A motorhome is a fantastic way to slash on the cost of living and to gain a valuable sense of freedom in the process.
If you’re considering making the investment, it’s important to go in with your eyes open, and thereby avoid nasty surprises further along the line.
So where are you required to spend to keep your motorhome running? Let’s look at the costs of motorhome ownership, starting with the initial costs, and then looking into the cost that’ll come year after year.
The first and most obvious cost of buying a motorhome is that of the vehicle itself. There are many ways to manage this expense, including finance and loans – and with interest rates being so low at the moment, there’s never been a better time to make the investment.
Depreciation should be factored into your running costs (which we’ll get to), but it should also be considered a more immediate cost, as you’ll feel its effects most strongly during the first few years of purchase. If you’re buying new, then depreciation should factor even more strongly into your thinking, as a significant chunk of your motorhome’s value will fall away the moment it’s driven off the forecourt.
Much of the overall cost of your vehicle will come from the cost of keeping it on the road. These costs can be split into four distinct categories.
Motorhomes are taxed according to their weight and engine size. A vehicle heavier than 3,500 kg is considered a private heavy goods vehicle and will be taxed at £165pa. If your motorhome is lighter than this, and has an engine larger than 1549cc, it’ll be taxed at £270 – so be sure that you check before making a purchase. You may pay a different rate of tax if your vehicle emits low amounts of CO2, or if it’s in the M1SP category.
Your motorhome, like any other vehicle, will need to be kept insured in order to be driven on British roads. £400 tends to be the upper limit for most motorhomes; shopping around will net you significant savings. The best bet is almost always to look for an insurer that specialises in motorhomes – that way you can be sure that you’ll be in safe hands should disaster strike.
If your motorhome is going to be able to travel anywhere, it’ll need to be adequately fuelled. Vehicles of this sort, being exceptionally large, not very aerodynamic, and loaded with stuff, don’t tend to be able to achieve very impressive fuel economy – though low mileage tends to offset this. Waiting to find a good price for your fuel might not be an option for motorhome owners, as not all stations will be able to accommodate them. Do your research and plan ahead.
Mechanical failure will lead to your motorhome becoming entirely immobile, which will severely limit its appeal. Annual servicing and maintenance will ensure that it’s kept in good condition, and you should expect to spend a few hundred pounds a year on this.