Selling any motor vehicle is often a chore and something of a hassle.
Selling your motorhome may prove still more of a headache. Buyers may be few and far between. There is likely to be more money at stake, and viewers are likely to take much longer poring over every inch of the vehicle (and that’s not even counting the time-wasters who say they are coming and then fail to turn up).
When you part exchange your motorhome, on the other hand, you get two essential benefits for the price of one – you avoid the time, hassle and general inconvenience of having to sell your current motorhome. And you are also likely to gain more than enough of a deposit on your new one.
So, let’s take a closer look at part exchanging your motorhome.
At the time of writing, all the news is good news in terms of that “PX” deal! Why?
Second-hand motorhome values
Motorhomes depreciate far less than the typical car. That means they hold their value well, assuming all other things are equal.
Add to that the fact that there’s currently something of a shortage of good quality second-hand motorhomes and you have all the ingredients for great deals if you’re part-exchanging your motorhome.
Part exchange with Derby Motorhomes
If you are selling your motorhome to buy another, we aim to give you a top part exchange price – without your having to go through any of the hassles of advertising, etc.
All we ask is you give us a full and accurate description of your motorhome as possible, including whether it has been involved in any accidents and if there is any outstanding finance on the vehicle.
Even if you prefer to go down the route of selling your motorhome privately, we may still be able to help. Your buyer may be looking for a part exchange deal, for example, or even looking for the finance to purchase your motorhome – both are issues over which we may be able to help.
Choosing a dealer
When you are looking to part exchange, a lot may hinge on your choice of dealer.
Naturally, you want the best possible price for any motorhome you trade-in, based on a fair and realistic valuation of its current market value.
Specialist, reputable dealers are likely to be in the best position to make just such an offer. They know about motorhomes, they know who is in the market to buy a used one, and they are at the cutting edge of the business.
Most dealers specialise in a particular make of motorhome and, if you are lucky enough to already own one of the top-rated brands such as an Auto-Sleeper, you may be likely to be offered an especially attractive deal in part exchange.
Indeed, some dealers are so interested in buying such desirable brands as Auto-Sleeper, that, if you have yet to make up your mind about purchasing a new motorhome, you may be offered an immediate cash price on the one you want to sell.
Some dealers may even agree to take your motorhome on a sale or return basis.
Preparing your motorhome for part-exchange
You might be tempted into thinking that a vehicle you offer in part exchange does not need much in the way of special presentation – if it is dirty or needs minor exterior or interior blemishes ironing out, then the dealer is well able to provide the necessary service.
But dealers are people, too, and just like any other buyer, first impressions count.
In other words, if you are looking to part exchange, it is worth spending some of your own time cleaning the outside of the vehicle, attending to any scrapes and dings, and giving the interior a thorough spring clean. It is all likely to put any dealer in the right frame of mind for offering you a more attractive deal on a motorhome which has clearly been looked after by a responsible and careful owner.
Try to make sure your vehicle is as clean and well-presented as possible. True, a professional dealer will be able to “see-through” certain surface-level presentation problems, but psychologically even the most seasoned professional can be affected by things such as interior dirt, grime, and foul smells etc.
These things can suggest you’ve not really cared for your motorhome and that might imply to the dealer that far worse problems are lurking unseen under the surface so to speak. So – a good spring clean beforehand is a good idea.
Avoid last-second cosmetic improvements like cushions, wall decorations and so on. These will cost you money for no benefit – most dealers will remove them before any sale to restore your motorhome or campervan to its original specification and appearance (as far as possible).
Some motorhome owners, for example, add large numbers of accessories and make other customisations and enhancements to their vehicles.
It’s sometimes disappointing for them to note that many of these will be considered to have zero value by the dealer or indeed a future buyer. That’s because many buyers prefer second-hand motorhomes that are close to the original manufacturer’s specification. They may have little or no use for your gadgetry or accessories.
So, you might have a dish on the roof capable of bouncing a signal off Mars – but a new buyer might value that at zero if they have no interest in doing so! Be pragmatic and assume you may get little or nothing for most of them.
As people are inclined to be fussy about where they sleep and use the bathroom, try to keep these areas particularly spic, span and in good working order. A shower/WC that’s a bit of a mess or poorly maintained will be a big turn off to dealers.
Research a very rough price for your vehicle and also the one you have in mind for acquisition. Do some rough sums in your head for the sort of total deal you’re looking for and be flexible and ready to negotiate.
Try to be realistic in your pricing, though. Remember, the dealer has to make a profit on both sides of the transaction, and that can’t be pennies. Give them some breathing room.
You will be very unlikely to get as much as a trade-in, as you would if you sold privately. If it appears you would remember to look at the whole deal, including what the dealer is asking you to pay as the balance for the new vehicle. However, keep in mind that selling privately comes with its particular potential pitfalls. Think carefully before you make your final decision on that one.
It is also important to gather together, ready to hand over to the dealer, the documents and owner’s manual you received when you bought your motorhome, along with its maintenance records and service history.
If you are going down the road of selling your motorhome privately, rather than looking to part exchange, there are a few precautions you need to take to prevent scams, theft or even worse:
- never give out details such as the vehicle registration number (technically known as its Vehicle Registration Mark, or VRM), the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), logbook details or your own personal information – which may be used criminally for identity theft;
- always offer viewings at your home address, rather than somewhere unfamiliar that is suggested by someone claiming to be an interested buyer, but where you may be vulnerable to an assault or theft;
- if a viewer asks to hear the engine running, make sure you are in the driving seat and do not leave the keys in the ignition, suggests the listings magazine Exchange and Mart;
- if a potential buyer asks to test drive your motorhome, only hand over the keys once you are sat behind the wheel and after you have checked that their insurance certificate allows them to drive;
- it is reasonable to allow any potential buyer to inspect the vehicle’s documents, but do not let them make copies of them – and beware any attempt they make to take photos of the documents using their smartphone;
- if you manage to agree on a sale, have prepared a simple document to that effect which both you and the buyer sign;
- wait until you have been paid the agreed price – and any bank transfer or cheque has actually been cleared – before handing over your motorhome to the buyer.
With the prospect of so many do’s, don’ts and precautions involved in any private sale, you might already have decided that the easier and safer solution may be to offer us your motorhome in part exchange.