans are produced in very small numbers. Now think how many models each manufacturer offers. Think of all of the options that they offer on each model. And consider how most owners fit a variety of after market options. You can see the problem. There are very few identical motorhomes to base a used motorhomes price guide on.

However, don't worry. The industry is aware of this and it is easy to get a motorhome valuation. The only thing to be wary of when seeking a campervan valuation, is to make sure you ask an experienced valuer. This is where our motorhome valuation team can really help you. It's all they do all day so they know the market better than anyone. Whatever the age, make, model, condition and mileage of your motorhome, they will know exactly what it is and what it is worth.

How to Sell Your Motorhome

There are a number of routes available to you if you are thinking "It's time to sell my motorhome". Most are fine and tailored to suit particular needs. One is not fine, and we would recommend that you steer clear of it - more of which below.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the best route to sell your campervan, there are a number of factors to consider. But in general terms, the difference between them is a trade-off between price, risk and the amount of work involved for you. As we look at each option, we will look at each of these factors to help you make the right choice.

But before we do that, there is one more thing to consider. It will help you to look at things from the would-be buyer's point of view. What I mean by this, is that not everyone wants to buy your motorhome. Obviously a private buyer isn't going to buy the first motorhome they see. But likewise, nor is a commercial buyer going to buy every motorhome offered to them. In particular, if you are considering selling to a dealer or part-exchanging your motorhome, you may not be greeted with open arms by everyone. Dealers tend to have a specific stock profile, or type and price of motorhome they specialise in. Or they may just not be buying at the time you want to sell. Not a problem, there are plenty of buyers out there for your motorhome, just don't be disappointed if you don't get the response you were expecting.

Just for clarity, at Wewantyourmotorhome.com we will buy any make, model, age or condition of motorhome, campervan or RV.

The Options

So, let's have a look at the various options available to you, along with some helpful notes on the for and against factors of each option.

Specialist Motorhome Buyer

There are a number of specialist buyers, of which, Wewantyourmotorhome.com is the leading motorhome and campervan buyer. These businesses are similar in principle, but of course, not all of them are the same. They operate in a similar manner to the car buying companies such as We Buy Any Car. The idea is that you can request an immediate valuation and offer to buy your motorhome or campervan.

However, in practice, not all of the companies operate in the same way. You need to make sure you are dealing with a credible business. That is, a business that will buy any motorhome or campervan. Will pay a fair price for it. Will give you an immediate decision. Has the funds to make an immediate purchase. Will buy anywhere in the UK. Will send a professional driver to collect your motorhome. Will deal with you in a polite and professional manner. And most of all, will insist you make sure you are happy that you have cleared funds in your bank account before they ask you to release the keys.

This really is the quickest, easiest way to sell your motorhome, with no up-front costs or risks - providing you use a professional company. Needless to say, some of the people that pop up on the internet as motorhome buyers, do not have the resources to provide this level of service and in fact represent a financial risk. The easiest way to deal with this is to request a valuation by phone and ask about all of the points raised above. Again, make it clear you will not release the keys until you have cleared funds in your bank.

For:

Using a good motorhome buyer such as Wewantyourmotorhome.com means;

Free expert valuation
Secure payment
Collection from your home or storage
Hassle free
Immediate sale and payment
No up-front costs
This is the quickest, easiest way to sell your motorhome

Against:

This much speed, security and convenience comes at a price. You will be selling at trade price and you may be able to get a better price if you sell through a motorhome broker such as Motorhomedepot.com.

Motorhome Broker

Motorhome brokers are like estate agents for motorhomes. They come to your house, take the details of your motorhome or campervan and list it for sale. Just like an estate agent, they take a commission for a successful sale, and there are no-up front fees or costs. The big appeal of using a broker, is that just like selling your house, you set the price. This means, if you are able to be a little more patient, you are likely to get a better price than selling to a motorhome buyer. At the moment, there is only one big player in the market, Motorhomedepot.com. They appear to be very successful, selling thousands of motorhomes a year for their owners and earning a 9+ star Trustpilot rating.

One of the appeals of using a broker for many people is that the broker does all of the work for you. Or to put it another way, does the stuff that none of us like doing ourselves! That includes producing an accurate, detailed listing, dealing with the enquiries, haggling over price and negotiating the sale. In the case of Motorhome Depot, that also includes handling the money which goes through their secure, protected systems. Motorhome brokerage is a fairly new option for motorhome and campervan sellers in the UK so choose carefully and make sure you are using a credible, secure company.

For:

No up-front fees or costs
No sale, no fee
Advertise your motorhome on many platforms
Achieve good prices
They do all of the work for you

Against:

You are likely to get the best price this way, but may have to be a little patient to get it

Motorhome Dealer

The traditional motorhome dealer has of course been one of the main ways for motorhome and campervan owners to sell for many years. In fact, until specialist motorhome buyers and brokers came along, your only choice was either sell to a dealer or to advertise privately. There are two ways a motorhome dealer will buy your motorhome from you.

