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Second Hand Motorhome prices


Dr Dave

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Hi Guys

We are a newcomers to this motor homing lark and are seriously considering buying a new or nearly new ‘van’ within the next month or so. But I think we not just us but all of us are being ripped off regarding used van prices, let me explain. A 2008 motor home which was £32900 when new ‘and this is my point’ including Vat at 17.5% this makes the new price £28000 excluding vat, however the 2008 nearly new vans we have been looking at are on the forecourt for £29000 so bearing in mind that Vat is not payable on secondhand ‘vans’ why is the second hand price so high in fact in real terms more than the new ‘van’ I realize that everyone needs to make a living and motor home dealers are no different. But a motor vehicle increasing in price when it’s secondhand? Is it just me who feels hard done by or is it just a matter of prices being determined by demand or greed of the dealers, judging by the amount of stock that has not shifted from last year I suspect greed. The van we are considering is a Chausson flash S3 any tips on the durability and quality of these vans would be welcomed the prices I have quoted above are for this van is it a good deal? By the way I just love browsing the forums so much information is available.

Dr Dave

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Good afternoon and welcome.

We bought our 1st motorhome june 09 and did not at first look at new as we assumed that a good deal on a second hand van would be better, we did however want a very good little used couple of year old model. However like you we found that the used prices were not sufficiently lower enough to tempt us apart from some real dogs which were a definite no, (you know the sort either stink of dog or smoke) anyway we ended up with a brand new chausson flash 04 and have been very happy with every aspect of the van.

So in conclusion if you want my two peneth "if you can afford new then buy new" dont listen to the folk who go on about depreciation and rip off new prices blah blah etc. Just make VERY sure that the layout is right for you then you can be confident that you will keep it for a while and get your moneys worth.

And before anyone jumps in about the current finacial climate I said "if you can afford it"

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Where do you get the idea that vat is not payable on S/H vans?

 

VAT is payable on the difference between the buy in price and the sale price as with any goods. The original purchaser will have paid vat on the the van they are trading in and this will be reflected in the trade in price also the dealer can not claim the vat back on the price he paid for the trade in as the seller is not normally vat registered.

 

If you are concerned about price why not do what a lot of us do on here and buy in Belgium or Germany.

 

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Thanks For the replies so far.

I was mistaken about the Vat situation and now realise the amount will be charged on the margin. so the more the dealer makes the more you pay although it must be said that the amount on the difference should be no where near the amount on a new 'van' But 20% now so still a fair bit.

Great forum and good knowledgeble answers.

Dave

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We were in the same boat as you. We wanted new really but were concerned about the depreciation as soon as we drove it off the forecourt.

However, second hand prices didn't seem to be that much less than the new price a lot of the time.

We have reached a compromise and found a 2010 model of the van we liked which was (apparently) a fair bit cheaper than the original 2010 price. It will however be registered in 2011, when we collect it next month. We thought we would get the demonstration model we had seen on the forecourt which had over 200 miles on the clock but when we went to pay the deposit found out they had another exact same model in the pound which had only done 13 miles and hadn't had hordes of potential customers opening cupboard doors. Needless to say we are having that one for the same price.

 

One of the downsides is that what you see it what you get apart from adding satellite dishes etc. I would have liked a bigger fridge which was an option on a model ordered from new but too costly to change now. Plus the upholstery is not a practical colour but as I will be making seat covers myself anyway and would have done so no matter what upholstery was in our van that doesn't really matter. The other downside is that it has been standing around for at least a year I would think. We have however negotiated a five year water ingress warranty instead of the two year one.

 

This may be an option for you if the van you are after has been manufactured for a couple of years.

 

 

 

 

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I don't usually get involved in forums, for obvious reasons but felt that I must reply to the 'ripping off' accusation.

 

My first point is; What has VAT got to do with a 'van's worth when it's resold? You may as well argue that the dealer's original profit and the delivery cost from the manufacturer should be deducted from the price!

 

The simple fact is, that if a motorhome costs £50,000 brand new, then it will possibly be worth £47,000 if it's say, just a month old. I don't know anyone who wouldn't jump at the chance of saving £3000 on the 'van of their choice that may never have been used.

 

If it's a year old it may then be worth £42,000 and so on. All that matters in calculating second-hand prices is what the 'van is worth in relation to its new price. That new price includes VAT, the dealers profit, delivery charges from Europe possibly, but they are all irrelevent! All that matters is that it costs £50,000 new so the second-hand price is based on that.

