Some things in life are destined to remain forever a dream unless you somehow find the ways and means of buying them – it’s not that money can buy you happiness, of course, but it certainly helps in making your dreams come true.

You don’t have to bank on the unpredictable British weather and expect a Summer that is dry, warm, and sunny. If you buy a motorhome, you’ll always have somewhere dry and cosy to see out the worst our climate may bring – or drive it over to the Continent, save on rising hotel costs, and have your own home away from home wherever you are.

What better way to enjoy the outdoor life and freedom of the open than behind the wheel of a motorhome? So, if you are thinking about buying a motorhome, what are some of the most important points to take into consideration?

Should I buy a new or used UK motorhome?

There’s nothing quite like knowing that you’re the first person to have taken your motorhome on its first outing, nothing like being the first person to have slept in it – so buying a new motorhome lets you in on all of that, together with the reassurance of a lengthy warranty.

The greatest obstacle, of course, is likely to be the cost of buying a new motorhome. Used motorhomes hold their value pretty well, but they do still depreciate, so one that is, say, three years old might offer a significant saving on the new price, if it still has a relatively low mileage.

Whether to buy a new or second-hand UK motorhome depends on several factors, including your budget, preferences, and priorities. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so consider the following points to help you make an informed decision:

What are the pros and cons of buying a brand new UK motorhome?

Buying a brand new UK motorhome comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons to consider:

Pros of buying a new motorhome

  • Reliability: New motorhomes are less likely to have mechanical issues or require repairs because they are covered by warranties. This means you can have confidence in the vehicle’s reliability for your travels;
  • Warranty cover: New motorhomes typically come with warranties that cover various components for a specified period. This can save you money on repairs and maintenance during the warranty period;
  • Latest features: You’ll have access to the latest technology, safety features, and design innovations. This can enhance your comfort, convenience, and overall travel experience;
  • Customisation: When buying new, you often have the option to customize your motorhome to your liking. You can choose the layout, interior finishes, and additional accessories to suit your preferences and needs;
  • Fuel efficiency: Newer motorhomes may be more fuel-efficient due to advances in engine technology, which can save you money on fuel costs in the long run;
  • Resale value: While new motorhomes do depreciate, they tend to retain their value better than used ones over the first few years. If you decide to sell or trade in your motorhome down the line, you may get a higher resale value.

Cons of buying a new motorhome

  • Higher initial cost: New motorhomes come with a premium price tag, which can be significantly higher than that of used models with similar features. This can strain your budget;
  • Depreciation: While new motorhomes retain their value better than used ones initially, they still depreciate quickly in the first few years. You’ll experience a substantial loss in value if you decide to sell or trade in the motorhome within that time frame;
  • Limited availability: New motorhomes may have limited availability, especially if you’re looking for a specific make and model. You may need to wait for the manufacturer to produce and deliver your chosen configuration;
  • Higher insurance costs: Insuring a new motorhome can be more expensive than insuring a used one due to the higher replacement cost in case of accidents or theft;
  • First-year bugs: Even with warranties, new motorhomes can sometimes have unexpected issues or bugs that need to be addressed during the first year of ownership;
  • Customisation costs: While customisation is a pro, it can also add to the overall cost of your new motorhome. Upgrading or adding features can increase the price significantly.

What are the pros and cons of buying a second hand UK motorhome?

Buying a second-hand UK motorhome, also known as a used motorhome, comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons to consider:

Pros of buying a second-hand motorhome

  • Cost savings: Used motorhomes are generally more affordable than new ones, allowing you to get more value for your money. You can often purchase a higher-quality or larger motorhome within your budget;
  • Less depreciation: New motorhomes depreciate rapidly in the first few years. When you buy used, you avoid the steepest part of this depreciation curve, which can save you a significant amount of money over time;
  • History and condition: You can assess the history and condition of a used motorhome more easily. If the vehicle has been well-maintained and comes with a complete service history, you can have confidence in its reliability;
  • Variety: The used market offers a wider range of motorhome models, brands, and layouts, giving you more options to find a configuration that suits your needs and preferences;
  • Lower insurance costs: Insurance premiums for used motorhomes are often lower than those for new ones. This can result in cost savings over the life of your ownership;
  • Less financial risk: Buying a used motorhome can be less financially risky, especially if you’re unsure about how much you’ll use it or if motorhome ownership is right for you. You can enter the market at a lower cost.

Cons of buying a second-hand motorhome

  • If you are buying privately, there may be uncertainty about its condition: While you can assess the condition of a used motorhome, there may still be hidden issues or wear and tear that are not immediately apparent. A thorough inspection is essential;
  • Potentially outdated features: Older used motorhomes may not have the latest technology, safety features, or design innovations that newer models offer;
  • Limited Warranty (if you are buying privately): Used motorhomes may not come with the same warranty coverage as new ones, which means you may be responsible for repair costs shortly after purchase;
  • Availability: Finding a specific used motorhome model or layout that suits your preferences may require more time and effort, as availability can be limited;
  • Higher maintenance costs: As a motorhome ages, it may require more frequent maintenance and repairs. Be prepared for ongoing maintenance costs, especially with older models;
  • Unknown history: Not all used motorhomes come with complete service histories, and some may have had multiple owners. This can make it challenging to assess how well the vehicle has been cared for if you are buying your used motorhome privately rather than from a dealer.

Ultimately, the choice between buying a new or used UK motorhome depends on your financial situation, preferences, and priorities. If you have a specific model in mind, want the latest features, and can afford it, a new motorhome may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re budget-conscious, open to a wider range of options, and willing to do some research on used models, a second-hand motorhome might be the better choice.

To help you decide whether to splash out on a new motorhome or get a good deal on a pre-loved vehicle, here at Derby Motorhomes we have a permanent exhibition of both new and used models from which to choose – after you’ve had your own up close and personal inspection of as many motorhomes you’d like to try out for size.

Size matters

Probably the greatest feature of any motorhome is its versatility. You not only get to drive it from A to B, but it also provides shelter in which to take your lunch along the way and your accommodation when it is time for bed.

