So, you’re thinking of buying a motorhome? That’s fantastic news!
Motorhomes offer a sense of freedom that is hard to find anywhere else. With a motorhome, your next adventure is literally just a short drive away, and any boring old weekend can turn into an exciting family getaway.
But buying a motorhome is a significant investment and there are many things to consider when buying a motorhome in Scotland.
As motorhome specialists, Struans Leisure has created the ultimate guide to buying a motorhome in Scotland, helping our customers decide whether motorhome life is truly for them.
This is a question we get asked a lot; Should I buy or rent a motorhome?
Both have their advantages (and disadvantages). At the end of the day, whether you decide to rent or buy a motorhome will come down to individual circumstances and lifestyle choices.
Some folks buy a motorhome to live and travel in it full time, whereas others purchase motorhomes to have a reliable steed for weekend getaways.
Of course, the advantage of renting a motorhome is that it’s less of a commitment. You can enjoy the trip of a lifetime by renting a motorhome in Scotland, and once it’s over, there’s no need to worry about maintenance, upkeep, repairs or the cost of fuel...
But you’ll also be left without a motorhome at the end of your trip, possibly just as you were falling in love with motorhome life.
Our recommendation is to never buy a motorhome without having some experience of motorhome life first.
Life on the road is incredibly rewarding, but it isn’t for everyone. It’s always best to ensure you truly love motorhome life before you take the leap of buying a new motorhome.
Renting a motorhome is the perfect way to gauge interest levels and truly discover whether buying a motorhome would be a sensible choice for you.
And even if you’re an experienced motorhome driver, we suggest giving the rest of this article a quick browse before you dive in wheels first to your first motorhome or campervan purchase. It’s full of helpful advice for even the most knowledgeable motorhome enthusiast!
Before we get into the nitty gritty of why you should buy a motorhome in the UK, it’s important to be aware of the different types of motorhomes available for purchase.
Motorhomes come in a range of sizes and styles. We also have campervans to consider, which, subject to popular belief, are NOT the same as motorhomes (who knew, right?!).
The most common types of motorhomes you will come across when searching for a motorhome to buy or rent are:
Class A motorhomes
Let’s look at each in a bit more detail:
These motorhomes offer a high level of comfort and luxury. They give the most space due to their coach-built design and provide the quintessential mobile-home experience that many motorhome travellers are searching for.
Great for long-term trips and a solid choice if you plan to travel with children, a family of four or a group of friends.
Coach-built motorhomes are also referred to as Class C motorhomes.
As they are built on a van cab and chassis, Class C motorhomes are slightly less spacious than Class As, however, they still come with fitted kitchens, bathroom facilities and enough space to comfortably sleep two-four people, depending on the layout you choose.
You know those chunky looking motorhomes that stick out at the front? That’s the over-cab (pictured above).
This over-cab provides a double bed space above the driver's area, allowing more room in the living and kitchen area. You can also have extra beds towards the back of the motorhome if you need to sleep more than two people.
The only downside of this motorhome style is that the over-cab makes these motorhomes slightly bulky in design, reaching up to three meters in height, which can make them slower to drive and trickier to manouvere.
On the other hand, a low-profile motorhome offers a more streamlined, aerodynamic, fuel-efficient option. They tend to be easier to drive, can be driven on a normal car license and are generally around 5-8 meters in length.
Low-profile motorhomes are a very convenient option for couples looking to travel freely for long stretches at a time.
As mentioned before, campervans are actually very different from motorhomes. Campervans are remodelled vans without separate rooms or compartments. They are much smaller than motorhomes, and are generally only fit for two people (and a dog) at most.
The advantages of campervans are that they are smaller, lightweight and easier to drive. The disadvantages are the lack of room and limited facilities.
To get a taste of campervan life, consider hiring a campervan with Struans.
Even for experienced motorhome travellers the question of “Why should I buy a motorhome” can still be a tricky one to answer.
Sure, motorhomes offer a lot of advantages, but they are also an expensive investment and can be costly to run and maintain.
However, we at Struans believe there is an ever-growing list of advantages to buying a motorhome.
The top reasons for buying a motorhome in Scotland are:
Once you’ve committed to buying a motorhome, the next big decision is whether to buy a new motorhome or to buy a second-hand motorhome.
Both have their own pros and cons, and what makes sense for one motorhome buyer might not work for another.
The main advantages of buying a new motorhome are:
Some of the disadvantages of buying a new motorhome are:
Let’s compare these points with the pros and cons of buying a used motorhome.
The advantages of buying a secondhand motorhome are:
However, used motorhomes also come with a few drawbacks, these being:
Your personal budget will ultimately be a huge factor in whether you buy new or used, but it’s important not to let a good price blind your judgement.
To help our readers out further, we’ve included checklists below for buying a new or buying a used motorhome. Give them a read to upgrade your motorhome bartering skills.
One of the most important steps to buying a new motorhome is to put in the preparation. Buying a motorhome, just like buying a house or a car, isn’t something that should be rushed.
Here are some of the top things to consider when buying a new motorhome:
Do your research. If you’re reading this article there’s a good chance that you’re already knee-deep in motorhome research, but we can’t emphasise the importance of this step enough.
