In the UK, though there are plenty of top class motorhomes available, we’re not necessarily known for producing, retailing or even buying the really high-end motorhomes that can be found in places like the USA and Continental Europe. Because of this many motorhome users choose to import specific models from all over the world. What are the pros and cons of buying a motorhome from overseas?
Choice and Specification
It’s true that you can find a much greater variety of models overseas. Models like the Isuzu Elf and Mazda Bongo can be found in Japan and there’s plenty more Winnebagos and Chevrolets in America than there are over here. If you’ve been shopping around but can’t find the model, specification or even colour that you want then look into purchasing your model from overseas.
Exchange Rates and Shipping
Though it is possible to buy from import dealers you can still import motorhomes yourself…although things can get a little complicated! Shipping a motorhome can be costly but if you’re looking to buy from the USA or Japan it’s pretty much the only way to do it. It’s possible, however, to purchase flights to Europe and drive back home to the UK. Consider, also, the currency you’re buying in and factor in the likelihood of a drop in value – we live in turbulent economic times, remember!
VAT, Taxes, Papers and Insurance
It’s a lot to think about, but you’ll need to consider the implications of tax regimes of different countries when buying your motorhome. You’ll have to pay import duty for anything imported from outside of the EU, but you may be able to reclaim some VAT. A professional tax advisor can help get the ball rolling. You’ll also need your import papers to make sure your motorhome is registered properly in the UK and, of course, make sure that your motorhome insurance policy covers imported motorhomes and that the premium is worthwhile.
Importing offers a lot of food for thought and if you want a particular model or a particular style then sometimes it’s the only way. If you’re incredibly savvy then you might even be able to save some money by importing but be sure to factor in all the hidden costs of doing the deal. Even if you end up spending a little more, though, the drive to pick up an import can be just like a free holiday!