Versatility also gives you the choice between a motorhome that is a genuine home away from home – with all the creature comforts you might possibly want – and a vehicle that is agile and manoeuvrable enough for negotiating new and unfamiliar routes while still providing more than adequate sleeping accommodation at the end of the day’s touring.

Size, therefore, often represents a balance between manoeuvrability on the move and spacious comfort at the end of the day. Summing up the questions of size, therefore:

  • it is likely to come down to how you are planning to use your motorhome;
  • is your motorhome likely to be used mainly just by you and your partner or do you need the extra berths for a child or two;
  • are your outings and holidays planned mainly in the UK, or will you be taking your motorhome further afield in continental Europe;
  • the balance between practical manoeuvrability, weighed against all the space and comfort a larger motorhome may offer, is likely to swing your judgment;
  • however you choose, do keep a note in the cab of the height and width (metric and imperial) of your vehicle, if you encounter any road width or bridge height restrictions.

Whatever size motorhome you eventually choose, you might want to take advantage of one of the Manoeuvring Courses run by the Caravan and Motorhome Club.


Closely related to the question of how you plan to use your motorhome – and, in turn, its size – is the critical matter of its weight. The bigger your motorhome, of course, the heavier it is likely to weigh and the payload you can carry.

As a guide published by AutoTrader Motorhomes explains, weight is an equally important consideration, especially if you have chosen a vehicle in one of the heavier categories. You may then need to consider whether your standard Category B driving licence qualifies you to drive the vehicle.

The Camping and Caravanning Club explains that you currently need a Category C1 driving licence to drive a larger motorhome with an Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM, the technical term for the maximum laden weight of your caravan) between 3,500kg and 7,500kg.

If you passed your driving test before the 1st of January 1997, you are automatically entitled to this Category C1 licence, but if you took it after that date, you must take a separate driving test to gain the additional entitlement.

In either case, your current driving licence entitles you to drive motorhomes up to 3,500kg MAM – and the majority of motorhomes built in this country therefore comply with this weight restriction.

For the most up to date information, visit the Government website.


The design and planning that goes into the internal layout of every kind of motorhome – from a simple campervan to the largest of leisure vehicles – has become ever more skilled and innovative.

There are countless possibilities when it comes to the motorhome’s layout and you might want to give serious consideration to the one that best suits your proposed use.

If you are likely to be travelling alone or with your partner, for example, a simple layout that requires converting the seating into beds at night might suffice; if you are likely to be holidaying with the family or expect to be entertaining, then a layout that includes a more spacious lounge area and fixed beds may be more appropriate.


When you have made those necessary choices about the layout, overall size and weight of your preferred motorhome, the final decision might come down to the budget you have available or the motorhome finance that is available:

Your savings

  • some people are fortunate to have savings – and, especially as you approach retirement, you might be looking forward to ways of spending your pension’s lump sum cash pay-out;
  • by using your savings, of course, you avoid the need for finance altogether, so there are no credit repayments to find, no interest to pay, and your motorhome is 100% yours from the start;
  • unfortunately, though, many people’s savings do not extend to the amount necessary to invest in the motorhome of their choice;

Personal loans

  • even for such a relatively expensive purchase, your bank manager might still be amenable to granting an unsecured personal loan, which you repay in monthly instalments over a period of up to five or six years;
  • as it is an unsecured loan, however, with the lender having nothing to fall back on if you default on the repayments, you are likely to need a more or less perfect credit score to secure this type of borrowing;

Dealer arranged finance

  • if you are buying your new or used motorhome from a large and reputable, specialist dealer, however, you might need to look no further than the dealership itself;
  • making the finance available goes hand in hand with any dealer’s main business of selling you the motorhome you have chosen and his standing and reputation in the market is likely to mean that any finance partners are competitive, reliable and duly regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA);
  • try out our motorhome finance calculator to get an idea of costs;

Hire purchase

  • one method of motorhome financing almost certain to be offered by such a dealer takes the familiar shape of a hire purchase agreement;
  • this needs an initial deposit, typically around 10% of the purchase price, although you might be able to meet this requirement by trading in an older motorhome in part exchange for the one you want to buy;
  • repayments are by equal monthly instalments, and if you default on these, you risk the motorhome being repossessed by the hire purchase company;
  • that is because ownership of the motorhome is not transferred to you until the final instalment has been paid and it is illegal to attempt to sell your motorhome before that date whilst the outstanding finance balance remains;
  • because hire purchase agreements are effectively secured against the vehicle in question, financial confidence is generally sufficient for a competitive rate of interest to be offered;

If you have ever dreamed of owning a motorhome, there are a number of financing options available to you – and many dealers may be able to help you turn your dreams into reality. Those options tend to be increasing all of the time. One of the most recent developments, for example, is the extension of Personal Contact Purchase deals to financing the purchase of your motorhome.

For a discussion about any of these motorhome finance options simply contact us here at Derby Motorhomes. You can also read our Motorhome finance guide here for more information.

Your biggest investment is likely to be the home you live in. But, after that, a motorhome comes in a close second as the most expensive item you might consider buying.

The truth of the matter all depends on your personal financial circumstances, of course. What is in no doubt, though, is that any such purchase requires significant expenditure, and it will be prudent to think carefully how you go about funding a new motorhome.

Your source of funds

Unless you are one of those very rare individuals with stacks of cash in hand, the funds you need to buy a new motorhome have to come from somewhere – a source involving some kind of formal process.

There are several different avenues you might want to pursue in your search for such a source of funds and here at Derby Motorhomes, we’ll try to objectively outline some of those for you.

Funding through pension cash-ins, inheritances, savings and liquidating financial instruments

Savings, investments, and even your pension pot have the potential for providing you’re the funding you need. The examples are numerous and include:

  • the rules on withdrawing funds from your pension pot have been recently relaxed and the government-sponsored website explains how you can do this once you reach the age of 60 or 65 (or age 55 if you have a workplace or personal pension);
  • use of a bequest that has been left to you in the will of a deceased friend or relative; or
  • your sale of investments through the liquidation of stocks and shares you own.