 

I currently have a two-year old 'van on my forecourt that is only a small amount less than its new price. But when the client bought it it cost £40,000. The cost today is nearer £50,000 because in the last two years prices have risen considerably, mainly because of the decline in the value of Sterling against Euro.

 

So to buy that 'van today would cost £50K. Obviously its second-hand value is based on that and not on the original £40K and my client was very pleased I can tell you, because he got a much higher part-ex than if his 'van hadn't gone up nearly £10K since he bought it!

 

It's amazing how those who complain, unfairly in this case, about 'rip-offs', suddenly change their tune when they are selling or trading-in their 'van and want the highest price possible!

 

 

 

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We brought a new Autotrail Cheynne 660SE in May 2008 for £44,000, in October 2008 with less than 2000 miles on the clock the best part exchange at the Birmingham Motorshow against a new Autotrail Cheynne 840 3 litre Auto was £33,000.

 

 

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If the 2nd hand van you're looking at is on the forecourt of a dealers at £29,000..........that's just the asking price!

You weren't thinking of actually paying the full sticker price????

 

It means he'll take 27k or 26K.

 

 

 

 

Always remember that a MH is really worth only what a buyer is actually prepared to pay for it, not what the seller would like to get for it.

 

 

So try him at 25k for cash, with no PX to have to weigh in; and walk away if/when he says no.

 

You can always return the next day and offer 500 more...etc etc.

And you really are in the driving seat......there are gazillions of used MH's around for sale now in this recession, some being sold by people really desperate for money......and there are very very few customers around willing to shell out a massive dollop of money for what is essentially a big-ticket- price luxury item in such uncertain times.

 

 

 

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Hi there and welcome to the forum.

 

As regards Chausson vans we had a Flash 08 bought new in 2008 and we managed to do over 20,000 miles in two years without a bit of trouble and not even a judder from the gearbox. We actually sold it last November losing just £2,000 in the process which we thought was quite acceptable. However the dealer sold it within a few days for more than we had initially paid for it. I know this because we tried to get it back after having problems with our new van. I wish I had bought another Chausson. One word of warning though the Chausson dealers weren't interested in buying the van, one even offered us £10,000 less than we eventually accepted. Hopefully I will be buying another Chausson soon.

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Guest pelmetman

Depreciation is only an issue when you change your van on a regular basis.

 

If you get your choice of van and layout right first time, and hang on to it then the depreciation become low hundreds rather the high thousands of pounds a year :D

 

Might be worth trying to hire a van first to see if the layout works for you ;-)

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Bearing in mind the OP is a newcomer he makes some interesting points. Prices of used motorhomes/campervans are all over the place with many dealers and even some private sellers dreaming up a daft figure and waiting for someone with more money than sense to come along.

 

But wait is what many seem to do. Having spent the past year searching for another campervan, i've noticed some used motorhomes up for sale on various dealer sites. The same ones have remained on site now for at least a year still at the same price......and not sold.

 

Buying in Belgium or Germany has been mentioned.....but if you want to really see just how ludicrous the motorhome market is here in UK, have a look on http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites at prices in the USA where as little as £10k will buy you a quality used motorhome in excellent condition.

 

 

 

 

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Guest JudgeMental

The dealers post here shows tha state of play... with some paying sellers over the top to close a PX deal and keep them happy. Consequently UK prices are inflated compared to Europe, where market bigger and more competitive. and the poor old used buyer gets taken for a mug.

 

Make your first purchase a wise one! as it can get difficult and expensive if you get your choice wrong! and you will never be in a better bargaining position.......

 

just look on ebay, loads of compleated autions without one single bid? the market is dire :-S

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Thanks For the replys / advice.

I am not surprised at the dealer wanting to inflate the price of the second hand van just because the new one costs more, if thats what they want to do its up to them however like i said judging by the stock that is not moving at the dealers we have been looking around for 18 months its the dealers loss. We are newcomers but are also not green and are not going to pay more than we think is fair. I wonder if anyone has traded in a Chausson Flash s3 recently and what the trade in price was then we will know how much the dealer mark up is. There is nothing more disheartening than getting say £20000 trade in only to see the van on sale for £30000 the next day. Again any comments about low trade in prices would be interesting.

Dave

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JudgeMental - 2011-03-16 4:35 PM

 

The dealers post here shows tha state of play... with some paying sellers over the top to close a PX deal and keep them happy. Consequently UK prices are inflated compared to Europe, where market bigger and more competitive. and the poor old used buyer gets taken for a mug.

