If you have read my blog or the “our story” page you will know that my wife and I are total newbies to this motor homing lark, so you may think that I am not best placed to write an article such as this.
Okay, I may currently be on my first ever motor home and I may not have owned a new motor home and a used motor home for a direct comparison but I have written this article based on our experience.
We didn’t “jump in both feet first” when we bought our motor home. Oh no, we actually started to consider buying a motor home a little over a year and a half before we placed the order for our Elddis Accordo 120. For months we researched, went and had a look around different motor homes (both new and used), visited several dealers, asked questions on motor home and camping forums, went to view motor homes for sale privately…….. We spent a considerable amount of time, writing pros and cons, devising comparison spread sheets etc. you name it and we did it.
This article is based on our research, experience, thoughts and opinions therefore you may or may not agree with this post. Whatever, I would appreciate your thoughts, comments and experiences you have had over during your time as a motor caravan owner.
The decision to buy a new or used motor home wasn’t easy however we plumped for a brand new one, and we consider the pros and cons of buying a brand new motor home include:
PROS OF BUYING A NEW MOTORHOME
"Our brand new Accordo 120"
You get a lot more for your money buying a new motor home
If you are buying a new motor home instead of one that is nearly new, or a few months old you get a lot more for your money, and I can personally vouch for this. When we started looking at motorhomes we weren’t going to buy new, and were looking at nearly new. During our search for a nearly new motorhome I stumbled on an Elddis Accordo 135 that was just 3 months old and had only covered 1,800 miles. When we went to view the Accordo we were stunned that the price was only £200 less than new (the dealer got it wrong on the advert and had it £2,000 less than new), and what made it a harder pill to swallow was the overall condition of the motor home. I was expecting it to show some signs of use, but what I saw was something else. There were dinks, dents and marks all over it, both inside and out. The previous owner thought it was a good idea to attach plastic hooks on the wardrobe, by the door, in the cabin and in the bathroom by way of sticky pads, which had left that horrible residue (and dirty mark) when the dealer removed them. I was less than impressed, and thought that if this is what we got for a £200 saving I am going to pay full price and buy a brand new one.
You are the first to use a new motor home
Okay, this is an obvious statement but when you buy new you know that your bum is the first bum ever to grace the toilet seat, you are the first one to lounge on the seats, you are the first one to sleep in the bed, you are the first one to sit in the driver’s seat etc. etc. This may seem trivial and unimportant, and I too thought this until I experienced it for myself. There is “something” about being the first that is such a good feeling.
Neither the wife nor I have ever had a brand new vehicle before, so breaking things in and christening them is totally new to us, and I have to say it is awesome and something that we may never get the chance to do again.
A new motor home is totally standard
When you buy a new motor home you can be assured it has not been tinkered with. There are many people out there hand with tools and who will “play and improve” things themselves. These people will change different bits and pieces, to suit their own personal preferences and tastes (which is fine whilst they own the motor home) but a new owner may not think or feel the same way. When you buy a new motor home you can be one hundred percent certain it hasn’t been messed around with, and it is the same when you pick it up as it was when it left the factory, unless you have the dealer add a few bits and pieces (which will be to your taste) of course.
A new motor home has a guaranteed warranty
When you buy a new motor home you can be certain the warranties provided with the motor home are relevant. Following on from the above, some people like to change their motor homes in ways that invalidate the warranties sold with the vehicle, which is not great should something happen and you have to claim on the warranty. When you buy a used motor home you may not even know the warranty is effectively void, until you try and make a claim and then get a big surprise as a consequence.
You get to choose the spec with a new motor home
When you buy a new motor home you get some say over the spec of it, and you can tailor it to your need, which is not the case when you buy a used motor home. When you buy a used motor home you don’t get any say over the spec of it and have to accept what’s there. Sure, you can ask the dealer to fit some additional accessories (at a cost of course) but if the motor home has a Thetford Fridge but your preference is a Dometica you’re stuck with the Thetford. Similarly, if the motor home is supplied with a Dometica roll out sun blind and your preference is a Fiamma, you’re stuck with the Dometica. Sure, you can replace the items with your choice branded equivalents, but it’s going to end up costing a lot of money, and if this is what you intend to do you’d be better off buying a new motor home in the first instance.
What is the after sales service like with a new motor home?
I would like to say that when you buy a new motor home you get excellent after sales service and any problems are sorted out very quickly, buy I can’t. The after sales service you get depends on the dealer, how much of a fuss you kick up and how prepared you are to keep calling/emailing/chasing to get the problems sorted. The after sales service you get really does depend, and it doesn’t matter whether you buy a new motor home or a used motor home, and it doesn’t matter how much you spent on it either.
CONS OF BUYING A NEW MOTORHOME
"Another one of the Accordo 120 - surely there aren't any cons with this?"
You suffer the initial depreciation hit with a new motor home
When you buy a new motor home you take the initial depreciation hit. As soon as you start the engine and drive the motor home off the dealer’s forecourt you have lost some value in depreciation, and you have to be prepared to accept this. The initial loss in value is pretty large, however it will get smaller and smaller the longer you own the motor home.
There is additional dealer pressure buying a new motor home
When you buy a new motor home the dealer will pressure you in to buying different products (such as additional insurance policies, protection kits, top end trackers, top end alarms etc.) to make sure your NEW vehicle keeps it value. Dealers will apply a little pressure when buying a used motor home but when you buy new the dealers REALLY apply the pressure and are very aggressive selling the products. I found saying no fell on deaf ears the first time and the salesman tried again. The second “no” resulted in a “but it’s worth xxx amount of money and you want to protect that don’t you?” The third “no” resulted in a “I don’t want you to regret it further down the line” response. The fourth “no” resulted in a “Are you sure. Statistics show that………” the fifth “no” finally got through to the salesman but he tried one final time. I hate the way sales people prey on your fears and make you think the worst is going to happen to get you to buy additional products and services, many of which aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
You will notice every mark, scratch and dink when you buy a new motor home
When you buy a new motor home everything is clean, pristine and un-marked/un-touched. Motor home furnishings mark with use, and you will notice every single scratch, mark and blemish you make. You will also notice every single scratch and dent (no matter how small) that will happen during normal use. If you are like me, a bit obsessive about keeping everything perfect and looking like it’s never been used, watching the fixtures and fittings “wear and tear” through general everyday use is a difficult thing to cope with.
A new motor home comprises just the vehicle
When you buy a new motor home all you get is the basic vehicle and will have to buy all the essential accessories separately. For example, we had to buy the gas bottles, hose pipe (and connectors to fill the tank), electric cable, TV, TV aerial, cutlery tray……… everything. If you buy a used motor home there is a good chance it will come with a lot of the stuff you need, as the previous owner would have had to buy it in the first instance and will often sell it with the motor home. When we looked at used motor homes for sale privately many of them included everything, and I mean everything. Included in the price was gas bottles, pots and pans, kitchen utensils/cooking equipment, steps, water accessories…. The list goes on and on. Even used motor homes for sale at dealers often have a lot of included accessories. When you buy a new motor home you have to stick your hand in your pocket and get the accessories yourself.
So there you have it, our list of pros and cons of buying a brand new motor home based solely on our research and experience. All things considered I think my wife and I definitely made the right choice in buying new and we have no regrets at all. Please feel free to comment on this – I look forward to thoughts and opinions.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home