Some of these options may provide you with sufficient funding to buy your new motorhome outright – with no monthly repayments going forward.

Nevertheless, you may need to bear in mind that although these options give you immediate access to the funding you may need, neither one of them might be the most appropriate or prudent way of proceeding with your intended purchase.

If you have depleted your existing savings, investments, and reserves of cash, for example, they will no longer be there if you face any financial emergency in the future and need more or less immediate access to additional funds.

These are complicated matters, and we are by no means qualified to offer financial advice or guidance. Instead, we recommend that you consult an independent financial adviser before cashing in your savings or investments or withdrawing funds from your pension pot.

Bank loans

Depending upon your personal financial circumstances and the standing you have with your high street bank, you might want to consider an application for a standard personal loan to fund the intended purchase of your motorhome.

This will give you the cash you can then use to pay for the vehicle, whilst you repay the loan over time, through monthly repayments to the bank.

A personal loan such as this is a fairly straightforward matter, although you might find that banks are perhaps a little less free with such lending for luxury items than they might have been some 15 years or so ago. You may also need to have an excellent credit history record and find a fairly substantial deposit towards the vehicle from your own reserves.

Hire Purchase (HP) and related dealer finance

This essentially involves a finance company purchasing the vehicle which legally remains their property although you will be allowed to use it as the “registered keeper”.

You will repay the funds provider over time and once you make the final payment, the vehicle becomes legally yours.

An initial deposit – typically of around 10% of the purchase price – is generally required from the outset.

Secured loans and equity finance

A secured loan is borrowing against assets you either own or have substantial surplus cash invested in.

For example, if your home is realistically valued at £400,000 and you have an outstanding mortgage on that of £50,000, then you have £350,000 notional equity in your property. It may be possible to borrow against some of that equity in order to buy your motorhome.

In that event, you must keep firmly in mind that your home is at risk if you take out a loan secured against it and find yourself subsequently unable to make the repayments on the loan.


There is a wide range of funding options available, and we’d welcome your contact in order to clarify how we might be able to assist further.

Whether you are buying new or second hand, a good motorhome is likely to be a large financial purchase. That’s why many of our customers look to various forms of borrowing to finance their motorhome purchase.

To set your sights on any particular motorhome, of course, you will want a better ballpark idea of how much you can borrow.

Here at Derby Motorhomes, we’re happy to help you discover just that.

Motorhome finance calculator

Our online motorhome finance calculator can give you an estimate of how much your HP motorhome finance may cost based on how much you want to borrow.

If you decide to proceed with an HP motorhome finance application, the actual cost may be different as it will be influenced by the points discussed below. But it is a good starting point.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you can borrow – the amount you will have available to buy your motorhome – depends on and typically not limited to:

  • your financial circumstances (how much you can afford to repay each month);
  • the period over which you want to complete the repayments;
  • the rate of interest attached to any loan or credit; and
  • the measure of your creditworthiness that is expressed in your credit rating.

Hire purchase

The amount you can borrow – and how much that credit will cost – is also determined by the method of borrowing you choose. As you’ll have noticed, our online calculator takes hire purchase as your favoured method. Why is that?

It’s quite simply because hire purchase is one of the most popular forms of motor finance – according to the Money Saving Expert in a piece updated on the 11th of April 2022.

Hire purchase is a credit plan involving precisely those two elements: after paying a relatively modest deposit (typically of around 10%) you make monthly repayments to hire the vehicle and have the option of making a final payment – the purchase – to own it.

As the government-backed website MoneyHelper explains, your delayed ownership means that the loan can be secured against the value of the vehicle – and this typically helps to reduce the level of interest that is charged in other types of borrowing (an unsecured personal loan from your bank, for example).

There are other advantages to this method of financing your motorhome purchase:

  • the interest rate is fixed, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying each month;
  • because the loan is secured against the vehicle, you might have more success getting hire purchase than an unsecured loan if your credit rating is less than good;
  • the initial deposit – of around 10% – is typically affordable, as is the final payment to complete the purchase (unlike the steep final payment you typically need to make at the end of a Personal Contract Purchase or PCP); and
  • unlike some other credit arrangements, hire purchase does not typically involve any mileage restrictions.


There is good reason for the abiding popularity of hire purchase agreements. They are typically easy to understand, have straightforward terms and conditions, and might often prove a cheaper way of borrowing than some other methods.

Our online calculator for motorhome finance will show you, at a glance, an example of just how much your monthly motorhome finance repayments could be.

If you are looking to finance your next motorhome, then please contact us today.

Many of the questions we’re often asked here at Derby Motorhomes are about the financing options for buying a motorhome.

With the strict proviso that we are in no way qualified financial advisers, we’re happy to share with you some of our observations on the subject of motorhome finance. Our aim is simply to highlight – in the broadest possible terms – some of the options that you may be able to choose from when buying a new motorhome.

Using your own cash

A lot of buyers use their own cash – especially in circumstances where they have taken a lump sum out of a pension fund, have inherited money from a relative’s estate, or come into a similar windfall.

In many respects, paying by cash is intuitively attractive. It means you won’t be paying interest charges to a lender, and neither will you need to convince someone else that you can afford the money you are spending. It is your decision and yours alone.

However, you may need to keep in mind that some advisers might argue that spending your own cash is not always an optimum solution. If you spend a substantial sum of money on your motorhome from your own cash reserves, then by definition, that money isn’t available for you to use for other purchases.

True, you could always sell your motorhome in future to get a percentage of your cash back but that can take a little time and while you’re going through the sales process, your funds aren’t available to you.

Hire Purchase

You are almost certain to be familiar enough with the concept of Hire Purchase (HP) that it needs no further explanation.

In brief outline, suffice it to say, that all is required from you is to find a sum of your own cash to contribute towards the cost of the vehicle by way of a “deposit”. The Hire Purchase provider will then fund the balance and purchase the vehicle for you to use as its registered keeper.