I'm not a dealer myself but just how financially viable it can be to have these static exhibits sitting around for months on end if not years, I just don't know. But then with the potty prices maybe they only need to shift a couple each year to make a very nice living!

 

I think the only buyers that get 'taken for a mug' are those daft enough to pay an over inflated price for a van which has sat on a dealers premises for a year or more.

 

 

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Dr Dave - 2011-03-16 5:06 PM

 

Thanks For the replys / advice.

I am not surprised at the dealer wanting to inflate the price of the second hand van just because the new one costs more, if thats what they want to do its up to them however like i said judging by the stock that is not moving at the dealers we have been looking around for 18 months its the dealers loss. We are newcomers but are also not green and are not going to pay more than we think is fair. I wonder if anyone has traded in a Chausson Flash s3 recently and what the trade in price was then we will know how much the dealer mark up is. There is nothing more disheartening than getting say £20000 trade in only to see the van on sale for £30000 the next day. Again any comments about low trade in prices would be interesting.

Dave

 

I really am amazed that you don't seem to understand normal market economics. If you bought a 'van for £50K, you might expect it to sell for, let's say, £40K a year later. However, if because of various factors motorhome prices had dropped alarmingly in the twelve months and the same 'van was now available brand new for £40k, then your second-hand price has to drop accordingly.

 

It's just the same if prices rise! If you buy a 'van for £50K and year later a new one costs £65K you will have no trouble selling your one year old 'van for what you paid for it! It's not about inflating second-hand prices, why would we want to do that, it would only depress sales! It's about being fair as well and giving the customer a trade-in price based on what we can sell it for.

 

I also question these tales of gloom and doom! My customer profile is one that is the least affected by the current recession. My average customer is not a family man with a mortgage but is more likely to be retired, or nearing retirement, with savings and no mortgage.

 

I can sell every second-hand 'van in the £20-30K price range that I can get, which appears to be the favourite area for first time buyers.

 

I would also say that some of the advice in the thread is unwise. Whilst you will want a fair deal you should also remember that we have to make a profit. If you want good service it's only possible if we are making money.

 

I had a typical example a couple of weeks ago. I'd a nice, clean one-owner motorhome at £27500. I had very little to play with but I had one man wouldn't stop trying to screw me for that bit more. They'd been looking for three months and mine was perfect for them. My absolute bottom line with £26500, which I offered them. But then it was "Surely you can throw in a Gaslow installation etc.?" I said "No, that really is my bottom price."

 

Three days later they were back to say that they'd pay me the £26500 but only if I put in the Gaslow. I told them that the day before I'd taken a deposit on it and it was sold! The man's wife was furious! Three months of searching and trudging round dealers and they find a 'van that's perfect, a good price and from a reputable company and now they have to start all over again!

 

My advice is this, shop around, compare prices and make sure that you are getting a fair price but please remember that we are in business to make a profit. If we don't we can't offer a good service, we can't have a good range of stock and we'll go out of business. Customers are best served when there is competition and when there is a reasonable dealer network. One recent client was taken by a Frankia but decided against it because the nearest dealer was 150 miles away.

 

We are not the enemy. Some of us are honest and fair but we have to make money or there's no point in taking the risk of investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in our expensive premises and stock.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest JudgeMental
motorhomedealer - 2011-03-16 5:43 PM

 

I also question these tales of gloom and doom! My customer profile is one that is the least affected by the current recession. My average customer is not a family man with a mortgage but is more likely to be retired, or nearing retirement, with savings and no mortgage.

 

 

But this is because prices so high only wealthy older owners can afford them! UK has always been like this!

 

In Europe the market is entirely different, and young family's CAN afford NEW motorhomes...a much younger demographic and consequently a much BIGGER market, hence better value *-)

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Guest Peter James
Dr Dave - 2011-03-16 1:18 PM

A 2008 motor home which was £32900 when new .

Dr Dave

 

You have to remember 2008 was before the Government printed billions of pounds for their banker friends, thereby reducing the value of our money by around 25%.

 

Regarding dealers, when you think about how much their overheads must be, you realize why they have to charge a big mark up.

 

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But, consider, David.  Two things dictate what you can buy.  What you can afford, and what a seller is prepared to accept. 

The former only you can know.  The latter, you can only come to know by negotiating with the seller.