Firstly, they can take motorhome in part-exchange. That is to say, they will take your motorhome in part-payment against a motorhome you buy from them. This is a nice easy way to "Sell your motorhome". If you are lucky enough to find the exact motorhome you want at a motorhome dealer that is prepared to take your motorhome in part-exchange, it makes life very simple. However, motorhome dealers have big overheads and these have to be paid for. The dealer has to make a big margin on the motorhome he sells you, as well only being able to offer you a trade price on your existing part-exchange. Again, convenience has it's price. One way to get around this is to sell your motorhome first and then present yourself as a cash buyer. Achieving a good price on your sale, perhaps through a broker , and then negotiating a better price on your purchase as a cash buyer can make a big difference overall.

Secondly, some motorhome dealers will buy motorhomes direct from the public. However, you may not even do as well on price here as you would with part-exchange. The dealer doesn't even have the incentive of an associated sale, and this really will be a rock bottom trade price.

For:

Part-exchange can be convenient
Generally secure

Against:

You will only get trade price
You may have to search around to find a dealer that is interested
Driving a long way to see a dealer that is "Interested" does not mean a guaranteed sale

Selling Privately

There are a number of ways to sell your motorhome privately. Many of them involve a certain amount of luck, such as word of mouth, at a rally, to a fellow club member and so on. But when we speak about selling your motorhome or campervan privately, what we are really talking about is advertising it for sale through one of the main channels such as Autotrader.

As mentioned above, until specialist motorhome buyers and motorhome brokers came along fairly recently, this was really one of only two choices you had, along with selling to a dealer. Thank goodness those days are gone! Selling privately is of course still an option, but the falling numbers of privately advertised motorhomes and campervans on Autotrader, Ebay and other platforms, indicates that it is becoming less popular.

This is hardly surprising. Advertising your motorhome or campervan privately requires a lot of work and up-front costs, without any guarantee of success. The appeal of course, is the hope that you will attract that one buyer that will pay you a really good price for your motorhome. The downside, is that you may have to rack-up a lot of advertising costs and talk to a lot of time wasters to in the hope of finding that buyer.

The other thing that has really hit private advertising recently is the exponential rise of fraud within this sector. I'll expand on this below, but the ingenuity and prevalence of fraudsters posing as both motorhome buyers and sellers is shocking.

For:

The chance to achieve a good price

Against:

Up-front costs
No guarantee of success
Dealing time wasters
Haggling over price
Payment security worries
Being targeted by fraudsters

And One We Wouldn't Recommend - Sale or Return

At the beginning of this guide I mentioned one method of selling your motorhome or campervan that we would not recommend. It is "Sale or return". This is where you give a dealer your motorhome to put on their forecourt, along with the keys and paperwork - you can see the problem.

Let me say straight away that most motorhome dealers are good, honest professional people that do the best for their customers. However, occasionally something goes wrong, a dealer goes into liquidation and you find out that some sale or return motorhomes have been sold without the owners receiving payment for them. It is rare, but the potential of a total loss should really make you think about whether you want to take the risk. In a recent example in 2018, a well known and respected dealer in Scotland called St Andrews Motorhomes went into liquidation. It was discovered that much of their stock was on sale or return. It had all been sold and the owners hadn't received payment. Enough said.

The Growing Problem of Fraud

For some reason, the private sale of motorhomes and campervans has been seriously targeted by fraudsters. Why? No one is quite sure, but it is probably a combination of high values, trusting buyers and sellers and plenty of routes in. Or maybe it's just that fraudsters are everywhere now.

I mention that there are plenty of routes in to perpetrate a fraud against motorhome owners. Being in the trade we get to hear about a number of attempted and successful frauds and it is shocking. These criminals are clever and resourceful. Examples include: intercepting emails and redirecting a buyer's payment to another bank account. Swapping bank details while doing an online transaction on smart phones in front of the seller. False motorhome listings online where a small deposit will secure a low priced motorhome that doesn't exist. There are even completely dummy dealer websites on the internet populated with motorhomes that have been taken from other dealers websites - they even promise to deliver your new motorhome on a lorry!

Now you can see why we like our customers to check their bank accounts and reassure themselves that they have received payment in full before they release the keys to us. We want you to have absolute confidence in the security of the transaction.

Where to Start

So, there you have it. A number of options for selling your motorhome or campervan with the pros and cons. And one to avoid. As discussed, the starting point is to get a valuation. You can get an instant free valuation at motorhome buyers or you can chat to one of our helpful valuers on 01223 632897.

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