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Are motorhomes a good investment?

For many people who own motorhomes the decision to buy is a lifestyle choice, and thousands of people up and down the country every year zip about the world in theirs every year. Here's a look at a few key factors which will determine whether a motorhome is a good investment for you.

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Words by: Auto Trader

Published on 17 March 2020 | 0 min read

Whether you're in it for the savings, the community, life on the open road or the spirit of adventure that comes with owning a motorhome, everyone has their reasons. Did you know that you can add investment potential onto your list now too?
The long haul
Getting a motorhome can often be an expensive business, and top of the range models can be anything from £50,000 to more than £100,000 if bought new, so you may find your wallet being stretched to the limit when purchasing. As a result, it can often be tempting to buy an older, used model that is less expensive and does the job, letting somebody else pay for the depreciation. While this may seem like a wise choice for your pocket in the short term it's not a great investment tactic and you need to think of the long haul, because while older motorhomes hold their value better than cars they won't stay valuable forever. As newer technology comes onto the market and your motorhome starts to wear out it will lose value very quickly, and the older the motorhome is when you buy it, the less time it will be a saleable asset. While it's more expensive to buy new, you can more or less be sure that your purchase will be worth a good percentage of its original value when you come to sell it.
How do you use yours?
Another factor that will determine whether a motorhome is a good investment for you is simply how much you use it. The are numerous ways in which the motorhome life saves you money, and to make the most of your investment you have to deploy them all. Driving your motorhome to your destination and staying in it rather than hotels are the obvious choices, but you should also consider eating full time in your motorhome rather than going to restaurants as well as using your motorhome to stock up on supplies ahead of time to make savings on bulk purchases. You should also consider going on holiday more, not less, with your motorhome. Every second your motorhome spends sitting on your drive is unused potential, and combined with the savings you'll make on traditional holidays, your choice can add up to huge savings in the long term. This is especially true if you have kids, because you can dodge the half term cost hikes whilst also enjoying family time together.
Structure your investment
If you're planning on making your motorhome pay for itself it can be a good idea to have a solid plan in place before you even buy it. First of all, it's a good idea to keep an eye on trends so that you purchase a model with features that will stand the test of time. Modern features like phone charging ports and BlueTooth speakers are likely to age well and help it hold its value, while built-in DVD players won't. Decide how many holidays you want to go on, how much that would cost without a motorhome, then work out how much you'll save as a result. Finally, see how much you think you can get for the motorhome when you're finished with it. Using all this data, you can make choices which will allow you to buy the optimum model, keep it for the optimum length of time and sell it for the optimum price in order to get the best value. If you do it right, you might break even or even make a profit - you'll be paying yourself to go on holiday!
To finance or not to finance?
When it comes to buying motorhomes, the first question many people ask is whether to buy outright or finance their new toy. Whether either is a good investment will depend on your circumstances. For younger people who are asset poor but have a decent amount of cashflow, financing a motorhome and selling it when it's paid off is usually the best option. However, you need to factor in the impact of its payback time on whether it's viable in the long term. Conversely, older people with more cash assets will probably be in a position to buy outright, which will pay dividends if they are then able to keep hold of it for a long time.

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