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Motorhome buy to let - 2 good to be true?


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Why not borrow the money from a bank and let them assess the good and bad points. Buying through another company means only one thing, they are the winners and you are the losers.


Once committed you're on your own. Its as bad as solar panels and holiday cottages to let, there is NO guarrantee that anyone will want to hire from you and remember you still have ALL the costs to cover.


What happens when you have a customer booked and a repair is needed, do you buy another M/H so they can have their long awaited hire or reimburse an annoyed customer, and if you have agreed a contract it could really cost you in damages.


A hard collision that damages the bodywork means possibly 3 months without use but you still have to pay the premiums.


Do you have a garage or a repair workshop cos you're going to need it to be able to address the repairs in between users.


If you have a stash of cash then have fun hiring, but I reckon to run a satisfactory hire business 3 vehicles at least are needed with one always held as a spare.


You will likely be paying top price for the vehicle as opposed to a 'multi vehicle hire company' who can barter with the supplier for a cheaper outlay.


We hired in the US several times, all the vehicles were under a year old and they were all damaged internally. In order to ensure minimal wear and advertise modern vehicles they were all passed on within 1 year. Are you going to do the same?


So bluewander, has your interest diminished yet? If not then better make plans for a divorce!



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& one point I ommitted -


Then the Taxman will be very interested in any income generated, despite the outlay,

Unless you are a registered business where the investment in the Van can be offset against income.

So deduct a reasonable amount for upkeep, cleaning & repair, then after Tax your income will be at best 50% of the Gross Rental monies.


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This is exactly the same as Bourne leisure and a lot of other static caravan sites ,you end up purchasing a new van,pay site fees,electricity etc so they can earn money off your back,after 3 or 4 years your van gets to look a bit rough around the edges so they want you to buy a newer van or your rentals drop off or the other alternative is sell your van but you have to sell through the site and they take a chunk of money off you or take your van off the site which cuts the value in half.

If your a dealer and can but a motorhome at trade prices then rental might be the way to go because your already a few grand ahead of the game but to pay retail money for a motorhome for rental in my opinion is just going to end in tears.

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Hi bluewander,

you asked a question and have received a lot of advice, then art338 has asked for an update, how have the replies effected your decision ?


My opinion is that there are better ways of making money with say £40/50k, and no I would not propose how to do it as that is up to the individual.


The basic question in my opinion is - do you want to make money or have the freedom and pleasure that a motorhome brings ? If the latter then if you cannot afford to buy new then second hand/used is the way to go.

I bought new, but now after nearly 3 years my motorhome can only be described as second hand/used but I can hardly see any difference from brand new on a forcourt. Yes I have looked after it but also used it for 5 main trips to spain at 40days each trip.

So I suggest that you go back to basics and I am not being rude just helpfull when I suggest that you decide what you really want out of life. I retired at 54 and regret wasting a few years dithering before making up my mind and buying "Winnie my A/S Windsor"

Good luck and happy days ahead for you.

Mike (lol)

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I'd commend consideration of the Secondhand route to MH ownership.


For (say) £20k, you can get a superb motorhome.

OK, it may be 5 years old (or More) and may have had a couple of sets of previous owners.

But motorhomers are fastidious (some might say even manic!) about caring for their vans.

They get loved and cleaned and serviced and maintained FAR better than the white van that it is based on was ever designed to be in the real world.

It might have covered (say) 20 or 30,000 miles. Or 40 or 50,000 even in rare cases at that age. But that is utterly nothing in white-van world. These things are designed to be driven flat out for a quarter of a million miles by a whole series of gorillas, with one oil change a century if at all.


As for the habitation side of things, previous owners will by now have had all the (inevitable) teething problems finally sorted out; and added just about all the expensive extras that you could possibly want ('cos that's what owners do).

It'll be festooned with the things that, if you bought the MH new, you'd have to shell out many thousands more pounds to add, on top of the vehicle purchase price). Awnings, roof air-con units, sat dish, solar panel, bike or scooter rack, audio system upgrade, cables, bottles, levellers, external gas point, external shower point, etc etc etc.........


So, you if you were looking at spending maybe 50K on a brand new MH, on a notoriously expensive lease-purchase or hire-purchase finance drip, at top retail price because you've not been able to negotiate with the dealer; hoping that a big chunk of the repayments which MIGHT come from dozens of different people systematically wrecking your pride and joy every time that there's any good weather (which is of course when you'd be wanted to actually use the damn thing yourself)............I reckon there's a much saner alternative, from both a financial and emotional perspective:



My thought for the day:

Only spend 20K in the first place. Buy a perfectly excellent second hand MH.

Pay a couple of hundred quid for a full top-to-toe service, and you're sorted.

Have the MH all to yourself, enjoy it at any time that you want to go away/the weather turns nice.

Avoid the apocalyptic depreciation that comes with a new MH purchase, Avoid all the hassle of hiring/cleaning/repairing/ getting sued/ getting the Inland Revenue onto your back/and you've only gotta find/borrow 20k, not 50k. Avoid spending/borrowing all the remaining 30, 000 pounds up front, and instead use it to fund all the costs of you MH, including all your trips for the next 10 years!


It's cheaper. It's a helluva lot safer. And even if you need a bank loan to raise part of 20k, you're gonna be in A LOT less debt, and paying a lot less interest, than you are on a vehicle finance company drip on a debt of 50k.



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Guest pelmetman
The only thing I would add to Bruce's excellent post is if you do go down the 2nd hand route, and your not experienced at what to look for, a couple of hundred spent on a full inspection will give you peace of mind an ensure you dont buy a pup ;-)
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Wow, thanks everyone for such honest and excellent advice.


Having spent a few more days thinking long and hard about it, I really can't imagine that you are all wrong! As a possible motorhome newbie I'd be mad not to listen to you so still i'm thinking about the idea with a lot less excitement! I can see why you all love and cherish your vans and wouldn't want it coming back damaged by other people, insurance claim hassle for the rest of the season would make ownership a chore and not the pleasure I expect it could be.


£20k for a 3-4 year old van that has already lost someone else £15k + would definitely be the way to go if we are just going to use it for ourselves, then I'm the only one to blame if I bend it!

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Hi Bluewander

Another point to consider.

I assume Hiring out a Motorhome, you are possibly thinking you are unlikely to get much personal use out of a Motorhome.

If so why go for such a high capital investment.

£50k will hire you a Motorhome for many weeks, without the initial financial outlay.

Even 4 weeks hire per annum, £50k will roughly 10 years in peak season @ today's prices.

But you will retain the bulk of your capital, if plans or circumstances change.


Downside as previous - you lose the opportunity to go away on the spur of the moment.

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Guest Peter James
Sounds a great business for them. All they need is a PC and telephone working from home. What else could they do with such a low investment. Someone else puts up all the capital, does all the donkey work, and takes all the risks. Wonderful Idea :D
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