Familiarise yourself with motorhome terms so you know exactly what to look for and ask for. There’s nothing worse than talking to a salesman who throws terms around like nobody’s business while you’re left standing there clueless. The section on “types of motorhomes” found above is a great place to start.
Make a list of everything you want in a motorhome. That way you can evaluate each motorhome you view against what it is you are truly looking for.
Narrow down the models you are after. This will save a lot of time in the long run as there’s no point seeing motorhomes in designs that simply don’t fit your purpose. Work out the models that match your requirements and only look into these types of motorhomes.
View before you buy! It’s always a good idea to view motorhomes in person before buying. Many companies, ourselves included, will offer test drives to ensure ultimate satisfaction before any transaction is made.
Find a reliable motorhome dealer. Finding a good-looking motorhome is only half the battle. It’s important that your motorhome comes from a reliable dealer, otherwise, you are likely to encounter all sorts of issues after the deal is complete.
Check for aftersales and aftercare packages. Many dealers will give guarantees of fixes and repairs for the motorhomes they sell. As motorhomes, much like cars, can be expensive to fix, it’s highly recommended that buyers enquire about this.
Most of the above points can also be applied to buyers searching for used motorhomes in Scotland. However, there are also additional checks that you should be aware of when hoping to buy a second-hand motorhome.
Our used motorhome checklist consists of:
Check the used motorhome with a moisture meter, which will help warn of any internal problems
Ensure proper documentation, including a detailed history of MOTs and Service checks. Without these, you have no idea how well the motorhome has been maintained.
Don’t be afraid to have an in-depth look under the sink and under the bonnet. Look for any signs of leaking, broken pipes, rust or other mechanical issues.
Check the fitted furniture thoroughly. Tables, beds, shelves and counters should all be stable and able to support weight
Make sure the gas supply and equipment are working as should be
Take it for a test drive, just as you would with a second-hand car
Check out the electricity and enquire about inspection certificates
Inspect the tyres and check the depth of the tread. You may be able to get the tyres updated or replaced as an add-on to the sale if you find they are badly worn.
Take time to sit, lie and stand up inside the motorhome. Is it suitable for your needs? How easy will it be to update and refurbish?
Assess the amount of re-modelling work that will be needed and make sure you consider this in the final price
Negotiate for additional extras: often, a motorhome dealer may be willing to add some extras onto the deal, such as solar panels or a bike rack, if it will help get the sale over the line.
By following the above advice, you put yourself in the best possible position for buying a good quality, second-hand motorhome,
Speaking with a motorhome professional can also be a helpful step in finding the best used motorhome for you. Feel free to call the Struans motorhome team on 01738 606393 for any type of motorhome questions you may have.
Vehicles always depreciate in value over time. Just as with a car or a van, a motorhome will drop in price the older it gets. However, motorhomes tend to depreciate at a lower rate compared to cars.
A motorhome’s value will drop by around 10% a year, but this will slow down the longer the motorhome is owned. After 3-5 years a motorhome will hold around 70% of its original value, which is relatively high in the current market.
As motorhomes and campervans are becoming more and more popular and the demand continues to grow, the re-sale value of motorhomes will steadily increase. So, although buying a motorhome will not yield investment in the long run, you are still likely to get a decent return on your money if and when you ever decide to sell.
It is true that owning a motorhome gives you the freedom to travel, sleep and live in the great outdoors. However, this doesn’t mean you can simply park wherever you want and call it a night.
There are certain rules and laws around parking a motorhome in Scotland and it’s important to be aware of them before you set off on your motorhome adventure.
When living in a motorhome in Scotland, or anywhere else in the UK, you should NEVER:
You can read more about parking and wild camping in Scotland with a motorhome via the Struans Leisure blog.
Wondering where to buy a motorhome in the UK? It’s a good question to ask.
With so many campervan and motorhome start-ups marketing themselves as experts online, it’s easy to be drawn in by an untrustworthy dealer.
Large online selling sites can be a good place to start, and there is no doubt that you may find an excellent deal. However, as you will be buying from a stranger rather than an actual company, it’s essential to be careful and do thorough research before handing over any cash.
We also recommend never paying for a motorhome online unless you have possession of the vehicle or a clear contract outlining your rights.
Another option when it comes to buying a motorhome is to attend motorhome shows.
Even if you don’t purchase a motorhome there and then, visiting motorhome shows can be a great way to improve your motorhome knowledge and get a clearer idea of what you are looking for. You are also likely to meet other motorhome enthusiasts who could end up pointing you in the direction of a great motorhome deal.
Finally, you can buy a motorhome from a reputable motorhome dealer.
Struans Leisure specializes in the sale of both new and used motorhomes. We have a range of models available which are constantly updating.
We can also offer our clients helpful finance options, to make the purchase of their dream motorhome more affordable
If you’ve come to the conclusion that buying a motorhome is the right step for you, then congratulations!
You’re in for a whole new world of excitement and adventure.
Struans Leisure has a wide range of quality motorhomes for sale in Scotland, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more. We’ll gladly help you find the best motorhome for you.
Remember we also have motorhomes and campervans for hire if you’d prefer to dip your toes before buying. You can find out more about our motorhome rental rates and get yourself booked in for a motorhome journey this summer!