You will then pay a monthly repayment of the outstanding sum, over some years, until such time as you have paid off the balance. During that period of time, the vehicle legally remains the property of the HP provider and you must not sell it without their advance written permission.

The advantage of HP is that the vehicle is being purchased, in large part, with somebody else’s money, meaning you keep your capital reserves for something like an emergency. Of course, you will need to show – by way of relevant credit checks – that you are financially able to maintain the repayments.

Use our motorhome HP finance calculator for an idea of figures here.

Personal loans

You could go to a finance company or bank and ask them to advance you a sum of money which you can then spend on buying the new motorhome of your choice.

You will then need to repay the loan, of course, over an agreed period of time or term.

Once again, you will need to find some form of deposit. You will also again typically be assessed in terms of your creditworthiness and ability to financially meet the loan repayment commitment you are entering into.

Loans offer the advantage of giving you a degree of freedom over where you purchase your vehicle, and they may increase your negotiating position a little with a seller or dealership (as to them you will effectively be a cash buyer).

On the downside, certainly, bank loans are perhaps not always as readily available for luxury or non-essential expenditure as might once have been the case.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)

In recent years, the market in motor sales has been dominated by personal contract purchase (PCP) arrangements. Inevitably, perhaps, this financing option is widely gaining ground for the purchase of motorhomes.

One of the attractions of the PCP is that you visit the dealer or franchise holder, choose your motorhome, put down a deposit, agree the monthly repayment schedule, sign the papers, and drive away in your new motorhome.

It might seem similar to HP but differs in crucial respects.

Your monthly repayments are reduced and rolled over until the final “balloon” payment, which you can pay so that the vehicle becomes yours outright.

Alternatively, you can hand back the motorhome, with nothing further to pay. But if you have built up an equity in the vehicle – because it has maintained its value better than expected, for instance – you can arrange its sale and put down the released equity as a deposit on the purchase of a new motorhome.


At Derby Motorhomes we work with a number of motorhome finance specialists to find you what we consider is the most suitable finance solution for your next motorhome. Why not contact us today to see how we can help?

Apart from some of the more usual and expected questions about insurance for your motorhome, there are others that might seem relatively uncommon – but are no less important for all that.

Here are just two examples of the questions we are sometimes asked:

  • can I live in my motorhome full time and keep it insured?
  • what happens to my house insurance if I am away on extended motorhome trips?

In some ways, the questions might seem related – yet the issues they raise are certainly different.

Living permanently in your motorhome

It’s important to state at the outset, perhaps, that the overwhelming majority of motorhome insurance providers consider motorhomes to be vehicles you use occasionally for recreational purposes. It’s no coincidence, of course, that motorhomes are often referred to as “RVs” – quite simply, recreational vehicles.

Typical motorhome insurance policies will contain a clause that limits, in some form or another, just how much you can use your motorhome in a given year. That may be some months and that might be entirely satisfactory for the vast majority of motorhome owners. However, if you decide you want to spend your life on the road, it is likely to be inadequate for you.

There is no mystery behind the reasoning here.

Insurance providers use certain algorithms designed to calculate the risk of offering you cover. The facts they use to construct your risk profile include certain assumptions about your permanent address and how much time you will be living there for each year, as opposed to using your motorhome.

If you plan to be on the road all the time, in effect you don’t have a permanent address and that is going to cause many insurance providers a degree of conceptual difficulty in terms of offering you cover.

It may be possible to obtain specialist cover if you do decide to spend your life on the road but the key message here is to avoid simply selling up and driving off in your motorhome on the assumption that your existing motorhome insurance will be valid. It may not be!

How much time can you spend in your motorhome before it impacts your home insurance?

At first sight, this is also a question related to spending longer periods of time in your motorhome – but it raises quite different issues that have no direct impact on your motorhome insurance.

The challenges here arise from the fact that your existing standard home insurance almost certainly contains a clause limiting how long – counted in consecutive days and nights – you can leave your property unoccupied before your insurance is at risk.

That period of time is usually somewhere between 30 and 45 consecutive days.

If you wish to go off and spend extended time on the road discovering the world in your motorhome, you will typically need to remember that you may need to contact your home insurance provider about your plans and consider whether you must arrange specialist unoccupied property insurance. This will extend a policy to cover your property for longer periods when you are not in residence.


A key message that emerges from our consideration of both these questions relates to the importance of disclosure to your insurance company. Put another way, you must make sure that your motorhome insurer and any broker involved are both kept fully informed when there is any change at all in your circumstances (those that existed when the cover commenced) – and that includes a decision to live for a time in your motorhome or to leave your home temporarily unoccupied for longer than a month or so.

Most insurance providers will try to be as flexible and as helpful as they can in order to help you to enjoy your motorhome to the fullest possible extent.

Here at Derby Motorhomes, we are dealers in motorhomes – among the best in the country, we like to think. We are not financial advisers, though, so the following thoughts and comments are offered by way of suggestions rather than any form of financial advice.

Furthermore, suitable methods of funding and sources of finance for your new motorhome are going to depend mainly on your personal financial means and circumstances. Of course, we have no idea of those at present. So, all that follows needs to be interpreted in an entirely general fashion – and may or may not apply to your own unique circumstances.

Finding finance

For most intents and purposes, there are typically five potential sources of motorhome finance:

  • your bank;
  • the dealership from which you intend to make your purchase;
  • an independent finance company you’ve found yourself;
  • loans from friends or family; or
  • your own financial resources (from your existing savings or a retirement lump-sum, for example).

For this article about sources of finance, we might put to one side any further consideration of loans from family or friend or the use of your existing savings since our particular interest is in finance deals available commercially.

That leaves us with the three possibilities of your bank, an independent finance company, or finance arranged by your dealership.