Worrying about his margin is a pointless exercise, and is unlikely to tell you anything useful, because you will know nothing of his overheads, so cannot estimate how much of his price is profit.  And, even if he were to deal with you "open book", so that you could see his profit, you would still be unable to get him to sell for less than his "bottom line" price.  What that bottom line price will be will, among other things, vary to reflect how easily he expects to be able to sell it, and probably how much trouble he expects from it post sale!  Doubt if he would reveal that under any circumstances!  :-)

My advice, therefore, is to look around, including on the internet, for the van make and type that you want, and see what the price range is.  Try to avoid buying too far from home, because the odds are you'll have to go back a few times for odds and sods, and because most vans have warranties for several years, many of which require dealer inspections to maintain in force.

I would add that you will almost invariably need some extras, so will have to budget for those, and that vans are more complex than cars, with more to go wrong, and so, life being what it is, you will, somewhere along the way, encounter problems/breakdowns that will not be covered under warranty, for which you will have to pay. 

So, don't stick the whole of the family silver into the purchase, but keep a wad back for piece of mind and, if it isn't needed, it can go towards the next van (the one you buy when you discover what you really wanted was not quite what you got! :-)), or even towards a longer, or possibly more exotic, holiday.

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Thanks Motorhome Dealer your comments are very interesting it is nice to hear from the men on the other side of the desk and despite your doubts i do understand economics as i am self employed, and also the need to make a profit after all that makes the world go around. I am also pleased to hear that you can shift your stock and can assure you that of 4 large dealers in my area they all have had vans in the £25000 to £30000 range in for over 12 months, we do go to look every 2 weeks and nothing changes very much, so its not outdated web sites we look at its real vans on real forecourts. We have the cash ready for the right van at the right price.

Dave

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Thanks Brian

I posted the original message to stimulate disscussion, Mainly about the price you lose when you drive away from the dealer. And the depressed trade in prices that my friends have encountered. I will buy at a good price the money is burning a hole in my pocket but i really need to feel the price is right but in the end i will pay the current price there is no option. But discussion and debate is the way forward and i thank you for your comments

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A bought my Adria Twin from a dealer, when it was a year old, with a low mileage and plenty of extras. However, the sticker price was rightly a few thousand less than the new one at that time. The dealer was happy to deal with me by email and we negotiated a suitable discount of £2,500 because I had no trade in, and as he acknowledged, it was in the dead of winter and trade was slow. I'm sure he was right in saying that once spring was in the air, he'd probably not have dropped the price, but with snow all around, a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush!

 

So, all realistic, commonsense stuff from the seller, and the deal was done - a one year old van conversion, over seven grand less than the new price at the time, including the extras. At that point of purchase I expected to see depreciation of a couple of thousand or more each year. But that hasn't happened; here I am three years later and the same year and model of motorhome is being advertised by dealers for much the same price I paid three years ago, whereas the new price hasn't increased much in that time.

 

Pleased though I am not to have lost the amount I usually lose on cars, I've put it down to simple laws of supply and demand, as opposed to dealers trying it on. I've often read of people asking where all the used van conversions are. If there's a shortage, than in itself will keep prices firm.

 

So I don't think any blanket statements as to the motorhome market can be relied upon, as there are markets within markets, the changing of seasons, and not just the state of the economy, but whether prospective buyers and sellers see a likely improvement or decline. There are so many factors to affect the price of a given motorhome that it's not unlike the housing market, really.

 

Shaun

 

 

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Guest JudgeMental
Mel B - 2011-03-16 7:27 PM

 

Hey Judge ... you're missing a trick - you haven't tried to sell them your van yet!!!

 

:D

 

Thanks for reminding me! :-D In MMM and on ebay for this week. I have made a decent deal with German dealer and will be PX'ing it at Easter otherwise :-D

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300535321622&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

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Shaun -

 

So I don't think any blanket statements as to the motorhome market can be relied upon, as there are markets within markets, the changing of seasons, and not just the state of the economy, but whether prospective buyers and sellers see a likely improvement or decline. There are so many factors to affect the price of a given motorhome that it's not unlike the housing market, really.

 

Shaun

 

 

Well put Shaun. Take our 8 year old van, bought new in '03 for £27k. We purposely bought a brand which we thought would hold it's value. It's British and an AutoSleeper. Two strong factors which have proved us to be right.

 

But as Shaun says, so many given factors affect prices. Of course I can't produce any evidence but I firmly believe the "Juddergate" saga has bolstered Boxer prices.

 

We all know asking prices rarely equal achieved prices but if I take a look at prices for our van, private and trade, take some averages, I guesstimate an achievable, (not asking) price for our van of £21k.

 

I think this is staggeringly good and would be delighted to achieve that sort of figure if we were selling.

 

Martyn

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