When we began planning our trip to the UK and buying a motorhome over there, I found it hard to source all the right information. I got quite disheartened with the whole thing.
Initially we went to the Covi Motorhome Show to establish what models we actually liked that we could source from The UK. We saw lots that we loved but discovered after doing our homework that most were in that ‘ can only dream” catagory.
Our first searches were for almost new motorhomes or as new as our budget afforded us and then we discovered The Personal Export Scheme. The Personal Export Scheme (PES) allows entitled customers to buy a motor vehicle in the UK free of VAT for export outside the European Union (EU). Subject to some restrictions, the vehicle can be used for a limited period in the EU before it is exported. Suddenly a whole new world of motorhomes opened up to us.
We learnt a few lessons along the way. Driving on an international licence means the vehicle must be under 3500 kg GVM. This didn’t bother us greatly as back here in New Zealand we don’t want to bother with COFS anyway.
At the Covi Show I fell in love with the Elddis Encore 254 and it’s stylish spacious interior, fixed bed, loads of bench space and the proper lounge, comfy couch area that we both wanted. We were both taken with the open plan set up of the Elddis which is hard to find.This is where the email saga began, back and forth to dealers in The U.K sourcing what we wanted at the right price.
Warranties have given us a few sleepless nights. We discovered Fiat offer worldwide warranties transferable from country to country however Peugeot, which the Elddis is built on, does not. At this point I really did try to like The Autotrail models but having come from the ultra modern Jayco Starcraft, I just couldn’t find the love. Sorry Autotrail fans.
The solution after yet more homework is an independent warranty sourced here in New Zealand to cover us when we are here. For a couple of grand we could have the model wanted plus the security of a warranty. Problem solved.
After literally chasing down every Elddis Encore 254 in the land to no avail, we found one 255 which is the French bed option in some obscure town of Scotland. With a bigger bathroom and more outside storage for hubby we quickly sent through a deposit.
The story so far would have been alot more difficult if it were not for a handful of wonderfully patient people and for those thinking of a similiar journey I can thoroughly recommend the following companies. When you are on the other side of the world trying to purchase a big ticket item sight unseen, it’s important the sales agent is prepared to answer all your queries regardless of how trivial they may be.
Southdown Motorhomes – the guy we dealt with was Andrew Martin and he was great to deal with even though in the end he didn’t have something we wanted in our price bracket.
Brownhills Motorhomes – Bo Wojack was again very helpful.
M and C Motorhomes Ltd – Nothing has been too much trouble with these guys, Steven has been great with his communication, pricing and accommodating our needs. We just felt that we were in safe hands and that during our journey if anything went wrong he would be there for us. Highly highly recommended.
When it comes to insurance we have found only one company prepared to insure New Zealanders in The UK. They were Down Under Insurance.
I’m not gonna lie – insurance is expensive.
Joe Steele from Mc Cullough’s Shipping has been full of advice, has exchanged money for us at great rates and just so communicative and helpful.
The reality is buying a motorhome in The U.K will save you money however it’s hard work negotiating all the ins and outs and when your day is their night, communicating can mean lots of late nights.
Here’s hoping that the above information is helpful to someone. Would love to hear from others with similar experiences to provide even more information regarding this topic.