Your circumstances

Whoever you approach for an advance of motorhome finance, you are almost certain to be expected to bring certain things to the table, such as:

  • evidence that you can afford the repayment schedule (typically, documentary evidence of a regular income);
  • evidence that the price asked for the vehicle proposed is realistic and makes sense when viewed against its current market value;
  • proof of your identity and address that you are who you say you are – by way of readily verifiable data such as the electoral register;
  • a deposit or some other financial contribution towards the price, that helps to reduce or share the risk to the lender – so that, the bigger the deposit or the more of your own money you are contributing, the easier you are likely to secure the funding you are after as an attractive rate of interest (assuming all other things are equal); and
  • an acceptable credit history record – contrary to widely-held myth, credit history issues are not usually show-stoppers, but they may affect how much you’ll need to pay for your finance.

Bank funding

This has a major attraction for some in that it’s familiar. Banks have also cleverly positioned themselves in the marketplace over generations so that they sound like solid pillars of the community – and that still appeals to many customers.

On the downside, you might find that:

  • they can be rather slow to come to a decision;
  • they may demand a higher contribution from you than some other potential lenders;
  • you might want to keep your vehicle purchasing affairs private in terms of your bank’s view of the totality of your spending; and
  • the banks can be risk-averse and less receptive to luxury vehicle financing than some other sources.

Finance companies of your own choice

Remember, every time you make a loan application and it’s refused, that will potentially damage your credit score. So, avoid making large numbers of random applications in the hope you’ll get a favourable outcome and instead look for companies that have a proven track record in the provision of motorhome finance.

Look at all the usual factors including:

  • whether they are duly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA);
  • the rate of interest you will be paying for the finance;
  • the term of the finance arrangements – in other words for how long you will be repaying any credit or loan;
  • the maximum age of the vehicle the lender will accept; and
  • any conditions, penalty clauses, and the like that the lender may apply.

Take your time reviewing any offer of finance, of course, and if you’re not fully comfortable with the financial concepts and jargon, make sure to take independent and objective advice from someone who is.

Dealership finance

Dealerships have a big advantage – they know the finance providers who are likely to be receptive to applications relating to motorhome finance. For example, this route might help to keep the deposit you need to a lower level.

Things to keep in mind might include:

  • whether you would prefer to keep entirely separate the related issues of finding finance and driving a deal on a motorhome;
  • the high demand for motorhomes and the fact they hold their prices may make your whole approach to negotiating a deal quite different from the way you might buy a car; and
  • remembering to appraise and review any offer of finance from a dealership in just the way you would any other offer – by looking at rates of interest, the term of any finance, conditions, and penalties, for example.

We hope this brief guide to getting the most attractive motorhome finance deal is useful. At Derby Motorhomes we are not independent financial advisors and so are unable to provide you with independent financial advice. We do, however, work independently with funders and brokers to help you access motorhome finance. You can find out more on our motorhome finance page.

It’s likely to be a simple financial fact of life. Statistically speaking, a motorhome is likely to be the second most expensive purchase – after your home – you’ll ever make.

Put even more simply, if you are looking to buy a motorhome, you will want to give its funding – your finance options – some especially careful thought. And that is a subject on which, here at Derby Motorhomes, we can help.

So, let’s take a look at some of the major and most common sources of motorhome finance chosen by many purchasers.


That’s the money you have to hand in your bank account, of course. You might be fortunate enough to have an instant access savings account, for instance, which can let you pay for your motorhome in a single transaction, paying by electronic transfer or money order.

In these days of relatively straitened financial circumstances, of course, savings might be few and far between – but perhaps you have been the beneficiary of a windfall through someone’s will or maybe you have just drawn down a pension lump sum.

Pros: Easy, simple, and straight forward. There are no interest costs or related charges. Neither are there going to be any credit score issues if that is an area in which you might be challenged. The vehicle becomes yours immediately after you have handed over the cash.

Cons: Depending on your overall financial circumstances, using “spare” cash to fund the purchase of a motorhome may not necessarily always be the most appropriate use of your liquid capital. Your cash is immediately gone and isn’t available for other emergency uses.

Equity release

In a sense, this is a variation on cash. It differs only in how long it takes you to release the equity and to some extent, how you do so.

Essentially, equity release involves getting hold of liquid capital you might currently have tied up in other things, then using that to purchase your motorhome.

For example, if you take out a loan based upon the equity you have in your property (equity there is defined as the difference between your property’s realistic market value and any remaining mortgage you might have on it).

Pros: once again, the funds released through such an arrangement make you effectively a cash buyer for your motorhome. Unsurprisingly, therefore, equity release can be a very cost-effective way of accessing capital

Cons: it can take a little time, involve some form-filling, and legal documents to be drafted as you try to free up your equity. Borrowing against equity is still borrowing, so you need to look closely at interest rates as per normal. It will invariably involve reference to your credit status and score. If you’re borrowing against the equity in your home, remember that your home might be at risk if you fail to keep up the repayments.

Hire Purchase (HP)

For most of us, this is a thoroughly familiar form of finance.

It works very simply. If your application is approved, the lending company will purchase the vehicle and give you permission to keep and use it as the legally recognised “registered keeper”.

After paying a deposit – typically, around 10% of the purchase price – you’ll then repay the balance over a specified period of time, but the vehicle becomes legally yours only after you have made the final repayment. During the term of the agreement, the vehicle is NOT legally yours and you must not sell it without the HP provider’s advance permission (to do so would be a criminal offence).

Pros: a thoroughly familiar form of funding. It can be more cost-effective than paying in cash, depending upon your particular overall financial circumstances. Decisions may be reached fairly quickly once your application is made.

Cons: your motorhome may be legally seized if you default on the repayments – that is, you fail to maintain the repayments in accordance with the agreed schedule. You will typically need to meet certain minimum credit risk scoring criteria.

Bank loans

Conventional bank loans have been around for a long time, of course, so the ins and outs of borrowing from your bank are probably well understood.

Pros: it’s likely to be a familiar arrangement. It is likely to be most convenient for those with an established relationship with their bank.

Cons: some banks may be reluctant to lend larger sums for what they will consider to be luxury items. Decisions can be slow and credit scoring is likely to be involved.


Although we have mentioned credit scoring above, please don’t assume that you need a perfect credit score in order to obtain finance! We are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to advise on motorhome financing options and stand ready to help you with motorhome finance even if you have a less than perfect credit history.

