When someone has owned an Auto-Sleeper motorhome they’re rarely likely to look back – when it comes the time to change or upgrade the leisure vehicle, therefore, they invariably buy Auto-Sleeper again.
If you’re in the market for buying a top-quality, pre-loved motorhome, therefore, you might want to take more than a second look at any Auto-Sleeper for sale.
Why buy a used Auto-Sleeper?
Auto-Sleepers are famed for their quality, luxury and level of finish. The design and craftsmanship that goes into every model to emerge from the factory in the Cotswolds ensures a level of comfort that is second to none among British-built motorhomes.
So, an Auto-Sleeper is built to last. Even when the first owner decides it is time to renew or upgrade, therefore, there is still likely to be plenty of life left in the original model.
Motorhomes tend to hold their price much better than an average car – and an Auto-Sleeper holds its price better than an average motorhome. But all vehicles inevitably depreciate in value over time. That means you may be able to make appreciable savings on the price of a used Auto-Sleeper compared with one that is brand new.
Here we discuss what you need to consider when buying a preloved Auto-Sleeper motorhome.
Budget and financing
Determine your budget for the purchase, considering not only the initial price but also potential ongoing costs like insurance, maintenance, fuel, and camping fees.
Explore financing options if needed, such as personal loans or motorhome-specific financing from reputable lenders or a dealership. You can use our motorhome finance calculator here to get an idea of costs.
Research and model selection
Conduct thorough research on Auto-Sleeper models available in the used market, considering your specific needs and preferences regarding size, layout, features, and amenities.
Check online reviews, forums, and user experiences to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different models.
Once you have a budget and idea of what is the best Auto-Sleeper for you, then you have two options as to where to buy your motorhome from.
Where to buy a used Auto-Sleeper
You might see an Auto-Sleeper for sale when it’s advertised in a magazine or online listing site.
As you might have discovered when attempting to buy any vehicle through such a private sale, however, the transaction can be fraught with frustration and danger. You need something of an expert eye to check that the vehicle is everything it’s cracked up to be, you have to negotiate a fair price with the vendor, and it’s your responsibility to check that the vendor has title to the motorhome and that it is not subject to any outstanding finance.
You need to check the service history – to ensure that servicing and maintenance has been carried out by approved dealers – and it is down to you to check that everything is clean and has been well cared for.
Most worrying of all when buying through a private sale, perhaps, comes if anything goes wrong with the motorhome you have just bought. You have no come-back if the motorhome is bought “as seen”.
Here we highlight what you need to do if buying an Auto-Sleeper via a private sale …
Inspect the motorhome
Inspect the motorhome thoroughly, both inside and outside, for any signs of wear and tear, water damage, leaks, rust, or structural issues.
Check the engine, brakes, tyres, suspension, and other mechanical components for their condition and any history of repairs or maintenance.
Ensure that the habitation area of the motorhome, including living, kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping spaces, is in good condition and all systems are working properly.
Test gas appliances, electrical systems, water systems, heating, ventilation, and safety features during the inspection.
Service history and documentation
Request and review the motorhome’s service history, maintenance records, and any relevant documentation such as vehicle manuals, registration, and MOT certificates.
Check for a valid MOT certificate to confirm the motorhome’s roadworthiness and compliance with safety and environmental standards.
Ownership and previous use
Verify the number of previous owners and the type of usage the motorhome has had.
Ask about any accidents, damages, or repairs the motorhome may have undergone in the past.
Legal and financial checks
Ensure that the motorhome has a clear title and is not subject to any outstanding finance or legal issues.
Run an HPI (Hire Purchase Information) check or similar to confirm the vehicle’s history and ownership status.
Negotiate and finalise the purchase
Negotiate the price based on the condition of the motorhome, its features, market value, and any necessary repairs or improvements.
If you’re satisfied with the inspection and negotiations, finalise the purchase, ensuring all paperwork, payments, and transfer of ownership are completed accurately and legally.
Insurance and registration
Arrange motorhome insurance that meets your needs, considering factors like usage, value, and additional cover options.
Complete the registration process and ensure the necessary paperwork is filed with the appropriate authorities.
Plan for any immediate repairs or improvements that may be required based on the inspection.
Familiarise yourself with the motorhome’s features, systems, and maintenance requirements for a safe and enjoyable ownership experience.
Buying a used Auto-Sleeper from a dealer
You are in much safer hands, of course, if you buy a used Auto-Sleeper from a reputable dealer.
Owners of Auto-Sleepers tend to be loyal to the dealer from which they first bought the motorhome. They rely on the same specialist dealer for the servicing and maintenance of the motorhome and go there for the subsequent fitting of any extras or accessories.
When it comes time to renew or upgrade the vehicle, they are also likely to ask that dealer to handle its sale. So, the majority of Auto-Sleepers you see for sale are likely to be in the hands of specialist dealers, such as us here at Derbymotorhomes. They are likely to prove your most active market.
When buying from such a dealer, you may be assured that the motorhome has been thoroughly inspected and serviced, you have a full range of warranty options, and you have a contact through whom any post-sale snags or concerns may be resolved.
Things like HPI checks etc. would have been carried out, so you have no worries over the ownership of the Auto-Sleeper.
And if you have an existing motorhome that you are looking to sell, then your can look at motorhome part-exchange options too, with your dealership.