Why not call us for a further discussion?

Buying a motorhome – it’s a decision you’re unlikely to take lightly. It’s almost certain to mean a significant investment. Plus the wide range of options and choices you’ll need to make can prove bewildering.

Here at Derby Motorhomes, we can help with a lot of those decisions. Although the following top buying tips are aimed at people considering their first purchase in the field, if you’re a seasoned veteran, then you might also learn something new!

The terms you will encounter

As you begin to think about your possible purchase, it will be helpful to familiarise yourself with a few of the terms you are likely to encounter:


  • these represent the upper end of the type of motor vehicle you may both drive and live in – they are sometimes called motor caravans;
  • at the front, there is the driver’s compartment – usually screened off or separated from the living quarters behind;
  • all tend to be spacious inside and are very well equipped;
  • as the Camping and Caravanning Club’s guide to motorhomes explains, however, there are still several sub-categories, generally divided by their size and the levels to which they are equipped;
  • at the top of the range, for example, are the large, roomy and luxuriously appointed American motorhomes from the iconic Winnebago, some might be so long they incorporate a third axle (a so-called tag axle), others might be coach-built “A” class motorhomes, while still others might be conventional coach-built homes on a standard chassis vehicle;

Camper vans

  • at the other end of the scale are more basic motorhomes, which are typically referred to as camper vans;
  • this is no misnomer, since the camper van is to the motorhome, in much the same way as camping is to caravanning;
  • camper vans are medium to larger size conversions of mass-produced vans – the VW “combo” being perhaps one of the most widely used and affectionately owned versions.

Campervan versus motorhome

Broadly speaking, campervans are smaller and less well-equipped than full motorhomes.

Campervans are often exceedingly ingenious in their use of relatively limited space, but even so, there is a certain connotation of needing to “rough it” a little – hence the reference to camping in their name.

In our experience, motorhomes are usually favoured by families and more mature couples, who prefer a few luxuries in life. Campervans are typically more appealing to single people or younger couples – but that’s by no means a hard and fast rule!

Choosing your motorhome

In addition to that basic difference between motorhomes and campervans, it is vital to appreciate the vast range of motorhomes themselves – whether new or second-hand.

It is worth giving careful thought to how you intend to use your motorhome – in terms of its ease of driving and manoeuvrability, its size, level of accommodation and fitted equipment, and the number of people it needs to accommodate.

Parking and storing your motorhome when it is not in use may also be a significant consideration – especially given the length and size of some versions – suggests Saga magazine in one of its several guides about caravan ownership.

If it is to serve as a motor caravan, a home from home and base from which to enjoy your holidays with relatively little driving about in between, for example, you might want to choose a larger model, with higher standards of accommodation.

On the other hand, if it is to be used mainly for touring, with comfortable enough accommodation in which to sleep overnight, a more basic camper van is going to prove more manoeuvrable, cheaper to run, and may provide the ideal solution.

Big U.S. RVs

These Recreational Vehicles are undoubtedly eye-catching and a byword in luxury but remember that you may need to pass an LGV (Light Goods Vehicle) driving test before you are legally able to drive one.

Big versus small

In our experience, people new to this recreational field often assume that the bigger the motorhome, the better it will be for comfort, facilities and so on.

Actually, that’s not necessarily always so. Some motorhomes that are smaller in terms of their floor area might well have far superior levels of equipment to some that are technically larger. A lot depends upon the marque and the designers’ skills.

Think about a driving techniques course

The vast majority of motorhomes are easy to drive and, in many respects, they’re not significantly different from driving an ordinary car.  In most cases, subject to your age, aspects of the vehicle’s weight and when your licence was issued, you may be able to drive them on a standard driving licence.

However, they are still slightly larger vehicles and may need a little getting used to in terms of things such as parking, manoeuvring, and reversing.  This isn’t exactly rocket science, but there are some modestly-priced courses out there that will help you get to grips with safe driving techniques before you necessarily take your vehicle on the road.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club’s Motorhome Manoeuvring Course, for example, lasts just six hours but covers practically everything you are likely to need to know.

Do your homework – and speak to an expert

Because of the extensive variation in styles, size, and suitability – not to mention cost – you might find it difficult matching what’s on sale to your particular needs and requirements.

For a much better comparison of both new and used motorhomes, therefore, you might want to visit a specialist motorhome dealer.

On that score, the larger, the better and the more comprehensive the range of motorhomes you can view while tracking down your perfect match.

The larger dealers, such as ourselves, who have established a reputation built on many years’ of experience are likely to offer not only extensive exhibition space but additional facilities, such as online chats and listings, to help you narrow down your search.

There are lots of great things to learn about motorhomes, and all of them will potentially have some influence on your eventual decision as to make and model etc.

Most of those lessons are positive ones, relating to different types of benefits that come with different versions of motorhomes. Still, it’s also important to be aware of certain things to watch out for too – and that is where our expertise and experience might come in.

Think, too, about what is important to you. It can be all too easy to go along to a couple of showrooms and be swayed by motorhome characteristics that might subsequently prove to be mostly irrelevant in your particular situation.

For example, the internal upholstery might be especially attractive in one model, but that will count for nothing if the driver and passenger seats prove to be uncomfortable on long journeys.

Before you go to a showroom, think about things such as:

  • how regularly you are going to use the vehicle on long-distance journeys. That might tell you a lot about your requirements for driving position comfort and things such as engine power and tolerable noise levels etc.;
  • just how many people it will need to accommodate, on average, over a typical year. Having multiple extra berths might be a lot less relevant to you than having a larger bathroom area (or vice versa); etc.

Of course, many other things should be on a list of this nature. The point is, have as good an idea as possible about your priorities before you start looking at individual motorhomes.

Look at your budget

Not only do motorhomes come in all shapes and sizes, but there are also just as many variations in the price – and that means giving careful thought to your budget.

It’s also fair to say that new motorhomes or those that are relatively modern, even if pre-owned and pre-loved, aren’t likely to be describable as “cheap”. Having said that, keep in mind the good news – typically they hold their value well in terms of future re-sales (unlike most cars).

Being clear how much you are willing/able to spend in advance is important in terms of influencing your viewing and researching strategy.

At the same time, however, try to avoid becoming fixated on price. True, there’s little point in evaluating motorhomes that you can’t afford. Even so, going around looking for the cheapest possible vehicle you can find isn’t always the most advisable tactic from a finance point of view.

For example, some motorhomes may depreciate rather more quickly than others. It can also be deeply frustrating to find after purchase that you may have saved £2,000 by selecting a cheaper model, but the result is a motorhome that just isn’t meeting your requirements.

While affordability and budget are significant factors, try to avoid thinking about the price before you are clear on your “must-have” requirements. Compromise is always a good thing, but it can be taken too far and leave you full of regret when using your new motorhome. That £2,000 might not seem such a big deal in those circumstances.

Clear your finances in advance

Nothing is more frustrating than getting excited about a particular motorhome, only to find that you can’t secure the financing subsequently. A variation on the same is when the decision on the money takes so long to come through that the vehicle is sold elsewhere in the meantime.

Make sure, therefore, that you have thought about your budget and agreed it in advance, in principle at least, with an individual funding provider. Significant numbers of motorhome dealerships might be able to assist you in your search for funding if required.

You’ll be pleased to know, therefore, that our finance service here at Derby Motorhomes offers a wide range of products designed to help fund your purchase – and, if your motorhome finance application is accepted, clearing those funds typically takes little time at all.

New or second-hand?

There is probably little we can add about the attraction of buying new rather than second-hand.

There’s probably nothing to equal the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that you are the first ever to drive and sleep in a brand-new motorhome. On the other hand, assuming all else is equal, such as marque and model, a used motorhome is likely to cost less than one that’s brand new. And the depreciation will typically be less.

It’s always advisable to source a used motorhome from a reputable and highly experienced dealer. Purchasing from a street-corner generalist type car dealer might be risky, as they may lack the experience to offer you full advice.

A note of caution if you choose to buy privately

Purchasing privately from an owner is, of course, also an option. Apply all the usual review and research criteria. Do keep in mind that your legal rights of redress should something go wrong post-purchase, may be far more limited than might be the case if purchasing from a company.

Motorhomes typically hold their value far more than the average motor car. That means even if they are pre-used, they’re likely to cost you a substantial sum of money.

As a result, there are crooks out there who will seek to take advantage of unwary buyers typically through a combination of identity theft and selling motorhomes that aren’t theirs to sell.

This is a big subject, and it can’t be adequately covered in a brief article. You should, therefore, research it online and take all steps necessary to protect your interests when buying from a private individual.

Provided you are aware of the possible pitfalls and scams and continue to exercise a buyer’s caution, you might be able to strike an attractive deal on a used motorhome bought privately. Make sure you doubly protect yourself from possible fraud by:

  • making identity checks, to be sure you know exactly who you are dealing with and that the address they are giving you is, in fact, real;
  • verifying ownership of the vehicle – to be sure that they own the vehicle they are selling;
  • conducting outstanding finance checks, to be sure that you are not inheriting any potential debts with the vehicle; and
  • making any cash transfer with as much security protection as you can muster.


Questions about the size of the motorhome that best suits you, makes and models, use of your recreational vehicle, finance options, and whether to buy new or used, from a dealer or private sale – you’re likely to be faced with many decisions if you’re looking to buy a motorhome.

We have lots of other useful motorhome buying tips plus general advice and guidance for those who are purchasing a motorhome.

Why not contact us for an initial friendly and entirely non-committal discussion? We’d be delighted to help!

Hand in hand with the business of selecting a motorhome goes the need to decide how you will pay for it.

The first is typically something that most people find extremely exciting. The latter is sometimes more daunting for some buyers. The good news is that, in the vast majority of cases, the process is relatively straightforward and not one to be feared because here at Derby Motorhomes we can help make it an entirely smooth process.

There may be a number of options open to you in terms of funding your motorhome – and we are always keen to try and ensure that you understand the pros and cons of your various choices of finance. That’s why we have produced the following brief motorhome finance guide.

So, let’s take a closer look at what is involved in motorhome finance and just what are your options.

Using your own capital

For many of us, this might be intuitively attractive.

In some respects, it is the easiest option and the one that offers you the least amount of work. Some buyers also prefer this method because it means they are free from a debt and more independent as a result.

While we would never argue against that, it is worth keeping in mind, though, that it isn’t always necessarily the most advantageous route. For example, if you suddenly needed cash for an emergency, having your money tied up in a motorhome or any other asset, may mean you’ll require some time to free it up.

That is because spending your savings on the purchase of a motorhome removes liquid capital from your financial reserves.

That simply means that once you have invested your capital into a motorhome, if you need cash in a hurry to deal with an emergency, it is no longer available to you at the stroke of a pen on a cheque. While good pre-used motorhomes are typically always in high demand, it may still take time for you to convert your vehicle into cash should an emergency arise.

It’s therefore worthwhile thinking a little about whether using your own money is the most sensible or prudent option – or whether you might want to consider borrowing the necessary funds.


Borrowing the money to purchase your motorhome means finding a lender prepared to advance the loan or extend the credit.

Perhaps the first point to keep in mind is that lenders are keen to find reasons to say “yes” to any financing application – that is their business, after all. But that business interest means, first and foremost, their determination to recover any finance that is lent.

While a lender is going to welcome an application, they will invariably require a credit history check – for confidence in your ability to make the necessary repayments. Credit checking is also a condition of the lender’s authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This validation process is also known as a credit risk assessment, though having a few minor problems on your credit history is not always a showstopper. Some of the brokers we use understand that very few people these days have an entirely blemish-free credit history record. That said, any motorhome finance provider will reserve the right to decline an application if they feel it is not in your best interests.

The vehicle’s valuation and sum requested

As you might expect, any provider of motorhome finance will need to protect their interests in terms of being sure that the sums they are advancing make sense against the value of the asset concerned.

What this means is that they will be reviewing the price you are proposing to pay for the motorhome against their own industry-standard valuations of such vehicles.

This is rarely a problem and exists for the protection not only of the potential lenders but also the applicant in terms of avoiding you paying more for the vehicle than it is worth.

Our services

We work with some of the leading motorhome finance providers (insert link to: and funds brokers in the UK.

Thanks to that network of contacts, we offer a wide range of finance options – each of which have their unique advantages and issues. A solution that is suitable for one buyer might not be optimal for another.

We would be happy to sit down and discuss just what your options are in a given situation. We will then typically be able to assist you in finding a motorhome loan package that’s both suitable and cost-effective.

Motorhome finance options

So, let’s take a brief look at some of those different finance options:

Personal loans

  • this involves you borrowing a sum of money from a bank or other funds provider;
  • you then purchase a motorhome using that loan and the vehicle is immediately and legally yours;
  • you repay the loan over the period of time that you have agreed with the loan provider;
  • personal loans may be secured or unsecured – and if security is required, this typically takes the form of a charge over the motorhome itself in favour of the lender;
  • that allows the lender to repossess the motorhome (or whatever else you have used as security) in the event you defaulted on your repayments.

Hire purchase

Hire Purchase (commonly shortened just to HP) involves the lender purchasing the vehicle and then allowing you to use it as if it were your own – under the auspices of your designation as the “registered keeper”:

  • typically, you’ll need to find a deposit as your contribution towards the overall cost – the amount of the deposit is likely to be around 10-15% of the purchase price;
  • you will also need to demonstrate to the funds provider that your overall financial position is such that you will be able to comfortably afford the monthly repayments – and that is usually done by way of the credit risk assessment to which we have already referred;
  • each month you will make a regular repayment to the provider of the funds – with the term of the agreement typically extending over a number of years;
  • once you make the final repayment, legal ownership of the motorhome transfers to you.

There are typically very few restrictions on what you can or cannot do with your motorhome when purchasing it under HP – but you cannot sell the vehicle without the advance permission of the provider of the funds because it really isn’t yours to sell until you’ve made that final repayment.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)

  • PCP is where you put down a deposit (which can be cash, part exchange or a combination of both);
  • although regular monthly payments are then made, they effectively represent only the value of the lease of the vehicle;
  • the lender defers, until the end of the agreement, an amount roughly equal to its future value and guarantees to this (subject to you meeting the pre-set terms of the agreement);
  • so, if all terms are met, you can simply hand the vehicle back to the lender at the end of the agreement or pay the lump sum to own the vehicle outright – or part exchange it for another.

Equity release

In some circumstances, you may be able to borrow money against equity that you have in another asset.

  • let’s say, for example, that you own a property realistically valued at £200,000 and an outstanding mortgage on it of £30,000;
  • that means, broadly speaking, that you have £170,000 equity in your property;
  • some lenders may be prepared to advance loans, using your property as security, providing the equity exceeds the amount you are looking to borrow;

It is worth remembering that your property may be at risk if you are unable to continue the repayments against any loan secured against it.

Derby Motorhomes for motorhome finance

Thanks to the in-house expertise and experience we offer here at Derby Motorhomes, there is no need to look any further for your specialist motorhome finance. Not only are we one of the leading dealers for Auto-Sleeper motorhomes in the UK but we also aim to arrange the finance you need with any number of reputable lenders.

If your personal financial status is backed by a healthy credit history, so much the better. But even if it less than perfect – and you have experienced difficulties with borrowing or credit in the past – we may still be able to find the finance deal that puts you behind the wheel of your new motorhome in no time at all.

We are FCA registered to advise customers on all aspects of motorhome finance. Why not get in touch today to see how we can help?

Whether you want to buy a new or second-hand motorhome, there is no way around the fact that it is likely to set you back a fair sum of money.

As the charity Citizens’ Advice suggests, the purchase of a motorhome is likely to be one of those larger items for which you may need to borrow money. So, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about motorhome finance.

How much can I borrow?

You may borrow what you can afford to repay. Those repayments will depend on the amount you borrow, the length of time for which you borrow the money, the amount you have saved to offer as a deposit, and the rate of interest you are offered by any lender.

These are the factors that determine the affordability of any motorhome finance.

How does a finance company calculate that affordability?

The motorhome finance company will consider the amount you are putting down as a deposit, your regular earnings and expenditure and – perhaps most important of all will examine your credit rating.

Any finance company is obliged to check your credit history – which illustrates how well, or otherwise, you have managed borrowing and credit in the past and, so, provides the lender some confidence in your maintaining the agreed repayment schedule on any new borrowing.

Don’t be misled by those advertisements suggesting that there is any such thing as “no credit check credit”.

How can I trust any lender to offer a fair deal?

Lenders providing motorhome finance advice need to be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – and you may review the FCA register to confirm that here at Derby Motorhomes we have just such authorisation, trading as Motor Plus Derby Limited.

Not only is our motorhome finance business regulated by the FCA but it also means that if you subsequently have any complaint or dispute about your finance, you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

What forms of motorhome finance do you offer?

Hire purchase

Perhaps the most familiar form of finance is hire purchase.

If your application is approved, you typically need to find a deposit of around 10% of the purchase price of the motorhome you have chosen.

The balance of the purchase price is then repaid in equal monthly instalments over the agreed term of the hire purchase agreement. In some instances, you may be able to opt for monthly repayments followed by a larger, final, “balloon” payment.

It is worth remembering that legal ownership of the motorhome does not pass to you until the final instalment has been paid and that if you default on the repayments, your motorhome may be repossessed.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)

You have almost certainly heard about PCPs as they are used to purchase a large number of private cars these days.

Here at Derby Motorhomes, we are currently able to extend this motorhome finance facility to the purchase of your motorhome, too.

For more information on how we can help you with motorhome finance, please visit our dedicated page here or please give us a call on 01332 360222 – we’d be delighted to help.